Damascus Road is a group that works to reverse the course of racism through education, networking and justice work in keeping with Jesus' focus on the marginalized in society.
We focus on those in our country that we can work with, especially those descendants of enslaved Africans who we have a debt to. Racism is so complex that we white people have to specialize in our own brand of racism, the US version, to understand its' complexities. Over time, racism has morphed many times. Since the emancipation proclamation we've had Plessy v Ferguson, Jim Crow, reconstruction, separate but equal, civil rights, mass incarceration, the drug wars all with their own racist hallmarks to overcome. Once individual racism became less prominent institutional racism took its' place. We are monitoring the current shape and face of racism to create justice. To contact us use this email
The principle on which one had to operate was that the government which can force me to pay my taxes and force me to fight in its defense anywhere in the world does not have the authority to say that it cannot protect my right to vote or my right to earn a living or my right to live anywhere I choose
-- James Baldwin
Now, what I have said about Harlem is true of Chicago, Detroit, Washington, Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and San Francisco–is true of every Northern city with a large Negro population. And the police are simply the hired enemies of this population. They are present to keep the Negro in his place and to protect white business interests, and they have no other function
-- James Baldwin
The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer. To respect the law, in the context in which the American Negro finds himself, is simply to surrender his self-respect. the white policeman...finds himself at the very center of the revolution now occurring in the world. he is not prepared for it--naturally, nobody is--and, what is possibly much more to the point, he is exposed, as few white ppl are, to the anguish of the black ppl around him....
-- James Baldwin
one day, to everyone's astonishment, someone drops a match in the powder keg and everything blows up. before the dust has settled or the blood is congealed, editorials, speeches, and civil-rights commissions are loud in the land, demanding to know what happened. what happened is that negroes want to be treated like [humans]
-- James Baldwin
If you stick a knife in my back nine inches and pull it out six inches, there's no progress. If you pull it all the way out that's not progress. Progress is healing the wound that the blow made. They haven't even begun to pull the knife out. They won't even admit that the knife is there.
-- Malcolm X
We live surrounded by white images, and white in this world is synonymous with the good, light, beauty, success, so that, despite ourselves sometimes, we run after that whiteness and deny our darkness, which has been made into the symbol of all that is evil and inferior.
-- Paule Marshall
For me, white privilege has turned out to be an elusive and fugitive subject. The pressure to avoid it is great, for in facing it I must give up the myth of meritocracy. If these things are true, this is not such a free country; one's life is not what one makes it; many doors open for certain people through no virtues of their own.
Quotes from James Baldwin The principle on which one had to operate was that the government which can force me to pay my taxes and force me to fight in its defense anywhere in the world does not have the authority to say that it cannot protect my right to vote or my right to earn a living or my right to live anywhere I choose
Now, what I have said about Harlem is true of Chicago, Detroit, Washington, Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and San Francisco—is true of every Northern city with a large Negro population. And the police are simply the hired enemies of this population. They are present to keep the Negro in his place and to protect white business interests, and they have no other function
The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer. To respect the law, in the context in which the American Negro finds himself, is simply to surrender his self-respect.
the white policeman...finds himself at the very center of the revolution now occurring in the world. he is not prepared for it--naturally, nobody is--and, what is possibly much more to the point, he is exposed, as few white ppl are, to the anguish of the black ppl around him....
one day, to everyone's astonishment, someone drops a match in the powder keg and everything blows up. before the dust has settled or the blood is congealed, editorials, speeches, and civil-rights commissions are loud in the land, demanding to know what happened. what happened is that negroes want to be treated like [humans]
Malcolm X: “If you stick a knife in my back nine inches and pull it out six inches, there's no progress. If you pull it all the way out that's not progress. Progress is healing the wound that the blow made. They haven't even begun to pull the knife out. They won't even admit that the knife is there.”
We live surrounded by white images, and white in this world is synonymous with the good, light, beauty, sucess, so that, despite ourselves sometimes, we run after that whiteness and deny our darkness, which has been made into the symbol of all that is evil and inferior. -Paule Marshall
SO the black woman says to the white woman "when you look in the mirror what do you see?" and the white woman says "i see a woman". The black woman says "You see, that's the problem for me because when I look in the mirror in the morning I see a black woman. To me, race is visible. But to you, race is invisible. You don't see it. " And then she said something really startling. She said "that’s how privilege works. privilege is invisible to those who have it.”
I had crossed the line. I was free; but there was no one to welcome me to the land of freedom. I was a stranger in a strange land.
If I could have convinced more slaves they were slaves, I could have freed thousands more.
Oct, 2019: I wrote this a while ago. Some of it makes sense. Some I'm going to edit. email@example.com
White privilege means we have all the same problems as everyone else, but others, those without white privilege, have additional problems piled on top of the common problems we all share that complicate life by an additional magnitude.
White privilege does not mean all white ppl have an easy life. It does not mean we're all aristocrats sipping martinis by the pool. White privilege is about a widespread benefit because of the color of our skin based on historical bias caused by racism. Thru the ages, since white and black races were imagined, these ideas have been embedded in the psyche of society members since birth. White privilege is about propaganda and social rules perpetrated by a white dominant society. That propaganda is so strong we've spread it world wide. The propaganda says that "black ppl are lazy" as one example. But when you think about it why would white ppl go all the way to Africa to seek laborers in order to avoid white people having to do work and expect "lazy" ppl to do it? White ppl can make a logical case that they are not stupid enough to enslave lazy ppl. But when you refer to expecting freebies (reparations) or being owed something (entitlement) it sounds a lot like the old stereotype coming out.
White ppl in this country have had the privilege over the last 400 years of collectively having a vast amount of wealth that was taken from other ppl. I'm talking about white men having all the positions of power/privilege at a vast amount of organizations in our country. If you've ever gotten a job or an interview because of someone you know you've got privilege. That’s based on the fact that over the years white people live near white people. We know that most white ppl live in proximity to other white ppl. That means that for one thing we don't even know the circumstances of black ppl. We are unlikely to network with black ppl. Being the dominant and powerful race has a massive effect on success in life. Being white doesn't mean you don't work, it just means your chances are significantly better of getting a job, retaining a job, getting a promotion, etc.
There are many historical aspects of white privilege. One example is the Syphilis Experiment which continued until 1974 where black men were exposed to Syphilis and never treated. The 1921 attack by whites of a black area of Tulsa is another example. It was called a race riot but it was a riot by white people. The black ppl had built up a whole network of wealthy businesses in the Greenwood area of Tulsa. During the attack black ppl were killed en masse. A whole network of strong businesses including banks, airports, hospital, retail and manufacturing businesses were destroyed. That's the kind of terror successful black entrepreneurs have faced again and again. This wealth if it had not been destroyed would be worth millions or billions today.
Women got the vote in 1920. Black ppl couldn't have a good chance of being allowed to vote until the 1960s when the poll taxes and literacy tests were banned by the feds. Not being able to register to vote meant that you couldn't serve on juries in most places.
The Klan was started just after the Civil War to reign terror on blacks and maintain control by whites. It had great influence for about 100 years.
Education, Justice, religion, housing, employment are all affected by white privilege. I have various studies that show the strong bias of race in various areas I've mentioned. A great amount of wealth and power was made while blacks weren't even allowed to look a white person in the eye in the south, much less allowed to learn to read and write
Reverse Racism let's first define racism with this formula: racism = racial prejudice + systemic institutional power.
to say people of color can be racist, denies the power imbalance inherent in racism. altho some black people dislike whites and act on that prejudice to insult or hurt them, that's not the same as systematically oppressing them and negatively affecting every aspect of their lives.
people of color, as a social group, do not possess the societal, institutional power to oppress white people as a group. an individual black person who is abusing a white person, while clearly wrong, is acting out a personal racial prejudice, not racism.
White Christian groups and other religions supported the chattel slavery of Africans and promoted the idea that black people are not human. How can we trust a spiritual tradition that is so profoundly corrupt? Is corrupt a strong enough term? People operating under the auspices of Christianity perpetrated slavery and white supremacy. You can say they weren’t real Christians but that doesn’t give much relief when Christians continue to perpetrate white supremacy to this day. I thought it was bad enough when I read about Christians operating the Inquisition. The fact is that white American Christians from the earliest times participated and enabled chattel slavery that fomented rape of any black person regardless of age or gender among other atrocities. I usually focus on our treatment of African descendants but we Europeans also endlessly abused Native Americans from our arrival on these shores.
Do I torture myself with these thoughts? I used to. I felt ashamed and guilty for decades. I felt bad for my obvious privilege although I was not considered wealthy or even successful for most of my life. Still I knew I was privileged and had an advantage over descendants of enslaved Africans. I always pursued learning about black people and socializing. Now I get a sense of relief from the shame and guilt by acting on my awareness and pushing an agenda of justice and equity.
The Christian community didn’t stop with slavery. They had blinded themselves for centuries to the violence of white supremacy. The blindness is what really bothers me. If we were blind to that for so long, what else are we blind to in continuation? Those blind spots are the thing of nightmares. How do we create justice and equity and a loving community as people unaware that we’re blind? How do we begin to see again? How do we gain an awareness of others and ourselves that is not skewed.
White Slaves Irish "slaves" didn't require a 13th amendment to free them. Irish "slaves" didn't require a civil rights bill to allow them to really vote. Irish "slaves" didn't require a change of laws to marry other people.
Enslaved Africans and their descendants have been demonized by stereotypes for centuries so much so that when Africans come to this country now some will avoid associating with black Americans. There is not a corner of the earth that does not have a negative stereotype of our melanated brothers and sisters. The Irish? Not so much.
Every time I hear that comparison of Irish versus African slavery it is a fresh slap in the face. The ignorance in even comparing the two is indecent. It's pathological. That's why I compare the idea of racism in this country to a combination of a continuing civil war to an epidemic disease. It's an ongoing war perpetrated by the government with police as the foot soldiers. It's a disease in the sense that we have developed a blindness to the truth. It's also a mental illness because we have been brainwashed, almost to a point of a psychotic break with reality.
J Steve Mohr - firstname.lastname@example.org
i am not a racist. i do not hate white people because of the color of their skin nor do I support racism, however I don't consider brotherhood with white people who are not trying to destroy the system of racism that white people created - Paul Ride
racism is a white european invention, it was created by white europeans, so to believe it is the sole responsibility of non-whites to destroy racism and not the people who invented it is racist ignorance. if white people aren't educating their communities on why it's important to destroy the racism that their ancestors created then they are the main reason why it still exists
This is an article trying to shed light in a dark corner of the closet. I don't know if I agree with all the ideas but the substance of the ideas are a jumping off place for thought journeys.
Unless you run outta the house screaming about the war on black and brown bodies
Unless you tell your whole family that we’ve got to make changes to the system of white supremacy now
Unless you make Justice and Equity a priority in your life now today
Unless you have a "come to Jesus" moment
Unless you start today to dismantle white supremacy like the house is on fire
You don’t understand what we’ve got to do
Even if Your ancestors never owned slaves
Even if Your ancestors were abolitionist
Even if You’re a really nice person
Even if You go to church every Sunday
Even if You’ve got a black friend, family member, coworker, Congress man, preacher, teacher, neighbor, cat
You’ve got to do the work that we have the power to change. WP put the system in place and it benefits the health and welfare of WP. We can’t live with the moral bankruptcy of this system any longer.
most of the greatest evils that man has inflicted upon man have come thru ppl feeling quite certain about something which, in fact, was false. bertrand russell
quoted as a paraphrase of macauleys:
i have traveled across the length and breadth of india and i have not seen one person who is a beggar, who is a thief such wealth i have seen in this country, such high moral values, people of such high caliber, that i do not think we would ever conquer this country, unless we break the very backbone of this nation, which is her spiritual and cultural heritage and therefore, i propose that we replace her old and ancient education system, her culture, for if the indians think that all that is foreign and english is good and greater than their own, they will lose their selfesteem, their native culture and they will become what we want them, a truly dominated nation
lord macaulays address to the british parliament on feb 2, 1835.
This kind of sums up the concept of the psychological warfare that enslaved Africans faced in this country.Apparently this is a manipulated/exaggerated paraphrase of macaulays used for propaganda but it really sums up white supremacy in a way that is helpful to me.
Power concedes nothing without a demand. it never did and it never will. where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe
is that Eric Garner worked for some time for the Parks and Rec
Horticulture Department, which means, perhaps, that with his very large hands,
perhaps, in all likelihood, he put gently into the earth
some plants which, most likely, some of them, in all likelihood,
continue to grow, continue to do what such plants do, like house
and feed small and necessary creatures, like being pleasant to touch and smell,
like converting sunlight into food, like making it easier for us to breathe.
Words of Langston Hughes:
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
Words of Dr Leonard Jeffries:
Whoever controls the images, controls your self-esteem, self-respect, and self-development. Whoever controls the history, controls the vision.
Work for a cause, not for applause.
Live life to express, not to impress.
Don't strive to make your presence noticed, just make your absence felt
The idea that racism is largely a thing of the past harkens back to the idea that your friend believes racism is over. i always ask - so when did it end? did it end with emancipation? did it end with separate but equal? did it end with dred scott? civil rights? mass incarceration? drug war? at which point do you believe it ended? At each of these significant stages of clashes with racism we believed we had made progress or that a problem had been resolved only to come to another historical point that showed that it had not gone away at all.
Next question is: who is going to decide when it's over? Whites have been clueless of the significance of racism since time immemorial. Only a group of informed black ppl can really answer this. Do you really believe a white person is going to have a clue? Do men decide when sexism is over?
If your black best friend tells you racism is over what does that mean? Does it mean that she doesn't trust you enough to tell the truth? Does it mean that racism is over for her? Does it mean that she's coping with it and just thinks her life is as challenging as anyone elses? We have to realize that people don't always complain or even realize the significance of our position in society. A lot of us are people pleasers. We don't want to make waves. Even during slavery all slaves weren't complaining. There is a huge component of brainwashing that takes place in racism. It's called internalized racial oppression for people of color and internalized racial superiority in whites. That brainwashing skews our perception since we have consciousness in life. Every part of society is infected with these common racist perceptions. It takes a lot of work to free ourselves from these perceptions.
It's one thing to capture and enslave someones body or to contribute to a system that enslaves black bodies, it's another to realize that the system also enslaves minds. The enslavement of black and white minds in a system of white supremacy has a lasting and profound effect.
Steve Mohr 2017
Poem by a Facebook friend with her permission
Oppression that defines your living Once gone Leaves you seeking an alternate meaning
Oppression that frames your view of living Once gone Leaves you struggling to focus on a new vision
Oppression that undergirds the foundation of your living Once gone Leaves you treading in spacing until you can build a new footing
Oppression that consumes your living Once gone Leaves you starving for sustenance more filling
Oppression that motivates your living Once gone Leaves you empty of purpose and feeling
It is painful to combat oppression And it is neglectful to eradicate it Without the ability to enact a new life affirming alternative
an anthropologist proposed a game to children of an african tribe. he put a basket of fruit near a tree and told the kids that the first one to reach the fruit would win them all. when he told them to run they all took each others hands and ran together, then sat together enjoying the fruits. when asked why they ran like that, as one could have taken all the fruit for oneself, they said, "Ubuntu, how can one of us be happy if all the others are sad?"'UBUNTU' is a philosophy of african tribes that can be summed up as "I am because we are".
"Where there is injustice, we defend the oppressed. Where there is disagreement, we treat each other with compassion and respect. Where there are differences, we find strength in our common humanity, knowing that we are all children of God."
—President Obama at the Easter Prayer Breakfast: http://go.wh.gov/ohaK1u
Terri Shepler from FB November 2016
1) Racism – about feeling superior and having resources on a scale to create systems which keep those who believe they are superior in said power. A modern day system is the war on drugs. Whites and African Americans use drugs at the same rate. Statistically there are more white dealers but African Americans are 6 times more likely to be arrested and sentenced . And if sentenced, they will have 20-30% longer sentences. By incarcerating so many, you can destroy families and communities and strip them of income earning power (because they have felonies) and voting power so they cannot use their votes to change structure.
2) Discrimination – one person (or group) does not like another group and has the power to control resources to prevent opportunity. This occurs in an immediate close relationship with controls a level of power. An example, a Korean store owner does not like African Americans so they will not serve them. Or a nail salon, where it is all Vietnamese, they don’t like White people so they charge them more than their clientele of color. The white clients don’t know
3) Prejudice – simply not liking a person or demographic but does not have a power system to impact that demographic. Example, Spanish auto mechanic, does not like White people but works in a Pep boys and has to work on White patrons cars
4) Micro – Aggression. This has 3 subparts (you can read the link below for more information)
a. Microassaults: Conscious and intentional discriminatory actions: using racial epithets, displaying White supremacist symbols - swastikas, or preventing one's son or daughter from dating outside of their race.
b. Microinsults: Verbal, nonverbal, and environmental communications that subtly convey rudeness and insensitivity that demean a person's racial heritage or identity. An example is an employee who asks a co-worker of color how he/she got his/her job, implying he/she may have landed it through an affirmative action or quota system.
c. Microinvalidations: Communications that subtly exclude negate or nullify the thoughts, feelings or experiential reality of a person of color. For instance, White people often ask Latinos where they were born, conveying the message that they are perpetual foreigners in their own land.
What Whites in America may feel from African Americans is either discrimination (in one-on-one incidents, withholding something ) or prejudice. If African Americans feel or exhibit these tendencies it is in response to a historical legacy through today – Slavery, Segregation, Jim Crow, institutional/environmental systemic racism , overt, covert, microaggression, redlining, school to prison pipeline, mass incarceration, war on drugs, economic flight from our communities and gentrification pushing us out, unequal resources invested in inner city schools, criminal “injustice” system, racial profiling, policing for profit and over policing of communities of color, debtors prisons and running city budgets through policing verses policing as protecting public safety and much more.
IS THIS THE HISTORY OF AIR?
"I can't breathe" he said.
But there was no air.
Only the absence of trees
and rope. The swaying
of history over another
- E. Ethelbert Miller
MICHELLE ALEXANDER 11/14/16
Like millions of people, I am still struggling to wrap my mind around what the election means for our collective future. I won’t try to sort it out here, in a Facebook post.
What I will say is that what happened can't be explained simply as a failure of the political establishment — though it has failed spectacularly. Nor is it simply a problem of racism or sexism — though both are alive and well and flourishing in this moment. Nor is this election simply a matter of economics, though global capitalism and neoliberalism have created a world in which people of all colors are suffering greatly as factories close, work disappears, wages stagnate, and human beings are treated as disposable — like plastic bottles tossed in a landfill — as political and media elites (not just Trump) spew propaganda that encourages us to view “the others” as the enemy.
The problem runs deeper than all of that. The truth is we are stumbling badly in large part because we are just beginning to learn to walk. Roughly 50 years ago, we still had an explicitly racist system of laws and government: a racial caste system. It was not a true democracy by any stretch. We still don’t have a real democracy. And we’ve managed to rebirth a new caste-like system in recent years, a new Jim Crow. In the words of William Faulkner, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”
What many of us have been attempting to do — build a thriving multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-faith, egalitarian democracy out of the rubble of slavery and genocide — has never been achieved in the history of the world. Some say it can never be done.
Is America Possible?
That’s the question we face right now. And it’s the question Dr. Vincent Harding posed before he died and joined the many ancestors who are whispering to us, urging us not to falter now.
I just saw this info on another post, and had to see what this was about.. Really, is it coming to this? Are we as POC, going to have to look for white people who wear safety pins for help and protection,(Ally's) I think, or hope not!!! My gosh, we are quickly going backwards folks.. There was a time when we looked for a lightened lantern to lead us to safety, now we look for white people wearing safety pins.. We better learn to look and depend on each other!! Tough times coming.. Look to each other, We need each other!!!
TBH, those ensnared by oppressive cultural beliefs that reinforce oppressive policies need accomplices that invest in action, not allies who rock with safety pins.
I get the sentiment and get that folks can be down with this fad *and* participate in activism that supports the struggle. Still, allyship isn’t self-imposed. Who is or isn’t “safe” or an ally is decided upon by those from marginalized groups, not the other way around.
RUBY SALES We are watching nothing short of a White class war and a battle over what will be the meaning of Whiteness and Brownness and Blackness century for them in the 21st century, Whether Whites are in the Sanders' camp or in Trump's the rage is directed at elites. In the Sanders' camp Whites direct their ammunition at monied elites. The Trumpites direct their voltage at political elites. However, the feeling that these elites have undermined the currency and power of Whiteness in the world is the glue that binds these two groups together.
For those of us who are Black and Brown and outside of this war, we are trying to dodge the carnage and shelling to stay alive. We are sick and tired of White anger and the howling of the mob. We have lived with it for 400 years and managed to create a simultaneous way of being that weaves love and and anger and optimism with realism. We offer this paradigm as a way forward. It saved us from White anger and terrorism. It is tried and true.From my front porch.
From the inception of project America throughout enslavement into the present,White southerners and their northern allies tried to impose a state rights model of white supremacy at the heart of the federal government. Although they contaminated federal power with White supremacy, they did not capture it until now.
We are witnessing the achievement of a long fought battle of these forces to federalize white supremacy.
They have seized control of local and state governments as well as the federal government. Now all institutional power is in their hands. It will,take us a hundred years to destroy the world that they will create
Progressives of all colors aided them by promoting a false narrative that Clinton is just like Trump. I beg to differ. She would not have appointed the likes of Steve Bannon, Newt Gingrich or Jeff Sessions. Nor would she have required Muslims to register as enemy combatants.Nor would she have criminalizes and killed our youth in Black Lives Matter. Nor would she have built a wall to keep out out Brown sisters and brothers.nor would she have created a House of UnAmerican Activities designed to choke the life out of activists and activism.
Avon Bellamy Jr
I used to live in Oklahoma (from 88-94). It was there that I was introduced to conservative radio and talking points...particularly through Rush Limbaugh. I even read Limbaugh's first book "The Way Things Ought To Be". I found many of the proponents of these ideas, they called themselves Dittoheads at the time, to be charming, friendly and sincere. I met, engaged and debated many of them over that time I spent in Oklahoma. I actually listened to and weighed what they were saying.
I took the time to do this to understand the ideas behind their philosophies, many of which were not far fetched at all: taking personal responsibility for one's actions, working hard, etc was all common sense stuff. The problem, I often found, was twofold. One, they thought that they were the only ones who understood or lived those values and they often took a confirmation bias-led view of everyone else, lifting up the outliers as examples of the norm in groups they were maligning as being "what's wrong with America". Two, they always referred back to some idealized and entirely sanitized version of American history to support all of it. Basically, they had absolutely no sense of humility or of the realities of their history - which allowed them to be absolutely charming and sincere monsters...capable of justifying nearly any atrocity.
There was rarely a time when any overtly racist idea was expressed during these conversations - no stray "N-words" or anything so gauche. However, the words would eventually begin to leave a sort of blank space in the shape of what they really meant. I even began to realize that many of them didn't actually know "what they really meant" - they just resonated with the surface ideas and never bothered to extrapolate or follow the rest to its logical conclusion or question the path back from whence the ideas were based and drawn. Of course, those who were shaping that side of the debate were not so blind.
This brings me to Glenn Beck. He was a disciple of that early conservative movement. He rubbed elbows with these people and the mindset that drives them. He's uniquely qualified to raise the alarm regarding what is actually meant by what is being done here because the nature of it insures that those trapped in its delusion could never hear it from, nor actually listen to, me. They must hear it from more trusted mouths....which has always been the case and which is part and parcel of the spectrum that is racism.
Most people who have never really studied or had to factor racism into their lives in any personal or even meaningful way, have no real idea what it actually is. They think that it's just name calling and hurt feelings...and that is exactly what they're encouraged to think because that's all that really gets highlighted. They don't realize that racism doesn't require hatred...just a biased or blinkered mindset and the power to block access to the most basic resources of life - or even life itself.
I guarantee you that the majority of Germans in Nazi Germany had no hatred or animosity toward Jewish people. But, I can equally guarantee you that most of them saw Jewish people as separate and different from themselves in fundamental ways. The mindset that, when faced with a regular Jewish person and finding them to be pretty much "regular", must then assume that this Jewish person be fundamentally different from the rest because the majority of those other Jewish people could not possibly be "regular". This particular one, and almost exclusively this one, must be extraordinary in being like (or even better than) me. It's the mindset that shrugs and looks away when something is happening to "them" because it's not happening to "me" and it couldn't be a big deal anyway because it's not really a big deal to "me"...and "we" know how "they" are. That type of bias is what, when combined with government, became the Holocaust. It was that and worse that led to the atrocities committed over America's first 350 years of history with the tacit support and approval of her government. That is the seed of true racism.
We're watching it now as they ramp up the sunlight and water and clear away the weeds that had only slightly overgrown the garden. Anyone with a passing knowledge of history knows what's going to bloom..."
Let America Be America Again - Poem by Langston Hughes
Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.
(America never was America to me.)
Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed--
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.
(It never was America to me.)
O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.
(There's never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this "homeland of the free.")
Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?
I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery's scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek--
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.
I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one's own greed!
I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean--
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today--O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.
Yet I'm the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That's made America the land it has become.
O, I'm the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home--
For I'm the one who left dark Ireland's shore,
And Poland's plain, and England's grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa's strand I came
To build a "homeland of the free."
Who said the free? Not me?
Surely not me? The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we've dreamed
And all the songs we've sung
And all the hopes we've held
And all the flags we've hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay--
Except the dream that's almost dead today.
O, let America be America again--
The land that never has been yet--
And yet must be--the land where every man is free.
The land that's mine--the poor man's, Indian's, Negro's, ME--
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.
Sure, call me any ugly name you choose--
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people's lives,
We must take back our land again,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath--
America will be!
Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain--
All, all the stretch of these great green states--
And make America again!
Here is part of the problem right up front: we have to endure a MacDonald’s add before Jesse Williams’ speech. Surely there is a better way to honor our people than by encouraging them to believe such a corporation cares about what they eat, unless it makes money for them. In any case, it interrupted a poem I wanted to write about fear of blackness in white culture.
Here It Is
2016 by Alice Walker
Here it is
the beauty that scares you
-so you believe-
For he is certainly gorgeous
and he is certainly where whiteness
to your disbelief
has not wandered off
No. It is there, tawny skin, gray eyes,
a Malcolm-esque jaw. His loyal parents
may Goddess bless them
sitting proud and happy and no doubt
at what they have done.
For he is black too. And obviously
with a soul
made of everything.
Try to think bigger than you ever have
or had courage enough to do:
that blackness is not where whiteness
wanders off to die: but that it is
like the dark matter
between stars and galaxies in
holds it all
Three deep bows to a beautiful son.
"You see research from the American Psychological Association that says cops see Black children as older and more criminal than their peers. I don't think that's just a matter of a few bad cops, I think it's a systematic problem. We have a system of white supremacy in this country and we have to contend with the fact that we've had 200 years of affirmative action for white people in this country and that makes its way into our public policy, it makes its way into our culture and media and that bleeds into implicit biases that people - and not just cops - have." - Alexis Goldstein (communications director, the other 98%)
All lives matter? NAH!
Justice is about identifying problems. Diffusion is about avoiding problems. We don't change sexist attitudes by saying "all sexes matter". We don't go in a voting booth and vote for everyone. We didn't see unjust taxes in 1776 and say british lives matter too. We identify problems and work to solve them. We have a problem with racial justice and equality today. It's become abundantly clear over the years especially owing to the propagation of video evidence and even especially Michelle Alexanders book that indicts the legal system. There is plenty of evidence in various institutions that identify problems for black ppl. During the slavery era black lives were worth 3/5 of a person. Clearly black lives have not mattered. Women weren't allowed to vote until 1920. Clearly womens lives didn't matter either. We have to identify a problem and work to resolve it. Diffusing someone elses problem works against them and minimizes their testimony. Stop it.
Steve Mohr 2017
Molly Ivins regarding White Privilege 'The second George Bush was born on third base but believes he hit a triple.’ . . . Which gets to the heart of what privilege is all about, George Bush and many CEOs are people who achieved their status in life and believe it’s solely because they have sacrificed and worked hard.
dr ruth wilson gilmore racism is the state sponsored and extralegal reproduction and exploitation of group-differentiated vulnerability to premature death
Fear is the dark room where negatives are developed
JUST IGNORE RACISM and IT WILL GO AWAY
Many white people filter the reality of racism through the lens of accusation...that is, the fear of being called a racist...for some, it's the fear of having their racist bent exposed, for others it's the fear of introspection; not wanting to analyze their own motives, to see whether they may have racist tendencies they haven't acknowledged...so, rather than do a needed self-check, many white people choose to "shoot the messenger"...focusing their angst on spokespersons of the Black community...Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton or any outspoken advocate, labeling them "race baiters" or "race hustlers", etc. which is just another way of saying, if you don't bring the subject up, the problem will just vanish...thing is, the race problem is the creation of white society...it's like trying to deny your own reflection in a mirror...Black people in particular and other non-white people in general are the object of YOUR problem (be it individual or collective) not the creator of it...Ronnie Brown
from a facebook friend who will remain anonymous made these remarks 4/9/2015 after Walter Scott was murdered by police I am about to get on my soap box. [My young daughter] has seen the news about Walter Scott. The 50 year old black man who was shot in the back while running away from a police officer. She saw the video of this man being shot while running 8 times with 4 of those bullets striking him and killing him. She saw the police officer take the taser gun and plant it near Mr. Scott's dead body. She just asked me, mom why are these things happening?
I did not know what to say to her. I just do not know what to say.
That a child of color sees a grown man of color running and being shot in the back and killed. How do you tell your child why this happened? I had this talk with my son 10 years ago when he was 15 about police and how they and society will view you. It does not matter that you are in youth ministry, that you lead the local youth ministry and ministry group at your church. It does not matter that you sing in heart song and that you do missionary work. All that matters is that when you are approached by police, and you will be that you remain polite and professional. That when they ask you a question, that you say yes officer or no officer. If you do these things, then you will get home safe and further more alive.
I just had my first talk with [My young daughter] about the same thing. There are those of you who may say why? [My young daughter] is a girl, well folks police are targeting young women of color just as much as they are targeting men. So I have just with tears in my eyes told [My young daughter] that as she gets older she will not be seen as a sweet intelligent young women of color by all people. People will look at your skin and call you "baby's momma", welfare queen, non-educated, etc... They will not know that you love to help your fellow students when they don't understand something at school, that you have been on honor roll, that all of your teachers tell us what a wonderful young woman you are and what a joy you are to have in class. They will just see you as a potential thug or someone that hangs out with thugs.
I have just told her for the first time that as you get older and have more freedom, you may be stopped by the police, or you may be stopped if your friend is a young man of color. Even if you are not the one who is seen as doing anything wrong, if the police ask for your id, give it to them. If they ask you how you know this person, tell them. and if you are scared, stay calm, get their badge number is you can and call your family. Many of you will never know what it is to have to tell your children that there will be people who will hate you simply because you are brown.
Yes they don't know you and yes I know it is wrong, but that is how it is. I have told her I know that we elected a man of color twice to be President, but we do not live in a post racial society. Should we be closer to that dream as it is 2015, yes, but are we no. [My young daughter] shared with me mommy when we were out I saw people with signs with a red strike through the Presidents face and a noose around his neck, why are they doing that?
I told her I don't know, what do you tell a 10 year old child of color why she sees a man of color who is the President with a noose around his neck and those chanting that they wish the President was not President. I am at a lost for words, I never thought I would have to tell my 10 year old daughter to be careful what you say and what you do, because of your color there will be inherent perceptions about you as a person until the day you die.
When I hear people say that racism in America (and around the world) has gotten worse during the Obama Presidency, I agree. Racism/White Supremacy is so prevalent in America, and so deeply rooted, that having Barack Obama as the grafted on head-of-state is causing the most radically racist people in America to flip out.
The truth is that they were already close to "popping", but a black man in charge is the thing to push them over the top. It makes no matter that he is a figurehead- they hate blacks. You gotta know what kind of horribly racist terrorist sociopaths I'm talking about- look at all the lynch mob photos, those dead eyed zombie people in the crowds. Look at the race riots over the last 300 years in this country- all of them resulting from racist terrorist aggression towards non-whites. Look at the mass incarceration situation in America right now- blacks are the majority of the jail and prison population in EVERY state on the map, no matter how small a percentage of the state population they comprise... "Iowa, 5% black population, 47% prison population", and so forth. This is not just about blackface and watermelon/fried chicken jokes- people this is a global fight to control and dispense natural resources. At the bottom of it all, its a fight for space and opportunity, natural resources and who profits from the control of them, and there is no way to kum by yah your way around that fact. To continue to regard the political playing field from any other perspective is to remain willfully ignorant.
The way that radical racism is allowed a corner to live and thrive in this country is an indicator of a real and definite sickness coursing through the veins of the nation as a whole. Its some sort of a blood disease or something, and no one is being treated for it. In fact, this most anti-social of behaviors is being encouraged.
Now, of course I'm not talking about the good white people, the friends and allies...the husbands and wives *ahem*... I'm talking about the crazy cousins and the uncle who might be dangerous..but he's never actually done any of the stuff he's always talking about (as far as you know). I'm talking about the guy you dated who took of his shirt and you saw "White Pride World Wide" tatted across his back, and it remained y'alls little secret, because he doesn't hate black people. I'm talking about the fraternity that not only sings the same song we heard SAE singing with passion, excitedly bouncing along to the lyrics- but more than singing, they go out and terrorize people of color, and get away with it because their dads and uncles and fellow frat brothers make up the police, and city officials and judges and so forth.
The truth about America is that even the nicest, most well-adjusted, would never say, think or do white person you ever met, STILL takes a measure of rest in knowing that maintaining a certain percentage of straight up murderous and violent racists among their ranks, is just a kind of "back up", in case non-whites ever do anything more than roll over and die in the genocide war that the state has perpetrated for 400 years. If the tide ever even looks like its turning, they sit back and watch the racists bring out all those rabid dogs to attack and move the mood of the nation back towards Nazism. Left or Right, they still maintain a comfortable spot in the middle.
1619 /Maryland Segregation Recommended that Policy /African-Americans be socially excluded
1640 — 1660: The Critical Period: Custom to Law when Status Changed to "Servant for Life" (VA)
1639/40 - The General Assembly of Virginia specifically excludes blacks from the requirement of possessing arms
1642 - Black women are deemed tithables (taxable), creating a distinction between African and English women.
1670 - Free blacks and Native Americans who had been baptized are forbidden to buy Christian servants.
1642 Virginia Fugitive Law Authorized branding of an "R" in the face runaway slaves.
1660 Connecticut Military Law Barred African-Americans from military service
1662 - Blacks face the possibility of life servitude. The General Assembly of Virginia decides that any child born to an enslaved woman will also be a slave.
1664 Maryland Marriage Law Enactment of the first anti-interracial marriage statues
“Be it enacted by the Right Honorable the Lord Proprietary by the advise and consent of the upper and lower house of this present Generall Assembly, that all Negroes or other slaves already within the province, and all Negroes and other slaves to be hereafter imported into the province, shall serve durante vita [hard labour for life]. And all children born of any Negro or other slave shall be slaves as their fathers were, for the term of their lives. And forasmuch as divers freeborn English women, forgetful of their free condition and to the disgrace of our nation, marry Negro slaves, by which also divers suits may arise touching the issue of such women, and a great damage befalls the masters of such Negroes for prevention whereof, for deterring such freeborn women from such shameful matches. Be it further enacted by the authority, advise, and consent aforesaid, that whatsoever freeborn woman shall marry any slave from and after the last day of this present Assembly shall serve the master of such slave during the life of her husband. And that all the issue of such freeborn women so married shall be slaves as their fathers were. And be it further enacted, that all the issues of English or other freeborn women that have already married Negroes shall serve the masters of their parents till they be thirty years of age and no longer.”
1667 British Plantation Act Established codes of conduct for slaves and slave holders
1667 - Virginia lawmakers say baptism does not bring freedom to blacks. The statute is passed because some slaves used their status as a Christian in the 1640s and 1650s to argue for their freedom or for freedom for a child. Legislators also encourage slave owners to Christianize their enslaved men, women and children.
1668 - (VA) Free black women, like enslaved females over the age of 16, are deemed tithable. The Virginia General Assembly says freedom does not exempt black women from taxation.
1669 - (VA) An act about the "casual killing of slaves" says that if a slave dies while resisting his master, the act will not be presumed to have occurred with “prepensed malice.”
1670 - Free blacks and Native Americans who had been baptized are forbidden to buy Christian servants.
1672 - It becomes legal to wound or kill an enslaved person who resists arrest. Legislators also deem that the owner of any slave killed as he resisted arrest will receive financial compensation for the loss of an enslaved laborer. Legislators also offer a reward to Indians who capture escaped slaves and return them to a justice of the peace.
1680 - Virginia’s General Assembly restricts the ability of slaves to meet at gatherings, including funerals. It becomes legal for a white person or person to kill an escaped slave who resists capture. Slaves also are forbidden to:
arm themselves for either offensive or defensive purposes. Punishment: 20 lashes on one’s bare back.
leave the plantation without the written permission of one’s master, mistress or overseer. Punishment: 20 lashes on ones bare back.
“…lift up his hand against any Christian." Punishment: 30 lashes on one’s bare back.
An Act Concerning Servants and Slaves (1681)
“Forasmuch as, divers free-born English, or white women, sometimes by the instigation, procurement or connivance, of their masters, mistresses, or dames, and always to the satisfaction of their lascivious and lustful desires, and to the disgrace not only of the English, but also of many other Christian nations, do intermarry with negroes and slaves, by which means, divers inconveniences, controversies, and suits may arise touching the issue or children of such free-born women aforesaid; for the prevention whereof for the future, be it, &c., enacts that if the marriage of any woman-servant with any slave shall take place by the procurement or permission of the master, such woman and her issue shall be free, and enacts a penalty by fine on the master or mistress and on the person joining the parties in marriage.”
1705 - Blacks — free and enslaved — are denied the right to testify as witnesses in court cases.
1686 Carolina Trade Law Barred African-Americans from all trades
1691 Virginia Marriage Law Prescribed banishment for any white woman marrying an African-American man.
1691 - Any white person married to a black or mulatto is banished and a systematic plan is established to capture "outlying slaves."
If an outlying slave is killed while resisting capture, the owner receives financial compensation for the laborer.
Partners in an interracial marriage cannot stay in the colony for more than three months after they married.
A fine of 15 pounds sterling is levied on an English woman who gives birth to a mulatto child. The fine is to be paid within a month of the child’s birth. If a woman cannot pay the fine, she is to serve five years as an indentured servant. If the mother is an indentured servant, she faces an additional five years of servitude after the completion of her indenture.
A mulatto child born to a white indentured servant will serve a 30-year indenture.
A master must transport an emancipated slave out of Virginia within six months of receiving his or her freedom.
1692 - Slaves are denied the right to a jury trial for capital offenses. A minimum of four justices of the peace hear evidence and determine the fate of the accused. Legislators also decide that enslaved individuals are not permitted to own horses, cattle and hogs after December 31 of that year.
1705 Massachusetts Anti- Criminalized Miscegenation Law interracial marriages
1705 New York Runaway Law Prescirbed execution for recaptured runaway slaves
1705 Virginia Public Office Law Prohibited African-Americans from holding or assuming any public office
1705 - Blacks — free and enslaved — are denied the right to testify as witnesses in court cases.
1705 - All black, mulatto, and Indian slaves are considered real property.
1705 - Enslaved men are not allowed to serve in the militia.
1705 - In An act concerning Servants and Slaves, Virginia’s lawmakers:
Increase the indenture of a mulatto child born to a white woman to 31 years.
Determine that if a white man or white woman marries a black partner, the white individual will be sent to jail for six months and fined 10 pounds current money of Virginia.
Determine that any minister who marries an interracial couple will be assessed a fine of 10,000 pounds of tobacco.
Determine that any escaped slave who is unwilling or unable to name his or her owner will be sent to the public jail.
1710 Virginia enacted Rewarded slaves Meritorious Manumission with freedom for informing on other slaves
1712 South Carolina Fugitive Criminalized runaway Slave Act slaves to protect owners' investment
1715 North Carolina Forbade and criminalized anti-interracial African-Americans and white marriages
1721 Delaware Marriage Law Forbade marriage between African-American men and white women
1722 Pennsylvania Morality Law Condemned African-Americans for sexual acts with whites
1722 Pennsylvania Anti- Criminalized Miscegenation Law interracial marriages
1723 Virgina Anti-Assembly Law Impeded AFRICAN-americans from meeting or having a sense of community
1723 Virgina Weapons Law Forbade African-Americans from keeping weapons
1740 South Carlina Consolidated Forbade slaves Slave Act from raising or owning farm animals
1775 Virgina Runaway Law Allowed sale or execution of slaves attempting to flee
1775 North Carolina Forbade freeing Manumission Law slaves except for meritorious service
1784 Connecticut Military Law Forbade African-Americans from serving in the militia
1790 First Naturalization Law Congress declares United States a white nation
1792 Federal Militia Law Restricted enrollment in peace time to whites only
1793 Fugitive Slave Law Dicouraged slaves from running away; protected planters' invested capital
1783 Virginia Migration Law Forbade free African-Americans from entering the state.
1800 Maryland Agricultural Law Prohibited African-Americans from raising and selling agricultural products
___ members of a different race live on my block or apartment building
i most often talk to someone of another race
___ at work
in my facebook stream, ___% are of a different race
in the past year, i have been to the home of someone of a different race ___ times
in the past year, someone of a different race has been in my home ___ times
at work, we have managers of ___ different races
in the past year, i have eaten a meal with someone of a different race ___ times
Of course in this context we need to define friends. White people can stretch the truth in who their friends are. The plumber is my friend, the waitress, the store clerk, the trash collector, the policeman, my subordinates at work... Friends would be someone who has been to your house and you've been to theirs. You know their family. They've told you about their lives and struggles and you believe them.
The other aspect of this is immigrants. If you base your beliefs that you are not racist on people who have immigrated here in the last few decades you are not firmly grounded in the reality of racism. Realize that racism embeds in the enemy. Over generations black people are psychologically tormented to believe that they are inferior. The fleeing refugee of color who lands on these hallowed shores compares our racism to their land of war and famine. These shores look pretty good when you compare them to death and destruction. But over a couple generations the immigrants tend to see the reality.
Hopi Prophecy when the earth is ravaged
and the animals are dying, a new
tribe of people shall come unto
the earth from many colors,
creeds and classes. and who
by their actions and deeds
shall make the earth green
again. They shall be known as the
warriors of the rainbow.
Links to interesting blogs, articles and statistics
I am convinced that the soul of the white church has yet to be ashamed. It is not ashamed of slavery- it only dismisses it. It is not ashamed of Jim Crow- it only claims credit for ending it. It is not ashamed of incarceration rates- it only excuses it. It is not ashamed of ghettos- it pretends to have nothing to do with them. It is not ashamed of segregation- only silently benefits from it. There is no shame for who America has been. I believe that until there is collective shame for who white America has been to people of color, white America will not choose to be something else. If it is fine with who it is, it will continue to do what's always done.
When I moved my family to Connecticut, no relocation service, or anyone else we consulted for advice, ever mentioned Hartford as a viable option. They offered the usual suggestions for those who passed the prestige and wealth test—towns like West Hartford, Glastonbury, Avon, and Simsbury were presented as prime options. On one occasion, when I was preparing to announce a game, someone at our production meeting asked me where I lived. When I told him it was Hartford, he asked, “Really? Did you lose a bet?”
The journey was a secret. They didn’t dare tell their parents, who would have been horrified. Fueled by adolescent verve and a sense of moral certainty, the boys knew they were doing something provocative. But they figured: We’re just kids; what’s the worst that could happen?
"The process" can't be trusted. This goes back to the idea that people have suggested for 200 years that we be patient and the system will work things out. This continues at the expense of black lives again and again while terror continues to reign.
They unite then to lift him, to reconnect him with his true nature, to remind him who he really is, until he fully remembers the truth of which he had been temporarily disconnected: “I am good.”
There is a tribe in Africa called the Himba tribe, where the birth date of a child is counted not from when they were born, nor from when they are conceived but from the day that the child was a thought in its mother’s mind. And when a woman decides that she will have a child, she goes off and sits under a tree, by herself, and she listens until she can hear the song of the child that wants to come. And after she’s heard the song of this child, she comes back to the man who will be the child’s father, and teaches it to him. And then, when they make love to physically conceive the child, some of that time they sing the song of the child, as a way to invite it.
And then, when the mother is pregnant, the mother teaches that child’s song to the midwives and the old women of the village, so that when the child is born, the old women and the people around her sing the child’s song to welcome it. And then, as the child grows up, the other villagers are taught the child’s song. If the child falls, or hurts its knee, someone picks it up and sings its song to it. Or perhaps the child does something wonderful, or goes through the rites of puberty, then as a way of honoring this person, the people of the village sing his or her song.
In the African tribe there is one other occasion upon which the villagers sing to the child. If at any time during his or her life, the person commits a crime or aberrant social act, the individual is called to the center of the village and the people in the community form a circle around them. Then they sing their song to them.
The tribe recognizes that the correction for antisocial behavior is not punishment; it is love and the remembrance of identity. When you recognize your own song, you have no desire or need to do anything that would hurt another.
And it goes this way through their life. In marriage, the songs are sung, together. And finally, when this child is lying in bed, ready to die, all the villagers know his or her song, and they sing—for the last time—the song to that person.
You may not have grown up in an African tribe that sings your song to you at crucial life transitions, but life is always reminding you when you are in tune with yourself and when you are not. When you feel good, what you are doing matches your song, and when you feel awful, it doesn’t. In the end, we shall all recognize our song and sing it well. You may feel a little warbly at the moment, but so have all the great singers. Just keep singing and you’ll find your way home.
Default Man is so entrenched in society that he is “like a Death Star hiding behind the moon”. “The White Blob” was a strong contender but in the end I opted to call him Default Man. I like the word “default”, for not only does it mean “the result of not making an active choice”, but two of its synonyms are “failure to pay” and “evasion”, which seems incredibly appropriate, considering the group I wish to talk about.
It is difficult to put into words what triggered this particular moment of grief. All I can explain is that the weight of being black in a world that hates black existence came rushing forward and I could no longer contain my anger, rage, or grief in a series of polite conversations and academic panels.
African Americans in Minneapolis are dramatically more likely to be arrested for low-level offenses including marijuana possession, “disorderly conduct,” and vagrancy — and those disparities start young.
In the wake of the Darren Wilson decision and the ensuing protests, I’ve been hearing the word “violence” thrown around by journalists and social media commentators alike. It’s strange to me, because when these people use the term violence, they’re not talking about what happened to any of the people named above. The brutal and unnecessary killing of unarmed Black women, children and men by police officers isn’t called “violence” by any of these people. They’re also not talking about protestors of this police violence being tear-gassed or shot with rubber bullets by police for exercising their right to peaceably assemble. That, to these journalists and Twitter trolls, isn’t “violence,” either. What is “violence” to these people? Property damage. Looting. The destruction of things.
Allow me to illustrate this point by offering my perspective on Ferguson as an African American. It isn't about looting or a grand jury verdict, it's about an overwhelming feeling of hopelessness that affects many black people. Said hopelessness can bubble over and become rage.
In a book I found at the library, a camp song about a watermelon vine was illustrated with caricatures of sleepy-looking black people sitting by trees, grinning and eating watermelon. Slowly, the hideousness of the stereotype began to sink in. In the eyes of those who told and repeated the jokes, we were shuffling, googly-eyed and lesser than.
As people talk about what the grand jury's decision in Ferguson means, Bonilla-Silva and others say it's time for Americans to update their language on racism to reflect what it has become and not what it used to be.
This is a very profound video presentation summarizing a paper recently published. It shows the racist history that created Ferguson (literally) and many areas in the country. Many of my common proofs of the existence of racism are in the criminal justice system. This portrays the housing portion of that history very well.
And then suddenly, you have a horrible realization. When black faces and “bad” words are paired together, you feel yourself becoming faster in your categorizing — an indication that the two are more easily linked in your mind. “It’s like you’re on a bike going downhill,” Amodio says, “and you feel yourself going faster. So you can say, ‘I know this is not how I want to come off,’ but there’s no other response option.”
As a cop, it shouldn’t surprise you that people will curse at you, or be disappointed by your arrival. That’s part of the job. But too many times, officers saw young black and brown men as targets. They would respond with force to even minor offenses. And because cops are rarely held accountable for their actions, they didn’t think too hard about the consequences.
We headed out of town, following a winding country road, captivated by the evidence all around us that there had been a dramatic flood. Then we rounded a bend, and in front of us, a sheet of water covered the roadway. The water was rising fast, like a huge silver balloon being inflated before our eyes.
We stopped and started to turn the car around. The water was rising behind us as well. Suddenly we realized the flood hadn't happened yesterday or last week. It was happening here and now. Dry ground was disappearing fast. We hurriedly clambered out of the car and scrambled to higher ground. Soaked to the bone, we huddled under a fir tree. No longer were we lodged in our familiar vehicle; the cold water of the storm poured down on us, baptizing us into the present—a present from which we had been insulated by both our car and our misjudgments about the country we were traveling through.
This is what it is like to be white in America. It is to travel well ensconced in a secure vehicle; to see signs of what is happening in the world outside the compartment one is traveling in and not realize that these signs have any contemporary meaning. It is to be dislocated—to misjudge your location and to believe you are uninvolved and unaffected by what is happening in the world.
Kanitra Barber is pulled over by police. Guns are drawn and trained on her for a while. At one point the police say: Gun down – young, small child comes out automatically with hands in the air. Talking about trust and the woman is concerned about her kids. The notion of trust is violated at such a deep level. Hands up means nothing. The state brutalizes black women every day during interactions with government services like FHA, food stamps, welfare by policy. The fact that the kid knew to raise his hands meant that this was not his first interaction with a brutal state. At every point there are guns on her. White ppl look at the police as our friends, that there is justice. The first night in Ferguson the police came with dogs Saturday night before the tear gas, before the rioting.
Why do you crucify Cosby but protect the pope? Why are white folks who have been fighting dogs for centuries left alone and Michael Vick is the poster child for animal cruelty? Why do black ppl worship a white god? Christian Bell beat his mother and wife the same week that Chris Brown beat his girlfriend but Chris Brown is the poster child for domestic violence. White supremacists fear loss of life and loss of finances. Integration is worse than slavery. The good cops know who the bad cops are. If they’re good cops they need to rectify that.
In a 100-friend scenario, the average white person has 91 white friends; one each of black, Latino, Asian, mixed race, and other races; and three friends of unknown race. The average black person, on the other hand, has 83 black friends, eight white friends, two Latino friends, zero Asian friends, three mixed race friends, one other race friend and four friends of unknown race.
if you’re not around black ppl you’re racist. Similar to what it was like for gay ppl. If you’re not around gay ppl you don’t get it, you have stereotypes. Chip away at your own soul to dance and shuck and jive and pay the rent. It drives ppl insane to be constantly smooshed. If you can’t breathe you’ll do anything for air.
The BET speech 6/16
Now—this award, this is not for me. This is for the real organizers all over the country, the activists, the civil rights attorneys, the struggling parents, the families, the teachers, the students that are realizing that a system built to divide and impoverish and destroy us cannot stand if we do. Alright? It’s kind of basic mathematics.
The more we learn about who we are and how we got here, the more we will mobilize.
Now, this is also in particular for the black women, in particular, who have spent their lifetimes dedicated to nurturing everyone before themselves. We can, and will, do better for you.
Now: What we’ve been doing is looking at the data. And we know that police somehow manage to deescalate, disarm and not kill white people every day. So what’s gonna happen is we’re going to have equal rights and justice in our country, or we will restructure their function, and ours.
Now I got more, y’all. Yesterday would have been young Tamir Rice‘s 14th birthday. So I don’t want to hear any more about how far we’ve come when paid public servants can pull a drive by on a 12-year-old playing alone in a park in broad daylight, killing him on television and going home to make a sandwich. Tell Rekia Boyd how it’s so much better to live in 2012 than it is to live in 1612 or 1712. Tell that to Eric Garner. Tell that Sandra Bland. Tell that to Dorian Hunt.
The thing is, though. All of us in here getting money? That alone isn’t gonna stop this. Dedicating our lives—dedicating our lives to getting money just to give it right back, for someone’s brand on our body. When we spent centuries praying with brands on our bodies. And now we pray to get paid for brands on our bodies.
There has been no war that we have not fought and died on the front lines of. There has been no job we haven’t done. There’s no tax they haven’t levied against us. And we’ve paid all of them. But freedom is somehow always conditional here. You’re free, they keep telling us. But she would have been alive if she hadn’t acted so… free.
Freedom is always coming in the hereafter. But you know what, though? The hereafter is a hustle. We want it now.
And let’s get a couple of things straight, just a little side note: The burden of the brutalized is not to comfort the bystander. That’s not our job, alright? Stop with all that. If you have a critique for the resistance—for our resistance—then you’d better have an established record of critique of our oppression. If you have no interest… If you have no interest in equal rights for black people, then do not make suggestions to those who do. Sit down.
We’ve been floating this country on credit for centuries, yo. And we’re done watching and waiting while this invention called whiteness uses and abuses us, burying black people out of sight and out of mind while extracting our culture, our dollars, our entertainment, like oil, black gold. Ghettoizing and demeaning our creations, then stealing them, gentrifying our genius, and then trying us on like costumes, before discarding our bodies like rinds of strange fruit.
The thing is though, the thing is, that just because we’re magic doesn’t mean we’re not real.
How can we grieve when the loss is not respected, while we’re still fighting for basic justice, while the police are not allowing first amendment expression? How can we begin to grieve with lives in danger every day? How can we grieve when we’re less than 3/5 of a citizen?
it’s hard to think of a greater violation of capitalism than slavery. Extermination of the indigenous population is another example. It goes right thru today with the iPhone. The red states now represent the new confederacy
Arguably, the seminal civil rights issue of our time is the systemic racism permeating the criminal “justice” system. The Black Lives Matter movement has brought to national attention the fact that people of color are disproportionately targeted by police stops, arrests, and police violence. And once they’re in the system, they tend to receive subpar legal representation and longer sentences, and are less likely to receive parole. The deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown were not isolated incidents, but part of a larger story of state violence toward people of color.
“Sentimentality, the ostentatious parading of excessive and spurious emotion, is the mark of dishonesty, the inability to feel. The wet eyes of the sentimentalist betray his aversion to experience, his fear of life, his arid heart; and it is always, therefore, the signal of secret and violent inhumanity, the mask of cruelty.” -- James Baldwin
For a moment, imagine you dropped out of the 9th grade and that you have never, not once, had a balanced meal in your life. Let’s also say you are a tad on the impulsive side, for whatever reason. Now let’s take away the last three years of your life based on a random poor choice you may have made. Now let’s make it so you have had no opportunity in the past three years to have nookie with anyone you are remotely attracted to. Let’s have you live in the shelter and give you an appointment to show up at the parole office. Oh, and let’s give you $48. What might you find hardest? Doing the right thing.
the los angeles times referred to the NYC protests as 'anti-police marches', which is grossly inaccurate and illustrates the problem of perception the protestors are battling. the marches are meant to raise awareness of double standards, lack of adequate police candidate screening, and insufficient training that have resulted in unnecessary killings. police are not under attack, institutionalized racism is. trying to remove sexually abusive priests is not an attack on catholicism nor is removing ineffective teachers an attack on education. bad apples, bad training, and bad officials who blindly protect them, are the enemy. and any institution worth saving should want to eliminate them, too. kareem abdul-jabbar
Trayvon liked planes. One summer he took an aviation course with Barrington Irving, the first African-American to fly solo around the world. The year after that he attended an aviation school. One day Tracy went to pick him up and he was sitting in a simulator saying, I know how to land a plane! And he did, too, he landed that plane. He was thirteen years old.
The Radical Brownies, a social justice-oriented version of the Girl Scouts, was set up only a few weeks ago to “empower young girls of colour to step into their collective power, brilliance and leadership to make the world a more radical place”. The group of 12 girls are not affiliated to the Girl Guide movement and there are no badges for hostessing. Instead, the members, aged between eight and 12 years old, learn about black history, civil rights and social justice; their reward system includes a “Black Lives Matter” badge and lessons in sustainable agriculture for a “Food Justice” badge. “Radical Beauty,” “Radical Self-Love,” and “LGBT Ally” badges are also on the curriculum.
I want to turn my tv off. I keep seeing dead Black men. I can’t. I keep watching. A parade of brutalized Black bodies. Mike Brown is on my tv. He’s lying dead in the street. You can even see a pink trail of his brain matter. He’s the lead up to a commercial break. He’s on after commercial breaks. His dead body, lying on the ground, is the hook.
It’s readily accepted that white history is taught, year-round, to the exclusion of minority histories. But the literal history of whiteness — how and when and why what it means to be white was formulated — is always neglected. The construction of the white identity is a brilliant piece of social engineering. Its origins and heritage should be examined in order to add a critical layer of complexity to a national conversation sorely lacking in nuance.
That’s when I asked the question, well, don’t they sell drugs out in Potomac and Springfield, and places like that? Maybe you all think they don’t, but statistics show they use more drugs out in those areas than anywhere. The special agent in charge, he says ‘You know, if we go out there and start messing with those folks, they know judges, they know lawyers, they know politicians. You start locking their kids up; somebody’s going to jerk our chain.’ He said, ‘they’re going to call us on it, and before you know it, they’re going to shut us down, and there goes your overtime.'”
There’s a loose relationship between how many African Americans live in a particular state, and how large the racial disparities are in its prison population. States that have the worst gaps between the white and black incarceration rate also tend to be overwhelmingly white. These are places like Iowa, Minnesota, Vermont and Montana.
What is an expat? And who is an expat? According to Wikipedia, “an expatriate (often shortened to expat) is a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country other than that of the person’s upbringing. The word comes from the Latin terms ex (“out of”) and patria (“country, fatherland”)”.
Defined that way, you should expect that any person going to work outside of his or her country for a period of time would be an expat, regardless of his skin colour or country. But that is not the case in reality; expat is a term reserved exclusively for western white people going to work abroad.
Since childhood, the majority of my conversations around Blackness centred on the African-American perspective. My school’s narrow Black History Month curriculum revolved solely around American changemakers. My consumption of Black images in media was a diet heavy in American output. Growing up in a small, predominantly White Canadian city close to the border, America beckoned with its Black hair products, Black makeup, and Black barbers who knew how to properly cut my father’s and brother’s hair. Through history, media, aesthetics, and proximity, my identity as a Black Canadian born into a Jamaican family became tied to Black American expressions. Sometimes this was a comfortable space. Other times, it seemed like a futile attempt to grasp something that wasn’t mine to hold.
When the Black Lives Matter movement marched in the streets, holding up traffic, disrupting commerce, and refusing to allow "normal life" to resume—insofar as normalcy means a system that permits police and vigilantes to murder black men and women with impunity—white people found themselves in tense conversations online, with friends and in the media about privilege, white supremacy and racism. You could say white fragility was at an all-time high.
whites often confuse comfort with safety. We say we don’t feel safe, when what we mean is that we don’t feel comfortable.
In my workshops, one of the things I like to ask white people is, “What are the rules for how people of color should give us feedback about our racism? What are the rules, where did you get them, and whom do they serve?” Usually those questions alone make the point.
About two-thirds of the residents of Seneca Village were African-American, while the rest were of European descent, mostly Irish. The community was settled in the 1820s, a few years before slavery was abolished in New York. Despite old news reports that the village was a squatter camp, it was, in fact, made up of working- and middle-class property owners.
To Abu-Jamal, “equal rights,” the Obama presidency, affirmative action and integration are “chimerae; false pseudo-solutions to the problems of fundamental levels of oppression against Black Americans.”
“None of these ideas address real self-determination or even autonomy for Black people. We are still haggling about crumbs,” he said. “Affirmative action was initially a Republican (ala Nixon) plan to placate the freedom movement with promises of good jobs. Because our economic life has been kept in retrograde our communities are places largely divorced from normal economic ebb and flow — we live in the caste zones (bantustans) where exploitation (as admitted in Ferguson earlier today) is all that matters.”
I sensed that the true narrative had been left out of history—not only American history in general, but even the history of slavery. I began to look actively for the other half of the story, the one about how slavery constantly grew, changed, and reshaped the modern world. Of how it was both modernizing and modern, and what that meant for the people who lived through its incredible expansion. Once I began to look, I discovered that the traces of the other half were everywhere. The debris of cotton fevers that infected white entrepreneurs and separated man and woman, parent and child, right and left, dusted every set of pre–Civil War letters, newspapers, and court documents. Most of all, the half not told ran like a layer of iridium left by a dinosaur- killing asteroid through every piece of testimony that ex- slaves, such as Lorenzo Ivy, left on the historical record: thousands of stanzas of an epic of forced separations, violence, and new kinds of labor.
This open letter was crafted by the collective efforts of Rev. Leroy Barber (CCDA and Word Made Flesh), Gilliard (New Hope Oakland), Dr. Brian Bantum (Seattle Pacific University), Micky ScottBey Jones (Transform Network), Efrem Smith (World Impact) and me (Sojourners). We didn’t know if our words would resonate. We only knew the truth that we must speak in response to Graham’s outsized influence coupled with apparent ignorance. In the end, a broad representation of national evangelical leaders agreed to sign this letter to Graham as principal signatories.
Afro-Brazilians — people who self-identify as black or brown — make up 53 percent of our population, a total of about 106 million individuals. It is the world’s largest black population outside Africa and the second largest after Nigeria. According to the United Nations Children’s Fund, black Brazilians ages 12 to 18 are almost three times more likely to get killed than their white counterparts, and a survey by the Brazilian Forum on Public Security found that black Brazilians accounted for 68 percent of all homicide victims.
Racism in Japan
Miss Japan is half-black, and a lot of people don’t like it
On March 8, Ariana Miyamoto made history by becoming the first Afro Asian to be crowned Miss Japan. And she’ll move on to represent the country in the Miss Universe pageant. And while her victory is being celebrated by some, others aren’t particularly happy about it. Because outwardly, with a Japanese mother and an African American father, she doesn’t fit the typical mode of a Japanese woman.
And several Japanese people are taking issue with that because, according to the Washington Post, a half Japanese woman, called “haafu” in the culture, does not adequately represent the country, known as one of the most homogeneous places on Earth.
Though Miyamoto may look differently from her competition, the 20-year-old native of Sasebo in Nagasaki says that her soul is replete with Japaneseness. The model, who has an advanced mastery of the art of Japanese calligraphy, had to defend herself when she met with the Japanese media after she received her crown.
Professor of anthropology and Japanese studies at Harvard, Theodore Bestor, said that the Japanese like to think of their society and culture as having an identity that is “inaccessible to foreigners.”
But not everyone is against her representing the nation. Some feel like her selection represents a change in attitude in the country. Megumi Nishikura, who directed a film about mixed people in Japan, says this represents “a huge step forward in expanding the definition of what it means to be Japanese: “The controversy that has erupted over her selection is a great opportunity for us Japanese to examine how far we have come from our self-perpetuated myth of homogeneity while at the same time it shows us how much further we have to go.”
Another Japanese woman, Emi Foulk, studying Japanese history at UCLA said that the idea of criticizing a beauty contestant for not looking average is absurd. The whole point is that she’s supposed to be extraordinary. The very notion that it’s a beauty pageant means that she won’t be an average looking woman.
I think this is such an interesting story. It would be very easy to dismiss this as racism plain and simple. And I’m sure there are some people who are truly in their feelings about Miss Japan being a Black woman. But is this comparable to the way we feel when lighter skinned women are constantly chosen to represent us in the media, on runways and in beauty campaigns? Y’all know the outrage some felt at Zoe Saldana being cast as Nina Simone. It’s comparable to the way some Mexicans felt when the Puerto Rican Jennifer Lopez was cast as Selena.
While we could give the Japanese people a side-eye, I know this goes on in our own community as well. I know I’ve heard one too many stories about biracial people feeling ostracized by Black people they thought would embrace them.
Representation is important. And if you dont feel represented by a particular individual is it always because of bigotry and intolerance?
Either way, as a Black woman, with very little knowledge about Japanese culture, I’m more than happy for Ms. Miyamota and I wish her all the luck in the Miss Universe pageant
He “owned” the Congo during his reign as the constitutional monarch of Belgium. After several failed colonial attempts in Asia and Africa, he settled on the Congo. He “bought” it and enslaved its people, turning the entire country into his own personal slave plantation. He disguised his business transactions as “philanthropic” and “scientific” efforts under the banner of the International African Society. He used their enslaved labor to extract Congolese resources and services. His reign was enforced through work camps, body mutilations, executions, torture, and his private army.
The myth of respectability — the idea that how you act directly dictates how you'll be treated — is little more than America's way of shirking responsibility for violating and disadvantaging its black citizens. It's used to deflect the incontrovertible fact that black safety cannot be guaranteed in a system built on white supremacy.
It survives by convincing black people that their problems are self- generated. Ignore history and reality, it says. Examine yourselves without context. Judge your circumstances divorced from the legacy of slavery, Jim Crow, terrorism, housing discrimination, criminalization, mass incarceration and health and educational disparities.
Forget it all. Now look at yourself. Don't like what you see? You must be doing something wrong.
Dictators and tyrants routinely begin their reigns and sustain their power with the deliberate and calculated destruction of art: the censorship and book-burning of unpoliced prose, the harassment and detention of painters, journalists, poets, playwrights, novelists, essayists. This is the first step of a despot whose instinctive acts of malevolence are not simply mindless or evil; they are also perceptive. Such despots know very well that their strategy of repression will allow the real tools of oppressive power to flourish.
Dr. Boyce Watkins: Some people don't know that the US constitution didn't officially abolish slavery. Slavery is still legal if they label you with a felony. So, all they have to do is change the laws so you are properly labeled, and the United States Constitution then makes it legal for you to be a slave. That's a fact.
Thousands of black people are in slavery in the United States right now, making us arguably the most racist industrialized nation in the world.
Millennials have inherited a world in which the idea of “reverse racism” has been legitimized, but “reverse racism” only makes sense through the erasure of the power dynamics of racism, which has been accomplished through the teaching of racism as a strictly interpersonal issue of hatred and intolerance.
Louisiana is home to Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, the former slave plantation that actually operates as a slave plantation, with mostly black prisoners who engage in hard labor in the fields and white guards traditionally known as “freemen.” Meanwhile, 1 in 14 black men in New Orleans is incarcerated, and 1 in 7 is under some sort of governmental supervision, whether in prison or on parole or probation.
For 500 years we have focused our understanding of God and God’s justice as the need for punishment instead of the need for reconciliation, and this has led to a broken framework in our country in regards to justice. When we allow this broken framework to influence the application of justice (as we have) we see criminal acts in terms of “need to punish as justice” instead of “need to restore as justice” (a poor theological understanding that I also feel has led to an evangelical culture of spanking). Yes, there are many criminal acts that require a person to be removed from society for their protection and for ours, but this theological framework has caused us to view “justice served” when a person receives what we feel is an appropriate sentence instead of seeing “justice served” when both the offender and the offended (even if that’s just society in general) have had their lives reconciled (perhaps not with each other, but in a general sense).
Justice becomes punishment, not healing and restoration.
Frat boy Levi Pettit isn't sorry. Neither is the Bloomsburg U's baseball player who called 13-year-old Little League phenom Mo'Ne Davis a "slut." So why are we expected to forgive them?
What doesn’t happen is anything that might actually help to address or eradicate the institutional racism behind all of these so-called “accidental” chants, slurs and attacks. The apology is not about accountability or transformation, or even the act itself, but for violating the rules and etiquette of 21st-century America that allows for systemic racism, daily forms of racial violence, and persistent inequity as long as you keep your personal racism in a locked closet.
So, when I hear someone say that they want to take their country back, I cannot help but look at the person making that statement and wonder, which country do they want? The one that used police to bust up unions? The one that made lynchings a celebratory outing? The one that preached a woman should be happy staying home, raising the kids and catering to her husband's every whim? The one where homosexuals hid their sexual orientation from all but their closest confidantes out of fear their careers and lives would be destroyed, and that they would be disowned by their families? The one where black people could not eat in the same restaurants at which white people ate, or drink from the same water fountains, or attend the same schools or live in the same neighborhoods or ....
In 1930, two young black men were lynched on suspicion of murdering a white man. Their hanging was captured in a gruesome image by a local photographer, a photo that became an iconic depiction of American lynching – and served as inspiration for the song “Strange Fruit.”
It’s not difficult to look at [a] photo [of a lynching] and see Christ’s powerlessness, suffering, indignity and innocence hanging from the tree. But various theologies of respectability[iii]– theologies that suggest that oppressed people have to act “respectably (according to middle-class, white standards) in order to be seen as victims have prevented many people from seeing the suffering Christ in black suffering unless it’s communicated in a “peaceful,” “appropriate,” “respectable,” “non-violent” way.
It’s relatively easy to see the suffering Christ in black men who are already dead and aren’t threatening to hurt anyone. But can you see the suffering Christ in black men who are still alive and might hurt someone? Can you see the suffering Christ in violent responses to injustice? Can you see the cross in the Molotov cocktail?
These Clowns were dangerous to tyrants and exploiters because they were so disorganized and so completely honest. They could see with the eyes of a child, and because of this, could spot a phony a mile away. They were sometimes called "destroyer of heroes." The white invaders hated them, of course, so it was either be killed or find a way to hide. Those who were killed are remembered with much respect by their people. Those who survived did so by learning to be Tricksters, to change their form, to become invisible if necessary.
In the United States, class is often a proxy for race. When politicians speak of the “urban poor,” we know it’s a code for black people. When they talk about “welfare queens,” we know the race of that woman driving the late-model Cadillac. In polite society, racism remains hidden behind a screen spelled CLASS.
On the extreme Right, by contrast, race is a proxy for class. Among the white supremacists, when they speak of race consciousness, defending white people, protesting for equal rights for white people, they actually don’t mean all white people. They don’t mean Wall Street bankers and lawyers, though they are pretty much entirely white and male. They don’t mean white male doctors, or lawyers, or architects, or even engineers. They don’t mean the legions of young white hipster guys, or computer geeks flocking to the Silicon Valley, or the legions of white preppies in their boat shoes and seersucker jackets “interning” at white-shoe law firms in major cities. Not at all. They mean middle-and working-class white people. Race consciousness is actually class consciousness without actually having to “see” class. “Race blindness” leads working-class people to turn right; if they did see class, they’d turn left and make common cause with different races in the same economic class.
I might still have stuck it out as a frustrated liberal Republican, knowing that the wealthy business core of the party still pulled a few strings and people like Richard Lugar and Olympia Snowe remained in the Senate — if only because the idea of voting for Democrats by choice made me feel uncomfortable. (It would have been so… gauche.) Then came Hurricane Katrina. In New Orleans, I learned that it wasn’t just the Bush administration that was flawed but my worldview itself.
Then something tiny happened that pried open my eyes to the less obvious forms of racism and the hurdles the poor face when they try to climb the economic ladder. It happened on an official visit to a school in a suburb of New Orleans that served kids who had gotten kicked out of every other school around. I was investigating what types of services were available to the young people who were showing up in juvenile hall and seemed to be headed toward the proverbial life of crime.
In my practice handling gang cases, it has become abundantly clear that If someone looks a certain way, has certain tattoos, was raised in a certain neighborhood, and hangs out with certain people, law enforcement and school administrators will brand them as gang members. However, through talking with my clients and learning their stories, I’ve learned that these alleged gang members often aren’t gang members at all. Instead, they are merely products of their environment. They don’t choose where they’re born, who their parents, uncles or cousins are, who they’re raised around, which schools they attend, or which neighborhoods they live in. As NFL player Richard Sherman wrote when discussing childhood friend DeSean Jackson and his alleged gang ties, “I can’t change who I grew up with,” and “Sorry, but I was born in this dirt.” Yet, because of these factors that are usually beyond their control, my clients are labeled and demonized as gang members from a young age, a tag that they rarely can ever shake or remove.
It's a subtle kind of murder, the killing of black girls' self-confidence. In a culture like ours that regularly dehumanizes and denigrates the bodies and identities of black women -- even the First Lady of the United States isn't exempt, after all -- it's easy to miss the often indistinct ways that black girls and women are cast as inferior to the identities and pursuits of white women. The role of the sassy black sidekick in movies, for one. Little microaggressions like this. Women's magazines are misogynistic on their own in the way that they pit women against one another with vicious, idiotic (and viciously idiotic) contests like "Who Wore It Best?" but when black women almost always lose, there's another layer (an intersection, if you will) there that speaks to the double-edged sword that women of color tightrope-walk their entire lives.
There is, however, a somber point in the social outlook of Americans. Their sense of equality and human dignity is mainly limited to men of white skins. Even among these there are prejudices of which I as a Jew am clearly conscious; but they are unimportant in comparison with the attitude of the "Whites" toward their fellow-citizens of darker complexion, particularly toward Negroes. The more I feel an American, the more this situation pains me. I can escape the feeling of complicity in it only by speaking out.
I do not believe there is a way in which this deeply entrenched evil can be quickly healed.
But until this goal is reached there is no greater satisfaction for a just and well-meaning person than the knowledge that he has devoted his best energies to the service of the good cause.
If it is to work well, the relationship between police and policed requires mutual trust. “Public safety without public approval is not public safety,” says Bill Bratton, New York’s police commissioner. After Mr Garner’s death, which was captured on camera, complete with his last words (“I can’t breathe”, gasped ten times or so), and the shooting by a policeman of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, in August, public approval is in short supply.
When William Jefferson Clinton took office in 1993, he was embraced by some as a moderate change from the previous twelve years of tough on crime Republican administrations. Now, eight years later, the latest criminal justice statistics show that it was actually Democratic President Bill Clinton who implemented arguably the most punitive platform on crime in the last two decades. In fact, “tough on crime” policies passed during the Clinton Administration’s tenure resulted in the largest increases in federal and state prison inmates of any president in American history.
There is a tendency, when examining police shootings, to focus on tactics at the expense of strategy. One interrogates the actions of the officer in the moment trying to discern their mind-state. We ask ourselves, "Were they justified in shooting?" But, in this time of heightened concern around the policing, a more essential question might be, "Were we justified in sending them?" At some point, Americans decided that the best answer to every social ill lay in the power of the criminal-justice system. Vexing social problems—homelessness, drug use, the inability to support one's children, mental illness—are presently solved by sending in men and women who specialize in inspiring fear and ensuring compliance. Fear and compliance have their place, but it can't be every place.
Black civilians in New York are not the only ones fearful of encounters with the police. Turns out, a number of Black New York Police Department officers say that while off-duty they have experienced the same pernicious racial profiling that cost unarmed 43-year-old Eric Garner his life, Reuters reports.
As some Baltimore Orioles fans complained about protests around the death of Freddie Gray, a black man who suffered a fatal spine injury while in police custody, the team’s chief operating officer countered with a series of tweets expressing larger concerns about the plight of poor Americans. John P. Angelos, the Orioles COO and the son of the team’s owner, published the tweets Saturday night in response to a local radio broadcaster who had complained that the protests, which had shut down Camden Yards while the Orioles were still playing, were inconveniencing fans and other Baltimore residents.
Teachers in the United States were more likely to feel troubled when a black student misbehaved for a second time than when a white student did, highlighting a bias that shows why African-American children are more often disciplined than schoolmates, Stanford University researchers said on Wednesday
Cyclists can be stopped and ticketed for having a missing tail light, baggy clothing, pedaling through a high-crime neighborhood or not having their hands on the handlebars, which is no longer illegal, according to the Tampa newspaper.
"My question to you is, when we were out here protesting all last week for six days straight peacefully, there were no news cameras, there were no helicopters, there was no riot gear, and nobody heard us," Williams said. "So now that we've burned down buildings and set businesses on fire and looted buildings, now all of the sudden everybody wants to hear us."
"Why does it take a catastrophe like this in order for America to hear our cry?" she continued. "I mean, enough is enough. We've had too many lives lost at the hands of police officers. Enough is enough."
These events have prompted headlines and snide commentary that tend to conflate the entire scene of public outcry with hooliganism, and further the already common narrative of Blackness corresponding with thugism and savagery. As scant images of Blacks looting and destroying property go viral, it’s clear the media—along with many who indirectly support the normalized theme of complicity and prejudicial treatment—prefer emphasizing cherry-picked samples of lawlessness rather than aiming their journalistic expertise at the underlying, bigoted causes.
Just a few years ago, Wells Fargo agreed to pay millions of dollars to Baltimore and its residents to settle a landmark lawsuit brought by the city claiming the bank unfairly steered minorities who wanted to own homes into subprime mortgages. Before that, there was the crack epidemic of the 1990s and the rise of mass incarceration and the decline of good industrial jobs in the 1980s.
In Baltimore in 1910, a black Yale law school graduate purchased a home in a previously all-white neighborhood. The Baltimore city government reacted by adopting a residential segregation ordinance, restricting African Americans to designated blocks. Explaining the policy, Baltimore’s mayor proclaimed, “Blacks should be quarantined in isolated slums in order to reduce the incidence of civil disturbance, to prevent the spread of communicable disease into the nearby White neighborhoods, and to protect property values among the White majority.”
Speaking to the Observer on Saturday from Milwaukee, (Ruth Wison) Gilmore explained her view that “black people are profoundly marginalised politically, and the fact of the guy in the White House obscures that marginalisation. More marginalised socially and more marginalised spatially, because of the organised processes of capital flight. The legacy of federally enforced residential segregation for both home ownership and social housing from the late New Deal forward underlies today’s situation.
“However, one change that has happened over the past 55 years is that poor people are more and more concentrated with other poor people – either isolated by capital flight in cities or deported by gentrification and moving into the old inner-ring suburbs. Detroit is the most famous case of isolation, but there are countless others that share both qualities, including Baltimore.”
As Africans and Native Americans began to be converted to Christianity, a simple distinction between Christian and non-Christian was no longer useful – at least as a legal and political difference. In addition, because Europeans, Native Americans and Africans often worked and lived together in similar circumstances of servitude, and rebelled together against the way they were treated, the landowning class began to implement policies to separate European workers from African and Native-American workers. Racism was used to divide workers and make it easier for those in power to control working conditions.
In a unique arrangement, Baltimore is literally split into two cities, one rich and one poor, one white and affluent, the other primarily black and destitute. I’m not speaking metaphorically. It is a political arrangement, another racist legacy of the 19th century. Confusingly, Baltimore is divided into two counties: Baltimore County and Baltimore City. Wealthy Baltimore County does not share its tax revenue with poorer Baltimore City. City services — public schools in particular — languish, separate but unequal.
It is bad enough that much of white America sees fit to lecture black people about the proper response to police brutality, economic devastation and perpetual marginality, having ourselves rarely been the targets of any of these. It is bad enough that we deign to instruct black people whose lives we have not lived, whose terrors we have not faced, and whose gauntlets we have not run, about violence; this, even as we enjoy the national bounty over which we currently claim possession solely as a result of violence. I beg to remind you, George Washington was not a practitioner of passive resistance. Neither the early colonists nor the nation's founders fit within the Gandhian tradition. There were no sit-ins at King George's palace, no horseback freedom rides to affect change. There were just guns, lots and lots of guns.
It may take people voting on crime with the same passion that we voted on crime in the 1980s and 1990s, only in reverse. But that would also require a strong interest in and passion for these issues by a group of voters much larger than the groups usually victimized by police brutality. To put it more bluntly: For police reform to happen, white people have to start caring.
Curt Stansbury - fired for exposing corruption
Capt Ray Lewis - retired police captain who's dedicated his life to changing the system
Shanna Lopez - fired for reporting cop who was a sexual predator
Alex Salazar - former cop who now exposes police corruption
Joe Crystal - fired for turning in fellow cops for brutality
Regina Tasca - fired for stopping an incident of police abuse
Cariole Horne - fired for stopping an incident of police abuse
Laura Schook - fired for exposing corruption
Jeffrey Walker - admitted to a Jury that he and fellow officers committed thousands of crimes
Matthew Fogg - admitted that he and fellow officers committed crimes
The Black Panther Party, founded in the 1960s, was notorious for being a revolutionary organization that fought for the liberation of Blacks in the United States. With the brilliant activists, community organizers, writers, and thinkers who graced its membership, the BPP is primarily regarded as a male-dominated space and projected itself as such. However, like in most revolutionary movements, there were many women who served important and influential roles. These women made sure they occupied leadership positions, and implemented programs that were vital to the success of the Party and the overall uplifting of the Black community. They also called out sexism within the BPP, never afraid to make their presence known as women.
In many ways that goes without saying. When America sneezes, Black America gets the flu. But I want to suggest that something even more sinister animates this swift pivot in the country away from an investment in public goods and services. It is not simply that Black people are victims of a numbers game. Rather, there has been a wholesale P.R. campaign on the part of those on the right to associate all public goods and services, from public schools to public assistance, with the bodies of undeserving people of color, particularly Blacks and Latinos.
This list is drawn from my own experiences, but more so, it’s drawn from friends, acquaintances, and mentors of diverse backgrounds who are all committed to racial justice. Before offering up this list, then, I must thank those who have contributed to my understanding of this issue, some of whom will be named and cited through the piece even though there are far too many than can be named here now.
Somewhere in my mind I still believe that life is somewhat fair or should be. If you live with that kind of thinking long enough it pollutes your mind.
Here's grist for the mill. Social psychologists have found that when people feel powerless to effect change, they turn on the people most harmed by the status quo and blame them for their predicament.
What this suggests is a class of what might be called "soft white supremacists" -- people who are disturbed by racism, but because they can't see a way to change things for the better, opt to join with those who blame the victims. Witness for example those who focus on the riots instead of on the police shootings that precipitate them. A complicated net of relationships -- including fear -- prevents them from doing anything about the police, so they blame African American culture, violence in rap lyrics, etc.
It suggests a different approach that may be taken up alongside others: give white people the power to do something about police violence, to reform the system. Some of these soft white supremacists may stop joining the herd and work with us.
ACROSS cultures and industries, managers strongly prize “cultural fit” — the idea that the best employees are like-minded. One recent survey found that more than 80 percent of employers worldwide named cultural fit as a top hiring priority.
Two comprehensive reports published since Saturday provide new information about police killings in the United States, filling a void left by the lack of a national standard for reporting the use of deadly force.
A recent report released by the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice revealed alarming statistics on the arrests of African American women in San Francisco. African American women only make up 6 percent of the female population in San Francisco, but according to the report they make up 50 percent of female arrests and are arrested at rates 13 times higher than women of other races.
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) reports 2.2 million people are in our nation's jails and prisons and another 4.5 million people are on probation or parole in the U.S., totaling 6.8 million people, one of every 35 adults. We are far and away the world leader in putting our own people in jail. Most of the people inside are poor and Black. Here are 40 reasons why.
Thirty-Eight. The US spends $80 billion on this big business of corrections every year. As a retired criminal court judge I know says, "the high costs of this system would be worth it if the system was actually working and making us safer, but we are not safer, the system is not working, so the actual dollars we are spending are another indication of our failure." The cost of being number one in incarceration is four times higher than it was in 1982. Anyone feeling four times safer than they used to?
This article uses the phrase "multiplier of disadvantage" that I'd never heard before. I've been looking for a way to express the idea that each of these separate factors compound the problems of those who are black and/or poor.
The black clergymen who had been summoned to Harlem’s Mount Olivet Baptist Church for an emergency meeting on the morning of Monday 10 September 1906, arrived in a state of outrage. A day earlier, the New York Times had reported that a young African man – a so-called “pygmy” – had been put on display in the monkey house of the city’s largest zoo. Under the headline “Bushman Shares a Cage With Bronx Park Apes”, the paper reported that crowds of up to 500 people at a time had gathered around the cage to gawk at the diminutive Ota Benga – just under 5ft tall, weighing 103lb – while he preoccupied himself with a pet parrot, deftly shot his bow and arrow, or wove a mat and hammock from bundles of twine placed in the cage. Children giggled and hooted with delight while adults laughed, many uneasily, at the sight.
In our current education system, we often struggle with something called the belief gap, or the persistent and deep divide between what parents believe their children are capable of and what some elected leadership, through word and deed, believe the very same kids can do. I recognized the belief gap playing out in my school before I knew the formal term.
It’s not a new idea to access training as a way to strengthen white people’s ability to be allies of people of color. In the 1970’s some of us brought to the world of direct action training a session designed to support everyone to move beyond racial and gender oppression. For example, during an all-day training before a planned action one of the modules would address oppressive dynamics that show up among activists.
This conversation is long overdue. If I could sit down with black and white culture, I’d tell them, “Black culture, white culture does not want you, does not love you, and will not change for you. If and when white culture makes changes, it will be rooted in a movement from within its own culture, not yours.”
In the story of the Texas pool party, where a police officer was caught on tape manhandling and pointing a gun at young black teenagers , there's a lot to be concerned and outraged about. But there's also one tiny thing to celebrate: the actions of two white kids.
Black America is tired. The liminal existence of Ellison’s invisible man; Cornel West’s brilliant meditation on “niggerization” as a state of existential fear, where black and brown people are unwanted, unprotected and unsafe in America; and the genius insights of Richard Wright’s “Native Son” speak to a stalwart resilience in the face of the racial absurdity that is white supremacy and the color line in America (and the world).
I am white. I have spent years studying what it means to be white in a society that proclaims race meaningless, yet is deeply divided by race. This is what I have learned: Any white person living in the United States will develop opinions about race simply by swimming in the water of our culture. But mainstream sources -- schools, textbooks, media -- don't provide us with the multiple perspectives we need. Yes, we will develop strong emotionally laden opinions, but they will not be informed opinions. Our socialization renders us racially illiterate. When you add a lack of humility to that illiteracy (because we don't know what we don't know), you get the break-down we so often see when trying to engage white people in meaningful conversations about race.
By posing as a woman of African descent, you elected to forego the opportunity to be a strong, lifelong and credible ally worthy of our collective embrace. You were not content to simply be an ally and stand with me in solidarity. Instead, thinking mimicry was flattery, you adopted what you believed was my language, hairstyles, fashions and mannerisms. Seeking out a love and a sense of sisterhood that was already available to you, you altered your complexion. Along the way, you used these caricatures as currency to pave your way to prominence.
"All my black friends have a bunch of white friends. And all my white friends have one black friend."
That's the memorable punchline of a Chris Rock bit from 2009 on interracial friendships. And according to some recent number-crunching by Robert Jones of the Public Religion Research Institute, there's a good deal of truth to that statement.
After the Civil War, black people were viewed as second-class citizens. While the decades following Reconstruction showed some signs of promise—black farmers were able to purchase land, for example, and by the turn of the century owned an estimated 12 millions acres of farmland across the south—this promise was dashed with the onset of Jim Crow laws. Discriminatory loan practices lead to many losing their land, and state legislators amended Mississippi’s constitution to effectively disenfranchise black people. Throughout the 20th century, they struggled to gain the most basic rights afforded to American citizens, fighting both institutionalized white power and abject poverty. While Mississippi is no longer the arena for systemic racism it once was—black people hold leadership positions at the local and state level, for example—towns like Tchula continue to battle profound poverty that is an outgrowth of the institutions established during slavery. Today, unemployment in town hovers around 20 percent and over 60 percent of the population lives below the poverty line, leaving Tchula all but sapped of its vitality. Amid the boarded up buildings and sidewalks strewn with empty beer cans, it’s easy to spot the misery of the blues, but hard to find the soul.
Instead of using the incident to talk about a campaign of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of illegal searches and arrests across decades of discriminatory policing policies, the debate revolved around whether or not the teenagers who set fire to two West Baltimore CVS stores after Gray's death were "thugs," or merely wrongheaded criminals.
Coded language, by definition, conveys much saying very little. And so those words allegedly uttered in McKinney, Tex., before a confrontation between police and black teens — “Go back to your Section 8 home” — evoked a particular and vivid set of assumptions.
If we had a world where race was fluid, where the gates to Whiteness as well as Blackness were truly open — that would truly mean the end of race and racism that many are using to justify Rachel Dolezal’s actions. But we don’t live in that world. And we don’t get there with the blackface of infatuated white people. We end racism by acknowledging and appreciating cultural and racial differences and the history that made them while dismantling the system of privilege that places such differences in a hierarchy. We don’t erase racism by erasing black people.
ME: this describes what we are all familiar with: the most segregated hour of the week and how that idea impacts the larger picture. FROM THE ARTICLE: In certain professions even highly educated African American men and women saw their prospects diminish in the aftermath of the 2008 economic crisis. Some elite law firms, for example, deemed their own affirmative action programs a luxury borne of more prosperous times, one their firms could now ill afford to support. Yet in law and other fields, these programs remained a critical necessity because social connections played such a large part in hiring and promotion decisions. For example, in many cases white applicants who had grown up in the same neighborhood or vacationed in the same place or attended the same college or professional school as their potential employer retained a critical advantage in the hiring process. Historic patterns of segregation thus contributed to the maintenance of all-white law offices and corporate boardrooms. Noted Gerald Roberts, a black lawyer, of his years working for a large, venerable Houston law firm, “For the most part they [blacks and whites at the firm] don’t go to church together on Sunday enough, they don’t have dinner together enough, and they don’t play enough golf together to develop sufficiently strong relationships of trust and confidence.” Without specific programs in place to redress this historic imbalance in job opportunities, employers in the professions would find it tempting to revert to custom—that is, to hire and promote those people in whom they had trust and confidence by virtue of their shared college fraternities, neighborhoods, and church pews.
A deeper understanding of cultural appropriation also refers to a particular power dynamic in which members of a dominant culture take elements from a culture of people who have been systematically oppressed by that dominant group.
I am white. I write and teach about what it means to be white in a society that proclaims race meaningless, yet remains deeply divided by race. A fundamental but very challenging part of my work is moving white people from an individual understanding of racism—i.e. only some people are racist and those people are bad—to a structural understanding. A structural understanding recognizes racism as a default system that institutionalizes an unequal distribution of resources and power between white people and people of color. This system is historic, taken for granted, deeply embedded, and it works to the benefit of whites.
America has never been kind to Black people. The past couple of weeks have re-emphasized a truth many of us hold self-evident: this country does not value the lives of its Black citizens—or even consider us to be citizens. While we may have quiet periods when we do not hear of incidents that reach the national news, the past couple of weeks seem to have brought us an overabundant reminder of this country's ugly reality when it comes to race, specifically its view and treatment of Black Americans.
That moment that you discover that you have certain unearned advantages just because of the color of your skin can be jarring – and can sometimes lead to feelings of guilt. But once you learn about your [unearned] privilege, there’s actually a lot you can do that’s empowering and constructive. While white people can’t help having been born white into a system where whiteness affords them privilege, they can help to create meaningful change.
There are many people in the world who believe that “social justice” equates to being anti-white, anti-wealth, and anti-male. (I’m not saying who those people are, but you can take a guess.) And if you dare try to have critical conversations about racism—especially the impact race plays in nearly every aspect of daily life in the U.S.—then you are just “trying to make white folks feel guilty for being white.”
It is a tragedy of the first magnitude that millions of people have been subordinated to the will of others; reduced to dependence on these authorities for the most basic services; isolated from the rest of the world's population; confined to a fixed habitat; coerced to work for little or no compensation; and subjected to a prison culture that breeds a profound sense of psychological depression, personal worthlessness and social despair - all in the name of justice, law and order, or whatever justification is fashionable at the time.
Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery—the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin…
As someone who keeps an eye on White male violence, I still can’t wrap my head around this one. I have been watching the James Holmes (the Aurora, Colorado movie shooter) trial currently underway in Colorado. This is, after I read “One Of Us: The Story of Anders Breivik And The Massacre In Norway.” I have an incessant need to understand violence. A former crisis intervention counselor, I am interested in the specific way that people commit acts of violence. These White men (simply a few in the landscape of White male violence), murder people in ways that are up close and personal. They project their hatred of themselves onto other people and murder them in the most humble settings. The murders are intimate and vile. They do not drop bombs, fly airplanes into buildings, they stand in front of them, over them and they murder within such close proximity, that the carnage dresses their bodies. To not label them terrorists and to try and wrestle with whether or not they are sane, baffles me. If you can walk up to another human being and kill them at point blank range after plotting the murders and finding some (albeit irrational) justification for the murders, you are a terrorist. We did not argue over whether or not the 9-11 attackers were mentally ill, why do we afford Dylann Roof that luxury?
Let's talk about how people of color don't get the benefit of the doubt when they commit a crime (or even when they don't). How they don't get the luxury of claiming mental illness. How the actions of one person reflect their entire race if they uphold negative stereotypes, yet when a white person commits an act of terrorism, they're considered a "lone wolf."
Here is a list of readings that educators can use to broach conversations in the classroom about the horrendous events that unfolded in Charleston, South Carolina on the evening of June 17, 2015. These readings provide valuable information about the history of racial violence in this country and contextualize the history of race relations in South Carolina and the United States in general. They also offer insights on race, racial identities, global white supremacy and black resistance. All readings are arranged by date of publication. This list is not meant to be exhaustive–you will find omissions. Please check out #Charlestonsyllabus and the Goodreads List for additional reading suggestions.
I spent seven years as a leader of hate groups, perpetrating wanton violence against innocent people and twisting the minds of other hurt white kids to do even worse. We would comb the city, looking for the “anti-racist skinheads” and beating up whoever we could find. Though we did attack people because of skin color or suspected sexual orientation, we most often attacked random white people, claiming after the fact that they were race-traitors. Aside from trips to Chicago and Minneapolis to brawl with their anti-racists, the bulk of the violence we committed was relatively spontaneous. We had a tendency to start assaulting each other if we didn’t go on a manhunt.
This interactive, designed and built by Slate’s Andrew Kahn, gives you a sense of the scale of the trans-Atlantic slave trade across time, as well as the flow of transport and eventual destinations. The dots—which represent individual slave ships—also correspond to the size of each voyage. The larger the dot, the more enslaved people on board. And if you pause the map and click on a dot, you’ll learn about the ship’s flag—was it British? Portuguese? French?—its origin point, its destination, and its history in the slave trade. The interactive animates more than 20,000 voyages cataloged in the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database. (We excluded voyages for which there is incomplete or vague information in the database.) The graph at the bottom accumulates statistics based on the raw data used in the interactive and, again, only represents a portion of the actual slave trade—about one-half of the number of enslaved Africans who actually were transported away from the continent.
A reverend led a prayer for the Emanuel AME victims, asking people to take the hand of the person next to them and join in singing "We Shall Overcome." The person next to me was a kind-looking white woman with a small white rose pinned to her T-shirt; lots of people were wearing white ribbons in honor of the victims. She offered me a sad smile and a gentle nod, lifting her hand.
That's when I froze. I just couldn't bring myself to take this woman's hand, and I knew exactly why. It's because she was white.
Whiteness is described by Marilyn Frye, as “a socially and politically structured ideology that results in the unequal distribution of power and privilege based on skin color.” bell hooks adds that it is “a state of unconsciousness, often invisible to white people, which perpetuates a lack of knowledge or understanding of difference, which is a root cause of oppression.”
We continuously examine racism by its effects on black people, instead of its roots in whiteness. As convenient as this is for white people, especially those who pride themselves on being “color-blind,” it continuously lays the burden of resolving racial issues at the foot of the very people it devastates. The result is a conversation where both black and white never create a solution to the root cause of systemic racism: Whiteness.
Lots of folks who visit historic sites and plantations don't expect to hear too much about slavery while they're there. Their surprise isn't unjustified: Relatively speaking, the move toward inclusive history in museums is fairly recent, and still underway. And as the recent debates over the Confederate flag have shown, as a country we're still working through our response to the horrors of slavery, even a century and a half after the end of the Civil War.
my comment: the white ppl who struggle with their own lack of success and recognition could not accept it that they had privilege. they didn't want to acknowledge the horror. they seemed to want to keep things the way they are so they didn't risk dropping further in social standing. Poor white peoples standing as white is at risk of diminishing with the advent of fairness in society. I'm not sure if that's accurate but that is what some white people seem to see as a threat.
But the hardest thing to admit was that my racism and its inherent privileges were gifted to me by devoted parents, dedicated teachers, righteous preachers—an entire white community conspired to make me feel special. These were good people. How could I turn on them?
When I opened my heart to this empathy, it hurt tremendously, and it inspired me to change myself in hopes of transforming my community.
But even further, some of my most powerful transformation came when I was asked to frame my investment in justice not only through empathic concern (how racism hurts people I love) but also through recognizing what I lose by investing in Whiteness (how racism hurts me).
And I’m still answering that question.
But in my journey to understand what Whiteness costs me paired with my ever-evolving desire to be in more accountable solidarity, I’ve found that I am living a more spiritually-fulfilling life than I ever did before.
And that’s because I’ve chosen to live into my values.
The heritage of the Confederate South was based on its refusal to let go of the “right” to own black people. The heritage held that “negroes” were the property of white people, and could thus be treated in any way the master saw fit. The heritage included the need for the white supremacist South to hold onto and to increase its number of slaves so that the economy of the South could continue to flourish. The heritage and the subsequent fight was about the right to own slaves, and about preserving the inequality between white and black people.
Their concerns about their concerns not being read, seen, and depicted as racist, in the end, have many of them acting like something even more dangerous than racist: the full embodiment of racism through the privilege of their power to shield their concerns, actions, and protests against claims of moral bankruptcy. Instead, they become the victims. Privilege allows such terms to be rhetorically baptized in the blood of power, to remain innocuous and regarded as anything but historically contingent.
Black slaves were not allowed to be angered by their master's violent control, mutilation or pillaging of their bodies. Black folks in the Jim Crow era were not allowed to appear vexed in the presence of white folks, lest they be targeted as potentially violent and subsequently lynched. Hell, it's not even difficult to notice when President Barack Obama, the leader of the free world, must check his level of public anger in order to sooth any potential qualms amongst his very white colleagues. African-Americans have been told to check themselves for so long that now it's almost a completely natural reflex.
Like a number of people in this rural, working-class county — which is 92 percent white and just beyond the creep of Atlanta’s western suburbs — Mr. Heath believes that efforts to remove the flag from public spaces across the South are “plumb ridiculous.” And he insists that his reverence for the banner has nothing to do with race.
Reviewers opinion: I'd say the people interviewed were ignorant of the beginnings of the Georgia flag and the Confederate hate flag.
As of the 18th century whites could not be permanently enslaved as they sometimes had been before, and black slaves could never work their way to freedom. The whites were told this was because God had made the blacks inferior to the whites, just as the whites were inferior to the superior classes that owned property. It’s worthwhile to remember that they didn’t give whites political rights, they didn’t give whites the vote-that would not happen then nor at the revolution and independence. Whites didn’t get the vote until the presidency of Andrew Jackson. Property owners, both of land and slaves, were the only ones who could vote. That included black land and slave owners until various states passed laws in the early 18th century to take their franchise away.
White people do not think in terms of we. White people have the privilege to interact with the social and political structures of our society as individuals. You are “you,” I am “one of them.” Whites are often not directly affected by racial oppression even in their own community, so what does not affect them locally has little chance of affecting them regionally or nationally. They have no need, nor often any real desire, to think in terms of a group. They are supported by the system, and so are mostly unaffected by it.
Since childhood, most of us have been taught to be undercover black militants. We have been warned to keep the black rage that burns deep inside of us, on the down low. We cannot risk committing the unpardonable sin of offending white folk. So, we keep who we really are locked deep inside, only letting a little melanin leak out during Black History Month and Kwanzaa.
David Walker's objective was nothing short of revolutionary. He would arouse slaves of the South into rebelling against their master. His tool would be his own pamphlet, David Walker's Appeal. . . , a document that has been described as "for a brief and terrifying moment. . ., the most notorious document in America."
Once, in the middle of a frank class discussion on white privilege and institutional racism, I decided to check in with my students. A white young man admitted to the class that he felt unsafe. He described how the course provoked him so much he would go home angry about what he felt was an inordinate focus on race, racial inequities, and privilege.
Racism is often framed as a problem of people of color, rather than for them. We often talk about what people of color can or should do to improve their lives. We talk about Headstart programs and charity outreach and recidivism rates. We speak of opportunity, grasped or lost by people of color, particularly children. We put the problems of racism on those we see as having a racial problem. This is something everyone does, even people in the black, latino, asian, whatever community, as well as whites.
Williams can be described as a modern day non-evolue, non-assimilée and non-civilisado. Back in the days she would have probably been called a colonized native rather than a colonized elite because she would have refused to eat the crumbs that fell from the colonialist table. She is a bold and confident black lady who refuses to be shaped by the mores of the tennis fraternity. Williams does not owe her existence to the tennis establishment because she got to where she is today by hard work and tenacity. For a number of people, they can’t understand why Williams should be so sure of herself after all, “she should be grateful that she is even allowed to be playing the game, because the game is not meant for people like her.” Because of this self-assurance, many people detest her as they see her as a threat to the tennis world.
When it incorporated in 1947, this village, called Lincoln Heights, was the first primarily black self-governing community north of the Mason-Dixon line. (Today, the city has one of the highest concentrations of African American residents in the state of Ohio—according to the Census, 95.5 percent.) Lincoln Heights thrived for a while, producing poet Nikki Giovanni, songwriters the Isley Brothers (who wrote “Twist and Shout”), and scholar Carl Westmoreland, who now helps run the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. Hundreds of residents worked at the nearby Wright Aeronautical Plant, manufacturing the B-29 bomber, and at a chemical plant a few blocks away, putting away money to improve their homes and secure their places in the black middle class. So successful was Lincoln Heights in its early days that New York’s governor, Thomas E. Dewey, invited prominent officials to New York City for a ticker-tape parade to honor the village as one of the only self-governing African American communities in the nation, according to Lincoln Heights, by Carolyn F. Smith.
That Sunday, the Times would give Coates a small role in focusing attention on the flag. More essential, the paper reported, were the public gestures of forgiveness that family members of the victims had offered to Roof. “I will never talk to her ever again. I will never be able to hold her again, but I forgive you,” the daughter of a slain 70-year-old woman told her mother’s murderer at his hearing. These gestures had moved conservative Christians in a very religious state. Coates believes in the power of social structures, not in the politics of emotion. The consensus account — in which Strom Thurmond’s son, State Senator Paul Thurmond looked into the eyes of black fellow citizens at a church service after the massacre and decided that he could no longer defend the flag — reeked of myth. Even the public forgiving, so soon after the slaughter, seemed unreal. “Is that real?” Coates said, watching the service. “I question the realness of that.”
The tendency to underreport racially-motivated violence against black communities has a long, troubling history. Along with church burnings, black Americans carry the collective memory of another kind of terror: lynchings. A horrific strategy of public, wanton violence meted out across the South, lynchings were a prominent part of the effort to suppress black social uprising and maintain white dominance. And the white press has a complicated history when it came to how lynchings and race-related murders were covered.
When I teach about race and racism, I invite students to consider the following analogy: Think of racism as a gigantic societal-sized boot.
“Which groups do you think are fighting the hardest against this boot of racism?” I ask them. Invariably, students of diverse races answer that those fighting hardest to avoid getting squashed by the boot are people of Color. (Keep in mind that I don’t ask this question on day one of our study of race. Rather, students come to this conclusion after exploring the concept of White privilege and studying the history of race and racism in the United States through multiple sources and perspectives.)
The state of race relations in the U.S., a country where people seem to be under the mistaken belief that we are “post-racial,” is dire. This week saw a young, unarmed black man killed by the NYPD in a stairwell, and a refusal to indict from a Ferguson grand jury. Responses to these events from those concerned about systemic discrimination against people of color also saw the revival of a familiar battle cry among my fellow honkies: “Reverse racism!”
FEATURE: #ManifestJustice art exhibit in Los Angeles (Manifest Exhibit: "Manifest Justice")Check out our recap —>...
When the Civil War finally ended, how could white Southerners come to an emotional acceptance of the hurricane of violence which had passed over them leaving a trail of destruction never imagined and a burden of grief so heavy such as Atlas never had to lift. To bear this, white Southerners had to look for a noble reason to explain why so many of their sons had died as a result of the war. That reason could not be the preservation of slavery. Only finding another reason was difficult since the Civil War was about preserving slavery.
My answer to the article? How could they come to emotional acceptance? By using their Christian compassion and realizing the plight of the formerly enslaved black ppl were in more dire straits. There was no system set up that would allow them to exist, to have safety, to ply their trade, to have a home. As a white southerner your world was devastated. As a black southerner your world was a deficit - there were no rights the white man was bound to respect.
The basic premise of "race-baiter" is that the discussion at hand does not involve race. The person being called a race-baiter is being accused of distracting from whatever real problem might exist with a conspiracy theory that blames the current situation on racial inequality, racial bias, or otherwise trying to bait the listener into discussing race instead of solving the actual problem. In reality, the accusation of race-baiting, like most childish name calling, is a way to avoid discussion, and shame the other person for a topic that makes you feel uncomfortable. The phrase “race-baiter” first appeared in our language around 1961, but the meaning has been around much longer.
Vargas gently informs her that not only are the vast majority (69 percent, according to FinAid.org) of college scholarships awarded to white people, but that white scholarship recipients are actually over-represented — white students make up 62 percent of college undergraduates. The reverse discrimination that Katy and her mother feel is to blame for Katy’s enrollment in community college simply doesn’t exist.
the murder rate for white Americans is similar to the murder rate for people living in Finland, Chile or Israel. The murder rate for black Americans, on the other hand, is similar to the rate found “in developing countries that are war zones even, like Myanmar, or Rwanda, Mexico, Brazil, Nigeria, places that have vast disorder. To me that stat was so striking that I thought this was a case where even if you kinda zoomed out, that was a data point that helped to inform the discussion.”
So often, black feminists are urged by white feminists to check their race at the door, with white feminists insisting that sexism trumps racism. They are told that because of that, black women should direct most of their energy to fighting the patriarchy. However, black women are unable to physically divorce their identities. When we walk down the street, people don’t just see a woman, they see a black woman. Because of that, we must fight against white supremacy and the patriarchy, two systems affecting both our pay and the stereotypes surrounding us. Despite the literature written on intersectionality, white feminism frequently overlooks the struggles black women face, showing minimal solidarity. Instead, they insist on branding feminism as something that is wholly theirs, void of major critique on racial injustice and racist discord.
"The battle is and always has been a battle for the hearts and minds of white people in this country. The fight against racism is our issue. It's not something that we're called on to help people of color with. We need to become involved with it as if our lives depended on it because really, in truth, they do."
We will no longer remain silent or be told by any candidates, elected officials or political parties that we should suffer oppression silently and avoid the uncomfortable subject of race for the political benefit of others.
“Fannie Lou Hamer became the authentic voice of Mississippi and the struggle of black people in Mississippi to the nation at the National Democratic Convention,” said Moses, who was co-director of the 1964 Mississippi Freedom Summer Project. “Her testimony really undermined the levees that Mississippi had built against the whole country. Once she broke through that the gate was up. You needed someone who expressed Mississippi in their bones to be able to reach through.”
He told me that he had not read the Justice Department’s report on the systemic racism in Ferguson. “I don’t have any desire,” he said. “I’m not going to keep living in the past about what Ferguson did. It’s out of my control.”
The Rev. Peter Schell is an Episcopal priest and the lead pastor of Calvary Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C. On a road trip from Washington to Florida, the Rev. Schell, a young white man married to a black woman, was traveling with their interracial family and had his first experience of what truly appears to be racist police harassment. In the car was Schell, his African-American wife, their 2-year0old son, and his wife's brother. He shared his story on Facebook and gave us permission to repost it here.
Here’s one thing that hasn’t changed at all though: white entitlement to have opinions about Black lives, opinions that have real electoral and political consequences. What I’ve learned from listening to white people who self-identify on a political spectrum that ranges from “pro-white power to “progressive” is that Black people need to: pull ourselves up by our bootstraps; stop pointing out and complaining about fucking obvious connections between chattel slavery and community conditions today; stop protesting and just work harder at McDonald’s for a minimum wage that keeps people below the poverty line; straighten our hair; talk more like middle class white people; put white people’s feelings and comfort before our own in discussions about race by only speaking in tones that make white people comfortable; never mention true historical facts such as Thomas Jefferson’s sick, racist propensity for (child) rape; try not to be driving a car, going on a date, or walking down the street if there is a cop in the same city who might see you and mistake your non-criminal behavior for fundamental criminality; stop asking for Black children to learn Black history and read Black writers; oh and love Bernie Sanders because during the same era that he was writing about how women fantasize about rape, he marched with Martin Luther King, Jr. who is probably pretty chafed from all the rolling around he does in his grave every time white people evoke him to express a white opinion about Black lives and how they are being lived and stolen.
“Man…sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.” –Dalai Lama
But the rift between “the comfortable” and the “disinherited” is a big one…and it has been there from the beginning of our history. “The comfortable” seem to think that the cries of “the disinherited” are a lot of noise. “The comfortable” will say that since there is a black man in the White House, then all is well. “The disinherited” ought to be quiet.
George Zimmerman, a white male neighborhood watchman, shot and killed Trayvon Martin, a black male youth. Zimmerman was charged, tried, and acquitted in July 2013. In the aftermath, a grassroots movement began titled Black Lives Matter (link is external)whose mission is to “broaden the conversation” around race from the legal system and black poverty to the burdens on black women, children, black queer and trans folks, and blacks with disabilities.
In response, some white folks have countered with the phrase, “All Lives Matter.” While this is seemingly a more empowering as well as a diversity affirming response, it is neither.
When I talk about my family culture, I’m mixed. When I talk about racism, I’m black. When Trayvon Martin was shot for wearing a hoodie, I was black. When Eric Garner was choked to death for selling cigarettes on the street, I was black. When Sandra Bland was arrested for failing to turn on her blinker, I was black. When churchgoers were shot for being black, I was black.
The poverty that poor African Americans experience is often different from the poverty of poor whites. It's more isolating and concentrated. It extends out the door of a family's home and occupies the entire neighborhood around it, touching the streets, the schools, the grocery stores.
My reflection: If your whole neighborhood is poor you have less backup when things fail. Every family member or friend that gets arrested or imprisoned, every person who gets sick and can't pay rent, every mentally ill person in the community brings the community resources and economics down.
I’m struck by the way society can commemorate the movement of the past while condemning the movement of the present. Or how it can continually celebrate social progress in the most abstract of ways while ignoring the realities of what is required for social progress to occur. Lyndon B. Johnson’s signing of the Voting Rights Act happened only because there were black Americans refusing to comply with oppression, creating disruption and posing direct challenges to the United States’ racial caste system.
What does conservatism offer Blacks? That isn’t rhetorical, I’d really like to know. The foundation of conservative views and the modern conception of the Grand Old Party revolves around a reverence for social conservatism, or Traditional Values™, which is “clever” coded language signifying an appeal to the aforementioned “Good Old Days” wherein regressive, sectarian ideology is seriously endorsed as virtuous qualities. This philosophy of preferential treatment to “tradition” is a literal desire to either preserve the status quo or degenerate to values even more bigoted than what is currently in play. Is there any surprise that the vast majority of Republicans are White and overwhelmingly religious?
The reality is that Blacks and Latinos are differentially targeted and processed throughout the U.S. criminal justice system. The tremendous discretion afforded the police, prosecutors and judges at all stages of the criminal justice process – from arrest to incarceration and parole – allows Blacks and Latinos to be given harsher treatment than Whites who commit the very same crimes.
Black Lives Matter is a statement recognizing there is a surplus of meaning attached to “some folks” (i.e., Whites), and a deficit applied to others (i.e., Blacks). There is a palpable racial disparity pervasive within this society, one that won’t be salved by attempting to ignore or diminish it with appeals to “but all lives matter!”, which is about as helpful as the untenable stance of “colorblindness” – a position Blacks don’t have the benefit of observing
If you’re going to use the word “ally” and you’re going to show up to protest in solidarity with a group of marginalized, oppressed people, you need to be prepared to take a seat. Usually it’s a backseat. This should not be an issue. While your presence, the visibility of your skin and gender, can be a powerful statement, your words may not be needed. You are able to send a message just by showing up. This is also something a marginalized person cannot do. When marginalized groups show up to protest, the media is quick to say they are rioting, while when White people actually riot, it is called terms like “spirited.” Oppressed people destroy symbols of oppression. Non-oppressed people fuck shit up over a sports team’s victory or loss.
Rebellions aren’t simply repressed. They’re pacified. While repression—the iron hand—is useful to terrorize a population into submission, the issues animating a rebellion must be partially redressed—the velvet glove—to forestall a further reaching revolutionary upsurge. The most effective way to defeat rebellion is to blunt its grievances and overtake its leaders. This is precisely what is happening with the Black Lives Matter movement
For hundreds of years in America, enslaved Africans had no choice but to work for those who claimed to own them. If you refused to work you'd be killed, tortured, or sold like a cow. The very nature of claiming that you own another human being is fundamentally heinous. Furthermore, when you own another human being and his or her options are to do every single thing you ask them to do or face dire consequences, using words to describe any sexual contact between slaveholders and slaves—words that imply it was either romantic, consensual, or optional—is not just wrong, it's sick and offensive.
One of the great virtues of both books is that they are not addressed to white people. The usual hedging and filtering and softening and overall distortion that seems to happen automatically — even unconsciously — when black people attempt to speak about race to white people in public is absent.
If we are going to have Black liberation, we must continue to strive for wholeness and wellness in the face of all the ills of the world. For me, Black joy is both the collective experiences and the personal triumphs of our people. Black joy looks different for everyone and can be found in a variety of forms; in simple acts of self-care, spending time with loved ones, or indulging yourself by working on those projects you’ve been putting off. Starting a journal, getting to know your creative side through a form of art, developing a circle of sisters, or taking yourself out on the town. Even if it’s just five minutes, making the time to sit down to (re)discover what brings you happiness is a liberatory act.
Looking through the lens of systematic oppression, hundreds of years in the making, it is easy to surmise that there is no end in sight to our historical predicament. However, this is not the lens through which I see.
Instead, I peer through the lens of social achievement. From this perspective, something within the human spirit seems to consistently triumph. The spirit that animates humanity continues to expand and advance. Crossing over ignorance. Trespassing upon man-made limits and ideas. Forcing change, no matter the circumstances.
Consider this: if the target had been Donald Trump, our guess is that progressive liberals across the country would be heralding the women’s actions as courageous, bold, and necessary.
It’s more personal when the anger is directed at a well-intentioned white person with an undeniable progressive track record. It forces people to confront the ugly fact that our systems and culture are built off of the oppression of black people. And that every person who is not actively working against that structure plays a complicit role in upholding it.
Over the last decade, the Episcopal Church of the United States has formally acknowledged and apologized for its complicity in perpetuating slavery. Some Episcopal dioceses have been re-examining their role, holding services of repentance and starting programs of truth and reconciliation.
We haven’t witnessed any black advocates having such a conversation with leaders in either party for more than six years. What we have seen is endless discussions and panels on the issues facing African Americans, along with a load of White House-driveway press conferences with black leaders after their chats with President Barack Obama. What the results of those interactions were remains a mystery.
The baby boomers who drove the success of the civil rights movement want to get behind Black Lives Matter, but the group’s confrontational and divisive tactics make it difficult. In the 1960s, activists confronted white mobs and police with dignity and decorum, sometimes dressing in church clothes and kneeling in prayer during protests to make a clear distinction between who was evil and who was good.
America is very segregated, and its criminality conforms to that fact. So the victims of most crimes are the same race as those who commit them. Eighty-four percent of white people who are killed every year are killed by white people. White people who buy illegal drugs are most likely to buy them from white people. Far from being extraordinary, the fact that black criminals are most likely to commit crimes against black people makes them just like everybody else. A more honest term than “black-on-black crime” would be, simply, ‘crime.’
Plenty of studies have documented that white Americans have numerous advantages: greater lifetime earnings, longer life expectancies, and better access to healthcare and quality education than blacks do. Phillips and Lowery say that despite the persistence of racial privilege in America, “policymakers and power brokers continue to debate whether racial privilege even exists and whether to address such inequity.”
Microinvalidations are momentary acts that serve to invalidate the very people of color we care about. These unconscious interactions perpetuate the hopelessness many African-Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and other people of color, feel in this country.
Many of you may stop reading now, thinking, "Here we go with the political correctness." You say to yourself: "I'm not perpetuating racism, and I'm certainly not invalidating people of color. Donald Trump may be, but not me."
That's what I used to think. But, right there, you're committing a microinvalidation. It's called Denial.
Racism just won't die, because its roots are deep.
Somewhere down where we don't like to go, is a place where racism lives. It's automatic and hidden. Binding and resistant to change. No matter how well-meaning we are, no matter how open-minded. Like the "root kit" on a computer, racism is hidden and operating without our knowledge.
To understand, you have to remember how Nicki got to this point – from tweeting about the music industry, without naming names, to directly and publicly addressing one of the biggest culprits of profiting off the backs of Black women in front of millions of people.
And addressing her in the language of her neighborhood – showing everyone that while Miley picks the parts of Black culture that she likes (and that get her albums sold), she can’t handle the whole truth of what it means to be Black. Because she doesn’t actually engage with the culture – or realize there’s more to it than the stereotypes enacted through cultural appropriation.
"White people are very reluctant to discuss race and racism, and their reluctance is one of the primary barriers in terms of effecting some type of solution to the problem of race," said David Billings, a local white Methodist minister who conducts anti-racism workshops. "We are not brought up to discuss honestly our feelings about race."
The majority of the frustrations I hear white Americans express when racist accusations are made center around two main threads: that their lives and social structures should not be questioned and/or challenged, and secondly, that there is an inherent danger of foreign or dissimilar bodies.
At no point has the existence of Black Lives Matter been about the dehumanizing or abusing of other races. It has not been about pitting the races against one another and saying that one race is superior to the other. It has been about highlighting the centuries of abuse inflicted upon black Americans, acknowledging the existing abuses, and aspiring to increase the empathy and humanity of the American public to combat these systemic problems.
Webmasters note: increasing empathy for a segment of the population that is experiencing abuse is what the civil rights movement is about. If your feelings are hurt or you feel that this takes something from you, you're taking it the wrong way. It's not about white guilt or shame it's about empowering black ppl and getting out of the way. We (white americans) may feel guilt and shame. We may realize we didn't earn all of our privilege. We may be shocked that racism is so powerful and elusive to combat. I'd say the big first step is to just get outta the way! If you don't go along with the program at least get outta the way. I suggest you examine deeply how you benefit from the system of white supremacy, but that's just a suggestion. At least don't put your hurt feelings out there and deny that racism is real. Each time thru our history where we believed that we had "solved" racism: Dred Scott, separate but equal, emancipation, jim crow, civil rights, Brown v. Board of education, voting rights legislation, drug war, mass incarceration. Each of these points in history we believed that we had racism behind us "by and large". Racism is like that. It morphs. It changes. It adapts as it always has.
This document presents details on the wealth and income distributions in the United States, and explains how we use these two distributions as power indicators. The most striking numbers on income inequality will come last, showing the dramatic change in the ratio of the average CEO's paycheck to that of the average factory worker over the past 40 years.
Long-term trends can obscure short-term variations, however, and there’s contested evidence that we’re in the middle of a violent crime spike, sparked by a so-called Ferguson effect where less aggressive policing—fueled by “Black Lives Matter” protests—encourages criminals. “Cities across the nation are seeing a startling rise in murders after years of declines,” reports the New York Times in a story on the rising murder rate in Milwaukee. Critics say this is overblown. Writing for the Marshall Project, Bruce Frederick—a senior research fellow at the Vera Institute of Justice—notes that of the 20 most populous U.S. cities for which there’s public data, only three experienced a “statistically reliable increase” in homicide rates. For the rest, “the observed increases could have occurred by chance alone.” If there is a new trend, we need more data. The same goes for the “Ferguson effect”; there’s no evidence that less policing has produced more violent crime.
Since the acquittal of Trayvon Martin's killer in 2013 and the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014, the phrase "black lives matter" has become a rallying cry for a new chapter in the long black freedom struggle. But this new movement's penchant for disruptive protest and impassioned public speeches about persistent racial inequality have been disconcerting to many Americans who wonder what the end-game is for this new generation of protesters. Do black lives matter more than white lives? bystanders ask. Why can't black people simply address the crime problem in their own communities? others want to know. And if the problems are really this bad, can't voting for new political leaders solve them? sympathizers wonder. These are just some of the many questions surrounding this new movement. But the young people taking to the streets in protest have a righteous cause. They deserve a fair hearing. And we can begin by debunking a few myths about what the Black Lives Matter movement is and what it isn't.
As interracial dating, integration and cross-cultural friendships increase, many people find themselves attending events in which they are the minority, and have no frame of reference from which to base their etiquette. In an effort to help bridge the cultural gaps we all have to traverse at some point, I have created a few rules for all my Caucasian friends who might find themselves at a black cookout
We are the nation's leading resource and advocacy organization for crime victims and those who serve them. Please join us as we forge a national commitment to help victims of crime rebuild their lives.
On a warm September evening, hundreds of St. Louis citizens gathered in a parking lot off the commercial street of Delmar Boulevard to demand that 60,000 Syrian refugees be settled in St. Louis. The crowd was a mix of white Americans, Arabs and Pakistanis, united in their determination to make St. Louis the destination for Syrians whose homes have been destroyed in their country’s four-year conflict. “Millions hungry and displaced—make St. Louis your new place!” they cried as they marched down the boulevard.
It was a touching moment in a region wracked by the racial strife of Ferguson and a year of violent crime. Since the death of 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi on a Turkish beach prompted renewed sympathy toward the Syrian plight, St. Louisans have been particularly active in their determination to help. The march for Syrian resettlement was the first of its kind in the US, and an op-ed calling for the refugees to come to St. Louis brought record traffic for local website NextSTL. Mayor Francis Slay has expressed his commitment to resettling the refugees, and the International Institute, a refugee resettlement center, has vowed to help Syrians in the way it has helped St. Louis’s large Bosnian and Vietnamese refugee communities in the past.
It's imperative to recognize that we can be contributors and perpetuators of tools and facets of white supremacy. And that’s some hard shit to swallow. Point. Blank. Period. As Black folks, it’s not our fault that we are oppressed, violated, murdered, and erased. We only have so much control over our lives and our trajectory but we have to recognize that the allure of money, power, and access is a hell of a white supremacist drug.
We all want money to be comfortable, to look good, to be happy, and to create a better living situation for families that we’ve never been able to experience. We all want power because some of us have never had the agency to be seen as powerful or worthy. Unfortunately, some of us want power to challenge systems that oppress us but also want to recreate those systems in other ways through privileges we have yet to check. We all want access because we’ve been systematically, interpersonally, and internally denied access to health care, education, food, clean and safe environments, body autonomy and choice, and/or emotional well-being.
But today, the nation’s highest-income majority-black county stands out for a different reason — its residents have lost far more wealth than families in neighboring, majority-white suburbs. And while every one of these surrounding counties is enjoying a strong rebound in housing prices and their economies, Prince George’s is lagging far behind, and local economists say a full recovery appears unlikely anytime soon.
This essay is my attempt at absorbing some of the key thoughts that came from this conversation with Frederick (and other sources). Having an engineering background, I like to break complicated ideas down as much as possible into logical bites of manageable info until I really understand what is going on. My hope is that I can do that in the writing herein as well. I do need to acknowledge though that this attempt at simplification will undoubtedly gloss over the real terror and anguish that African Americans have felt throughout our country’s history. The cartoon sketches herein, for example, could not remotely catch the horror of being tracked down and mauled by attack dogs or lynched alongside your own children.
Viola Davis won an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama for her role as Annalise Keating on How to Get Away With Murder. During her acceptance speech, she quoted Harriet Tubman, name-dropped several black actresses currently working on TV—many of whom were in attendance—and stated that the only reason there haven’t been more black actresses awarded with Emmys is that the opportunities haven’t been there. It was one of the three or four blackest moments I’ve ever seen on live TV. The only thing that would have made it blacker is if an actual Harriet Tubman hologram had presented Davis with the award.
Taylor’s first major break came from ancestry.com, where she found evidence of a pension application from a distant ancestor, Harriet Bentley, a freed slave who was married to two different slaves who were later freed and fought for the Union Army. In a pension application, which Taylor found at the National Archives, Bentley told her story of life as an enslaved woman and of having her first husband sold away.
Taylor wept over those pages, excited about the discovery but deeply saddened by the woman’s tale of repeated heartbreak and trauma.
“I couldn’t believe I was touching the original paper,” Taylor said.
“I’ve always felt proud of myself,” Taylor said. “Now that I hold on my shoulders the pride of my family, it feels like a completeness there.”
In 1976, Emma DeGraffenreid and several other black women sued General Motors for discrimination, arguing that the company segregated its workforce by race and gender: Blacks did one set of jobs and whites did another. According to the plaintiffs’ experiences, women were welcome to apply for some jobs, while only men were suitable for others. This was of course a problem in and of itself, but for black women the consequences were compounded. You see, the black jobs were men’s jobs, and the women’s jobs were only for whites. Thus, while a black applicant might get hired to work on the floor of the factory if he were male; if she were a black female she would not be considered. Similarly, a woman might be hired as a secretary if she were white, but wouldn’t have a chance at that job if she were black. Neither the black jobs nor the women’s jobs were appropriate for black women, since they were neither male nor white. Wasn’t this clearly discrimination, even if some blacks and some women were hired?
“This fight for equality of educational opportunity (was) not an isolated struggle. All our struggles must tie in together and support one another. . .We must remain on the alert and push the struggle farther with all our might.”
The researchers argued that understanding the reaction to evidence of racial inequality was important because whites who did not feel that they personally benefited from their ethnicity would be less willing to support policies that were designed to reduce racial inequality.
Subjects in the study were separated into two groups. The group that was shown evidence of white privilege “claimed more hardships than those not exposed to evidence of privilege,” the study found.
The process begins with a rebuke. A parent or authority figure reprimands the child because it's not yet white. The language used by the adult is racial, but the content of the message pertains to the child's own feelings and what the child must do with feelings the adult doesn't like. Stifle them. Philosopher Martha Nussbaum, in her book Cultivating Humanity: A Classical Defense of Reform in Liberal Education, tells how she learned to do this as a child being taught to be white.
Nussbaum's reflections begin with a description of the incident that provoked her father's racial rebuke: "In Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, in the early 1960s, I encountered black people only as domestic servants. There was a black girl my age named Hattie, daughter of the live-in help of an especially wealthy neighbor. One day, when I was about ten, we had been playing in the street and I asked her to come in for some lemonade. My father, who grew up in Georgia, exploded, telling me that I must never invite a black person into the house again." Nussbaum's first lessons ended at school where the only African Americans present were "kitchen help." Here, she and her classmates learned how to "efface them from our minds when we studied." The target of Nussbaum's first lessons in whiteness was her own sentient awareness of the surrounding environment. She had to learn how to disengage her own feelings, how to dissociate herself from them.
White people snicker and use the situation as the impetus for telling stories about other black names that they thought were even more outrageous. It’s not that we’re trying to be hateful. I don’t think we even recognize it as racist, but it is.
Being a white garden means that we hold the accumulation of centuries of wealth, power, and privilege. Some of us may come with personal trauma or gender, sexuality, or class struggles. However, race is the number one predictor of housing values, health outcomes, employment, educational success, and incarceration. We are the inheritors of tremendous power and privilege just because of our white garden-ness. Once we acknowledge this, many of our first feelings may be guilt, followed by shame, anger, and fear. To change we need to do the hard spiritual work of leaning into those uncomfortable feelings. These emotions are our tools. They are the hoe, shovel, and rake we need to clear out the unhealthy aspects of our privileged identities rooted in white supremacy and begin to replant a healthier garden. I thank God that my Friends of color put up with my racial ignorance and arrogance. As a community, we are not going to grow a more inclusive garden by sitting around in silence, waiting for more African Americans to walk in the doors of our meetinghouses.
Virginia was the epicenter of a slave breeding industry, in which enslaved women were expected to be constantly pregnant, were sold off if they didn't produce children, and sometimes were force-mated to achieve that end. The offspring were sold to newer settlers and those migrating west. Charleston, South Carolina, in contrast, was colonial America’s slave importing and exporting port. In the late seventeenth century, Carolina exported captured native Americans as slaves to Caribbean plantation islands, gradually replacing them with imported laborers. As the South was emptied of native Americans and American plantations grew, South Carolina became the major slave importer in the colonies and in the early republic. Virginia eventually won out when Congress, at President Thomas Jefferson's urging, banned slave importation as of January 1, 1808—protectionism, say the Sublettes, for Virginia's slave-breeding industry, and sold to the public as protection against the alleged terrorism of "French negroes" from Haiti. After that, a new interstate slave trade grew, propelled by territories and new states that wanted slavery, and by the breeders who wanted new markets. Thus, the slave-breeding economy spread south and west, driving the expansion of the U.S. into new territories.
One year to the day after Eric Garner was choked to death gasping for life, three months after Walter Scott was shot in the back while running to save his life, four days after Sandra Bland died in a jail cell after fighting to save her life, one week before Ralkina Jones begged police for life—“I don’t want to die in your cell”—and died of poisoning two days later, I wonder if an old song groaned from holy ground as the blue light engulfed that Chevy, as Darrius sat trapped in the back of that Charger, as Darrius kicked and ran for life and tomorrow on that lawn.
If we must die—let it not be like hogs
Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot,
While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs,
Making their mock at our accursed lot.
If we must die—oh, let us nobly die,
So that our precious blood may not be shed
In vain; then even the monsters we defy
Shall be constrained to honor us though dead!
Oh, Kinsmen! We must meet the common foe;
Though far outnumbered, let us show us brave,
And for their thousand blows deal one deathblow!
What though before us lies the open grave?
Like men we’ll face the murderous, cowardly pack,
Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!
The type of neighborhood where I lived in, Baltimore City, is very segregated, so my whole neighborhood was black. Everyone I played basketball [with] was black. If the people who used to go to church and all that, they were all black churches. The only white people you would actually come across is housing police or a teacher or something like that, but, for the most part, everybody else is a black person.
The disparity was not merely because black families earn less than white families. Our analysis of five years of court judgments from three metropolitan areas - St. Louis, Chicago and Newark - showed that even accounting for income, the rate of judgments was twice as high in mostly black neighborhoods as it was in mostly white ones.
I always saw the photo as a powerful image of two barefoot black men, with their heads bowed, their black-gloved fists in the air while the US National Anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner,” played. It was a strong symbolic gesture – taking a stand for African American civil rights in a year of tragedies that included the death of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy.
As they point out, Georgia law requires that Stone Mountain Park be maintained as “an appropriate and suitable memorial for the Confederacy.” It’s right there in the code, 12-3-192.1 They argue further that installing a memorial to Martin Luther King Jr. on the property, as park officials now propose, would be “an intentional act of disrespect toward the stated purpose of the Stone Mountain memorial from its inception.”
Luther Standing Bear was an Oglala Lakota Sioux Chief who, among a few rare others such as Charles Eastman, Black Elk and Gertrude Bonnin occupied the rift between the way of life of the Indigenous people of the Great Plains before, and during, the arrival and subsequent spread of the European pioneers. Raised in the traditions of his people until the age of eleven, he was then educated at the Carlisle Indian Industrial Boarding School of Pennsylvania, where he learned the english language and way of life. (Though a National Historical Landmark, Carlisle remains a place of controversy in Native circles.)
“This is a time in which law enforcement is the target for criticism for almost everything they do and officers are constantly questioned by the public and the media without the benefit of all the facts,” the post read. “The presence of this sign at Cox’s Farms helps perpetuate this kind of behavior and judgment. I know you have heard it about a million times but the truth is that ‘All Lives Matter.'”
I suggest we follow the lead of Finkelman and Baptist and alter our language for the Civil War. Specifically, let us drop the word “Union” when describing the United States side of the conflagration, as in “Union troops” versus “Confederate troops.” Instead of “Union,” we should say “United States.” By employing “Union” instead of “United States,” we are indirectly supporting the Confederate view of secession wherein the nation of the United States collapsed, having been built on a “sandy foundation” (according to rebel Vice President Alexander Stephens). In reality, however, the United States never ceased to exist. The Constitution continued to operate normally; elections were held; Congress, the presidency, and the courts functioned; diplomacy was conducted; taxes were collected; crimes were punished; etc. Yes, there was a massive, murderous rebellion in at least a dozen states, but that did not mean that the United States disappeared. The dichotomy of “Union v. Confederacy” is no longer acceptable language; its usage lends credibility to the Confederate experiment and undermines the legitimacy of the United States as a political entity. The United States of America fought a brutal war against a highly organized and fiercely determined rebellion – it did not stop functioning or morph into something different. We can continue to debate the nature and existence of Confederate “nationalism,” but that discussion should not affect how we label the United States during the war.
The church’s attitude toward DeKonza had been acknowledged in a history written for the parish’s centennial in 1981. That account called the church’s treatment of her “a blot on the glorious history of St. Paul’s” and noted that for years “she was tolerated but not accepted.
”But the depth of this alienation, and the talents DeKonza possessed, remained hidden until Jim Beck and his wife Ginny moved to Clay Center when they retired in 2013. After he read the 1981 account, he said his background in psychology – he holds a doctorate in the subject – prompted him to ask, “How did this happen?”
The people who are moving into my neighborhood want their children to have a diverse upbringing, BUT NOT TOO DIVERSE. They still want a white school, just with other non-white children also participating. They want to go to the Christmas pageant and not have their white sensibilities violated because the other parents are too loud and boisterous and it makes them uncomfortable, for really no good reason. They don't want their kid to notice her whiteness in Pre-k and then find out while addressing that question, that while they already own great books about diversity, the only children's books specifically about whiteness are published by the KKK. They don't want their child to ask them why Quintavious's sister says she doesn't like white people. They don't want to have to wonder when the teacher calls, if they are getting extra attention because white parents are often perceived as overbearing. They want diversity, just not too much.
Rufus Scales, 26 and black, was driving his younger brother Devin to his hair-cutting class in this genteel, leafy city when they heard the siren’s whoop and saw the blue light in the rearview mirror of their black pickup. Two police officers pulled them over for minor infractions that included expired plates and failing to hang a flag from a load of scrap metal in the pickup’s bed. But what happened next was nothing like a routine traffic stop.
Another black man was shot to death by cops in Florida. This time it was local drummer Corey Jones who was shot and killed by a plainclothes police officer who stopped to “investigate” Jones’s broken down car. The cop claimed that Jones pulled a gun, but somehow the cop pulled and shot his gun faster than Jones could explain that his car was broken down. I’m sure the cop gave Jones every opportunity to explain himself before shooting him to death.
Because I get no break from fighting. Because everything is a struggle. Because my anger isn't validated. Because they don't care about my pain. Because they don't believe in my pain. Because they forgive themselves without atoning. Because I'm not free. Because the awareness of it permeates everything. Because it's not ending. Because they teach the children that it's already ended. Because someone will assert their supremacy over me today. Because they'll do it tomorrow.
The National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty argues that “homelessness and the lack of affordable housing in the United States of America have a disparate racial impact, in violation of the United States’ obligations under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.” The fact that our nation has created a housing system that perpetuates racial inequality is not merely a historical relic. It runs counter to our international obligations and jeopardizes our moral standing as a global superpower with the potential to provide an example to other nations about how affluent countries should provide for their poorest citizens.
To begin what Wilkerson calls “a more meaningful reconstruction… would require a generosity of spirit to see ourselves in the continued suffering of a people stigmatized since their arrival on these shores and to recognize how the unspoken hierarchies we have inherited play out in the current day and hold us back as a country.” Americans can do better. We have the potential to be great, but not until we confront our racial history in an authentic and meaningful way.
While I want equality for all women, all men, and all people of all races, as a Black woman I cannot align myself with a women-centered movement that refuses to be inclusive of racial inequities and gender disparities. I am weary and will no longer advocate for inclusion in a white-female oriented space where I, and countless other Black women, have been constantly rejected. Just like Sojourner Truth stated in her 1851 speech, “Ain’t I A Woman,” I refuse to be a part of an ideology that historically and contemporarily dehumanizes and marginalizes the Black woman yet will culturally appropriate style and successes in order to advance their self-centered agenda.
One example of how unconscious bias can play out is the recent string of killings by police of unarmed people of color. Most of these incidents have happened within a matter of seconds, before the officer in question really had time to put a conscious thought together. Studies show that police officers are more likely to shoot a black man they encounter than they are to shoot a white man.
The test required those who took it to correctly answer 30 questions in 10 minutes — something even a group of Harvard students could not do today. The students were recorded struggling with the vaguely-worded questions. Under Louisiana law at the time these students would each require a 100% score on the test to be able to vote.
The Slave Trail of Tears is the great missing migration—a thousand-mile-long river of people, all of them black, reaching from Virginia to Louisiana. During the 50 years before the Civil War, about a million enslaved people moved from the Upper South—Virginia, Maryland, Kentucky—to the Deep South—Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama. They were made to go, deported, you could say, having been sold.
How does a person inside the family measure the inheritance of slave trading? Thomson takes a half-second. “You can’t judge those people by today’s standards—you can’t judge anybody by our standards. It was a part of life in those days. Take the Bible. Many things in the Old Testament are pretty barbaric, but they are part of our evolution.”
Dorothy Bland, the dean of journalism at UNT, said she was stopped by police for "walking while black" in her own neighborhood. Watch the dashcam footage from her encounter below. http://share.d-news.co/uz68eHQ
Ian Haney López, author of Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class, says it's not just the promotion of old-fashioned racial stereotypes that we need to worry about. Rather, he argues, it's the manipulation of racism in service of very specific goals.
"What I can't understand is, why aren't people rioting in the streets?" I hear this, now and then, from people of wealthy and powerful backgrounds. There is a kind of incredulity. "After all," the subtext seems to read, "we scream bloody murder when anyone so much as threatens our tax shelters; if someone were to go after my access to food or shelter, I'd sure as hell be burning banks and storming parliament. What's wrong with these people?"
It's a good question. One would think a government that has inflicted such suffering on those with the least resources to resist, without even turning the economy around, would have been at risk of political suicide. Instead, the basic logic of austerity has been accepted by almost everyone. Why? Why do politicians promising continued suffering win any working-class acquiescence, let alone support, at all?
Webmasters note: this is what I was wondering a long time - why aren't they rioting in the streets? When my son was grown, he was 20 or so, I realized how profoundly race mattered in the area I had grown up (Rockville, MD). Until that point I had believed my son would be safe and treated well here. My world was rocked in one weekend.
If you’re a marginalized person who’s involved in activist work, or who spends a lot of time on social media, or both, you almost certainly deal with a lot of so-called “allies” whose idea of “allyship is so convoluted you’d rather just do without it.
Bolts from the blue Oliver Laughland in New York, Jamiles Lartey in Coconut Creek, Florida, and Ciara McCarthy
As Tasers became an increasingly prevalent part of police officers’ arsenals around the world, the US Justice Department funded the Police Executive Research Forum (Perf), an independent policing thinktank, to revise guidelines on their use in 2011. These rules are designed to encourage officers to know Tasers “should not be seen as an all-purpose weapon that takes the place of de-escalation techniques” – and to acknowledge the lethal potential of electronic control weapons (ECW) deployed for more than three standard shock cycles of five seconds each.
This documentary chronicles White Americans reflecting on white racial identity and racism. Areas the video explores include; the question of how people of European descent were transformed into "White" people; what it means to be White; White privilege; the difference between personal prejudices and societal racism; and how White people can challenge contemporary forms of societal racism.
It is singularly fascinating that Sam Bowers, the Imperial Wizard of the KKK during the 60s, felt like God called him to the task of "preserving the purity of his blood and soil" (God's Long Summer: Stories of Faith and Civil Rights) Bowers considered himself to be a "Christian militant...dedicated to oppose in every honorable way possible the forces of Satan on this earth."
The subject of race can be very touchy. As finance executive Mellody Hobson says, it's a "conversational third rail." But, she says, that's exactly why we need to start talking about it. In this engaging, persuasive talk, Hobson makes the case that speaking openly about race — and particularly about diversity in hiring — makes for better businesses and a better society.
The Legion of Black Collegians and others (including football players) associated with the boycott at Missouri stemming from racial tension on Saturday published a list of demands they want met before things return to somewhat normalcy.
Video of a confrontation between a news photographer and protesters at the University of Missouri on Monday led to a dispute between journalists and the activists’ sympathizers beyond the campus walls. In response to a series of racial issues at the university, a circle of arm-linked students sought to designate a “safe space” around an encampment on the campus quad. When they blocked journalist Tim Tai from photographing the encampment, reporters complained that media were denied access to a public space.
At about 10pm the police were called because the music was too loud. However, when I immediately promised to turn it down, the officer wasn't satisfied. With his hand placed firmly on his holstered gun, he proceeded to lecture me about how privileged I should feel to live in a nice neighborhood, and how I should be thankful that my neighbors allowed me to live in my house.
As thousands of students took part in walkouts and rallies on college campuses across the country Thursday in a show of solidarity with protesters at the University of Missouri, many young black people spoke of a subtle and pervasive brand of racism that doesn't make headlines but can nevertheless have a corrosive effect.
“I have come to realize that the Constitution is the root of virtually all our problems in America. In order to understand the injustices against Black folks in United States, we must look back to its foundation. The U.S. is a country that was founded on slavery, genocide, rape, and white-male patriarchy,” the group wrote. “A body cannot be separated from its head and remain living. The Constitution and all the evil that it allows to be perpetuated are the head of White America, or more so corrupt America. Racist America. … A Constitution written by only white men will never serve the interests of black people. The Constitution was written for the ruling class of white men which constructed whiteness to be more valuable than any other race.”
Read more at http://mobile.wnd.com/2015/11/black-student-group-vows-bloodshed-over-constitution/#EPmJIkmSj3uS0kFI.99
The trauma of that night lingers. I can’t un-see the guns, the dog, the officers forcing their way into my apartment, the small army waiting for me outside. Almost daily, I deal with sleeplessness, confusion, anger and fear. I’m frightened when I see large dogs now. I have nightmares of being beaten by white men as they call me the n-word. Every week, I see the man who called 911. He averts his eyes and ignores me.
The town’s curious history has drawn fleeting national attention over the years. Its first African American mayor was slung into jail in 1982 on trumped-up charges by a white establishment trying to hold back the civil rights tide. Two decades later, voters installed the US’s first elected black female Republican mayor, Yvonne Brown, in the hope it would encourage President George W Bush to send money.
The portraits of black professors, the ones that bring me and so many other black students feelings of pride and promise, were defaced. Their faces were covered with a single piece of black tape, crossing them out of Harvard Law School’s legacy of legal scholarship. Their faces were slashed through, X-ing them out, marking them as maybe unwanted or maybe unworthy or maybe simply too antithetical to the legacy of white supremacy on which Harvard Law School has been built. Harvard Law School was, after all, founded with the money from the sale of over 100 Antiguan enslaved people (because they were not slaves but people who were brutally and inhumanely enslaved) by the Royall family. To this day, the Royall family crest is the seal for Harvard Law School, and their legacy of white supremacy drips from every corner of the campus, like the blood of the 77 enslaved people murdered after a slave revolt on the Royall plantation. The defacing of the portraits of black professors this morning is a further reminder that white supremacy built this place, is the foundation of this place, and that we never have and still do not belong here.
“Ever since we’ve moved to this area my son has been faced with racism," Waddy's mom Zettrona Powell said in a letter to the school, according to Daily News. Since Waddy was in fifth grade, his mom kept a record of discriminatory acts her son has faced. "He’s been asked if he was going to rape or rob a young lady, he’s been pushed into lockers and called a n*****r on numerous occasions.”
The Black Lives Matter movement has boldly promoted this idea that oppressed people are not responsible for educating their oppressors. White allies are increasingly asked to talk to their own. Creating this safety for Black people in the movement creates needed emotional space for more focus and work. But it is impossible for Black biracial people to avoid these conversations with white family members and these relationships often give us a responsibility to also talk to our own.
Marissa Johnson is one of the Black Lives Matter protesters who disrupted Bernie Sanders' Seattle rally launching a national conversation about the relationship between the movement and the upcoming elections. After disclosing her biracial background, reporters have repeatedly asked her the ridiculous question, "Do you hate white people?" Her response has been perfect: "Do you love Black people?"
Let’s get this out of the way: To celebrate Thanksgiving requires a bit of contortion from those of us who try to be socially conscious. The image of Pilgrims eating peacefully with American Indians at a shared harvest feast presents a faulty view of the founding of this country—one typically framed as though there was a willing handoff between Native and White. This obscures the history of violence and oppression, and it also manages to both legitimize and whitewash our country’s terrible actions toward its indigenous people. As a Black American who works every day to hold our country accountable for its rampant racial inequality that is a continuum of centuries of racism, terrorism, and genocide, Thanksgiving is truly a tough holiday to process.
“It was just a sea of white faces,” he told ThinkProgress. “A lady kicked me in the stomach. A man kicked me in the chest. They called me n*****, monkey, and they shouted ‘all lives matter’ while they were kicking and punching me. So for all the people who are still confused at this point, they proved what ‘all lives matter’ meant. It means, ‘Shut up, n*****.'”
But he (Wilson) was also an avowed racist. And unlike many of his predecessors and successors in the White House, he put that racism into action through public policy. Most notably, his administration oversaw the segregation of the federal government, destroying the careers of thousands of talented and accomplished black civil servants — including John Abraham Davis, my paternal grandfather.
Taye Diggs is currently on tour for his children’s book Mixed Me, which he wrote for his 6-year-old son. Diggs has come under scrutiny after stating in an interview on TheGrio that he wants his son, whose mother is white actress Idina Menzel, to identify as mixed race and not black. While many in the black community have seen Diggs’ comment as a slap in the face, he’s responding to the changing nature of the way people self-identify.
We argue with people of color about their lived experiences of racism. We say "not all white people!" and "all lives matter" and totally miss the point. We ask people of color to educate us, and to be "nice" about it. We talk about our good intentions. We bring up the times we were also treated badly.
The 2015 American Values Survey reaffirms the myopic outlook of an astounding portion of the country. Researchers, who polled nearly 2,700 adults from every state and Washington, D.C., found that 43 percent of Americans overall believe racial bigotry against whites has become a problem on par with discrimination against black people and other people of color. Fifty-three percent of Americans think the country’s “way of life has mostly changed for the worse since the 1950s,” a tally it seems safe to regard as a referendum on progressive change since that decade. In general, it’s clear that Americans believe some objectively offensive, fantastical and easily disproved ideas. But the study goes beyond big-picture numbers to illuminate how they shake out along race, class and education lines.
That doesn’t make the Christian states of North and South Carolina anywhere near as dangerous as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. But it does make you wonder why, as we close our doors to refugees who have done us no harm, we pay so little attention to our enemies within.
Sixty million people died in World War II, but fascism won. It didn’t win on the battlefield. It didn’t win right away. It won because the same fears, the same greed, the same hatred that fueled its growth in the first part of the twentieth century never went away. The symbols of fascism became anathema, but the causes … went deep. And gradually, slowly, one step at a time, all those vices became first tolerated, then treated as virtues, and then as the only acceptable view.
‘‘Only something that continues to hurt stays in the memory,’’ Nietzsche observes in ‘‘On the Genealogy of Morality.’’ My student-loan debt doesn’t hurt, though it hasn’t seemed to have gotten any smaller over the past decade, and I’ve managed to forget it so thoroughly that I recently told someone that I’d never been in debt until I bought a house. Creditors of antiquity, Nietzsche writes, tried to encourage a debtor’s memory by taking as collateral his freedom, wife, life or even, as in Egypt, his afterlife. Legal documents outlined exactly how much of the body of the debtor that the creditor could cut off for unpaid debts. Consider the odd logic, Nietzsche suggests, of a system in which a creditor is repaid not with money or goods but with the pleasure of seeing the debtor’s body punished. ‘‘The pleasure,’’ he writes, ‘‘of having the right to exercise power over the powerless.’’
The power to punish, Nietzsche notes, can enhance your sense of social status, increasing the pleasure of cruelty. Reading this, I recall a white Texas trooper’s encounter with the black woman he pulled over for failure to signal a lane change. As the traffic stop became a confrontation that ended with Sandra Bland face down on the side of the road, she asked Brian Encinia, over and over, whether what he was doing made him feel good. ‘‘You feelin’ good about yourself?’’ she asked. ‘‘Don’t it make you feel good, Officer Encinia?’’ After asking the same question Nietzsche asked, the question of why justice would take this form, she came to the same conclusion.
Black activism has been decentralized and democratized to the masses, a reflection of the decreasing political relevance of the church and the diminution of the power of the pulpit. In an era where African-American megachurch pastors preach prosperity and reveal their disconnection to the community by endorsing presidential candidates like Donald Trump, today's activists can't depend on ministers to lead the charge for social justice.
Since the law came into effect 20 years ago, two things have become apparent: how resistant many police departments remain to fundamental reform; and how critical, therefore, the consent decree has been—first, in forcing police departments to jettison their often brutal racist, and unaccountable warrior-cop cultures; and second, in transforming them into organizations committed to policing constitutionally and with legitimacy among the populations they serve.
We read about the Syrian crisis, analyzing photographs of war-torn faces at the border and then wrote poetry of hope, despair and compassion from the perspectives of the migrants. Many of my kids asked to write about their own journeys across the border and their [dreams] for a better future. One child cried and told me he never had a teacher who honored the journey his family took to the United States. He told me he was not ashamed anymore, but instead proud of the sacrifice his parents made for him.
By using Oliphantas controlling precedent, the Court will have made the covert argument, traced to Christian “discovery” in the Johnson ruling, that the Mississippi Band of Choctaw (and by implication, no Native nation) possesses no right “to complete sovereignty as an independent nation” because a Christian discovery of heathen landsoccurred in the past. The U.S. Supreme Court will have thereby decided that the Mississippi Band of Choctaw does not have the right to hear the sexual assault case against a teenage Choctaw citizen by the non-Indian Dollar General store manager, because the Choctaw government lacks “complete sovereignty, as an independent nation” as a result of the right of “Christian discovery” and “ultimate dominion” (domination).
In the streets of Ferguson and Baltimore, the new movement for black lives was radicalized by legions of poor and working-class youth who forced the nation to grapple with black rage. They fearlessly confronted a militarized police force, tear gas, snipers and tanks designed for warfare while Americans watched on their television screens. These young people, including countless women and LGBTQ people who have organized many of the movement’s most powerful acts of resistance, have changed the predominant image of black activism in America.
I don't agree that the movement of the 60's was led by black or white churches.
But magnifying the problems was King’s key strategy, and he received the same admonishments. Protesters who marched in the streets of America’s most staunchly racist cities and towns were attacked by police dogs, their clothing was tattered by high-pressure fire hoses, and their lives were taken by police officers’ bullets. Alarmed by what they saw, eight liberal, white clergymen wrote a public statement in 1963, calling King’s movement foolish and counterproductive. They sympathized with his cause but said his actions were too aggressive, too disruptive and drove people to violent uprising. The clergymen urged black Americans to reject King’s leadership and adopt peaceful means to achieve racial equality. King’s “nonviolent” movement, they said, was anything but.
One of our Elder sisters stands up and confronts the false forgiving narrative of Charleston. And how it relates to Black people who are afraid to lose their jobs by speaking out against racism. I salute this sister -S〽
As a black woman, I feel as if I have to be more in tune with my humanness- I can't just focus on my soul, but the body that houses it and the flesh that gives it substance. With the constant degradation of black bodies, the continuous stream of micro-aggressions, and the same song being sung declaring we shall overcome- yet sometimes it feels like we haven't gotten there yet, can take a toll on the human psyche and how one perceives oneself and dwells within this world.
The NAACP took up Woodard’s case in the spring of 1946, pressing military officials to provide assistance to the gravely injured veteran while also calling for legal action against Chief Shull. By September, NAACP officials met with President Harry Truman who expressed outrage over this assault on a veteran. Shull was tried in federal courts but released after the jury deliberated only thirty minutes. As news of this attack circulated in the national media, President Harry Truman created the first President’s Committee on Civil Rights (PCCR) which published To Secure These Rights in 1947. This groundbreaking report led to the desegregation of the military in 1948 and new federal attention to racial inequality as a matter of both domestic justice and out of concern for Cold War politics.
In white culture, we do not discuss race or racial issues and we are taught it is rude & impolite to discuss such things. We are taught by body language, energy and subtle cues not to correct other white people when doing such things. I can recall being around my father’s family, they used the word n***** liberally, yet never when my mother was in the room. I never told her. Being a teenager in visiting the home of my father’s military friends & family where his wife was showing off their property, she pointed at the neighbor behind them and stated their yard looked like “n*****ville”. My brother and I left in protest, while my father apologized for our behavior and chastised us for standing against it and being so rude.
Polite White Supremacy is the notion that whites should remain the ruling class while denying that they are the ruling class, politely. Affectionately, it’s called #PWS for short. It has been referred to as the Casual American Caste System, Delicate Apartheid, Gentle Oppression, or what I like to call it after a few drinks: Chad Crow, the super chill grandson of Jim Crow.
"Let us pray Jesus bless us with your mercy and spirit" because it's assumed that if you’re African American, then you must be listening to Kirk Franklin while stomping your feet and saying hallelujah. And even the least practicing Black Christian celebrates Christmas and goes to church on Easter. After all, the Black church was the safe space for Black people during the time of slavery. The time to escape the whips of slave masters and rest their weary souls in God's house--while praying for eternal salvation. It was also the focal point of the Civil Rights movement, where Black people planned marches and sang for Jesus's protection under white oppression. Even now some African Americans ease their conscience and calm their souls, while clapping hands of glory to the beat of soulful songs. It is where many have come for advice from their pastors, and have built life long friendships. The Black church is where Black mothers prepared church dinners and bake sales. It is the reason for families gathering and passing platters of collard greens, black eyed peas and corn bread.
The world can feel like a complicated place. There may be no good answers to the problems we confront individually and as a society. It is hard to know whom or what to believe. Things are changing, and the future might be different in unpredictable ways. For many people, this uncertainty is deeply unpleasant.
So, what we found was that 1,190 people to date have been killed by police in the United States this year. That includes a number of folks, about a quarter of which were in America’s 60 largest cities. And so, as you mentioned, 14 of those cities, the police departments actually killed black folks exclusively. And so, some of these cities include places like Baltimore, St. Louis and other places where we’ve seen significant unrest over some of these practices that seem to target African-American communities. To give you a sense of what that means, nationwide, black folks are three times more likely to be killed by police and twice as likely to be unarmed when they’re killed by police. And so, clearly, these protests, what we’re seeing in Chicago and other places, is rooted in an experience of discriminatory policing that needs to end.
We don’t talk much about the urgency of love these days, especially within the public sphere. Much of our discourse these days is about revenge, name calling, hate, and divisiveness. I have yet to hear it from our presidential hopefuls, or our political pundits. I don’t mean the Hollywood type of love, but the scary kind, the kind that risks not being reciprocated, the kind that refuses to flee in the face of danger. To make it a bit easier for you, I’ve decided to model, as best as I can, what I’m asking of you. Let me demonstrate the vulnerability that I wish you to show. As a child of Socrates, James Baldwin and Audre Lorde, let me speak the truth, refuse to err on the side of caution.
What follows is, as far as I know, the largest and most complete collection of facts, statistics, and data that demonstrate and exemplify the reality of white privilege anywhere on the internet. Mixed throughout, and especially at the end, you’ll find some occasional commentary from me—but by far and away the emphasis is on the data. I put it before you, with minimal commentary, so that you can decide for yourself—and because I believe it speaks for itself. Most of my thoughts I have saved to the end.
I was asked, via email, to write about a small news story out of New Hampshire that had begun making waves nationally. A police commissioner in Wolfeboro, a tiny town of about 6,000 people, was overheard in a restaurant calling President Obama a “fucking nigger.” Despite townspeople demanding his resignation, the commissioner remained steadfast, writing in an email to his colleagues, “I believe I did use the ‘N’ word in reference to the current occupant of the Whitehouse [sic]. For this, I do not apologize—he meets and exceeds my criteria for such.”
Why in the world would anyone think black people should not be angry? Anthony Ray Hinton, falsely accused and convicted of murder and who spent 30 years in solitary confinement on Death Row, said that when he was arrested, the officer told him he would be convicted, even though he, the police officer admitted that Hinton had "probably not" committed the crime of which he was accused. Why would he be convicted? Hinton said the officer said, "because you are being accused by a white man, because the prosecutor is white, because the judge will be white, because the jury will be white, and because your court-appointed attorney will be white."
My husband and I do fine – we can (for now) afford to rent an apartment in one of the more appealing Brooklyn neighborhoods, where the average rent rose by 77% between 2000 and 2012. But we fall into both of the criteria that tend to keep home ownership out of reach for middle-income New Yorkers: we come from families who are unable to help financially in any way, much less with a down payment on a New York City apartment. And also, my son and I are black, which makes us, at least partially, a black family.
Their hate is couched in white English, which has nothing to do with accents. White English is a state of mind. It turns words into weapons to dehumanize an entire population of people, and it is bubbling up like pus in a dirty wound after Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty convinced a grand jury that the police were justified in killing a black child playing with an air gun.
Time and again this year, we’ve seen a seemingly inexhaustible reservoir of public outrage tapped, indignation pouring into the streets, with demands for justice and, more often than not, the image of a strained elected official counselling calm in the wake of outcomes that confirm the most cynical perspectives about race in this country. We have exhausted a thesaurus of options in our attempts to describe these cyclical flashpoints, each of them unique, each of them warranting a clear portrait of its particulars, and yet all of them numbingly related—like a racialized version of “Groundhog Day.”
Oftentimes, when you take (or ask for!) things that do not belong to you, women are giving you the side-eye and exchanging glances with each other. Maybe you don’t care, because you are “getting everything you want.” But I call these glances “networking,” and I consider your obliviousness to them a lack of social skills and a deficit of emotional intelligence.
I understand, of course, that the vast majority of people don’t even acknowledge their privilege in the first place. I’m not talking to them. I’m talking to those of us who do. If we do, then we need to understand that acknowledgement all by itself isn’t enough. No matter how cathartic it feels.
One reader waited until late in the year to send me the most nakedly racist email I’ve ever gotten. I wrote a column raising questions about the black lead character’s heroism, skill set and romantic appeal in the new Star Wars movie, and on Christmas Eve this gift landed in my inbox: You are a serious [n-word] lover. If you wanna see them fight and kiss just go to the zoo.
I started to worry about all the other things I might have to explain: My hair, the food I eat, why I like Miles Davis, Nina Simone and Marvin Gaye. Maybe I should have considered it a teaching opportunity. But I wasn’t feeling generous. I was all twisted up inside, ablaze over racial dynamics and anxious what other minefields my roommate might stumble upon. I hoped he wouldn’t say something really ignorant, causing me to just snap and go off on an angry rant. Then I’d have to make my living situation salvageable by pocketing my black rage, putting on my best smile and telling him, it’s all love.
With White People (uppercase), however, their whiteness becomes their most prominent quality. And not necessarily the color of their skin, but what the color of their skin means here in America. Basically, White People without historical, cultural and racial context are just white people. But it’s nearly impossible to remove that context, so when you’re dealing with a white person, there’s always the chance that those pesky White People might decide to appear, too.
The fact is that we really, really LOVE white people, and this training started from birth. It started with us first learning how to hate ourselves and each other, and then to believe that the only way to restore our lost humanity was to gain the approval of our oppressors. As a result, we spend our lives marching, hoping, praying, working, begging, bowing, and compromising, with the expectation that we will be rewarded for our good behavior. Unfortunately, it can cause many of us to abandon the person we were meant to be, all for the sake of trying to become somebody else.
The period during which African Americans were not allowed to eat vanilla ice cream tells us a lot about where this memory is located in time: a period of great progress driven by black Americans themselves. It was a time when our forefathers fought for this country and when our foremothers organized marches to protest lynching; when the mass migration from south to north took place; and when labor organizations became vehicles for early pressure for civil rights. The nadir of black life in America – the period from the born at end of Reconstruction through the full entrenchment of Jim Crow – was firmly on its way out.
January 10, 2016, will mark the 50th anniversary of the murder of civil rights martyr and American hero, Vernon Ferdinand Dahmer. He was a civil rights leader, community leader, and businessman in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. In the early hours of January 10, 1966, members of the Ku Klux Klan shot into and firebombed the home he shared with his wife and children in the Kelly Settlement section of Hattiesburg. It occurred soon after he announced on local radio that he would accept poll taxes at his grocery store and take them to the Forrest County Voting Registrar, Theron Lynd. He offered to pay the poll taxes for those who could not afford them. In doing so, he was going up against the formidable Lynd, who had a reputation for failing most Blacks on the literacy test when they tried to register to vote. I was a college senior when I "failed" the literacy test in 1964.
My phone buzzes one more time. I look over at the glowing screen to see that I have been tagged once more in the Ron Clark dance video from his school in Atlanta. I nod, give a half smile at the screen, and continue on my school visits. Today, I'm in the Bronx, and am working with a group of students who are researching cell division so they can add a layer of complexity to their rap song on mitosis and meiosis. The three young men I am sitting with are concerned because the simple rhyme scheme they have developed thus far isn't going to cut it. This realization hits after they overhear a pair of young ladies perform their rap on the reproductive system that cites recent research in biology and comes replete with choreographed dance moves to match the verse. My phone buzzes again. I am tagged in the Ron Clark video again. My response this time is two fold. My first is damn, this white boy got some rhythm. The second is, I feel sorry for anyone who thinks they're just gon' "Hit the Quan" to academic success. The fact is, if you ain't got Clarks rhythm, and the structures are not in place to support and validate such a transgressive approach to teaching, you will fail miserably. In fact, you may end up doing much more of a disservice to the students than a traditional school would. Ron Clark works at a school that is named after him with a certain funding structure, certain rules of conduct, and very particular philosophies. If you do not have any of these structures in place, or any strategies for circumventing the ones you are bound by, I feel bad for you son.... You've got 99 problems and Hittin' the Quan in school is one.
The liberal concept of allyship is embedded in a rights-based discourse of identity politics. It works with the ideas that there are fixed groups of people (black people, women, gay people, and so on) that have been wronged by the structural oppressions of our society, that we must work across these differences to achieve equality for all, and that this responsibility falls especially on those who most benefit from structural oppressions. It centers on the idea that everyone has different life experiences that are shaped by our perceived identities, and so if you have an identity that is privileged in our society, you cannot understand the experiences of someone with an identity that is oppressed.
But after the election, Wilson changed his tune. He dismissed 15 out of 17 black supervisors who had been previously appointed to federal jobs and replaced them with whites. He also refused to appoint black ambassadors to Haiti and Santa Domingo, posts traditionally awarded to African Americans. Two of Wilson’s cabinet ministers, Postmaster General Albert Burelson and Treasury Secretary William McAdoo, both Southerners, issued orders segregating their departments. Throughout the country, blacks were segregated or dismissed from federal positions. In Georgia, the head of the Internal Revenue Division fired all black employees: “There are no government positions for Negroes in the South. A Negro’s place in the corn field.” He said. The President’s wife, Ellen Wilson, was said to have had a hand in segregating employees in Washington, encouraging department chiefs to assign blacks separate working, eating, and toilet facilities. To justify segregation, officials publicized complaints by white women, who were thought to be threatened by black men’s sexuality and disease.
How often do you find yourself in a conversation with a bully? I’m not talking about someone physically pushing you around – I’m talking about the bully that wounds with words. Pushy abrasive types usually KNOW they’re being a jerk. The dangerous ones are the unintentional bullies that are completely unaware of how much power their words actually wield. They tend to exercise control over conversations by insulting, hurting or belittling the person they’re speaking to, without the intention or the realization that they have. I call them “Bullies by Tongue”…and now, thanks to Jonathan, we know they have an official name in the employee relations industry.
“The fate of black people from 1933 to 1945 in Nazi Germany and in German-occupied territories ranged from isolation to persecution, sterilization, medical experimentation, incarceration, brutality, and murder,” according to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. “After World War I, the Allies stripped Germany of its African colonies. The German military stationed in Africa (Schutztruppen), as well as missionaries, colonial bureaucrats, and settlers, returned to Germany and took with them their racist attitudes. Separation of whites and blacks was mandated by the Reichstag (German parliament), which enacted a law against mixed marriages in the African colonies.”
“The colonial history, the legacy of enslavement, racial subordination and segregation, racial terrorism, and racial inequality in the US remains a serious challenge as there has been no real commitment to reparations and to truth and reconciliation for people of African descent. Contemporary police killings and the trauma it creates are reminiscent of the racial terror lynchings in the past. Impunity for state violence has resulted in the current human rights crisis and must be addressed as a matter of urgency.”
If we’re to one day do away with Black History Month—and I hope that day comes sooner rather than later—then understanding why the initiative got started helps. Next, we all must do our part to counteract the social disease of miseducation that greatly limits positive portrayals of blackness as well as the numerous times Blacks have impacted American culture and politics. Our influence on the direction and ethos of this nation includes our struggle against systemic degradation as well as the work of Black reformers, intellectuals, and educators.
Monday night I was sitting in a hotel lobby in downtown Des Moines with my back to a wall of windows, my eyes fixed on the TV, my attention wholly focused on early caucus results. I didn’t notice until he was standing right next to me, much closer than is ordinary or comfortable. When he started he speaking it was like he was picking up in the middle of sentence, finishing a conversation we had begun earlier, but I couldn’t remember ever meeting him.
And while her Super Bowl performance didn't incorporate all the rapid-fire imagery of the music video, it was no less pointed. As a nod to the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Black Panthers,Beyoncé emerged (in a Michael Jackson-inspired outfit) with a virtual battalion of beret-clad dancers who, true to the song's title, performed a flawlessly syncopated routine in unison. The song and its incendiary video have been hailed as a call to arms for black women and activists, and a rebuke of the so-called politics of responsibility.
"Although there was both a male and a female officer on the scene, the male officer did a body search of me," she said. "I told him I was uncomfortable with being taken into custody and having no one know where I was going. He asked me if I had any weapons, and put handcuffs on me. Then, when I arrived at the station, they handcuffed me to a table."
I have actively avoided saying anything about Beyoncé’s new song and video. I don’t think they are interesting, important or deserving of my commentary. That as a Black, queer person I have, in the last week, been expected—and, at moments, obligated—to respond to them is insulting and infuriating.
It is not so much that black voters love Clinton and loathe Sanders. Indeed, in The Nation magazine, the estimable Michelle Alexander makes a strong case in an essay titled “Why Hillary Clinton Doesn’t Deserve the Black Vote.” For many there isn’t much passion for either candidate. Instead, black folks are trying to keep their feet planted in reality and choose from among politicians who have historically promised much and delivered little. It is often a choice between the devil you know and the one you don’t, or more precisely, among the friend who betrays you, the stranger who entices you and the enemy who seeks to destroy you.
When Bill Clinton ran for president in 1992, urban black communities across America were suffering from economic collapse. Hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs had vanished as factories moved overseas in search of cheaper labor, a new plantation. Globalization and deindustrialization affected workers of all colors but hit African Americans particularly hard. Unemployment rates among young black men had quadrupled as the rate of industrial employment plummeted. Crime rates spiked in inner-city communities that had been dependent on factory jobs, while hopelessness, despair, and crack addiction swept neighborhoods that had once been solidly working-class. Millions of black folks—many of whom had fled Jim Crow segregation in the South with the hope of obtaining decent work in Northern factories—were suddenly trapped in racially segregated, jobless ghettos.
On the campaign trail, Bill Clinton made the economy his top priority and argued persuasively that conservatives were using race to divide the nation and divert attention from the failed economy. In practice, however, he capitulated entirely to the right-wing backlash against the civil-rights movement and embraced former president Ronald Reagan’s agenda on race, crime, welfare, and taxes—ultimately doing more harm to black communities than Reagan ever did.
My master often went to the house, got drunk, and then came out to the field to whip, cut, slash, curse, swear, beat and knock down several, for the smallest offense, or nothing at all.
He divested a poor female slave of all wearing apparel, tied her down to stakes, and whipped her with a handsaw until he broke it over her naked body. In process of time he ravished her person and became the father of a child by her. Besides, he always kept a colored Miss in the house with him. This is another curse of Slavery ⎯ concubinage and illegitimate connections ⎯ which is carried on to an alarming extent in the far South. A poor slave man who lives close by his wife is permitted to visit her but very seldom, and other men, both white and colored, cohabit with her. It is undoubtedly the worst place of incest and bigamy in the world. A white man thinks nothing of putting a colored man out to carry the fore row [front row in field work] and carry on the same sport with the colored man’s wife at the same time.
I know these facts will seem too awful to relate, but I am constrained to write of such revolting deeds, as they are some of the real “dark deeds of American Slavery.” Then, kind reader, pursue my narrative, remembering that I give no fiction in my details of horrid scenes. Nay, believe, with me, that the half can never be told of the misery the poor slaves are still suffering in this so-called land of freedom
The limited amount of freedom that we Black Americans enjoy today is due in large part to the rallies organized, the meals cooked, the plans conceived, and the bravery shown by organizers whose names we will never know. Believe it or not, our freedom was not won by the Big Six alone. When you use your history as a hero of the Movement to disparage others because you never personally knew them, it is a slap in the face to all those people who fought hard and never made it into the history books or into Congress. It is a slap in the face to people like my grandmother.
This phenomenon has a name — psychologists call it the “cross-race effect,” a well-replicated finding that people are better at telling apart faces of their own race than those of another race. It becomes an even bigger problem in court: Witnesses are more likely to misidentify an alleged perpetrator of another race. Sixty-six of 216 wrongful convictions overturned by DNA testing involved the use of cross-racial eyewitness identifications, according to the Innocence Project. And white participants in one study were significantlymore likely to experience a cross-race effect than black participants.
As a candidate, Barack Obama said we needed to reckon with race and with America’s original sin, slavery. But as our first black president, he has avoided mention of race almost entirely. In having to be “twice as good” and “half as black,” Obama reveals the false promise and double standard of integration.
In a 43-part tweetstorm on Tuesday, Doucette recounted a recent experience defending a 17-year-old black teen from claims by a police officer that the teen was doing 360s in the middle of the street. Over the course of the story, Doucette demonstrates many of the problems black people face in the U.S. court system and why changes never seem to stick.
Those that promote the meme of Irish perpetual hereditary chattel slavery use a variety of images entirely unrelated to indentured servitude to accompany their anti-history. I examined a selection of them.
When we callously write off the violence that Black, Brown, and Indigenous people experience at the hands of police, we decide that Whiteness and its privileges are more valuable to us than those things that make us human, the ability to hurt when other human beings hurt, the ability to reach out and empathize and connect across difference.
I will be laudatory when praise is due. I will be supportive, genial, and pastoral, because that’s what I aim to be in my interactions with all. What I won’t do is placate. What I won’t do is soften harsh realities to spare sensibilities. As a pastor, I care deeply about your feelings, but I care nothing about your fragility. Because I care about you, I’m not going to let you do well-intentioned harm (especially if I am the one in harm’s way).
And unfortunately, just as frequently, I’ve had white people try to explain racism to me, a woman of color. There’s a word for this phenomenon, too – whitesplaining. It’s incredibly frustrating to share my experiences with racism, only to have a white person try to speak over me about it – and often by belittling how racism hurts me.
If you’re white, you may have whitesplained without realizing it. To understand whitesplaining, now picture yourself in the following situation.
I’m venting about my day, and I tell you I’m angry that a white neighbor told me, “I don’t even see you as Black.”
Would you reassure me that my neighbor meant well? If you do, don’t be surprised if I’m just as annoyed as you would be if a man tried to explain your experience with street harassment to you.
Usually, signs of whitesplaining include a condescending tone and a paternalistic assumption that a person of color doesn’t know enough to accurately articulate their own experience.
White supremacy has always protected me and benefitted me materially while simultaneously killing me on the inside by crushing my spirit, my intellect, and my social self. This internal death is invisible. It’s especially easy to miss in a materialistic society that gives lip-service to holistic well-being, yet typically worships material abundance over everything else.
For those who recognize racism is real and pervasive, it’s also comforting to believe that discrimination is something perpetuated by other people, overlooking the ways we are personally complicit in its perpetuation. But fruitful conversations about race require acknowledging that racism sits at the very core of our thinking. By something akin to osmosis, culturally held notions around race mold and shape the prejudices of everyone within the dominant culture. People of color unwittingly internalize these notions as well, despite the fact that doing so contributes to our own marginalization. Most of us know the destructive outcomes systemic racism produces (higher rates of poverty, incarceration, infant mortality, etc.). Accepting that implicit bias is happening at every level makes it awful hard to chalk those issues up to black and brown failure.
In fourth grade, I had to switch classrooms because my teacher was committing micro-aggressions toward me. She would make subtle racist comments and made it her priority to make me feel uncomfortable. I remember reading a book about Jackie Robinson and feeling her eyes staring at me every time she would talk about the oppression that he faced. However, these stares weren’t comforting stares to make sure that I wasn’t bothered by the topic but rather to make sure that I was becoming aware of how much society did not respect my people.
Yet when I look at race and racism inKevin Powell America in the 21st century how could I not help but feel like I am nothing but that loaded and disgusting word? I often wonder if it actually matters I came up from the ghetto; me, the product of a single mother who escaped, barely, the color-line insanity of the Jim Crow South only to confront a different kind of race and class insanity in Northern slums; me, the son of an absent father who completely and permanently abandoned my mom and I when I was eight because he was a broken Black man and did not know it; me, a Black boy who has known rivers, poverty, violence, abuse, fear, hopelessness, depression; me, who made it to college on a financial aid package, never got my degree, but still made a name for myself, against all odds; me, who has published 12 books and who has visited all 50 American states—as a writer, as a political activist, as a speaker; me, the kid who did not get on an airplane until I was age 24, but who has since been to five of the seven continents, and who is interviewed virtually each week on television and radio and elsewhere for media outlets from every corner of the world. What does it matter that I, as my mother has said with her grits-and-butter South Carolina dialect, “speaks well”; that I have the ability to converse with equal comfort on college campuses and on concrete street corners, that I can easily flow from exchanges on presidential campaigns and gender politics to basketball and pop culture? What does it matter, indeed, if I have produced a body of work, my writings, my speeches, my humanitarian and philanthropic efforts, in service to people, all people, and that I really do see you, me, us, as sisters and brothers, no matter who you are or what you look like, as part of the human race, the human family, if you, in the smoked out buildings that are your mind’s eyes, refuse to see me, or refuse to see me as a whole human being, or, worse, simply see me as that word? Or what if you see me as an animal, a monster, some thing to be dissed, avoided, detested, labeled as angry or a thug or difficult or arrogant or a problem or a burden?
A 2014 study from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, which looked at factors such as parental income, education, and family structure, shows a similar pattern: Many black Americans not only fail to move up, but also show an increased likelihood of backsliding. According to the study, "In recent decades, blacks have experienced substantially less upward intergenerational mobility and substantially more downward intergenerational mobility than whites."
The greater probability of slipping back applies to blacks across income groups. According to the Fed study, about 60 percent of black children whose parents had income that fell into the top 50 percent of the distribution saw their own income fall into the bottom half during adulthood. This type of downward slide was common for only 36 percent of white children.
Pannell's death split residents into camps: those who believed Spath acted properly in response to a grave threat, and those who saw it as the culmination of years of harassment by biased cops. The day after the shooting, a group of black youths overturned police cars and broke shop windows. The national media showed up.
"This really opened the eyes of people," said Theodora Lacey, a civil rights leader and retired teacher. "There were these sweet young people who had grown up in an integrated setting. So it was just seemingly contrary to what we thought we were teaching and bringing about through integration — that you could have a young, white cop shoot and kill."
The marches began: college students one day, local and out-of-town activists the next, cops on another. They went on for years as the case progressed through the legal system — a grand jury's decision not to indict Spath, claims of a botched autopsy, a second that concluded bullet holes showed Pannell's hands were in the air, a new grand jury's charging Spath with manslaughter and, finally, Spath's 1992 acquittal by an all-white jury.
Pannell's death split residents into camps: those who believed Spath acted properly in response to a grave threat, and those who saw it as the culmination of years of harassment by biased cops. The day after the shooting, a group of black youths overturned police cars and broke shop windows. The national media showed up.
"This really opened the eyes of people," said Theodora Lacey, a civil rights leader and retired teacher. "There were these sweet young people who had grown up in an integrated setting. So it was just seemingly contrary to what we thought we were teaching and bringing about through integration — that you could have a young, white cop shoot and kill."
The marches began: college students one day, local and out-of-town activists the next, cops on another. They went on for years as the case progressed through the legal system — a grand jury's decision not to indict Spath, claims of a botched autopsy, a second that concluded bullet holes showed Pannell's hands were in the air, a new grand jury's charging Spath with manslaughter and, finally, Spath's 1992 acquittal by an all-white jury.
Yeah, I’m willing to bet my last dollar that he was aware of the political climate in that country, but privilege is a hell of a drug. The high of privilege told him that North Korea’s history of making examples out of American citizens who dare challenge their rigid legal system in any way was no match for his alabaster American privilege. When you can watch a white man who entered a theatre and killed a dozen people come out unscathed, you start to believe you’re invincible. When you see a white man taken to Burger King in a bulletproof vest after he killed nine people in a church, you learn that the world will always protect you.
“Unfortunately, too many children don’t have equitable access to experienced and fully licensed teachers, as has again been proven by the data in this report,” said Dennis Van Roekel, president of the National Education Association, the nation’s largest teachers union. “This is a problem that can and must be addressed.”
How an awkward moment at the movies turned into a testament for positive change. (via World Trust)
“The chief characteristic of Rag Tag and Bobtail, however, is laziness. They are about the laziest two-clogged animals that walk erect on the face of the Earth,” wrote Alabama lawyer and secessionist Daniel R. Hundley in Social Relations in Our Southern States, a widely cited volume published on the eve of the Civil War. “Rag Tag and Bobtail” is Hundley’s moniker for the poor whites of the South, whom he also calls “poor white trash.” He describes them as “working habitually in company with Negroes,” and in some sense as being black themselves. “Even their motions are slow, and their speech is a sickening drawl, worse a deal sight than the most down-eastern of all the Down-Easters while their thoughts and ideas seem likewise to creep along at a snail's pace. All they seem to care for, is, to live from hand to mouth; to get drunk, provided they can do so without having to trudge too far after their liquor,” Hundley wrote. “We do not believe the worthless ragamuffins would put themselves to much extra locomotion to get out of a shower of rain; and we know they would shiver all day with cold, with wood all around them, before they would trouble themselves to pick it up and build a fire.”
With the end of slavery came an immediate need to criminalize African Americans to ensure a bustling—and free—labor force. Chomsky notes “that blacks were arrested without real cause and prisoners were put to work for these business interests. The system provided a major contribution to the rapid industrial development from the late 19th century.”
More recently, Reagan helped drive this process of profiteering off the criminalizing of black bodies through the war on drugs. Chomsky says the policy “initiated a new Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander’s apt term for the revived criminalization of black life, evident in the shocking incarceration rates and the devastating impact on black society.”
The “One Million Police Hours” study, prepared by Queens College professor Dr. Harry Levine, quantifies that NYPD personnel have made 440,000 arrests (estimated at $1,000 to $2,000 or more a pop) over the last decade and held individuals in police custody for approximately 5 million hours, costing the city a grand total of at least $440 million dollars—the report says estimates can exceed $1 billion.
People think they know about black history if they know about Martin Luther King. There is a celebratory tone to the way whites understand African-America history, which is of amazing, breathtaking progress. That is truly real, that is to be celebrated. But I think whites tend to be less aware of the degree to which past discrimination shapes present inequity, and also the degree to which in some spheres, African-Americans — and probably, especially young black men — face continuing bias in law enforcement and the justice system and employment and many other areas.
Ruby Sales: This is why a conversation about economics that does not place race at the heart of it is bogus and racist. It continues to promote the White mythology of a racially blind society that obscures the presence and significance of race in the construction of capitalism. A color blind analysis fertilizes a public discourse that lays the causes of poverty at the doorsteps of Black people.
Free, White and 21: The Buried Catchphrase of Classic Hollywood
“Free, white, and 21” appeared in dozens of movies in the ’30s and ’40s, a proud assertion that positioned white privilege as the ultimate argument-stopper. The phrase was everywhere, and Hollywood, as eager then as now to capitalize on a catchphrase, embraced it. Read more about it here: http://trib.al/5nRfiMt
I found myself caught up in these situations more often than not. My teachers would say that I either talked too much, or when I didn’t talk, I was berated for having a poor attitude and subsequently punished. I would be used as an example for being the poster child for not participating in a room full of white kids who never talked or contributed. My facial expressions were policed constantly even though I wasn’t intentionally saying anything with my body language, I would just be looking at the teacher.
The legal standing of African Americans in North America has changed over time, varying according to historical period and place. During the earliest years of settlement, laws delineating the civil status of African laborers did not exist. Black workers seem to have occupied a social station similar to that of white European indentured servants who were contract-bound to their employers for designated periods.
White people and people of color each have work to do separately and together. Caucuses provide spaces for people to work within their own racial/ethnic groups. For white people, a caucus provides time and space to work explicitly and intentionally on understanding white culture and white privilege and to increase one’s critical analysis around these concepts. A white caucus also puts the onus on white people to teach each other about these ideas, rather than constantly relying on people of color to teach them. For people of color, a caucus is a place to work with their peers on their experiences of internalized racism, for healing and to work on liberation.
White people are often uncomfortable with the idea of white caucuses as part of racial equity work. A typical comment is “if we are working on racism, isn’t it better for us to learn together?” It does feel awkward to separate by race. Yet such separation occurs all the time in real life, and many times that reality is not understood or interrogated as it is when participating in a caucus. Since white people often find learning about whiteness and white privilege a steep learning curve, taking advantage of caucus time to do this work can be extremely useful.
While we have events and other gatherings that are open to everyone, our official meetings are safe spaces for black people/people of color. Oftentimes, well-meaning white people enter meetings without unpacking their own internalized white supremacy/anti-blackness and say/do things that are violent. In those cases, time that could be dedicated toward working collectively as black folks and people of color is dedicated to trying to help white people. While there are groups and people who are dedicated to doing this work, we are not. There are spaces and gatherings where people talk about helping white people figure out how they can get involved and support, but BLM meetings are not dedicated to addressing the ways in which white people can help. We do, however, refer white people to Showing Up for Racial Justice Nashville.”
Critical pedagogy is a kind of instruction that challenges dominant structures (such as whiteness) through dialogue and ultimately seeks to create a social and political consciousness that empowers individuals and communities to name and identify oppressions. Brazilian educator Paulo Freire named this “critical consciousness,” and the process of consciousness-raising was called “conscientization.”
“I started by having students get together in groups and think up laws that could be used to separate one group of people from another and laws that would make one group of people feel superior to another,” said Hipkins, who taught 11th-graders at the Capital City Public Charter School in Northwest Washington.
The students, reluctantly, brainstormed. And when Hipkins showed them how similar their concocted laws were to actual slave codes, some of the students recoiled in disbelief. “They said, ‘You made that up!’ ” Hipkins recalled. “I said, ‘No, those are actual laws.’ They said, ‘That’s crazy. Somebody actually sat down and wrote those?’ ”
In examining social media behavior as it pertains to race conversations, it has become clear Black people cannot assert any space, celebrate important moments, or create hashtags without some White people expressing angst. White folks go as far as to create counter hashtags such as #thanksgivingwithwhitepeople #whitegirlmagic #whiteoutday. Damon Young (2015) in a recent article described White Tears as “what happens when certain types of White people either complain about a nonexistent racial injustice or are upset by a non-White person’s success at the expense of a White person.” It is an extension of White privilege, or the unearned advantages White people experience simply for being White in society.
I would like to extend the argument made by Young here to also include, particularly in Black Lives Matter or Black Liberation movement work, the quickness with which White people express their feelings of judgement, discrimination or guilt around the topic of racism. For myself, when engaged in conversation about matters or race or oppression, I rarely speak in absolutes (e.g. “all” White people) because I am referring to systems (e.g. education, justice) of oppression rather than individual people. I can still acknowledge however, that individual people can carry our racist ideologies, taught to individuals early and reinforced by systems. In these responses that are often deemed “White Tears,” White people are dismissing systemic oppression and taking personally, challenges to racist actions, ideologies or practices. All this being said, White tears is not a reference to every time a White person cries as a form of expression, but rather when those tears are a direct result of resistance to Black people asserting space, celebrating, or as Young expressed, unreal racial injustice. It is also, not designed to mock the personal hardships White people experience.
On day one, I had this vague idea of what this experiment would look like. By day 14, it had turned into something else entirely. I was exhausted. People felt like it was their right to touch my hair — like it belonged to them or it was a “sight.”
Feeling like I was constantly on display stripped me of my right to feel like a person. It made me angry, and I hated that I was giving anyone cause to think I was playing into the Angry Black Woman trope.
But I didn’t feel better making comments back to the people who’d directed them at me.
I don’t think it’s OK to speak to anyone in a way that’s demeaning, no matter what their race is. And the fact that I was just doing what had been done to me hung heavy on my heart.
This reminder comes after recently coming across similar comments by those who bristle at the things I write about. Because I generally focus on matters that push people to examine topics that conflict with their insulated social environment–think social justice, racism, white supremacy, transantagonism, heteronormativity, classism, blackface enthusiasts, and more–this divergence from their expectations and comfort zone tends to produce ideological recoil. In this state, people experience a range of defensive moves that serve to extinguish (read: devalue, rationalize, erase) any advent of information that disrupts preferred beliefs.
In many ways Crittenden, 23, is the target audience for AirBnb. She's young, likes to travel, and has a good paying job as a business consultant in Chicago. So she started to wonder if it had something to do with her race. Crittenden is African American, and on AirBnb, both hosts and guests are required to have their names and photos prominently displayed on their profiles.
In the first 20 years of the federal interstate system alone, Foxx said, highway construction displaced 475,000 families and over a million Americans. Most of them were low-income people of color in urban cores. It was Foxx’s second speech in as many days about how federal infrastructure projects contribute to inequality and poverty, and how the agency wants to make up for it now.
As a middle aged white woman, I don’t look suspicious hanging out in front of hotels. Or 7-11’s. Or suburban streets. Or 5th Avenue. Or in parks. Or near jewelry stores or supermarkets or schools or elevators or street corners.
I will never get jumped by the police (or neighborhood vigilantes) for standing or walking in any of those venues. It will not happen to me.
You know this is true.
That is my white privilege. A small part of my white privilege. And a snapshot of one aspect of the institutionalized racism that continues to exist in our society.
Is poverty not a project? Within the ecosystem of poverty is police brutality, food deserts, the school to prison pipeline not seeds? It is with this I say poverty is a form of organized terrorism. Who then gets to legitimize whose fear is worth tending to in regards to fighting terrorism? On a globe where America is the reigning empire, it is usually the fear of whoever is closest to the white cis gendered male. Those who are farthest away from this description their fear is often victimized, demonized and belittled. This both in my community and across the United States is a tactic affirmed and approved consistently when state executioners like officer Mark Ringgenberg who shot Jamar Clark can turn our babies into ghosts in 61 seconds.
Contrary to dominant culture’s definition of racism as isolated and individual acts of meanness based in racial prejudice, sociologists recognize racism as a system of racial inequity between white people and people of color, with white people as the beneficiaries of that system. This system does not depend on individual actors with bad intentions. Because most bias is implicit (or unconscious) and built into our institutions, racism is reproduced automatically. In order to interrupt racism, we need to recognize and challenge the norms, structures, and institutions that keep it in place. But because they benefit us, racially inequitable relations are comfortable for most white people. Therefore, as white people who want to interrupt this system, we have to get racially uncomfortable and be willing to examine the effects of our racial engagement. This includes not indulging in whatever reactions we have in a given cross-racial encounter—such as anger, defensiveness, or self-pity—without first reflecting on what is driving them and how they will impact others. - See more at: http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/white-womens-tears-and-the-men-who-love-them-twlm/#sthash.56sH8QBu.dpuf
Today’s covert version of white supremacy is a lot more subtle than having black overseers beat their fellow slaves. Nor is this power the same as buying or selling your slaves children for a good price, using black children as alligator bait, cutting open pregnant black women, castrating black men, generational rape and molestation of black women and men, and lynchings of those who were accused of making whites nervous. This is something more subtle than that. The ruling class has begun to employ a particularly clever passive tactic to remain in power while denying this power. They pretended this was the natural way for society to function and influenced perception by using double standards in language as a starting point.
In detail, Polite White Supremacy relies on three key components to ensure its success: comfort, control, and confidentiality.
Human reproduction was so important to the continuation of slavery that members of the South’s ruling class willed their heirs the unborn children of slaves as well as living people. Anna Matilda King of Georgia assured her daughter that she would inherit not only the slave Christiann but also “her child and future children.” This wish to benefit future generations of slaveholding families pressed owners to look for ways of ensuring that enslaved mothers bore plenty of children. “If it was not for my children I would not care what became of the negroes,” Elizabeth Scott Neblett wrote her absent husband during the Civil War… Neblett maintained that she would gladly do without slaves to save the bother of managing them, but for her children’s sake she could not let them go.
Black homeowners and groups like the NAACP challenged these restrictions—often unsuccessfully—in lawsuits from the turn of the century until finally winning the seminal Supreme Court case, Shelley v. Kraemer, in 1948, and a corresponding case in DC, Hurd v. Hodge (which used a federal civil rights law instead of the Fourteenth Amendment since DC is not a state).
The continuous challenges to the president’s legitimacy and authority offer a troubling counterpoint to the shimmering achievement his election and re-election represent for a nation founded on both the dream of equality and the reality of white supremacy. They evoke a shameful history, when whites routinely addressed blacks by their first names and adult men were called “boy” and otherwise diminished without a second thought, no matter their age or standing.
To study presidential attention to the interests of African Americans, we first defined “black interests.” While it’s common to define black interests as relating only to civil rights or social welfare spending, we argue that this assumes knowledge of black interests without investigation and denies agency to African Americans themselves. In our view, “black interests” should be defined as whatever African Americans believe to be most important — whether these include civil rights and poverty or not.
EVERY ONE OF US has a bit of an activist in our blood. It’s the truth – the onyx truth – being that we as Afro-Americans are experts at the art of expression, and this manifest in many forms, to include activism. Now, when it comes to the subject of racism, there are many schools of approach to this. Some are better than others, definitely. Let’s get one thing straight; I’m from the school of thought where our white cousins MUST be included in the dialogue. Why? Because this isn’t an “us versus them” dichotomy. We are all in this together, and like it or not, our nation will include us both. In my opinion, It serves no purpose preaching to the choir; we as Afro-Americans extensively KNOW racism. It is, or damn well should be, a survival mechanism which allows us to, you know, not get shot by someone who suffers from afrophobia. Afrophobia… that’s going to be a future article.
Across the highway from the bar was the trailer park where I lived. I bought my trailer for $1000, and it looked just like you would imagine a trailer that cost $1000 would look. There was a big hole in the ceiling, and parts of the floor were starting to crumble under my feet. It leaned to one side, and the faint odor of death hung around the bathroom. No doubt a squirrel or a rat had died in the walls. I told myself that once the flesh was gone, dissolved into the nothingness, the smell would go away, but it never did. Maybe that’s what vermin ghosts smell like.
Systemic racism is about the way racism is built right into every level of our society. Many people point to what they see as less in-your-face prejudice and bias these days, compared to decades past, but as Archbishop Desmond Tutu said, “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”
While fewer people may consider themselves racist, racism itself persists in our schools, offices, court system, police departments, and elsewhere. Think about it: when white people occupy most positions of decision-making power, people of color have a difficult time getting a fair shake, let alone getting ahead. Bottom line: we have a lot of work to do.
It surprises me not an iota that a sexual predator would become a prominent new-age guru. The guru-student relationship is fertile land for sexual misbehavior to flourish in. There are too many guru sexual predators to list, but I’ll highlight a few who were exposed relatively recently: John Friend of Anusara Yoga, Bikram Choudury of Bikram Yoga, Eido Shimano Roshi of New York Zen Studies Society, Joshu Sasaki Roshi of Rinzai-ji, Swami Shankarananda of Shiva School Of Meditation And Yoga, and Doug Phillips of Vision Forum.
I watched and listened, as this group of girls berated my son. As they laughed at him for being a boy who could tumble. Heck, he could tumble better than most of them. Still, they picked apart every detail of every move he made. And when he stood up for himself by saying "I'm just as good at this as you are", their attitudes got worse. It was when he shifted from being kind, to having to defend himself, that the girls ran to tell their very twisted side of the story.
American popular culture has permeated 99.999% of the earth’s surface
Ok, don’t quote me on that. But, fake statistic aside, you get what I’m saying. The omnipresence of American popular culture, be it the music, the fashion, the slang or the celebrities, is undeniable. Whether you’re eating your way through a major European capital, or taking a stroll through a sleepy 14th century Spanish town, the Kardashians will find you. This realization is at once disheartening and, in some ways, uplifting: The former, because the inability to wrest oneself from the Kardashian death grip in many ways undercuts the escape that travel and movement across the globe is meant to provide (and don’t even get me started on cultural imperialism); the latter, because the fact that Kim K is always watching proves just how easily the spaces that ostensibly exist between us can be collapsed. Of course I’d rather see King Kendrick's face on Gran Via in Madrid, Or Wynton Marsalis' face in a storefront window in Heidleberg. But in the meantime, I’m just going to continue to marvel at and appreciate the ways in which American popular culture (when produced, used and consumed responsibly) can serve and has served as a kind of lingua franca. I can however do without the McDonald's though.
16. “White privilege is reflected the second a person asks why we are still talking about race.
23. “I don’t see race” or “we should all just look past race” are two general statements that can only be said by a person for whom race is not a daily struggle.
19. White privilege is asking your badly paid maid to unpack your daily clothes-buying splurges in which you spend more in one day than you pay her for the month.
33. Whiteness is invisible to white people. In his book White, Richard Dyer describes this phenomenon by explaining that since “whites are everywhere in representation… they seem not to be represented to themselves as whites” He describes this as the representational power of whiteness, which immunises whites against typecasting. Whiteness ‘culture’ has the innate belief that whites are both boundless in multiplicity yet homogeneous in their representation of good humanity: “At the level of racial representation, in other words, whites are not of a certain race, they’re just the human race”.
A white person doesn’t think of themselves as white. We are just people.
White people very quickly revert to being ‘White’ when they need to differentiate themselves from perceived “bad behaviours” of “these people” though.
32. White privilege means not constantly having your intelligence or integrity questioned just because you are black. It means not having to work that much harder just to safeguard yourself from character assassination or put downs when you achieve prominence. It means never having to second-guess yourself about your competence or being sideswiped by disparaging comments by white people who are shaken by your success. It means not automatically being suspected of being open to corruption. It means not being racially profiled as the rapist, the tsotsi, the hijacker and the monster in the shadows, simply because you are black and male.
It means that if you are raped you are more likely to see justice.
37. White privilege is appropriating aspects of black culture in carnivalesque situations such as “Rag or pantomime” or as some kind of fun celebration but then “returning to whiteness” with no inkling of the experience of living black. It is believing that multiculturalism is non-racism and failing to explore the many levels of racism that lie beneath the veneer of a rainbow nation.
27. White privilege is the groundless fear that affirmative action programs are going to open the way for “the blacks to take over”, or more specifically to take “my position” at university or in the workplace. As the poster on Thought Catalog points out, white privilege is the assumption that the position is yours by default of being white.
Ida B. Wells-Barnett was a Christian who made the connection between Jesus and justice. She argued that faithfulness to Christ is made evident in our social interaction with one another. Hence, Christians should be appalled by the experience of blacks in America, especially with lynching. Her opposition was primarily white Christians who described black people as immoral and deserving of the treatment they received from whites. Her white Christian opposition understood humanity and community to be calibrated according to an interpretation of Jesus as the template of ideal human beings. Accordingly, Christian communities get romanticized as places populated with ideal human beings who reflect a pursuit of individual morality in a community of righteous individuals. Yet, in a society organized by race, ideal humanity is always white. Race has calibrated dominant streams of Christianity according to the goals of white supremacy rather than allowing the gospel to calibrate human social interaction toward justice. Christianity scrubbed of justice turned Jesus into a white man, and the gospel into a message of individual morality, calibrated to the language of virtue derived from Jesus as a fetish of idealized white masculinity.
The Ocoee massacre, considered the “single bloodiest day in modern American political history,” was a violent race riot that broke out on November 2, 1920. African-American-owned buildings and residences in northern Ocoee, a city in Orange County, Florida, were burned to the ground. The African-Americans residing in Ocoee who were not direct victims of the race riot were later driven out by threats or force. A total of 330 acres plus 48 city lots owned by 18 Black families living in Ocoee, Florida, were lost. In 2001, the land lost by the 18 Ocoee families, not including buildings now on it, is assessed by tax officials at more than $4.2 million, according to the AP report. Ocoee would then become an all-whyte town and remain as such “until sixty-one years later in 1981.”
The school’s response? They say it was “an accident.” Somehow, these boys managed to pull off the pretend lynching of a black girl and walked away scot-free. The school’s lawyer said:
“My response would be that anyone can allege anything they want to in a petition, but that doesn’t make it fact. Live Oak will continue to rely on and stand behind the actual facts and that this was an accident.”
The last document was the oldest. It offered an even greater surprise: The origins of Bayonne-Johnson’s family didn’t lay in Louisiana, but in Maryland. They came South by way of a sale orchestrated by one of Maryland’s leading Jesuit priests in 1838. That man, Thomas Mulledy, then the president of Georgetown University, had sold 272 slaves to pay off a massive debt strangling the university.
Eighty-four percent of gun owners in the United States are white, according to data from the 2012 American National Election Study (ANES). Since whites make up 63 percent of the U.S. population, their representation among gun owners is higher than their share of the general population.
Polls show that whites also make up the majority of those who oppose stricter gun regulations. In a July 2015 Pew poll, for instance, 57 percent of whites said it was more important “to protect the right of Americans to own guns” than to “control gun ownership.” Among blacks and Hispanics, that number was just 24 percent. In a 2015 survey conducted through the University of Illinois in Chicago, we asked respondents to rank the importance of key government guarantees. Eighty-five percent of whites ranked the “right to bear arms” among the top three, while only 24 percent of blacks did.
Research finds that support for gun rights is strongest among whites who are racially prejudiced. In a study conducted by Kerry O’Brien and colleagues using data from the ANES, “racial resentment,” a common measure of racial prejudice, is correlated with both gun ownership and opposition to gun control. For each 1-point increase on the 5-point racial resentment scale, there is a 50 percent increase in the odds of owning a gun. Similarly, those who score high on racial resentment are 25 percent less likely to support “making it more difficult to buy a gun” than whites who score low. Those results withstand controls for respondents’ demographics, political preferences, and values.
Unconscious biases not only explain the inconsistency between how Whites perceive themselves and how they actually behave, but also how Blacks perceive their interactions with Whites. One study’s findings showed that when Whites explicitly stated they were non-prejudice, if they held high anti-Black unconscious biases (as measured by the Harvard’s Implicit Association Task), the Blacks who interacted with them found the interaction to be unfriendly and unsatisfying, even if Whites felt it was a friendly interaction. In other words, Whites may feel they are interacting satisfactorily with Blacks, but their racial ambivalence may impact their non-verbal behaviors in a way that leads Blacks to experience the interaction as negative and racist.
So, while White people may assume that they are engaging with Blacks fairly and behaving in ways that are consistent with their explicit beliefs that racism is bad, Whites may be subconsciously behaving in ways that support Blacks’ distrust of them and what’s more, Blacks may perceive these interactions as racist.
Maybe, just maybe, Trump’s hateful bloviating will give us a chance to look at ourselves in the mirror, to be appalled by what we see, and to redouble our efforts to clean up our act. Maybe we will develop antibodies to some of the toxins with which our body politic is laced, or at least become more honest and humble about how unwell we are.
Trump is a one-man microcosm of much that’s diseased about American culture: its crudeness, its greed, its braggadocio and bullying — both born of profound insecurity — its lack of empathy, its false equation of wealth with success, its eternal need for “an enemy,” its nativism, its racism, and DNA-deep commitment to white supremacy. The more he rubs our noses in our own pathologies — peddling a version of “greatness” that would be comic if it were not twisted, tragic, and lethal — the more it becomes at least possible that his ugly campaign will strengthen our resolve to make America confess and repent, again and again and again.
You start to realize that wearing shoes in the house wasn’t that big of a deal and not everyone ate rice for every meal. That when some people speak slowly to you, it’s not because they’re trying to be articulate, but it’s because they think you don’t understand English (as if speaking English slowly to a non-English speaking person helps). You notice that not every grocery store carries Pocky and not every family speaks a different language at home. You also realize that it’s not that common to call everyone who’s older than you Uncle or Aunt. When you learned about the Civil Rights movement again, you start to wonder what happened to Asians during that time or when people are describing you, the first thing out of their mouth is that you’re “oriental.” (On a side note, I hate being described as oriental. It makes me feel like a spice or dish).
These fugitives from American slavery often left no trace in the historical record, but we can document the flight of many of them. After all, to their white owners, enslaved people were valuable property – well worth the time, effort and resources devoted to their capture. The method most likely to produce results was enlisting other white people in the search by publicly offering a reward.
Open practically any issue of any southern newspaper from the decades before the Civil War and you’ll see advertisements placed by slaveholders searching for runaway slaves. Perhaps as many as 200,000 of these notices appeared in the public prints of the South, and each one attaches a name and a story to a fugitive.
Well, Winn has about 1,500 inmates. It’s a medium-security prison. The average sentence there is 19 years. People are in for—you know, about 55 percent of the prisoners are there for violent crimes. I met prisoners that were there for having too many DUIs. So, it’s kind of a wide range of crimes.
The guards are mostly poor people from the town. It’s $9-an-hour job. And the town—you know, the average income, family income, in the town is $25,000 a year. And despite how poor the town was, the prison had a really hard time keeping up staff. People would start the job and leave pretty quickly. There was a really high rate of turnover. There were also a set of staff that were people who had kind of been in law enforcement or corrections and had been disciplined for prior infractions. I met one guard who had worked in a juvenile detention center and had been let go after he uppercutted a 16-year-old kid and shattered his jaw. So there’s this kind of set of people who can’t get work elsewhere, so they take this low-paying job. When I was in training, the head of training actually said to us—she said, you know, "People say that CCA is scraping of the bottom of the barrel, but that’s not really true. But if you are breathing and you have a driver’s license and you’re willing to work, then we’re willing to hire you."
Her most explosive allegation is that at a time when marijuana use was down, and cocaine, heroin and hallucinogen use was declining or leveling off, Reagan’s National Security Council and CIA “manufactured and facilitated” a drug crisis and were complicit in flooding African American communities with crack. She says the administration’s shielding of Colombian drug traffickers “actively allowed cocaine imports to the United States to skyrocket 50 percent within three years. . . . Soon crack was everywhere, kicking the legs out from under black neighborhoods,” she writes.
One of our largest surviving bodies of testimony about slavery are the 2,300 Depression-era oral histories of elderly ex-slaves, gathered by workers like Frost, who were employed by the federal government as part of the Works Progress Administration. The collection has inspired methodological debate ever since the interviews became available to scholars in the middle of the last century. As many historians have noted, a deep power imbalance often complicated the relationship between white interviewers and black interviewees. In the most extreme situations, interviewers were descendants of the same families that had held interviewees as slaves. And in the Jim Crow South, the presence of any white interviewer could make the informants rightfully nervous. Records of the interviews show that some interviewers didn’t explain their presence, leaving the people whose houses they were visiting to arrive at their own conclusions about the visitors’ intentions.
Essentially white communities are asking black people to live an experience that is set up to be far more difficult for them, and succeed by white standards. AND THEN we are asking them to re-live and explain it all over again in front of us so that we will believe them. Sometimes we don’t. Sometimes we don’t believe them. And the astounding thing is how many times black women are willing to risk it to help their white sisters understand. But that isn’t their job.
Jeremiah Wright’s ministry was about addressing racism in the context of theological expectations on how to handle it. The power of Wright’s ministry was that he was able to talk and teach about the reality of racial oppression. Black people in America, if the truth be told, really do not want to talk about or hear about racism; the church experience has been, too often, one that celebrates and pushes personal piety in a relationship with Jesus the Christ. Politics and history, and their impact on black people have historically been largely ignored.
Thinking back, perhaps my parents — like all black parents — were less convinced than I was, and rightly so. Immigrants from Nigeria, a pharmacist and a nurse, they were middle-class professionals obsessed with our educations and far more interested in pushing us to get ahead rather than in looking back.
Yet I still listened to them instruct my brother the day he received his driver’s license: Drive slow; don’t be outside at night; if you’re stopped by the police, always keep your hands in view; never raise your voice; don’t talk back; you’re not like everyone else; this country isn’t safe for you; you should always be on your guard.
NAAPB will establish a nationwide network of community-based chapters to create change in policy and
laws and to serve the public though local programming. NAAPB local chapters will be a point of contact
for citizen training, mobilizing, victim support and civil rights advocacy. A central office in Washington
D.C., with local chapters on college campuses and in communities, will give our organization the ability to
organize and bring change at all levels of government. During the next 90 days, NAAPB will focus on the
following activities to build the capabilities of the organization:
• Finalize the recruitment the Board of Directors and Advisory Board members.
• Begin necessary filings with the District and federal government for federal tax exempt status
• Form collaborative partnerships with nonprofit and government agencies that have expertise and
resources related to community mobilization and police brutality.
• Create an initial budget and operating plan.
• Open chapters on college campuses in at least one major city in the country.
The failure of the nation’s police to critically evaluate their own use of force, has led the United Nations Committee Against Torture  to sharply criticize the ever growing militarization of police departments in the United States, especially as evidence of significant race-based and sexuality-based brutality and excessive use of force has been uncovered, including bonafide acts of torture (e.g., those committed by Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge and others under his command, between 1972 and 1991). The UN Committee Against Torture specifically noted that it: “regrets the lack of statistical data available on allegations of police brutality and the lack of information on the result of the investigations undertaken in respect of those allegations” (pp. 13, ). This paper provides a response to the first of these two concerns.
On any given day, in any police department in the nation, 15 percent of officers will do the right thing no matter what is happening. Fifteen percent of officers will abuse their authority at every opportunity. The remaining 70 percent could go either way depending on whom they are working with.
In the widespread conversation about race taking place right now, many feel they have good intentions. People are contributing without consciously intending malice. But racism is tricky. Racism is not a simple matter of “being racist” or “’not being racist.” It is a complex, endemic, historical issue that lives within our collective psyche. Sometimes it’s in the background of awareness. Sometimes it’s in the foreground.
Because if you think having privilege means that you’re a bad person, or that you haven’t had struggles, or that you haven’t worked hard for what you have – then I can totally feel why you might be frustrated. If that were the case, then yes, it’d be completely unfair of me to claim that all white people or straight people or men or people of any other dominant group are living easy off their unearned privileges.
the language debates of the sixties and seventies when college students were at the front-line of desegregation, choosing to use words that appeared rigid in their day, but in historic terms, were at the vanguard of contemporary thought about race.
2015-08-31-1441063130-7778085-wordsmatter1.jpgThe word “African-American” or “LGBTQ” may have sounded long and verbose, and were discounted by the established mainstream press, but it set the standard for years to come. In the past, as in today, college students, in their focused choice of words and phrases, set the bar for others to follow. And follow we will.
On Friday, Twitter user Matt Edelstein revived the hashtag #WhitePrivilegeMeans (first tweeted in 2014) to educate and call out the ugly realities that people of color deal with every day that white people don’t have to
“People are just people; I don’t see color; we’re all just human.” Or “I don’t think of you as Chinese.” Or “We all bleed red when we’re cut.” Or “Character, not color, is what counts with me.”
REALITY CHECK + CONSEQUENCE:
Statements like these assume that people of color are just like you, white; that they have the same dreams, standards, problems, and peeves that you do. “Colorblindness” negates the cultural values, norms, expectations and life experiences of people of color. Even if an individual white person could ignore a person’s color, society does not. By saying we are not different, that you don’t see the color, you are also saying you don’t see your whiteness. This denies the people of colors’ experience of racism and your experience of privilege.
“I’m colorblind” can also be a defense when afraid to discuss racism, especially if one assumes all conversation about race or color is racist. Speaking of another person’s color or culture is not necessarily racist or offensive. As my friend Rudy says, I don’t mind that you notice that I’m black.” Color consciousness does not equal racism.
A deeper understanding of cultural appropriation also refers to a particular power dynamic in which members of a dominant culture take elements from a culture of people who have been systematically oppressed by that dominant group.
In August 2014, as the headlines from Ferguson focused on the eruption of black rage, Anderson, a professor of African-American studies at Emory University, wrote a dissenting op-ed in The Washington Post arguing that the events were better understood as white backlash at a moment of black progress, a social and political pattern that she reminded readers was as old as the nation itself. Her essay became the kernel for this book, which expands and illustrates her thesis. “I set out to make white rage visible,” Anderson writes in her introduction, “to blow graphite onto that hidden fingerprint and trace its historic movements over the past 150 years.”
According to the roundtable, structural racism is "a system in which public policies, institutional practices, cultural representations, and other norms work in various, often reinforcing ways to perpetuate racial group inequity. It identifies dimensions of our history and culture that have allowed privileges associated with “whiteness” and disadvantages associated with “color” to endure and adapt over time."
What is actually served by multiculturalism and all things attendant to it is the power of white people, and this, despite any and all such academic quibbling, is primarily accomplished by the continuing oppression of blacks. Because even though the conversation now includes all these other elements, the truth is that the farther you are from being black, the more likely you are to assimilate, to be more like white. The more you are like white, the less trouble you have—because the more you are like white, the less trouble you are.
I don’t want to leave the impression that Cleveland is a city without hope. Like many places it has problems and challenges, but black communities in Cleveland are also organizing on their own behalf, working to improve the conditions and concerns facing them, and not waiting for leaders of either political Party to show up with solutions.
If you are a Person of Color (POC), you have enough on your plate! It’s not your job to educate white people about privilege, racism, and what’s really going on in the world. If a white person is filling your social media with white nonsense – anything from overt racism to well-intentioned problematic statements – tag us and a white person will come roundup our own. We welcome your involvement, resource suggestions, and will take your feedback seriously. We are also happy to boost the signal of voices of color.
Let’s walk through an example: some dude decides to respond to your posts with #AllLivesMatter for the 900th time. On Facebook, tag the page “White Nonsense Roundup” and connect us to the chat where this is happening. We will share essays, graphics, research, news articles, and personal examples to take apart their arguments. We are also happy to give praise for those folks taking action and trying to do the right thing, so you’re not stuck handing out cookies.
Many people assume that the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church was a singular event, but actually there were bombings and burnings all the time. When I was 11 and Fania was 7, the church we attended, the First Congregational Church, was burned. I was a member of an interracial discussion group there, and the church was burned as a result of that group.
1.God is not a man.
2.There is no pre-determined path called “God’s will” that I must discover and adhere to in order to experience God’s grace, love, and favor.
3.As a Black woman, I have the power and autonomy to make my own decisions.
4.Material success isn’t an indicator of God’s presence
5.God’s grace is sufficient, even when my works aren’t.
6.I don’t need a church home in order to facilitate a relationship with God.
7.Accountability is often (but not always) used as an excuse for control and spiritual manipulation.
8.These pastors ain’t loyal.
9.My salvation is already solidified and there’s nothing I can do or say to separate myself from God’s love.
10.Women are fully capable of leading churches, nations, and their families.
11.Sexuality and spirituality aren’t mutually exclusive.
12.God’s blessings were never dependent upon my willingness or ability to tithe.
13.Jesus never mentioned most of the “sins” I was taught in church.
14.Western Christianity is the farthest thing from what the original church sought out to accomplish.
15.Spiritualized self-help is not the Gospel.
16.Anyone claiming to have all the answers clearly doesn’t.
17.White evangelicals (and the Black evangelicals spouting the same white, patriarchal values) are modern manifestations of neocolonialism.
18.The people who condemn a particular sin the most are typically the ones struggling with it.
19.Heather Lindsey lied. About all of it.
20.I don’t have to choose between being a woman, being unapologetically Black, and being a believer.
Many of the people saying “All Lives Matter” also are fond of saying “Blue Lives Matter.” If you find that the statement “Black Lives Matter” bothers you, but not “Blue Lives Matter,” then the operative word is “Black”. That should tell us something. There’s something deeply discomfiting about the word “Black.” I think it’s because it reminds us of our whiteness and challenges our notion that race doesn’t matter.
What is important to understand about the Plecker era is that his obsession with keeping the races separate was well received by many Virginians. This was “Jim Crow” South, and Plecker’s racist ideas were mainstream. Adolph Hitler, leader of Nazi Germany was also influenced by Plecker’s views on race and eugenics. Because Plecker felt no shame in his actions, he left behind an extensive paper trail. Plecker and those working on his behalf were known to have changed vital records
They had to do all this while deliberately pretending to be unable to learn to read or reason, because that would at best make whites feel bad for explicitly treating them like dumb animals (see writings and justifications at the time), and at worst make them seem dangerous and in need of “correction.” Which is the other important aspect of slaves being ordinary people. Owners could not be kind. They had to be inhuman. That’s what it takes to deprive thinking, feeling people of their livelihood, their families, and even the right to their own bodies.
This is to reassure that I, Karoniaktajeh, author of the following Mohawk Ten Commandments, did not go up a mountain and get them from the Lord as the white man says his ancestor Moses did, but they were conceived in the mountains of Ganienkeh Territory of the Mohawks, under what has been called harsh conditions (fifty below) and lay no claims to be a prophet and divinely inspired nor that these Mohawk Commandments shall lead to any Paradise in the after-life but were designed to meet the problems on earth and uncover the secrets of peace and happiness in this earthly life.
Cultural appropriation happens when members of the majority (in this case, white men) decide that blackness is a performance, a set of vocabulary, and some exaggerated hand gestures that white men can put on and off in the same way that they perceive black women do. Cultural appropriation happens when white men determine what the essential qualities of black women are and only see black women with those qualities as worthy of attention and praise. In the case of white gay male appropriation of black womanhood, those qualities are being fierce and the undefinable “sassy.”
But earlier this month, the 45-year-old African-American motorcycle salesman with no previous criminal record and the same two deputies sat down in a county office on First Street, shook hands over coffee and talked about the problems of police and people of color under an innovative alternative-justice program inspired by the local chapter of the NAACP and designed by District Attorney Jeff Rosen's office.
I didn’t mind the smells growing up because I wasn’t aware of them. That is, until a high school friend declared my house smelled of “Chinese grossness.”
The comment clung to me like the smell in my home. My embarrassment hit a peak when my father installed a 5-foot-long fish tank in our family room so he could steam fish at home — extra fresh. I tried to pretend the blue fish swimming around in the murky green water were pets, but the lack of tank accessories gave away our true intentions, stunning my white friends.
My hunger for my family’s food was overpowered by my desire to fit in, so I minimized Chinese food’s role in my life and learned to make pasta instead. Little did I know that Americans would come to embrace the dishes and cooking styles that once mortified me. The Cantonese foods of my childhood have reappeared in trendy restaurants that fill their menus with perfectly plated fine-dining versions of our traditional cuisine. In some cases, this shift has been heartening. But in too many others, the trend has reduced staples of our culture to fleeting fetishes.
I longed to crawl back to my tiny black universe. A place where I could create a sense of peace, identity and acceptance, a place where I could sit there, trying to untangle my fro and make sense of what it means to be an African-American woman in this country, rehashing our history while facing present pain. But life happens, and most of us can’t stay in our own utopias forever.
Black humanity and dignity requires black political will and power. In response to the sustained and increasingly visible violence against Black communities in the U.S. and globally, a collective of more than 50 organizations representing thousands of Black people from across the country have come together with renewed energy and purpose to articulate a common vision and agenda. We are a collective that centers and is rooted in Black communities, but we recognize we have a shared struggle with all oppressed people; collective liberation will be a product of all of our work.
Yes, his continued feud with the family of a fallen Muslim soldier may be the most ill advised and foolhardy folly in recent political memory (Trump keeps racking these up.) This is the same man who received five draft deferments during the Vietnam War, one for “bone spurs in his heels” according to The New York Times. While throngs of his contemporaries were fighting — and dying – in battle, Trump was being featured on the front page of The Times after he and his father were sued by the Department of Justice for anti-black bias in their rental properties.
This is a list of characteristics of white supremacy culture which show up in our organizations. Culture is powerful precisely because it is so present and at the same time so very difficult to name or identify. The characteristics listed below are damaging because they are used as norms and standards without being pro-actively named or chosen by the group. They are damaging because they promote white supremacy thinking. They are damaging to both people of color and to white people. Organizations that are people of color led or a majority people of color can also demonstrate many damaging characteristics of white supremacy culture.
Gannett is revolted and appalled by her fellow evangelicals’ embrace of Trump in spite of his undisguised racism, his casual misogyny, his roaring xenophobia, his know-nothing arrogance, and all his other disqualifying flaws. That’s how any principled voter ought to feel, so I give her credit for that. But what I want to focus on is that she thinks Trump’s victory is mysterious. She sees his emergence as inexplicable, out of nowhere – as if he were some rogue orange planet, careening into the solar system and hurling all the other celestial bodies out of their orbits.
However well-intentioned she may be, this shows that Gannett, like many evangelicals, is in denial about the history of her own faith. Trump’s rise to prominence isn’t mysterious at all. It makes perfect sense as the culmination of the political program that evangelicals have been promoting for decades.
They benefit from racism, psychologically and often materially. This causes them to turn a blind eye, to make excuses, to believe highly unlikely things about their country – like that racism suddenly stopped in the 1960s after 300 years of skinhead racism. There is not only the carrot of thinking they are better than others, of belonging to the white club, but also the stick of avoiding white shame and guilt about the frauds that they are.
From opposite ends of the ideological spectrum, they made the case that social breakdown among low-income whites was starting to mimic trends that had begun decades earlier among African Americans: Rates of out-of-wedlock births and male joblessness were rising sharply. Then came the stories about a surge in opiate addiction among white Americans, alongside shocking reports of rising mortality rates (including by suicide) among middle-aged whites. And then, of course, came the 2016 presidential campaign. The question was suddenly no longer why Democrats struggled to appeal to regular Americans. It was why so many regular Americans were drawn to a man like Donald Trump.
It seems that every time there’s a tragic act of racial violence, I see many of my white friends are either silent on the issue because they don’t know what they can do about it, and a few who are bold enough to ask what they can do. I decided to share what I’ve learned is helpful. This information is based on research-supported effective anti-racism and communication methods, but is driven by my desire to uplift the voices of people of color who have to repeat these answers again and again to an unhearing audience. As a white woman, I have never experienced true racism first hand, so I can’t claim to truly understand, nor can I explain it as a person of color could. But due to my diverse background and my interracial, multicultural family and upbringing, I have been a first hand witness to racism enough to consider myself knowledgeable of the dialogue surrounding racism, and to understand what works and what doesn’t when fighting racism on an interpersonal level.
The most common interactions between residents and the police are traffic stops. Members of minority groups stopped by the police face far more searches, as well as arrests and fines. Philando Castile, 32, who was fatally shot by a police officer in Falcon Heights, Minn., on July 6, had been pulled over 49 times in 13 years.
I heard barking. I approached my front window and loudly asked what was going on. Peering through my blinds, I saw a gun. A man stood at the bottom of the stairs, pointing it at me. I stepped back and heard: “Come outside with your hands up.” I thought: This man has a gun and will kill me if I don’t come outside. At the same time, I thought: I’ve heard this line from policemen in movies. Although he didn’t identify himself, perhaps he’s an officer.
During the Reconstruction era, the defeated South unleashed a reign of terror against blacks that left thousands murdered. Later, Blacks fleeing the Jim Crow South during the Great Migration were arrested at railroad stations, as were labor agents who tried to hire them for jobs in the North. The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Brown v. Board of Education was supposed to create greater educational opportunities for blacks. Instead, policy makers around the country ignored the ruling and delayed implementation for decades, leaving millions of black children stranded in poorly funded and equipped schools. The Civil Rights era was hampered by mass incarceration, the War on Drugs, Supreme Court rulings and policies encouraged by the Nixon and Reagan administrations that were detrimental to African Americans.
Lochte was certainly criticized after it became apparent he’d exaggerated some details, and completely fabricated others, in recounting a drunken night on the town. But initially, he faced almost no skepticism for a preposterous story where he cast himself as the Frat Bro version of Jason Bourne. NBC even let its own version of white privilege, Billy Bush, defend his bro repeatedly, leaving the normally good-humored weather anchor Al Roker as the one man left willing to hold the line and practice anything resembling journalism.
Ming’s privilege tax might find a practical application in a forthcoming app that divides a restaurant bill among a table of friends, taking into account the race and gender wage gaps. EquiTable began as Equipay, which won the grand prize at Cultivated Wit’s Comedy Hack Day in January and is set to launch as an actual app this month. It promises to calculate a fair tab split using wage information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and a system it calls “affirmative fractions”; the Comedy Hack Day version also let users track whether their friend group is Oscars-level white, college brochure–level diverse, or somewhere in between. Promising “reparations, one meal at a time,” EquiTable will automatically add a surcharge to high-privilege dining groups, which the organization says will subsidize other diners’ meals and go toward some kind of charitable endeavor.
Over the last few years we have made incredible strides in diversity and inclusion, from the election twice of the nation’s first African-American President to the legalization of gay marriage, all things that I have loudly and happily cheered for and felt were a long time in coming. As an African-American professional from humble beginnings, I know firsthand the importance of giving everyone an equal opportunity to access the American Dream. I don’t take lightly the opportunities I have been given or the fact that many people, black and white, fought for and sometimes died for me to have these rights. I also have serious concerns about the lack of progress that I have seen for many African-Americans and I blame some of that lack of progress on ineffective liberal policies that are based upon wanting to help those in need, but in many instances end up causing more harm than good.
I was tired from sacrificing a few million once perfectly healthy brain cells reading through the comment sections of race-based web articles – thread after thread, chock full of black folks trying to navigate oblivious whiteness. At some point we really need to ask ourselves why we even bother. Why are we losing solid hours out of our day, wearing our fingertips numb on keyboards and touch screens in attempt to explain to some dense ass dude-bro why “All lives matter” is a fucked up and functionally redundant response to “Black lives matter”?
Is it really that difficult to understand White Privilege? Is it really dreadfully complicated or is it that folk don't want to believe that such a thing exists? Truth to tell, I don't understand what it is that people have so much trouble comprehending. Maybe the reality is that folk do get it, but find it hard to see anything that looks like 'privilege' in light of the challenges of their own economic lives? But what if someone finally said that privilege doesn't mean wealth or even solidly middle class status, would that help them to understand?
In an effort to do my part in assisting with the edification of the population, let me throw my dos centavos in and offer five quick thoughts.
And while the New York Times reported that Jones “and her white cast mates have endured months of criticism since the announcement of a reboot of the blockbuster franchise,” those same white cast mates were not called a “big lipped coon”. What stopped one or all of these actors from saying during one of the myriad talk shows they appeared on: “You know what’s not cool? Racism. You know why? Because it targets and maims people we love and respect and live on the planet with.”
if a black man like 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refuses to stand for the national anthem because he feels the country hasn’t done right by black folks, and especially with regard to the un-punished killing of far too many by law enforcement, that is to be understood as treasonous, as grounds for his dismissal from his team, and as a justification to insist that he take his exit from the nation he apparently “hates.” Because after all, who would condemn conditions in America who didn’t hate it? (And as you ponder that query feel free to ignore the first two paragraphs above, as the maintenance of cognitive dissonance — big words, Trump fans wouldn’t understand — is incredibly valuable at times like this).
We as Americans wish to be against bullying for example, but fail to identify the continued propaganda strategy against people of color in the media, such as always noting that a non-white child “was no angel” when authority figures rob them of their basic human rights and dignity. Quite often a black victim is more demonized in the media than white perpetrators of crime. With numerous young white males bypassing the criminal justice system concerning rape, all the evidence is written on the tin can.
More than 140 people reluctantly accepted that deal from June 2006 to June 2008, according to court records. Among them were a black grandmother from Akron, who surrendered $4,000 in cash after Tenaha police pulled her over, and an interracial couple from Houston, who gave up more than $6,000 after police threatened to seize their children and put them into foster care, the court documents show. Neither the grandmother nor the couple were charged with any crime.
Officials in Tenaha, situated along a heavily traveled highway connecting Houston with popular gambling destinations in Louisiana, say they are engaged in a battle against drug trafficking and call the search-and-seizure practice a legitimate use of the state's asset-forfeiture law. That law permits local police agencies to keep drug money and other property used in the commission of a crime and add the proceeds to their budgets.
So in 1936, a postal worker named Victor Green began publishing a guide to help African American travelers find friendly restaurants, auto shops and accommodations in far-off places. Green dubbed the guide after himself – the “Green Book” – and published it for decades. Green says he was inspired by the Jewish press, which had long published information on restricted places.
I’m tired from sacrificing millions of once healthy brain cells reading through the comment sections of race-based web articles — thread after thread, chock-full of black folks trying to navigate oblivious whiteness. At some point, we really need to ask ourselves: Why even bother?
Why are we losing solid hours out of our day, wearing our fingertips numb on keyboards and touch screens in an attempt to explain to some dense dude-bro why “All lives matter” is a messed up and functionally redundant response to “Black lives matter”?
Most of the time prejudiced people conceal their true beliefs and attitudes because they fear others’ criticism. They express prejudice only when the norms in a given context clearly communicate approval to do so. They need something in the immediate environment to signal that it is safe to freely express their prejudice.
Disparagement humor appears to do just that by affecting people’s understanding of the social norms – implicit rules of acceptable conduct – in the immediate context. And in a variety of experiments, my colleagues and I have found support for this idea, which we call prejudiced norm theory.
“Having a child is like wearing your heart on your sleeve.”
I’ve heard several different versions of this colloquialism and since becoming a mother myself, I can confirm this feeling as true. My natural instinct is to fiercely protect and guard my children from any harm, mental or physical. Acknowledging that my children will not escape experiences of pain in their life often overwhelms me and leaves me feeling anxious.
Yet, in all likelihood, the pain my children will experience will be considered rites of passage: broken bones, friendship woes, first love and first heartbreak, not getting into their dream college.
I don’t pretend to be able to predict the future, so admittedly I have no clue what lives my children will lead. However, my racial and class privilege make my children exempt from many of the worries that parents of color, low-income parents and parents within marginalized populations must face with regards to their children on top of the parental concerns we universally share.
My children will not be racially profiled as they play in our neighborhood.
My children will not fear the police.
My children will not go without food, shelter or clothing.
My children will see themselves represented in books, media and educational narratives.
I could go on, but the point is the world we live in centers and celebrates my children. As I’ve come to understand this truth and see its far reach in our day-to-day life, I’ve realized something else: When I shield my children from injustice in the name of preserving their innocence, what I’m actually preserving is white supremacy.
On November 10, 1898, a coup d’état took place on United States soil. It was perpetrated by a gang of white-supremacist Democrats in Wilmington, North Carolina, who were intent on reclaiming power from the recently elected, biracial Republican government, even if, as one of the leaders vowed, “we have to choke the Cape Fear River with carcasses.” They had a Colt machine gun capable of firing four hundred and twenty .23-calibre bullets a minute. They had the local élite and the press on their side. By the end of the day, they had killed somewhere between fourteen and sixty black men and banished twenty more, meanwhile forcing the mayor, the police chief, and the members of the board of aldermen to resign.
When it comes down to it, the purpose of policing in an authoritarian state is not what most people imagine it to be. The slogan “protect and serve” comes to mind. The problem with this slogan is who/what is being protected and who/what is being served. Put simply: the plutocrats are being served and their property is being protected. What are they being protected against? Everyone and everything else. They are being protected from the poor and the powerless. They are even being “protected” (their profits, anyway) from the environment, of all things.
The irony is that most cops fall under the category of everyone else. So, really, they are being paid to protect the rich and powerful (plutocratic authoritarian rulers) from themselves. Not only that, they are being paid to be the frontline of both a state-driven money racket and a state-driven protection racket. This is unprecedented. And yet here we are, a conditioned and brainwashed collective, cops included, buying into state-driven nonsense (propagandized as “law”) at our own expense.
Like today’s protesters, Dr. King faced critics who claimed that they agreed with his ultimate aim of justice but simply disagreed with his methods. They said that they agreed – as you do – that citizens have the right to protest, but they felt that there was an appropriate time and place for it. Your statements encouraged athletes to keep their protest off the field. Dr. King’s critics didn’t say that his methods were “wrong.”
Now, making a culture normative — that is, it defines what is “normal” — is quite useful. The French used it well in England. Another time it was used was when West Africans were brought to this country as chattel slaves.
The society here in America needed a way to justify the enslavement of a people for no other reason than they looked a bit different. Like the Normans, they used culture to do it. Slaves were made to speak English but were forbidden to read and write. In fact, the myth was promoted that they were slow and couldn’t even be taught.
While giving a talk about Minority Serving Institutions at a recent higher education forum, I was asked a question pertaining to the lack of faculty of color at many majority institutions, especially more elite institutions.
My response was frank: “The reason we don’t have more faculty of color among college faculty is that we don’t want them. We simply don’t want them.” Those in the audience were surprised by my candor and gave me a round of applause for the honesty.
If you really want support the cause, it’s time check your privilege and get a better idea of where both you and the people you support are coming from, now and historically. Books are only one part of the equation, of course, but they’re an important part. So, keep outraged and read on.
A retired federal worker, Stewart, 72, has used his pension and a little family money to buy several properties on Pocahontas Island and create a homespun historical park. It’s solitary, back-breaking work. He cuts the grass, patches walls, even reframes collapsed roofs. He installed a Black History Museum in one of his houses, and he painted the others in eye-catching colors, festooning them with flags to catch attention.
“After the 1870s, particularly in the southern states, there was an effort to restrict any kind of political power for African Americans,” Pretzer says. In the immediate post-Civil-War era, when voting rights were accorded to African Americans in the south, thousands registered, voted and ran for office. “There was great concern on the part of the white power structure that this was a revolution in their lives.”
That story is that of African Americans. And on this weekend of the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), the seventh episode of Cape Up” is my conversation with its founding director Lonnie Bunch. The stunning structure on the Mall is the physical manifestation of a multi-decade effort that kicked into high gear in 2005 when Bunch, a former Smithsonian curator who was president of the Chicago Historical Society, was tapped to helm the effort.
My research has taught me many important lessons, but perhaps none more important than this — drug effects, like semesters, are predictable; police interactions with black people are not. In encounters with police, too often the black person ends up dead. That is why I would much rather my own children interact with drugs than with the police.
I am certain that my white colleagues, when faced with an emergency situation, wouldn’t think twice about calling the police. This, however, may not be the case for their black and Latino students. These students may be faced with the dilemma of not calling for police assistance even when they are in need of help for fear that the police will make the situation worse, and may even kill them or their loved one.
The clarity of hindsight makes public opinion polling from the civil-rights era helpful in measuring the gulf that existed between white Americans and racial realities of the 1960s. That gulf endures, however. It’s exposed by current polling data, is perceived by a great many black Americans, and necessitates a movement that aims to make “black lives matter” an uncontroversial statement. Frustratingly, though, the gulf still seems invisible to the majority of white Americans who are either blind to the facts of life in America for people of color, or are bound by ideology to reject it.
What seemed indisputable to me, though, on Monday, was that my open letter published online on Sunday, addressed to the woman who had told my family to go back to China, tapped into a deep reservoir of emotions held by many Asian-Americans about the racial prejudice they have experienced and a hunger for it to be recognized more broadly.
I won’t get deported. I won’t have members of my faith barred from entering the United States. I won’t receive “some form of punishment” just for making my own health care decisions. I won’t get waterboarded. I will be neither stopped nor frisked. I won’t ever be asked to show my papers. I won’t worry about my village being bombed because my moms second cousin was maybe photographed near someone who said something critical about the United States.
Although she felt personally disrespected and humiliated, Cross said she's pretty desensitized to situations like that because they happen so often. She decided to go public with her story because a flight attendant's inability to believe she was a physician — for whatever reason: race, age or gender — could have threatened a person's life. Fortunately, the man recovered and walked off the plane, Cross said. But if he had not, the time the flight attendant spent questioning her about whether she was a doctor would have been time she could have spent trying to help him.
Those who profit most from oppressive conditions often remain hidden despite how their inhumane agendas impact diverse masses. The diversions they create keep the focus off of them while no one is held accountable when the lives of many decent people are destroyed by pathological people and systems. White supremacy as the ideological basis of racism provides benefit of doubt to even those who do not deserve public trust by putting forth false claims, pretending that skin color determines legitimacy and defines credibility. This man-made agenda has been mass-produced by widespread propaganda, and taken as an inevitable given despite other options for supporting collective human survival and collaboration.
To me personally, a Donald Trump presidency would be … moderately annoying. I’d roll my eyes at the cowboy bluster he calls “foreign policy.” I’d be irritated that rich people get more tax breaks than I do. I’d take to Facebook to denounce the right-wing justices he appoints to the Supreme Court, ultimately knowing that their decisions won’t have that much effect on me personally, since I’m a middle-class, straight white American Christian man.
As we grew older, my childhood white friends and I began to identify differently. I don’t remember the exact moment when I noticed our growing indifferences, but I believe it was sometime around high school. Our indifferences became our preferences. We were becoming individuals. This in turn led to us to choose different circles of friends.
We still occasionally hung out and talked. We still considered ourselves friends, but things were just a little different now. I don’t believe there was any animosity or tough feelings. In fact, I think we all were a bit happier finding friends to identify with.
Whether a shooting is legal is determined in part by an officer’s fear. But when the Los Angeles Police Department cleared scripts for television series such as “Dragnet” or “Adam-12,” “any shooting that was done on the shows was squeaky clean,” explained former detective sergeant Joseph Wambaugh, who worked briefly in the LAPD’s public information office, where the scripts were reviewed. “Any officer would have to be in total control.”
1. I feel prepared for what is coming and know why we are doing it.
2. I feel as if I am part of the solution, not part of the problem.
3. I feel as if others in the group are organized and calm.
4. I feel as if others are counting on me, in a good way.
5. I feel listened to and not spoken at (nagged or bossed around).
6. I feel like the others are generally positive and smiling.
7. I feel like there is enough time.
There’s little question that people find it easier to give when they see something of themselves in the recipient. It’s what motivates families of cancer survivors to participate so eagerly in fundraising walks and why my friend at Denny’s gave so readily to our waitress. It’s also why hedge fund manager John Paulson gave $400 million last year to Harvard University, his alma mater, and not to, say, Habitat for Humanity.
The distinction between equity and equality is an important one. For example, if we’re talking about school funding, advocating for equality would mean ensuring that all schools had the same amount of resources per pupil (an improvement in most cases, to be sure). On the other hand, advocating for equity would mean recognizing that some schools — like those serving students in low-income Communities of Color — will actually need more resources (funding, experienced teachers, relevant curriculum, etc.) if we are going to make a dent in the educational disparities that have come to be known as the “achievement gap.”
What can we do? Have a dialogue about the meaning of “racism.” Help individuals speak for and support their definition. Do not try to get everyone to agree, especially if the disagreement is strong. Consider this discussion so important and fundamental that it is worth the time of the individuals and group even if they never get to other issues, like the details of what happened in Ferguson.
America is founded on the belief in the American Dream—for White men. Everyone from celebrities to politicians, from teachers to parents, repeatedly tells White men that if they work hard and pay their dues, they will be rewarded with a living wage, a good family, a roof over their heads, safety and security. They believe they are entitled to all of these things simply by virtue of their exceptionality, work ethic, and being the bedrock of America.
This is how racism works: you can have friends, people who hold you dear even, have outright racist ideologies towards your skin tone. You can have girlfriends, boyfriends and spouses… people who love you dearly, hate those who share your skin tone. And from there, the burden is ALL on you, the minority. The burden is on YOU to never bring up the fears, the terrors you suffer. The burden is on YOU to remain silent in regards to the socio-psychological trauma who you and others suffer because of racism. You are to suffer, in silence, while those who you think care for you really don’t care about you all.
This is where things begin to get interesting for me. I am a black man in America, who is making the bold attempt to have, finally, one identity. One conscience. And yes, people are truly shocked. What I wish to do, is actually just be me. If something bothers me, I say so. If something is wrong, I speak up no matter what. I simply began refusing to allow racist bullshit to fly. Or walk. I’m practically functioning as a NYC Cop on racist bullshit; racist bullshit get stopped and frisked when I’m around. Racist bullshit gets profiled and stopped for near-petty reasons, and gets beat up and maybe killed for it’s failure to comply.
Racial microaggressions are the brief and everyday slights, insults, indignities and denigrating messages sent to people of color by well-intentioned White people who are unaware of the hidden messages being communicated. These messages may be sent verbally ("You speak good English."), nonverbally (clutching one's purse more tightly) or environmentally (symbols like the confederate flag or using American Indian mascots). Such communications are usually outside the level of conscious awareness of perpetrators. In the case of the flight attendant, I am sure that she believed she was acting with the best of intentions and probably felt aghast that someone would accuse her of such a horrendous act.
Thus, racism is a White people problem, not a partisan problem. Until we as White people understand our own investment in ending racial oppression, there will be plenty of people all across the political spectrum who will say and do racist things and, more dangerously, pass racist policies.
The 10-year-old boy skipped down the sidewalk a few steps ahead of his parents in the warmth of a Los Angeles night in 1962. Behind him glowed Olvera Street, a slice of the old California's Mexican heritage.... He heard the screech of brakes but paid no mind until a police officer seized him by the shoulder and pushed him against a wall. Another officer shoved his 12-year-old brother. Then the boy saw something even more terrifying: the gun in the cop's hand.
Wallace's father spoke up, berating the cop and demanding an apology for pointing a gun at his sons, who were church-goers, Boy and Cub Scout members, and good students. The cops stood their ground, demanding that he get out of the way or face arrest. Wallace, who until this point has not told the reader the "race" of the family, now teases his reader, asking: "What do you think happened next? You've read the papers. You followed the Rodney King case. If the family in this true story were black, what odds would you give on the father staying out of jail? Or staying alive?" But he and his family are white, Wallace tells us, and they "got to go home to [their] all-white suburb."
It’s not about red versus blue, or liberal versus conservative, or Democrat versus Republican. This is not a disagreement about policy or ideology. It is much more complex than being on a certain side of an issue.
It’s about the ability to differentiate news from noise.
First, let me say, I am not a Democrat. I’ve been registered independent since I was 18. I’ve voted for as many Republican presidential candidates as I have Democrat. Party affiliation used to mean nothing to me, and I still pledge allegiance to neither. My allegiance is only to the truth, to the facts, and to justice, like most journalists, writers, and storytellers.
On the internet this year, I saw a poorly photoshopped graphic that read: “I didn’t own any slaves, you didn’t pick any cotton, case closed.” I caught myself cackling — while factually true, it assumes a dangerously limited definition of “slavery” that black Americans know is completely beside the point. American slavery, the event, begot American white supremacy, the psychology. That psychology provides white Americans with privilege, power and the benefit of the doubt. Meanwhile, black Americans don’t and will never know our real names; commercials for Ancestry.com feel like a personal attack; we are expected to prove to our government that we “matter”; and we fear that, in the event of our death, our life will be scrutinized and we will be presumed guilty.
I watched as 81 percent of White evangelicals and born-again Christians dismissed his affairs, adultery, multiple marriages, participation in porn subculture, refusals to release his tax returns, failure to donate to charities to which he promised money, mockery of his own supporters (including their wives and parents), participation in racist lies about President Obama, stereotyping of African Americans, Mexican Americans, and Muslims — and still voted for him.
I watched as 81 percent of White evangelicals and born-again Christians voted for someone who lies about even the most trivial things.
I watched as 81 percent of White evangelicals and born-again Christians voted for someone who conveniently “found religion” just in time to court a voting bloc, but who could not answer even baby questions about this newfound faith.
I watched as 81 percent of White evangelicals and born-again Christians voted for someone who in his acceptance speech did not mention “God.” Not one time. Not even to thank God for his victory or to suggest that “God bless America.”
I want to talk a little about narcissistic personality disorder. I’ve unfortunately had a great deal of experience with it, and I’m feeling badly for those of you who are trying to grapple with it for the first time because of our president-elect, who almost certainly suffers from it or a similar disorder. If I am correct, it has some very particular implications for the office.
In the widespread conversation about race taking place right now, many feel they have good intentions. People are contributing without consciously intending malice. But racism is tricky. Racism is not a simple matter of “being racist” or “’not being racist.” It is a complex, endemic, historical issue that lives within our collective psyche. Sometimes it’s in the background of awareness. Sometimes it’s in the foreground.
Some people think that racism toward Asians diminished because Asians “proved themselves” through their actions. But that is only a sliver of the truth. Then, as now, the stories of successful Asians were elevated, while the stories of less successful Asians were diminished. As historian Ellen Wu explains in her book, “The Color of Success,” the model minority stereotype has a fascinating origin story, one that’s tangled up in geopolitics, the Cold War and the civil rights movement.
To combat racism, minorities in the United States have often attempted to portray themselves as upstanding citizens capable of assimilating into mainstream culture. Asian Americans were no different, Wu writes. Some, like the Chinese, sought respectability by promoting stories about their obedient children and their traditional family values. The Japanese pointed to their wartime service as proof of their shared Americanness.
For years, the American Government has adopted the scheme of being tough on crime. This has resulted in an increased dependence on prisons and more people are being incarcerated than anytime throughout the course of history. According to the Prison Policy Initiative, around 2.3 million people are serving time in numerous prisons spread throughout the country. There are around 102 federal prisons, 1,719 state prisons, 942 juvenile correctional facilities and 3,282 local jails in the country.
In the aggregate, though, these calls for civility threaten to impose a burden on people of color. If calling out racism is largely counterproductive, using a systemic definition like white supremacy is also unacceptable, and stigmatizing or shaming those who espouse racist beliefs is self-defeating, what tools remain? The only form of productive debate that people of color can engage in, it seems, is the gentle persuasion of white people who may or may not hold retrograde views.
These are lessons, particularly the last one, that for black people apply as much on the street as they do on the court. Basketball was a link for Obama, a medium for downloading black culture from the mainland that birthed the Fabulous Five. Assessing his own thought process at the time, Obama writes, “I decided to become part of that world.” This is one of the most incredible sentences ever written in the long, decorated history of black memoir, if only because very few black people have ever enjoyed enough power to write it.
Such different portraits of white and non-white Americans’ grievances have their origins in what social psychologists call “ultimate attribution error.” This error means that when whites struggle, their troubles are generally attributed to situational forces (e.g., outsourcing); but when non-whites struggle, their plight is more often attributed to dispositional traits (i.e., poor work ethic). Consequently, whites are considered “more deserving” than blacks.
Robinson hit the nail right on the head. We were willing to give Donald Trump a chance – but he immediately hired a white supremacist as Chief Strategist and doubled down on his plan to unconstitutionally register and surveil Muslim-Americans. We were willing to engage with his supporters and hear their grievances – but they immediately went on a spree of hate crimes, harassment, and assaults across the country.
Although Garry didn’t vote for Donald J. Trump, he is the media’s image of a Trump voter: a rural, middle-aged white male from a working-class background. “We’re a troubled group right now,” he said to me when we met. “We’re not a growing part of the population, we’re diminishing. I think our culture is mixing real fast. Instead of the usual 20 years it takes to change society, it’s happening in five years. It feels like an overwhelming wave is rushing over us.”
For the second year in a row, we’ve curated a list of essays and articles that defined conversations about race, pop culture, politics and identity in 2016. They cover a wide array of topics, from reactions to the election of Donald Trump, to the huge role young black people play in internet culture, to the genius of James Baldwin. The criteria is simple: all pieces on this list were written by a person of color and published within the last year online.
Under slave laws, the necessity for color rankings was obvious, but in America today, post-civil-rights legislation, white people’s conviction of their natural superiority is being lost. Rapidly lost. There are “people of color” everywhere, threatening to erase this long-understood definition of America. And what then? Another black President? A predominantly black Senate? Three black Supreme Court Justices? The threat is frightening.
I see that. Again, you compete with them in a very particular way. You talk their talk. And they are nasty when you talk it differently. I get it when I do economics type stuff. The violation is that if you’re going to do “real” social science or real writing then you had better agree with them. Retracting your bona fides is how they remind you that you are black.
If corrective facts only make matters worse, what can we do to convince people of the error of their beliefs? From my experience, 1. keep emotions out of the exchange, 2. discuss, don't attack (no ad hominem and no ad Hitlerum), 3. listen carefully and try to articulate the other position accurately, 4. show respect, 5. acknowledge that you understand why someone might hold that opinion, and 6. try to show how changing facts does not necessarily mean changing worldviews. These strategies may not always work to change people's minds, but now that the nation has just been put through a political fact-check wringer, they may help reduce unnecessary divisiveness.
Step Three is thought stopping: Techniques are used to cause the mind to go "flat.”
These are altered-state-of-consciousness techniques that initially induce calmness by giving the mind something simple to deal with and focusing awareness. The continued use brings on a feeling of elation and eventually hallucination. The result is the reduction of thought and eventually, if used long enough, the cessation of all thought and withdrawal from everyone and everything except that which the controlling captors direct. The takeover is then complete. Upon arrival the head of a slave was shaved, removing the associated ties to tribal culture; you did not know who was a part of your tribal family without any identifiers. Slaves were systematically beaten, or otherwise brutally “trained” to
understand that compliance within the boundaries is the only way to escape torture and pain that started when they were on the ships transporting You where verbally and physically reminded that you were not considered human, therefore had no right to independent thought and that your survival hinged upon your appearing to be placid, kind and doing just what you are told.
This is a list of characteristics of white supremacy culture that show up in our organizations. Culture is powerful precisely because it is so present and at the same time so very difficult to name or identify. The characteristics listed below are damaging because they are used as norms and standards without being proactively named or chosen by the group. They are damaging because they promote white supremacy thinking. Because we all live in a white supremacy
culture, these characteristics show up in the attitudes and behaviors of all of us -
people of color and white people. Therefore, these attitudes and behaviors can show up in any group or organization, whether it is white-led or predominantly white or people of color-led or predominantly people of color.
Even if you are somehow marginalized (for example, if you are a gay white person), there is still work that you can and should do, so don’t ignore this piece because you think that I’m not talking to you. Your marginalization does not excuse you from doing the work to help dismantle the toxic culture of racism that continues to overrun our country. We just watched white people elect an actual white supremacist figurehead, and in order to stop that march of hate, we need all hands on deck.
Prosecutors say — and researchers agree — that the statistics cannot possibly capture the whole story, because analyzing how the legal system treats different people is difficult. For one thing, no data exists on arrests not made, criminal charges not brought or sentences not imposed. For another, it is very hard to identify defendants of different races who are otherwise in very similar situations, because every crime is different.
You speak of racist beliefs. There seem to be two kinds here. One class consists of false statements of fact: It isn’t even a reasonable hyperbole to say that every African-American in Detroit is on drugs. What makes beliefs like these racist (and not merely mistaken) is that they tend to reflect hostility toward black people in general and a consequent biased reading of the evidence. Sometimes people are simply passing on thoughts they have acquired from others without much reflection. But in this day and age, accepting beliefs of this sort is usually a sign that you have negative attitudes. The false beliefs are not the basis of the attitudes; its the other way round.
There are countless examples across history of black and brown bodies being pathologized in order to perpetuate white supremacy, and although there are examples of this across race, this piece will focus on the experiences of black people. An analysis of how black bodies have been pathologized in this country should begin with American slavery. The existence of the economic system of slavery relied on the social idea that African Americans lacked sufficient intelligence to participate or compete on an equal basis in society with white Americans. This idea was confirmed with the creation of several diseases specific to Black people. Drapetomania, for example, was a condition that caused slaves to run away “as much a disease of the mind as any other species of mental alienation.” Similarly, Dysaesthesia Aechiopis—a unique ailment differing “from every other species of mental disease, as it is accompanied with physical signs or lesions of the body”—resulted in a desire to avoid work and generally to cause mischief. These are only two examples of disability being created by people in power in order to preserve social order, and yet there are foundational.
During the time that Cherng, who is of Chinese descent, taught in an 85 percent African-American middle school in San Francisco, he enjoyed a good rapport with his students, and he wondered what role his own identity played in that.
I grew up in rural Christian white America. You’d be hard-pressed to find an area of the country with a higher percentage of Christians or whites. I spent most of the first 24 years of my life deeply embedded in this culture. I religiously (pun intended) attended their Christian services. I worked off and on on their rural farms. I dated their calico-skirted daughters. I camped, hunted and fished with their sons. I listened to their political rants at the local diner and truck stop. I winced at their racist/bigoted jokes and epithets that were said more out of ignorance than animosity. I have watched the town I grew up in go from a robust economy with well-kept homes and infrastructure to a struggling economy with shuttered businesses, dilapidated homes and a broken-down infrastructure over the past 30 years. The problem isn’t that I don’t understand these people. The problem is they don’t understand themselves or the reasons for their anger and frustration.
Are your intentions in the right place? Are you going overseas to help, or are you going overseas to look good to others? Do you want to help people, or do you just want to post a picture of yourself helping others for Facebook? Do you want to offer your skills to a community, or do you want to bulk up your résumé?
Be wary of having a ‘saviour complex’ when you participate in voluntourism. This is the idea that you, as a single (and possibly unskilled) foreigner, can save a whole community. This sort of saviour complex is condescending because it implies that you’re a hero while those locals are helpless.
This report offers some much needed clarity by piecing together this country’s disparate systems of confinement. The American criminal justice system holds more than 2.3 million people in 1,719 state prisons, 102 federal prisons, 901 juvenile correctional facilities, 3,163 local jails, and 76 Indian Country jails as well as in military prisons, immigration detention facilities, civil commitment centers, and prisons in the U.S. territories.1 And we go deeper to provide further detail on why people are locked up in all of those different types of facilities.
Hi! I see you there! Welcome to the anti-racism movement. I know you were kind of hoping to sneak in the back of class in the middle of this semester and then raise your hand in a few days to offer up expert opinion like you’ve always been here — but you’ve been spotted, and I have some homework for you, because you’ve missed A LOT and we don’t have the time to go over it all together. I’m glad you are here (I mean, I’d really rather you arrived sooner and I’m a little/lot resentful at how often we have to stop this class to cover all the material for people who are just now realizing that this is a class they should be taking, but better late than never I guess) and I know that once you catch up, you can contribute a lot to the work being done here.
Thousands of times a year, these “dynamic entry” raids exploit the element of surprise to effect seizures and arrests of neighborhood drug dealers. But they have also led time and again to avoidable deaths, gruesome injuries, demolished property, enduring trauma, blackened reputations and multimillion-dollar legal settlements at taxpayer expense, an investigation by The New York Times found.
“Our inner cities are a disaster,” he declared in a campaign debate. “You get shot walking to the store. They have no education. They have no jobs.” Before his inauguration, in a spat with Atlanta’s representative in Congress, he tweeted: “Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime infested).” He makes Chicago sound like an anarchic failed state. “If Chicago doesn’t fix the horrible ‘carnage’ going on, 228 shootings in 2017 with 42 killings (up 24% from 2016), I will send in the Feds!” he warned. His executive order on public safety claimed that sanctuary cities, which harbor undocumented immigrants, “have caused immeasurable harm to the American people and to the very fabric of our Republic.”
Marissa Jenae Johnson and Leslie Mac created Safety Pin Box to find out. The monthly subscription service challenges its users to do more with their outrage than display it, and in exchange for $50–$100 a month (depending on the program) receive not a pin, not a pussy hat, but a lesson about racial bias and a task to tackle it. Plus, their cash contributions fund black-women activists, in an attempt at reparations. Three months later, Safety Pin Box has 800 subscribers and has contributed nearly $21,000 to Black Women Being. Both Johnson and Mac have quit their jobs to focus on the project full time.
He criticizes the “white hero teacher” concept as an archaic approach that sets up teachers to fail and further marginalizes poor and minority children in urban centers. In “For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood … and the Rest of Y’all Too,” his new book released this month, Emdin draws parallels between current urban educational models and Native American schools of the past that measured success by how well students adapted to forced assimilation. Instead, he calls for a new approach to urban education that trains teachers to value the unique realities of minority children, incorporating their culture into classroom instruction. I talked with him about the book and why he says the stakes are too high to continue with the status quo.
Growing up with a single father, Graniel has been taking care of siblings since she was in elementary school, and she’s happy to help support the people she loves. But to suddenly be surrounded by students who have the luxury of focusing solely on school was jarring. “If I didn’t have a tight community, I would probably feel lost,” she said recently during lunch downtown with some of the people who make up that community, specifically other members of the Society for Advancement of Hispanic/Chicanos and Native Americans in Science, or SACNAS.
It’s clear that we as Black and Brown Americans, are still recovering from the racist indoctrinations of the past 500 years. Though laughable it sounds, white Americans, too, have suffered from this crime. As our country began and brown races were systematically denied the right to be human and so internalized the role of the savage, white consciousness bullied its way into objectivity. The white mind became the unbiased mind that objectively observed all the rest. This is called The Default: The belief that the white experience is a neutral and objective experience and white consciousness is the standard consciousness unless otherwise specified. White culture, and American culture as a whole, suffers from the tragedy of whiteness as the default setting.
In order for white suffering to have a voice, white people must realize the largest and most invisible way in which they benefit from their white privilege, and it’s the same thing that’s causing their frustration being The Default. If Person A is actively supporting and benefiting from a system that oppresses Person B, it is very hard for Person B to hear Person A say, “But I’m hurt too!” However, if Person A is actively working to dismantle the system they benefit from but which oppresses Person B, then Person B is finally seen — and Person A’s pain can be embraced. In order to see a person you must see the truth of their pain. If you deny their pain, you refuse to see them. This is what makes black people invisible. And black invisibility is what makes white pain invisible to black people.
Damon I’m so fucking tired of White people and being a White person. We are so fucking awful. I hate myself. I hate my white skin and my even whiter than my white skin teeth. I hate milk, white sheets of paper, whiteout, white chalk, white plaster, white turkey meat, ranch dressing, fettuccine alfredo, polar bears, salt shakers, Mentos, iPhone chargers, Norway, and Nicole Kidman. I can’t even eat popcorn or play the piano anymore, because the whiteness on the kernels and the keys infuriate me. Sometimes I look in the mirror in the morning and I just want to peel my skin off like an orange, taking each layer of whiteness off and tossing it in the trash with the rest of the fucking garbage. Actually, since oranges are covered in white pith after you peel them, that analogy doesn’t quite work. I guess bananas and apples and pears don’t either. Shit, have you ever realized how disgustingly white most fruit is when you peel the outer layers off? Goddamn there’s no end to this shit.
Six years of higher education, over a decade of professional experience, the respect of colleagues and I wasn’t good enough. Instead, the president hired an outsider. The new director was straight out of central casting: tall, white, male, hair parted on the side, chiseled features, and a square jaw.
What is cultural appropriation, and why is it so controversial? Susan Scafidi, a law professor at Fordham University, defines it as “taking intellectual property, traditional knowledge, cultural expressions, or artifacts from someone else’s culture without permission.” This can include the “unauthorized use of another culture’s dance, dress, music, language, folklore, cuisine, traditional medicine, religious symbols, etc.”
I can get granular about it. I monitor nearly 50 different metrics regarding police brutality and injustice in America. All of them matter — from the introduction of new policies in local police departments, to the election of district attorneys who are willing to aggressively prosecute police. The battle to reduce police violence in America is a complicated one. But at the end of the day, if more people are being killed by police this year than any other year and the most rotten apples among America's police still aren't being held accountable, then we are losing.
We may never know why justice is still segregated from black death. Prosecutors, like juries deliberate behind closed doors. But that has not stopped people trying to find answers. On one side, people say: America is racist, and jurors are like cops — they hate black people. On the other: The police account is indisputable. Black lives do not matter.
The paradox of Trump’s insisting on his own niceness even while engaging in distinctly nasty conduct (political and otherwise) has a long history in the United States. In fact, Trump epitomizes the conventional version of American niceness, which assumes that Americans are fundamentally decent and benevolent people with the best of intentions, whose acts of aggression are reluctant and defensive necessities designed to protect us. (Or, as the office of first lady Melania Trump put it in response to the president’s latest Twitter tirade: “When her husband gets attacked, he will punch back 10 times harder.”)
I don’t give a fuck about Justine Diamond because I know that most white people don’t think what happened to her is indicative of an inherently corrupt and unjust policing system. I know that most white people merely think that this situation means that guns should be taken out of the hands of black people, that black people shouldn’t be placed in positions of authority, and that keeping the police force white would ensure that police won’t mistakenly kill “innocent” white people; that police will, instead, return to their true purpose: Keeping white people “safe” by killing black people.
I don’t give a fuck about Justine Diamond because I know that most white people don’t think what happened to her is indicative of an inherently corrupt and unjust policing system. I know that most white people merely think that this situation means that guns should be taken out of the hands of black people, that black people shouldn’t be placed in positions of authority, and that keeping the police force white would ensure that police won’t mistakenly kill “innocent” white people; that police will, instead, return to their true purpose: Keeping white people “safe” by killing black people.
What those privileges mean is being above reproach and critique and being able to feel safe and comfortable in all spaces, wrapped within a bubble of whiteness. And because that hold on whiteness and white supremacy is so important, the unpleasant side effect of white fragility often rears its ugly head.
“What is important to remember about white fragility and white discomfort is that when white people are scared, people die,” Ciccariello-Maher said. He cited the example of Jordan Davis, who dared to sit in a car with music loudly playing as a white man was present.
Racism is the elephant in the room in America — particularly, white America. White people would like racism to go away. The thought that their ancestors could have been slave owners is an embarrassment to most.
Why, he wondered, would studios keep using a phrase that was “unfair,” “unsportsmanlike,” and, with “3,000,000 colored American moving picture lovers,” likely unprofitable? The saying, he concluded, “cannot substantially add anything to the pleasure of white moving picture-goers,” yet it “can detract considerably from the serenity and the pleasure of the colored people.”
I think we can all agree that the global, multinational enterprise called the trans-Atlantic slave trade, built on a business plan of kidnapping, torture and rape, is the worst thing white people ever did to black people. They wrote it into the Constitution. They codified it. They screamed for liberty and justice while blithely doing the opposite for centuries. Everything else—Jim Crow, racism, the lynching epidemic that still infects the new-age fugitive slave hunters rebranded as “police”—all stems from white people’s theft of African bodies.
The west is built on racism; and not in some abstract or merely historical way. Genocide of over 80% of the natives of the Americas in the 15th and 16th centuries paved the way for the enslavement of millions of African people and the conquest of the world by European powers. At one point Britain’s empire was so vast that it covered two-thirds of the globe, so large that the sun never set on the dominion. The scientific, political and industrial revolutions the British school system is so proud to proclaim, were only possible because of the blood, toil and bounty exploited from the “darker nations” from across the globe. Colonialism left Africa, Asia and the Caribbean underdeveloped, as the regions were used to develop the west while holding back progress in what we now call the global south.
The population of not-racists is steadily growing. Not-racists voted for Donald Trump. Not-racists say that kneeling for the flag means you want to slit the throats of veterans. Not-racists believe in Blue Lives, White Jesus and black-on-black crime. So we decided to do a countdown of the 10 most popular phrases so that you can easily identify not-racists, or play a game of not-racist bingo in your spare time:
When I was a college student the late 1990s, I spent a semester in Buenos Aires. One night, while walking to a local internet café to call my family back home in Colorado, a group of doormen standing outside a luxury high-rise building called out to me and began to grunt like monkeys. When I looked in their direction, they also began a stereotypical mime of arm-flailing and rib-scratching.
The experience shook me so much that my grandfather could hear the strain in my voice as we chatted about the new foods I was trying and the classes I was taking. I didn’t want to worry him, but when he asked what was wrong I told him what had just happened. He then shared his own experiences of being stationed in Austria with the US army in the 1950s and being asked by locals if black people – including him and his family – had tails.
There is a difference between "White Passing" privilege and "White Privilege." People who are "White Passing" do not always pass for White and also face their own kind of discrimination, identity issues, and alienation.
We have all collectively held our breath and performed the “Don’t Let Him Be Black” prayer found in the third chapter of the book of Deuteronomy Doingitwrongtome. It is because we know that the color black is always plural. It is collective. The act of one black person stains us all. Black people’s actions are transferrable and contagious. Blackness is never individual.
Since that unwitting attempt to “put me in my place,” I’ve endured countless scenarios — sometimes casual, sometimes hostile — that made me feel one or more of those things throughout my life, a consequence of navigating a white-dominated society with an anti-black value system woven into the tapestry of its white-oriented culture.
In the age of television and now the internet, there are hundreds of thousands of hours of video and audio footage of every president widely available. There are also rumors and leaks from within the White House and other branches of government that can help paint a picture of a given president's moods, desires, thoughts and other behavior. What is to be done if this evidence collectively suggests that the president of the United States is mentally ill?
Dr. Johnson bit the cheese. Entry into Northwest Forum typically requires “extreme vetting,” which means meeting in person and getting a beer with one of the Northwest’s white separatist organizations like True Cascadia. But I didn’t even have to send in a photo after mentioning that, as a Charlottesville native (actually from Ballard), I was writing an essay titled Tear Down Lee and Put Up Lincoln: Abraham Lincoln, World’s Greatest White Nationalist. The essay actually wasn’t as far-fetched as it sounds. One of Abraham Lincoln’s main objections to slavery was that it led to miscegenation, and he believed in deporting all the freed slaves to Haiti or Liberia as soon as the war was over. As the abolitionist Frederick Douglas put it, African-Americans were “at best only his stepchildren.”
Anyway, there are actually quite a few seemingly race-neutral behaviors white people do that give me pause—items they might possess or things they might do that make me think, “Yeah, he might be a racist, so I’m just gonna assume he’s probably a racist. Because hobbies.” Below are my 10 favorites.
If you’re a black person who has ever visited a place where there aren’t many other black people, then you will be familiar with The Nod. The Nod is just that: An almost imperceptible lowering of the head toward any other black person you might encounter on your travels through, say, Slovakia or Russia.
This is the story of race told by The Whiteness Project, a web-based series about what it means to be white in the U.S. today. The creators of the project hatched it in order to specifically address whiteness and the experiences of white people, because conversations about race in the U.S. tend to focus on people of color.
Think about it. We had a black president. So we needed to make America great again. We found a way to help Dreamers, so we needed to build a wall. A few NFL players are protesting brutality and oppression during the national anthem and President Donald Trump calls their mamas bitches and says they are disrespecting the country.
Imagine walking into an expensive store and having security called to follow you around to make sure you were not going to steal anything, or having your kids questioned for playing in an affluent neighborhood with their friends. Or, having government policies that supported targeting people with freckles, or blue eyes, or red hair simply because those features have become synonymous with terrorism. These examples convey the invisible privilege that white skin offers. It is difficult for me to imagine feeling out of place or being scrutinized because of how I look, but these are daily occurrences for people of color.
Groups like the Proud Boys frame themselves as hyper-masculine “male chauvinists” who “refuse to apologize for creating the modern world.” Founder Gavin McInnes has rallied his fellow extremists against what he calls a “war on masculinity,” while rubbing elbows with anti-Semites and white nationalists. Last spring, alt-right hanger-on Jeremy Christian posted a Facebook ode to McVeigh before killing two men on a Portland, Oregon, commuter train while proclaiming himself a warrior against immigrants. “Get out of my country!” he screamed.
People ask me if the problem is getting worse. No, this has been going on all along but now we’re capturing more of it on video. How is this affecting the black community? “How do you think,” I want to say. We are sad, angry, and traumatized. We’re living in terror. This racial trauma can cause symptoms like anxiety, depression, phobias, acting-out and feelings of hopelessness (e.g., Carter, 2007).
As for her parents, during and after the war: “They had neither learned nor forgotten anything from the epochal events they had sleepwalked through. . . . They did not feel any responsibility for what had occurred under Nazism.”
Why are white Christians sticking so closely to President Trump, despite these claims of sexual indiscretions? And why are religious individuals and groups that previously decried sexual impropriety among political leaders suddenly willing to give Trump a “mulligan” on his infidelity?
While the heroism of these [Parkland] students is without question, we shouldn’t forget that the Parkland activists are part of a broader choir of youths — from Columbine to Ferguson to Baltimore — who have harmonized their voices to plead for an end to gun violence in all its forms.
There’s a saying: When white America catches a cold, black America catches pneumonia. So, if there is an impending retirement crisis in America, what does that mean for African Americans? The answer to that question is discouraging. [Editors note - I had to download a cached version of the article. The article is from March, 2017 but it's either deleted or something else]
There is a huge gap in retirement preparation of African Americans compared to white Americans, generally speaking. According to the Urban Institute’s Nine charts about wealth inequality in America:
The Retirement Savings Racial Disparity
The average white family had more than $130,000 in liquid retirement savings (cash in accounts such as 401(k)s, 403(b)s and IRAs) vs. $19,000 for the average African American in 2013, the most recent data available.
The wealth gap is growing. The average wealth of white families in 2013 was more than $500,000 higher than that of African American families ($95,000). In 1963, the average wealth of white families was $117,000 higher than for black families.
White families accumulate more wealth over their lives than African American families, on average, which widens the wealth gap as they age. In their 30s, whites have an average of $140,000 more in wealth than African Americans (three times as much). By their 60s, whites have over $1 million more in wealth than African Americans (11 times as much).
“The American dream has not happened for African Americans and Hispanics,” says Signe-Mary McKernan, economist and co-director, opportunity and ownership initiative at the Urban Institute. “Retirement wealth is at the end of the cycle. A lot of things can happen along the way before you get there.”
The pay gap and the wealth gap are among the many reasons African Americans enter retirement in poor financial shape, says Maya Rockeymoore, President of Center for Global Policy Solutions in Washington, D.C. Other explanations include financial literacy and investing habits.
The Pay Gap
“There is a pay gap when it comes to what African Americans earn when it compares to whites, even when you control for education,” says Rockeymoore. “We are starting with less.”
The hourly pay gap has widened to the worst in 40 years, according to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) — a roughly 27% difference in 2015. Whites earned an average of $25.22 an hour vs. $18.49 for blacks, the EPI says. Declining unionization, the failure to raise the minimum wage and lax enforcement of anti-discrimination laws have contributed to the growing black-white wage gap, according to the EPI.
“We need to be having forums addressing labor-market decisions,” Rockeymoore says. Blacks are earning less than whites and it is not a reflection of talents or skills, she notes. “It is a reflection of discrimination in the labor market. We talk about the gender-pay gap, but we need to talk about the racial-pay gap.”
The Wealth Gap
According to the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances, in 2013, the median white household had $13 in net wealth for every $1 in net wealth of the median black household. Also, according to a Pew Charitable Trusts report, What resources do families have for financial emergencies, the typical white household has slightly more than one month’s worth of income in liquid savings, compared with just five days for the typical African-American household.
The Federal Reserve report said that whites are five times more likely to receive large gifts and inheritances than blacks and the amounts tend to be much larger for whites. “That is one of the main issues,” says financial planner Nick Abrams of AJW Financial Partners in Columbia, Md. “We [African Americans] are starting at ground zero every generation. That is hurting us financially.”
Rockeymoore agrees. “The wealth gap is serious,” she says, pointing to disparities between blacks and whites regarding employer-sponsored retirement plans.
“A significant number of us [blacks] are in jobs where we do not have access to pre-tax preferred retirement vehicles like 401(k) or 403(b) accounts,” says Rockeymoore. Many blacks work in small businesses where such plans frequently are not offered.
“If we do work in jobs that offer tax-preferred vehicles, we tend to not contribute at rates that whites do. And we take out loans out at higher rate,” adds Rockeymoore.
One solution, she notes, would be more access to such employer-sponsored plans.
Home ownership also plays a big part in the wealth gap. The typical white household aged 47 to 64 has housing wealth of $67,000; the typical household of color in this age group has zero home equity, according to the December 2016 report, Social Security and the Racial Gap in Retirement Wealth, from the National Academy of Social Insurance.
Debt can limit the ability to achieve other financial goals, especially retirement planning, too. “Among African American employees surveyed who are offered an employer-sponsored retirement account but contribute less than the employer match or do not contribute at all, 40% say that paying down debt is a higher priority for them than making retirement contributions, according to Prudential’s 2015-2016 African American Financial Experience.
There are also big differences in financial literacy between blacks and whites. Only one in 10 African Americans work with a financial professional compared with one in four white Americans, the Prudential report said.
“Many African Americans have had no history of someone who was a grandfather or someone who gave them some level of financial education in that household,” says James Brewer, president of Envision Wealth Planning in Chicago and president of the Association of African American Financial Advisors. “So, one of the challenges is around some level of financial education.”
Theodore Daniels, president of the Society for Financial Education and Professional Development agrees. “There has got to be more education. People have got to be willing to attend financial education workshops. Some people don’t know what they don’t know. Once they attend, they say ‘I can do this.’ If they are not educated, they are not comfortable making decisions, and they won’t do it,” Daniels notes.
African Americans Tend Not to Invest in Stocks
Some analysts also say that African Americans often shy away from investing in the stock market. “Whatever discretionary income we have, we tend not to invest in equities,” says Rockeymoore. “We don’t have a diversification.”
This may be due to a lack of comfort with the stock market.
“African Americans are risk-averse,” says Deborah Owens, a former Fidelity Investments vice president who calls herself America’s Wealth Coach. “So, one of the major reasons they have less in retirement savings is they are ultra-conservative, particularly African Americans who work in the public sector and nonprofit organizations.”
Owens says black investors typically focus on guaranteed or fixed investments that are low-risk or no-risk. As a result, their retirement funds aren’t compounding at a high rate of return.
According to the Federal Reserve, the average balance of African Americans in 401(k)s is only $23,000. And Social Security and the Racial Gap in Retirement Wealth found the average balance for African Americans in pensions and IRAs was $10,300, vs. $105,600 for white Americans.
Owens believes many African American workers don’t take full advantage of all the choices in their employer-sponsored plans because they don’t understand them. “The tendency to be risk averse is directly correlated to their lack of knowledge,” she says.
What Employers and Policymakers Could Do to Help
Brewer believes employers could play a bigger educational role.
“It is important for companies or organizations who have higher percentages of African American employees to realize that there are some differences, and they need to bring in people who have some cultural sensitivities to those differences, and come up with a plan to help those groups,” says Brewer.
He says African Americans need financial advice on issues such as having higher student loan debt than white counterparts and, often, a greater need to financially assist less affluent family members. Rockeymoore says African Americans, even in retirement, tend to support other family members, including children and adult children. Also, they are disproportionately taking care of grandchildren, making them unable to save more for retirement.
All in all, says Rockeymoore: “There needs to be a national campaign to encourage young African Americans to save and invest. Home ownership is the pathway to wealth. They [blacks] need to be educated in the homebuying process and also to diversify their investments to include stocks and bonds.”
McKernan believes policymakers also need to take action to close the racial retirement security gap. “This country is built on the premise that it provides economic opportunity,” she says. “But this country continues a history of discrimination and the result of that is passed from generation to generation.”
But the radical right’s perception that de-industrialization has undermined white American masculinity shapes their worldview, too. Fifty years ago, when General Motors was the nation’s top employer, working-class men could have their masculinity confirmed by their work and unchallenged at home. Union-wage jobs have been replaced by service sector jobs with few benefits. The nation’s top employer is now Walmart, where 57 percent of the workforce is female. Not only can you not find a rung up the American Dream with the average wage, but the HR department isn’t going to let you sexually harass your female co-workers like you could back when America was “great.”
Perhaps even more troubling is that even when clear, indisputable evidence emerges showing that someone has been imprisoned for a crime they didn’t commit, prosecutors, police, and judges will often fight tooth and nail to keep them incarcerated.
Some of the problems and challenges when sharing the wealth, making reparations in the African tradition.
I love that idea of sharing the wealth. In fact, I have lived on a commune. I believe that if we live simply, there is enough of everything to go around. My ideals, practised on a small scale, are based on knowing that everyone can contribute equally and thrive together. While employing Lillian brings her closer to financial equality, it also reinforces a system where the black people are scrubbing the toilets of whites. For me, this a heavy trade-off, and I feel less equal at the end of every Wednesday she’s at my house. But here, amid poverty and making ends meet, that salary can seem more important than my taking a moral stand. At least to her.
I love that idea of sharing the wealth. In fact, I have lived on a commune. I believe that if we live simply, there is enough of everything to go around. My ideals, practised on a small scale, are based on knowing that everyone can contribute equally and thrive together. While employing Lillian brings her closer to financial equality, it also reinforces a system where the black people are scrubbing the toilets of whites. For me, this a heavy trade-off, and I feel less equal at the end of every Wednesday she’s at my house. But here, amid poverty and making ends meet, that salary can seem more important than my taking a moral stand. At least to her.
It seems that America cannot see or hear black children’s tears unless they are framed in the context of white redemption or white saviorism. In the 2014 photo, people looked past Devonte’s pain to see what they wanted to see, what they needed to believe: an image of racial unity, forgiveness and progress that isn’t happening in America. And now, many are struggling to see two white women, who “saved” a half-dozen black children from their hard beginnings, as anything other than virtuous.
It’s about my grief at the ugliness you feel emboldened to post on social media now, the nastiness you seem newly capable of, the disgusting words you now so easily toss out around the dinner table.
It’s about my disbelief at your sudden tolerance for his infidelity, his cruelty, his intellectual ignorance, his disrespect for the rule of law—things you once claimed you could never abide.
It’s about my incredulity at your surprising resentment for marginalized people; for your inability to muster any compassion for those who are hurting or frightened or threatened.
It’s about my disappointment at your easily manipulated nationalistic fervor; how the God and Guns, America First, Love it or Leave it rhetoric, so easily took root in your heart—how hostile to outsiders and foreigners you’ve become.
It all happened in Ocoee, Florida, on November 2 , when wealthy, landowning blacks within the rural community wanted to cast their ballots in the election between Warren G. Harding and James M. Cox. The violence began with a white lynch mob hanging one black man, and it culminated with an even larger mob terrorizing and torching the homes of an entire community of blacks. In the end, some historians estimate that as many as 500 blacks were forced from their homes. These people ran for their lives after being given an ultimatum: die or flee. Today, this bloody snapshot of American history is referred to as the Ocoee Massacre.
Whenever anyone mentions the historical atrocity of chattel slavery, white people will emerge from the dark crevices of humanity to gnaw away at the assertion like roaches on a discarded Cheeto. They will explain how most white people didn’t own slaves. They will offer a convoluted explanation about the Confederacy and Southern heritage. They will introduce the concept of “presentism”—the idea that we shouldn’t judge the actions of people in the past using modern-day standards—as if the white people of the past couldn’t quite grasp the idea of inhumanity and brutality until 1861.
Black motorists are pulled over by police at rates exceeding those for whites. It’s a flash point in the national debate over race, as many minorities see a troubling message: You don’t belong here.
An idyllic afternoon of Little League baseball followed by pizza and Italian ice turned harrowing when two police officers in Bridgeport, Connecticut, stopped Woodrow Vereen, Jr., for driving through a yellow light.
A music minister at his church, Vereen struggled to maintain eye contact with his young sons as one of the officers instructed Vereen, who is black, to get out of the car and lean over the trunk, and then patted him down. Vereen could see tears welling in the eyes of his seven- and three-year-old sons as they peered through the rear window. He cringed as folks at a nearby bus stop watched one of the officers look through his car.
He never consented to the 2015 search, which turned up nothing illegal. The American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut sued on behalf of Vereen, alleging that police searched him without probable cause. Last year, two years after the incident, he received a settlement from the city. His tickets—for running a light and not carrying proof of insurance—were dismissed.
In a poll, whites were asked whether the NFL players kneeling in protest during the national anthem are helping or hurting the cause of racial justice. No fewer than 85 percent said they are hurting it.
Clearly, this offense to the anthem and the American flag is the worst possible way to change minds. Blacks need to find a less divisive means to register their discontent.
Oh, wait. I’ve got that wrong. Those figures don’t come from a new poll. They come from a survey taken in 1966 asking whites whether “the demonstrations by Negroes on civil rights have helped more or hurt more in the advancement of Negro rights.”
Only 15 percent of whites surveyed thought those peaceful protests would advance the cause of integration and equality. Martin Luther King Jr. and his nonviolent methods are honored even by conservatives today, but in 1967, half of whites said he was harming blacks, with only 36 percent disagreeing.
In many respects, the country has changed a lot since then — partly because of those unpopular demonstrations. What has not changed is that whites generally resent organized efforts by African-Americans to raise grievances and seek change. Last year, a Reuters poll found that 63 percent of whites disapproved of NFL players kneeling during the anthem — compared with 17 percent of blacks.
But another topic where white evangelicals have repeatedly expressed their conservative views is diversity. And a recent poll is the latest reminder that large numbers of white evangelicals don't view America's increased ethnic and racial diversification as a positive thing.
“The problem with white people,” she says, “is that they just don’t listen. In my experience, day in and day out, most white people are absolutely not receptive to finding out their impact on other people. There is a refusal to know or see, or to listen or hear, or to validate.”
Excellent article about the need for whites to use self-examination to create real empathy towards black people. That self-examination takes really hearing and believing black people, not just the black people who tell you good things, but the black people who tell you the truth. There is no consensus among black people of course. But if white people only listen to those who are already giving white people the benefit of the doubt (thru their own internalized white supremacy influence), they will miss the boat again and again. It's a difficult path to understand yourself, to self-reflect and take criticism and others insight. But that path leads to a real freedom and common ground necessary for real love and... empathy
Actually I don't expect that to work without also deconstructing the capitalist system. That stands in the way of empathy, self-examination. The value systems are different with empathy versus capitalism. Capitalism values self over others. Empathy shares
It's hard to imagine seeing these dynamics — and more specifically, seeing that word racism — stated so clearly in our contemporary news landscape. With the notable and important exception of news organizations run by and aimed at people of color, mainstream news outlets now deploy an impressive and expanding quiver of euphemisms for racist. Racially charged. Racially motivated. Racially insensitive.
Earlier this week, the standards editor at NBC News sent an email advising the network's staff not to refer to statements made by Rep. Steve King of Iowa — statements in which he wondered just what was so wrong with being labeled a white supremacist or a white nationalist — as racist. (King has since denied that he's an advocate for white nationalism and white supremacy. His comments in the New York Times also rest against his long history, which includes retweeting a Nazi sympathizer and endorsing an avowed white nationalist for office in Canada.) "Be careful to avoid characterizing [King's] remarks as racist," the editor wrote. "It is ok to attribute to others as in 'what many are calling racist' or something like that."
Right now, courts allow an individual to claim, after they lose, that they received an ineffective defense. But the bar is high. Some judges have ruled that taking illegal drugs, driving to court drunk or briefly falling asleep at the defense table — even during critical testimony — did not make a lawyer inadequate.
It is even harder to make the argument that the sheer size of lawyers’ caseloads makes it impossible for them to provide what the Constitution requires: a reasonably effective defense. That is partly because there has never been a reliable standard for how much time is enough.
Now, reformers are using data in a novel attempt to create such a standard. The studies they have produced so far, in four states, say that public defenders have two to almost five times as many cases as they should.
The bottom line: Mr. Talaska would have needed almost 10,000 hours, or five work-years, to handle the 194 active felony cases he had as of that April day, not to mention the dozens more he would be assigned that year. (The analysis did not include one death-penalty case on his roster, the most time-consuming type of case.)
I guess politics has never appealed to me because I just don’t enjoy arguing (things I do enjoy: massages, sriracha, extreme privilege as the result of a class system rigged in my favor, NOT ARGUING). I don’t need to spend hours debating what led to the Iraq War—it feels like it went by super fast anyways (since no one in my social circle had to join the military to pay for college). It’s not important to me that I understand the best solution to economic inequality—my great-grandfather invented steel. While some people need to always be right, I would rather always be kind. Maybe if everyone were always kind, we wouldn’t even need politics (I don’t know what poverty is because my father invested in soybean futures).
We tend to think of anger as a wild, negative emotion, but research finds that anger also has its positive side.
Think about the words we equate with anger: getting mad. In the context of the term "getting mad" it meant "going crazy". We subdue rational ideation. We share a raw unfiltered emotion. Even the bible says you can be angry, but "be slow to anger". Anger is a primitive emotion served a purpose. Anger warns others. It spurs a person to action. As I see it rage is anger without bounds. Two different concepts: road rage and the angry motorist are clearly two separate perceptions. In the dictionary rage is violent, uncontrolled anger. Anger happens when we pit our internal sacred values with a reality that denies some or one of our essential values. I think there is concern when acting on emotions that we're not being rational. Sometimes we're fighting gaslighting which makes us feel crazy. That's when anger steps in to push us past the gaslight blockade and penetrate to the next level. Anger gives us a kind of courage. We know intuitively something is wrong. Anger exposes the problem. When faced with an irrational blockade we need anger to speak to us.
Someone noted that I am angry a lot. I've heard that before. I don't see myself dwelling in a negative space. I go to anger because those I love are being unjustly treated. Injustice makes me anger, but that anger motivates me to act. If I saw injustice and failed to do anything I'd be depressed.
A white guy gets a black girlfriend or two black friends and all of sudden he’s an expert on everything black. Sorry. A poor attempt at humor. This guy is so far off in his understanding of this subject matter that he doesn’t warrant further discussion on this discussion. So, instead, I’ll add to what you said Kevin. You mentioned 40 acres and a mule. I’ll start there..... Shortly after emancipation in 1865, African Americans began fighting for the rights to the lands they had long worked and cultivated. Yet, while the government stifled their demands for ‘40 acres and a mule’ as just compensation for generations of unpaid, brutalised slave labour, they simultaneously granted free land to whites.
Indeed, when the failure of land distribution among blacks during the Reconstruction is judged within the context of the Homestead Acts, the reality of the situation is laid bare. The problem was never the radical nature of land reform. The problem was racism.
While African Americans were the only freed slaves to be granted political rights so soon after emancipation, those rights were limited for a people without capital or job prospects. Land would have served as the primary source for reparations. President Abraham Lincoln signed the original Homestead Act into law during the second year of the Civil War. Between 1868 and 1934, it granted 246 million acres of western land to individual Americans, virtually for free. To receive 160 acres of government land, claimants had to complete a three-part process: first, file an application. Second, improve the land for five years. Third, file for the deed of ownership.
Because of the date of the Act’s passage, few people from the South initially received any benefit from it. Yet given that it effectively remained in place until 1934, well over 1.5 million white families, both American-born and immigrant eventually profited from it. By the end of the Act, more than 270 million acres of western land had been transferred to individuals, almost all of whom were white. Nearly 10 per cent of all the land in the entire US was given to homesteaders for little more than a filing fee. These acts were also accompanied by offers of subsidies to facilitate the acquisition and use of the land.
Enacted in 1866 shortly after the end of the Civil War, the Southern Homestead Act (SHA) was supposed to function much like the original Act. During the first year of the SHA, unoccupied southern land was offered exclusively to African Americans and loyal whites, but after 1867 even landless former Confederates applied.
Although the SHA ostensibly offered a solution to several pressing Reconstruction-era issues, in reality, a large percentage of the land offered was un-farmable, being either heavily wooded or covered with swamps. Furthermore, it was hard to administratively arrange homesteading, as many southern states had only one land office. Depending on where the office was located, it could take several weeks to simply make the trip, meaning the bureaucratic duties cost far more than the filing fees for the actual land.
Furthermore, the recently emancipated owned no cash and had no experience in dealing with the government, rendering the process even more difficult. But perhaps the biggest hurdle for freedpeople involved the year-long labour contracts they had been tricked or forced into signing shortly after slavery was outlawed. Leaving a job before the end date of a contract frequently resulted in virtual re-enslavement on a chain gang. Indeed, blacks had been locked into these contracts until the very date (1 January 1867) that they stopped receiving special homesteading benefits. By the end of the SHA 10 years later, nearly 28,000 individuals had been awarded land. Combined with the claimants of the original Homestead Act, then, more than 1.6 million white families, both native-born and immigrant, succeeded in becoming landowners during the next several decades. Conversely, only 4,000 to 5,500 African-American claimants ever received final land patents from the SHA.
The Homestead Acts were unquestionably the most extensive, radical, redistributive governmental policy in US history. The number of adult descendants of the original Homestead Act recipients living in the year 2000 was estimated to be around 46 million people, about a quarter of the US adult population. If that many white Americans can trace their legacy of wealth and property ownership to a single entitlement programme, then the perpetuation of black poverty must also be linked to national policy. Indeed, the Homestead Acts excluded African Americans not in letter, but in practice, a template that the government would propagate for the next century and a half. With the advent of emancipation, therefore, blacks became the only race in the US ever to start out, as an entire people, with close to zero capital. Having nothing else upon which to build or generate wealth, the majority of freedmen had little real chance of breaking the cycles of poverty created by slavery, and perpetuated by federal policy. The stain of slavery, it seems, is much more widespread and lasting than many Americans have admitted. Yet it is the legacy of the Reconstruction particularly the failure of land redistribution, that so closely coupled poverty and race in the US. Reparations? They gonna need a special kind of calculator and very good international credit.
True American music is a rarity. We have Jazz which was born here. But we have all kinds of hybrids -- mixes of African and European styles like Rock and Roll. Sometimes, when I tell white folks that Rock and Roll is a black cultural creation, often coopted by the earliest white artists, I get my dirtiest looks.
But this post is about Congo Square in New Orleans, the best birthplace of truly American music in my book. A visit there is on my bucket list -- last I was there was the mid-1970s. Now Louisiana's odd mix of European and Catholic culture created the opportunities afforded to the slaves. Not really a center of slavery until the earliest part of the 19th century, in January of 1811, the state was the location of the largest slave rebellion in the United States in the antebellum period. Despite that, Louisiana stood out from other states.
Blue laws kept most slaves from working on Sundays, so they could gather in the mornings at church and in the afternoons in Congo Square, if they lived in New Orleans, for musical celebrations, voodoo religious ceremonies and other wonderful rituals. Unlike the rest of the country, Louisiana allowed African slaves to speak their own languages, practice their own cultural ways and eat their own foods in ways you could not do in North Carolina, Kentucky or Georgia.
Louisiana did NOT make drums illegal and thus an essential musical instrument was available to people of color to develop Jazz, the Blues, Rhythm and Blues and Rock and Roll. At first Congo Square was on the fringe of the city, but in time it moved to the center of the city in the French Quarter. Free blacks and slaves mingled there like nowhere else in America -- elsewhere whites were frightened that free blacks would incite slave revolts.
Louisiana even had a holdover from the French rule, that required a set price for purchasing one's freedom. On Sundays, slaves freed from the drudgery of plantation life could sell goods they made and grew in their own gardens. And with the money buy their freedom in a manner reminiscent of 17th century Virginia before the social order and laws imposed to help slavery grow and prosper were set in stone. In other areas of the country, white masters would raise the original price they had set for a slave's freedom every time a slave got the money he planned to buy himself with, and more than a few would simply steal the money without emancipating the slave.
The Sunday parties at Congo Square were over in 1840, as abolitionism's ramp up to the Civil War scared whites silly with fears of slave rebellions. But, as they say, the damage had been done. The cat was out of the bag. And the shit had hit the fan. Black and white musicians hit the Mississippi River and spread that wonderful blast of African culture throughout the continent. River boatmen like Abraham Lincoln, who came down to New Orleans on a flat boat, could hear the sounds that would turn ultimately into Jazz.
And while many of us know that the Bible-belt South has been and continues to be one of the most repressive cultural environments on the planet, it is inspiring to know that just a tiny lapse in restrictions helped Africans to create the only original forms of American music ever created.
“Today, many Americans who oppose reparations, including a slight majority of Democrats, stand on this middle ground. These Americans self-identify as “not racist,” but do nothing in the face of the racial wealth gap that grows as white people are compensated by past and present racist policies. Or they support small-scale solutions that barely keep up with this growth. Or they support class-based solutions that are bound to partially fail in solving this class- and race-based problem. Or they oppose reparations because they’ve consumed the racist idea that black people will waste the “handouts,” that the reparations bill will be too expensive, or that black America is not too big to fail.
Racist policies have historically compensated people for their whiteness and extracted wealth from people because of their blackness. But Americans occupying the middle ground do not attack these policies like they attack reparations. They support (what they don’t call) reparations for white people at the same time they oppose reparations for black people.
When the so-called not-racists express their opposition to reparations, I do not quarrel with them over their reasoning. I do not point out the history of white compensation to repair damages that hardly existed. I do not point out their middle ground. I ask a simple question: How does the United States close the growing racial wealth gap without reparations?”
Several aspects of this article stand out in the response by the city government:
the appeal for calm. Why didn't they appeal to the police to be calm and not murder a citizen? They've taken white mass murderers alive but not black citizens. Appeal to your workers for calm.
Same with pleading for patience. There has been a lot of patience in the last 400 years and a lot of one sided violence.
Wait for the investigation? What investigation has ever indicted or convicted police? What grand jury has put an officer in prison for the time they deserved?
Refrain from violence? Why is he not speaking to his law enforcement about refraining from violence?
Until white juries are willing to hold officers accountable this response will continue. This may not be the best case to bring forward the change, but peoples triggers are sensitive because of the ongoing lack of treating black people like humans. Year after year even with video evidence police violence continues. Year after year police are getting away with it.
You will get the patience, calm, refrain from violence, return to lawfulness, and faith in investigation when there is justice. I have no faith in the justice system as it is. I have faith that more black bodies will drop and mourned and not counted as human while white juries refuse to indict the slave patrol. No justice, no peace. Know peace, know justice
I grew up in a conservative family. The people I talk to most frequently, the people I call when I need help, are conservative. I’m not inclined to paint conservatives as thoughtless bigots. But a few years ago, listening to the voices and arguments of commentators like Shapiro, I began to feel a very specific deja vu I couldn’t initially identify. It felt as if the arguments I was reading were eerily familiar. I found myself Googling lines from articles, especially when I read the rhetoric of a group of people we could call the “reasonable right.”
...But Harris’s claim is implausible. Hundreds of scientists produce controversial work in the fields of race, demographics and inequality. Only one, though, is the social scientist nationally notorious for suggesting that white people are innately smarter than people of color. That Harris chooses to invite this one on his show suggests that he is not merely motivated by freedom of speech. It suggests that he is interested in what Murray has to say.
It’s an article of faith in this Cleveland suburb: If any place can navigate the complex issues of race in America, it’s Shaker Heights. Sixty years ago, black and white families came together to create and maintain integrated neighborhoods. The school district began voluntary busing in 1970, and boundary lines were drawn to make schools more integrated. Student groups dedicated themselves to black achievement, race relations and cross-racial friendship.
This is an intense series of powerful articles and podcasts bringing new knowledge and perspectives to the unfolding more accurate history of the US and former British colonies. The NY Times suggested forming 1619 project study groups to educate and work on racism.
I DON'T HATE COPS.
I hate the pattern of police brutality that systematically harasses & kills black people & other people of color with impunity.
I DON'T HATE SOLDIERS.
I hate the horror of war that terrorizes the most politically and economically vulnerable among us.
I DON'T HATE RICH PEOPLE.
I hate the system of capitalism that creates an elite 1% at the expense of the rest of us.
It is precisely because of my love for humanity that I get enraged at system’s that prevent people from flourishing & being free.
It’s frustrating to see my righteous anger at unjust systems interpreted as hatred for individuals, but it’s more frustrating to see the oppressed suffer while those maladjusted to injustice remain silent.
I WON'T BE SILENT. SILENCE IS VIOLENCE.
—- Nyle Fort
When a person engages in wishful thinking to compensate for a painful reality. They WISH things were different than how they are. They get caught up in dreams and messianic hopes, etc., in order to soothe themselves and to alleviate the pain.
Looking at our suffering at the hands of whites, it is reasonable then to understand how our "solution" would be one that involved merging with them, becoming "one" with them- trying to convince them that we are not black, even though they are looking directly at us. Hoping to be seen only as some sort of abstraction. To be seen "as a man" or as a "human being", so that our pure biological state could somehow be... looked through.
If we could play down the differences, then we could appeal to them by saying, "I'm no different than you", and then their violation of us- which we perceived to be based on difference- would disappear. This is why so many black folks are psychologically caught up in the fantasy of the "great merger".
~ Dr Amos Wilson
10 commandments of logic
don't attack a person's character, but the argument (ad hominem)
don't misrepresent or exaggerate a person's argument in order to make them easier to attack(straw man fallacy)
don't use small numbers to represent the whole(hasty generalization)
don't argue your position by assuming one of its premises is true (begging the question)
don't claim that because something occurred before, it must be the cause (post hoc/falsce cause)
don't reduce the argument down to two possibilities(false dichotomy)
don't argue that because of our ignorance, claim must be true or false(ad ignorantum)
don't lay the burden of proof onto him that is questioning the claim (burden of proof reversal)
don't assume "this" follows "that" when it has no logical connection (non sequitur)
don't claim that because a premise is popular, therefore it must be true (bandwagon fallacy)
i'm not racist i'm 3.837% black
brings up black on black crime
white ppl were slaves too
doesn't see race
i was bullied for being white
quotes MLK out of context
slavery is over
brings up affirmative action
has 'dreadlocks' or defends white with dreads
i'm not racist i have a black friend
you're not helping your cause by being hostile
so black ppl can use the n-word but i can't
i don't have white privilege i'm poor
invalidates POC anger
oh but if there was a white history month it would be racist
not ALL white ppl
Obama was president but...affirmative action
we're all one race - the human race
white ppl are discriminated against, too!
brings up discrimination against irish ppl
learn to take a joke
they have a really hard job
he was resisting
one of the cops was black
not all cops
split second decisions must be made
a few bad apples
were you there?
the video is unclear
wait until all the facts come out
jesse jackson FREE SPACE! paid admin leave
i'm not racist, but...
fits the profile
he must have done something
he should have _____ when the cop said to
ice T's "cop killer"
stereotypes exist for a reason
why do "they" play their music so loud
culture of violence and dependency
doesn't look excessive to me
Those cops protect you day and night
These cops are heroes
Wait until you need a cop
Don't break the law and the police won't bother you
Lawyers have made it where cops can't do their jobs, etc
I want to see a medical report to see if there are injuries
blue lives matter
pull up your pants
black on black crime
babies out of wedlock
was a good kid
friendly and/or sociable
had non-white friends
had problems making friends
just a kid
had a bright future FREE SPACE! white privilege
new photos of terrorist as a 5 year old
is called gunman or shooter
was active in community
did well in school
is a child/kid
news shows interviews of people the terrorist knows
had a dog
terrorists parents cry in 'not my baby'
had no previous record
really, really was a good kid
This shows that we humanize the white terrorist. We continue to use the white supremacist narrative suggesting that white ppl are human while black ppl are "thugs", 3/5 of a person.
"why do you have so little respect for cops?"
there is a court ruling that cops can lie. so they lie for a living and i am paying
they have no responsibility to protect anyone but themselves.
they kill when they become afraid of anything
they are not held to a higher standard
they take steroids and act like thugs
heavily armed and too many drama queens
will not testify against the bad cop
and i have to tell them i am carrying a fire arm(this will make them instantly afraid)
they do not look, act or think like anything i remember as a kid
they are not peace officers but law enforcement
too many laws are wrong
i don't feel "safe" around them
whites smoking weed: hippies blacks smoking weed: thugs whites on welfare: temporary setback blacks on welfare: lazy white "girls gone wild": good ol’ college days black woman twerkin: whore whites can’t find a job: bad economy blacks can’t find a job: dependent white country bombing brown countries: democracy september 11: terrorism whites torch cop cars and destroy property after baseball games: rowdy blacks torch cop cars and destroy property after a cop gets away with murder: savages white ppl in corporate positions of power: hard work black ppl in corporate positions of power: affirmative action white bikers shooting each other en masse: brawl black ppl destroying property: rioting
making a racism class better from a white perspective
Don't interview a person of color. Don't make your relationship transactional. Take time to develop a relationship. Let your new friend divulge who they are and what their story is in their time.
Share your own personal story. Share some of the inner workings of how you came here in your personal journey in a racist country. Don't be afraid to look bad. You're here. You're willing to change and open to listen. That's a good thing
Don't try to identify as the exception. Don't attempt to explain how you're not racist. Don't believe that because you're German you're not white. A white person who is different such as jewish or homosexual is able to pass. Black people on the street are gunned down by police on a daily basis because they can’t pass. There’s no comparison in the oppression when you look at the evidence. White ppl are not attacked by cops. Black ppl are attacked every day because of the color of their skin. I can say Im not white because I’m actually German. White is a construct connoting privilege. You can’t give up your skin privilege. Ppl with African heritage can pass, ppl with black skin can’t do that. BTW, passing is when a light-skinned black person allows themselves to be perceived as white for the advantage of being included or not denied privilege.
Don't take over the conversation in class. Spend your time listening until asked. Prefer to give personal experience over analysis. Listen uncritically. Believe the persons' story. Don't minimalize or diminish the experience. Don't compare your single tragedy to the daily burden of being black
If you give your racial history don't make it a resume of successes (i.e. I was at the march on Washington). Make it about your personal struggle. Tell how you benefited and how you've come to the point of wanting to participate in this conversation. It is helpful for other whites to hear you open up and trust the group. Black ppl are always being button-holed to talk about race. White ppl tend to feel more vulnerable and hesitate to open up because of their white fragility. Get over it.
Protesters gathered in cities across the U.S. on Tuesday, in the latest round of demonstrations against police violence, misconduct and mistreatment of minority communities.
In New York City, an estimated crowd of 400 participants marched across Brooklyn Bridge, on their way south from Manhattan to Brooklyn. A plainclothes policeman reportedly drew his firearm on a crowd of demonstrators after allegedly being attacked. Both officers and protesters reported injuries in the resulting fracas, which ultimately ended with 42 arrests.
In what has become a common display of disobedience at these demonstrations, protesters also reportedly hopped the bridge's pedestrian barrier and ran across vehicle lanes, snarling traffic. Similar scenes unfolded at protests around the nation Tuesday, as demonstrators streamed out into major thoroughfares and slowed or blocked cars from passing. These acts are almost always illegal, and the widespread disruption they cause has become a regular point of criticism, particularly from people outside the movement.
These resulting complaints and others, though, often tend to be shortsighted and selfish. Those complaining miss the broader point about why these protests are happening in the first place, and show that some people's support of this movement is entirely conditional on their not being personally affected by it in any way whatsoever.
Obviously, nobody likes to be inconvenienced, and particularly not during an evening commute, which in all likelihood sucks as it is. And yes, brunch might be more pleasant if it wasn't interrupted by someone reading off the names of African-Americans killed by police. We understand that some people feel these are massive intrusions on their lives. But maybe it's time they understood that this is what their complaints sound like.
WHAT THEY SAY:
"I'm fine with protesting, but why don't they protest in front of a police station or another approved location instead of blocking traffic?"
WHAT WE HEAR:
"I'm fine with protesting, as long as I'm not forced to see it, hear it, acknowledge it, be at all inconvenienced by it or challenged to do anything about it."
WHAT THEY SAY:
"Protesting is pointless. It doesn't make a difference."
WHAT WE HEAR:
"Protesting is pointless because I don't see any immediate change and my life is comfortable enough that I'm happy to continue accepting the status quo."
WHAT THEY SAY:
"I agree that 'Black Lives Matter,' but disrupting my commute will only turn me against these protests."
WHAT WE HEAR:
"I agree that 'Black Lives Matter,' but every little piece of my daily life matters more."
WHAT THEY SAY:
"I understand why people are protesting, but regular people would be more likely to support them if the protests didn't mess up their daily lives."
WHAT WE HEAR:
"I understand why people are protesting, but regular people were totally on the verge of being shaken out of their complacency until protesters inconvenienced them with their tactics. Pretty much, it's the protesters' fault that the public is still overwhelmingly apathetic."
WHAT THEY SAY:
"I support the right to protest, but why don't people get out and organize voters instead? That's how change is supposed to work."
WHAT WE HEAR:
"I support the right to protest, but can't people just trust that a system that has failed to address these injustices for decades will one day eventually fix them? Also, I choose not to pay attention to any efforts beyond these protests because I actually don't care that much."
WHAT THEY SAY:
“I know people are angry, but why don't they propose some solutions instead of just messing stuff up?"
WHAT WE HEAR:
"I know people are angry, but I haven't been paying any attention to the protesters' demands so I'll just pretend they don't exist."
WHAT THEY SAY:
"I'm against police brutality, but these protests only make people more sympathetic to police."
WHAT WE HEAR:
"I'm against police brutality, but any disruption to my daily life should be treated as a criminal offense possibly deserving of physical suppression and excessive force."
WHAT THEY SAY:
"I get that people are upset, but breaking the law in protest of other violations just seems counterproductive."
WHAT WE HEAR:
"I get that people are upset, but why don't they just ask politely for change? Also, I have absolutely no clue what civil disobedience is all about."
WHAT THEY SAY:
“Protests are a fundamental right, but I don’t like that they're costing cities millions of dollars in police overtime.”
WHAT WE HEAR:
“Protests are a fundamental right, but balance sheets are more important than #BlackLivesMatter. Also, I choose to ignore the millions of dollars cities spend settling police brutality lawsuits, or on arresting, prosecuting and incarcerating people of color for petty crimes.”
WHAT THEY SAY:
"I'm against these injustices, but until #BlackLivesMatter becomes #AllLivesMatter, the movement won't experience widespread support."
WHAT WE HEAR:
"I'm against these injustices, but I can't support any movement that doesn't make me feel like I have a personal stake in it. Also, I totally don't see race or color."