Racism Round-Up 6.10.17

(political cartoon skewering the SCOTUS decision to gut the Voting Rights Act based on the false assumption that racism was not as much a problem today as it was in 50 years ago. The black and white image is an ocean liner at sea labeled ‘Supreme Court’, which overlooks ocean which is meant to represent racism. From the ocean liner, the few examples of racism are incidents of police brutality or the takeover of the Oregon Wildlife Refuge. These examples appear as icebergs in the water, but as with icebergs in the real world, most of their substance is below the surface)

For many People of Color, incidents of racism appear to have increased since the orange-skinned poltroon took office. Emboldened by an administration that is composed of several open white supremacists, members of virulently racist far-right organizations and so-called “lone wolves” are more willing than ever to publicly espouse their hateful rhetoric, and feel much more confident with public displays of racism. The rising public profile of these hate-filled individuals and organizations, as well as the infusion of far-right authoritarianism into the highest office in the land, have led to a shift in our culture–one that is more hostile to People of Color (and other marginalized groups) as the days go by. If it seems like you can’t go 24 hours without hearing of stories  of yet another white person who went on a racist rant, or a  murderous white supremacist who threatened teenaged girls on a train, or teachers handing out “most likely to be a terrorist awards“, then you’re probably right.

Below the jump are a series of excerpts from various articles detailing incidents of racism that I’ve read about recently as well as the occasional thinkpiece offering a perspective on racism or related issues, such as terrorism (be it domestic or foreign). Some may be a few months old. Some may be from yesterday. All are examples of the reality People of Color contend with on a daily  basis.  This harsh and often deadly reality is a direct result of a poison that, having run unchecked for centuries, has permeated all aspects of this country. A poison this country has never honestly grappled with, let alone attempted to overcome. This poison has destroyed lives, impaired our ability to live out our lives free from oppression, and prevented this country from living up to its admirable ideals. This poison, which provided the foundation for the treasonous acts of secession by the Confederate States, is perhaps best summed up by the Vice-President of those States:

Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests upon the great truth, that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery — subordination to the superior race — is his natural and normal condition. [Applause.] This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.

The above quote, by Alexander H. Stephens, laid bare the justification for the actions of the secessionist states. It is that justification–the Doctrine of White Supremacy–which continues to poison this country.

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Racism Round-Up 6.10.17

The Week in Racism 7/5-7/12

White supremacy is a complex social phenomenon comprising actions, beliefs, and habits that enforce an artificial hierarchy of racial order that places white people at the apex, and all other races beneath them. One of the primary manifestations of white supremacy is racism-a system of oppression that concentrates the overwhelming majority of social, political, and economic power in the hands of white people and simultaneously enforces cultural norms and economic policies that disenfranchise, marginalize, and oppress People of Color while also downplaying, dismissing, or outright erasing their achievements and accomplishments. The roots of white supremacy and racism in the United States can be traced back to the brutal invasion of this country, the genocide of the Indigenous peoples, the enslavement of Africans, and the establishment of a nation designed to benefit Europeans at the expense of everyone else.  Today, white supremacy and racism continue to be firmly enmeshed in USAmerican society, with no corner of our culture immune to their pernicious effects. Here are some of the links and articles I’ve read in the past week, with subject matter ranging from stories about the effects of the twin ills of white supremacy and racism on politics and culture to tales of their victims or the beneficiaries:

Continue reading “The Week in Racism 7/5-7/12”

The Week in Racism 7/5-7/12

The week in racism 2.12.16

Racial inequality has existed in the United States since the founding of this country. The institution of slavery had a profound and lasting effect on anti-black racism-an effect that produced ripples that continue to affect our country in the twenty-first century (and affect other racial/ethnic groups, not just African-Americans). From individual examples of race-based bigotry that occur between people to policies within corporations that deny equitable treatment to People of Color to initiatives within law enforcement that have a disproportionately negative impact upon People of Color to so much more, racism in the United States, contrary to the beliefs of some people, continues to exist. As with other posts of a similar nature (Police Behaving Badly, Irresponsible Gun Owners of America), I’ll be using this space to post stories and articles relating to the issue of race in the United States.

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The week in racism 2.12.16

Racism Round-Up 4.8.15

In the eyes of some USAmerican citizens, we are living in a ‘post-racial’ society. In other words, here in the United States of America, racism is a thing of the past. What these people never explain is how this supposed ‘post-racial’ society was achieved. They offer no explanation for what happened to the racist opinions held by many U.S. citizens-many of whom are still alive. Did the Civil Rights Act magically erase all racist views-conscious and unconscious-of bigoted white people in this country? Or did racist white USAmericans sit up in the wake of Martin Luther King, Jr’s death and reject all their racist beliefs? Was the USAmerican criminal justice system overhauled while no one was looking? When did African-Americans gain the same political, economic, and social power of white people? Those who believe we’ve moved past racism have offered no explanations for how we’ve reached this post-racial utopia, but they have offered evidence of their claim: President Obama. Uh-huh. I’m just a wee bit underwhelmed by such “evidence”. It is a fact that we do have an African-American President (yes, President Obama is a USAmerican citizen, contrary to the idiotic claims of birthers like Donald Trump). It is also a fact that the Department of Justice’s Ferguson Report documented numerous examples of individual and systemic racism within the Ferguson PD. Clearly the presence of a black man in the Oval Office does not mean that racism is over (even if a black man as President meant racism against black people was over, what about racism against other racial groups like Hispanic-Americans, Asian-Americans, and American Indians?). Aside from that, I have seen nothing else offered up as proof that we live in a ‘post-racial’ society. In contrast, I’ve seen plenty of evidence showing that racism is alive and well in the United States. On the macro-level, there is ample evidence demonstrating that systemic racism permeates society, especially our criminal justice system (this is a great resource for people who don’t understand what systemic racism is). On the individual, micro-level, racism occurs all the time. Here are a handful of recent examples of racism on the individual level (and one of systemic racism):

FL chef fires back at KKK threats over his interracial marriage: ‘You’re a coward, brother’

Donna Slawsky, who owns the Arts & Eats Restaurant and Gallery with her husband in Bradenton, said the message was left on their business phone line by someone who identified himself as KKK member Ralph Edward.

“I’m the leader of the KKK in this area, and I’d like you people to leave this neighborhood now,” the message said. “We don’t want you here no more. Get the f*ck out.”

Slawsky said her husband, Jim Copening, recently had a confrontation with two men who threatened to send their “friends from the KKK” after him, although they aren’t sure the incidents are related.

“I’m not scared,” Slawsky said. “I’m outraged.”

Copening had a message of his own to share with whoever left him the threatening voice mail.

“What I want to say to them?” he said. “‘You’re a coward, brother — you need to go work your stuff out, but not over here. I didn’t come to your place starting nonsense with you, so don’t come to mine.’”

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‘Lynch ’em’: Pennsylvania university expels students for racist comments on radio

I’m somewhat torn on this one.  On the one hand, I do think the university should have taken measures to punish the students, but I don’t think they needed to expel them. I think that’s going to make them even more embittered and doesn’t serve the goal of combating racism. They needed to face some form of punishment, but I also think they needed some mandatory classes on diversity, or something aimed at chipping away at the racial biases and stereotypes they hold.

Their conduct was “a clear violation of our community standards,” President John Bravman said in an email to staff and students late on Monday.

One of the students used a derogatory term for black people, another said: “Black people should be dead,” and a third said: “Lynch ‘em” during a March 20 broadcast on WVBU, Bucknell’s student-run radio station, Bravman said in his email.

The expulsions were among several recent moves by U.S. colleges and universities to deal with racism on campus.

About 3,600 students attend Bucknell, located in the central Pennsylvania town of Lewisburg.

The Bucknell radio broadcast was heard by a local prison inmate, who contacted the Lewisburg Prison Project.

Dave Sprout, a paralegal at the inmate support organization, said he contacted Bucknell, and school officials reviewed tapes of the broadcast.

Sprout said the federal penitentiary in Lewisburg had more than 1,300 inmates, many of whom listen to Bucknell’s radio station.

“Racism exists on campuses across the country and, in fact, throughout society,” Bucknell’s president wrote in his email. “We need to look no further than recent news headlines to see that.”

Connecticut College canceled all classes on Monday to hold campus-wide counseling and discussions after an offensive posting was found on a professor’s Facebook page and racist graffiti in a restroom.

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Georgia judge allegedly uses N-word in court

A county judge in Georgia and two sheriff’s deputies are accused of using the n-word in court, according to Fox 5 Atlanta.

Allen Duray Green, an African American, was waiting in the Fannin County Courthouse on March 16 to testify at a bond hearing for his friend Robert Vivian, who is white.

When Judge Roger Bradley reviewed the witness list, he asked about Green’s identity. The two sheriff’s deputies responded, “N–ger Ray,” witnesses in the courtroom told Fox 5.

The judge went a step further and told a story about an African-American bootlegger in the county who used the nickname “N–ger Bob.”

McCaysville Police Officer Michael Early was in the courtroom. “I overheard the n-word followed by ‘Ray,’” he told a Fox 5 reporter. Early also confirmed, in a written statement, that more than one person used the n-word in court that morning.

The judge’s defenders said the context is misunderstood. Bradley and the deputies were referring to Green’s street name, they explained to Fox 5. But Green said he doesn’t have a street name, and no one had ever called him “N–ger Ray” before this incident.

“It hurts. It still hurts right now,” Green said in an interview. “It’s a subject that my grandfather, my great-grandfather, had to deal with. Not me.”

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If we lived in a post-racial USAmerica, there would be no racist asshats posting shit like this on Twitter:

That racist-as-fuck Tweet came from someone who got angry over a speech First Lady Michelle Obama gave at BET’s Black Girls Rock:

When I was a girl, I had parents that loved and believed in me, but those doubts still worked their way into my head. and I was always worried about something. Does my hair look right? Am I too tall? Do I raise my hand too much in class? So when folks said a girl like me shouldn’t aspire to go to the very best colleges in the country I thought ‘Maybe they’re right.’

But eventually I learned that each of those doubts were like a little test. . . that I could either shrink away from or rise up to meet and I decided to rise.

Yes, I decided to rewrite those tired old scripts that define too many of us. I decided that I wasn’t bossy, I was confident and strong. I wasn’t loud, I was a young woman with something important to say and when I looked in the mirror I say a tall, beautiful and smart black girl. … and that’s what I want for you, I want you to live life on your own terms. … but anyone who’s achieved anything in life knows that challenges and failures are necessary components of success. They know that when things get hard, that’s not always a sign that you’re doing some thing wrong, that’s often a sign that you’re doing something right. Those hard times are what shape you into the person you’re meant to be.

Yeah. Racism in this country is a thing of the past. Is it possible to roll your eyes so hard they fall out of their sockets?

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In most cities, blacks get paid a fraction of what whites make

In the cities where black families have the highest incomes, white families still typically make about 40 percent more, according to a new report. The report comes 50 years after Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic march from Selma to Montgomery, and shows the prosperity gap between the races.

In Washington, D.C., Arlington, Md., and Alexandria, W.Va.—the cities with the highest median incomes for both blacks and whites — the $108,254 median income for whites dwarfs the comparative $64,663 figure for black families. A similar income gap also exists in the cities where median household incomes for the two groups are the lowest, the National Urban League found in its Equality Index report. The San Francisco, Oakland and Hayward areas in California are the least equal between blacks and whites in terms of household earnings. Median black income in those places is $39,902 vs. $95,285 for whites.

Similarly, unemployment among blacks in the U.S. is much higher. The rate for whites is 5.3 percent, compared to 11.3 percent for blacks. The gap widens further in certain metro areas. Jackson, Mississippi, has the highest such gap, with 14 percent of blacks unemployed and 3.9 percent of whites.

Racism Round-Up 4.8.15