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05

Mar

Austin makes more lists.

stfuconfederates:

TW: discussion of racism, rape, genocide, violence

I just read back 76 pages into the archives of my friend’s blog. You may wish to know the context of this post, but overall the point is a general one, because what happened a couple nights ago happens far too often. This is a list of things that are, simply, wrong.

(And before I go any further, I am as guilty of these things as anybody, and I constantly have to remind myself to improve. This is not an effort for me to seem blameless in racism)

1: Some people cannot comprehend that racism is violence. While it’s ‘generally’ understood that racism exists, and that violence exists, and racial violence is a thing that is, the fact that an active act of racism itself is an act of violence seems to escape a lot of (white) people. To begin to understand how words can be acts of violence, you don’t need to look any farther than human enslavement being written into law, but some people still wouldn’t call that violence. Or ‘the concept of racial violence’ will be considered a thing of the past, that racism today has no significance. Simply put, there are people who not only believe that People of Color are no longer raped and murdered for being People of Color, but that ingrained thought leading to outward racist speech is not in any way connected to racism in the form of physical violence. Everything is attributed to ‘how people are’, dismissing the power and resolve of racism. I’ll expand on this.

2. The same people who cry reverse-racism and the race card and ‘the angry PoC’ are the people who expect PoC to, kindly, sit and take it. This is nothing new and nothing unexpected, but it’s an essential tenet to racism that what happens to you doesn’t matter. And while white people victimize white people when their racism is challenged, the actual victims have been blamed, white supremacy has been enforced, and this is an act of violence. There’s only one explanation for this. Only one.

3: People of Color are not considered people. This is dehumanization and this is what it does. By reinforcing the lie that People of Color are not people, you allow anything done to a PoC to be justified or insignificant, then allow anything done by a PoC to be animistic and uncalled for. I know there’s not a PoC that follows me that needs examples, but this is for my fellow white folks. Here’s why words matter:

  • There are, right now, American men standing at the the border between Mexico and the US. They are waiting for brown people so that they can shoot them and leave their bodies in the desert. There are none at the Canadian border.
  • When enslavement was ended, many plantation owners attempted to send the freed enslaved human beings ‘back’, as if returning a coat that didn’t fit right. In other words, if we can’t own them, we don’t want them here. Kinda busts the ‘slaves were part of the family’ lie, doesn’t it?
  • The importance of sexuality in society is never forgotten, and while Asian men are made to be thought of as underachieving sexual partners, Black men are made to be thought of as sexual weapons, because there is a very simple reason why people said that inter-racial marriage would lead to inter-species marriage. The two are, still, often, thought of as the same thing. 
  • The long history of the wars of the United States (we’ve been at war for a greater part of our history than any other country) and the amount of apathy that’s been shown toward the soldiers or civilians of other nations (or Native tribes) when they’ve been primarily People of Color.
  • There is a consistent effort within many class/LGBTQ/gender discussions to exclude People of Color, despite the fact that you cannot discuss class without discussing how race effects class, you cannot discuss gender without discussing how race effects gender, you cannot discuss queerness without discussing how race effects queerness. For a white member of the LGBTQ community to ignore the issues of racism within the community is to say that they aren’t people like we’re people, for OWS to exclude the discussion of race within the discussion of class is to say they’re not people like we’re people, for white women to ignore racism in misogyny is to say they’re not people like we’re people.
  • I’ve seen a lot of pictures of white people standing around sipping punch and smiling for the camera behind the burning body of a lynching victim. Smiling and sipping punch. Smiling and sipping punch. Like somebody didn’t just get raped and murdered. Smiling.

No, not everything is ‘about race’, but race is a factor in everything. 

These have been only a few examples when a more appropriate list would be, for all intents and purposes, unreadable in length. These things started with words and ideas and mindsets. This is dehumanization, an essential tenet to white supremacy, and a whole lot of white people on Tumblr refuse to believe that racism and dehumanization are violence.

But no, let’s all keep telling victims of racial violence exactly how they should respond. It’s not like they’re people, or anything.

I’m right here if you disagree.

29

Feb

13 Year Old Jada Williams Persecuted by the Rochester City School District Over her essay on Frederick Douglass.

uncutcolombiancoke:

str8nochaser:

babyboygreen:

jumpstart-therevolution:

theafrosistuh:

beautifulbrwn:

“On Saturday, February 18, 2012, the Frederick Douglass Foundation of New York presented the first Spirit of Freedom award to Jada Williams, a 13-year old city of Rochester student.  Miss Williams wrote an essay on her impressions of Frederick Douglass’ first autobiography the Narrative of the Life.  This was part of an essay contest, but her essay was never entered.  It offended her teachers so much that, after harassment from teachers and school administrators at School #3, Miss Williams was forced to leave the school.
We at the Frederick Douglass Foundation honored her because her essay actually demonstrates that she understood the autobiography, even though it might seem a bit esoteric to most 13-year olds.  In her essay, she quotes part of the scene where Douglass’ slave master catches his wife teaching then slave Frederick to read.  During a speech about how he would be useless as a slave if he were able to read, Mr. Auld, the slave master, castigated his wife.
Miss Williams quoted Douglass quoting Mr. Auld:  “If you teach that nigger (speaking of myself) how to read, there will be no keeping him. It will forever unfit him to be a slaveHe would at once become unmanageable, and of no value to his master.”
Miss Williams personalized this to her own situation.  She reflected on how the “white teachers” do not have enough control of the classroom to successfully teach the minority students in Rochester.  While she herself is more literate than most, due to her own perseverance and diligence, she sees the fact that so many of the other “so-called ‘unteachable’” students aren’t learning to read as a form of modern-day slavery.  Their illiteracy holds them back in society.
Her call to action was then in her summary: “A grand price was paid in order for us to be where we are today; but in my mind we should be a lot further, so again I encourage the white teachers to instruct and I encourage my people to not just be a student, but become a learner.”
This offended her English teacher so much…”

Wow.

Read and reblog!!

THIS is the kind of kid I want.

the fruit of my loins will be this awesome.

Wise beyond her years wouldn’t even come close to accurately describing this girl.  The school should be ashamed for doing that to her in this day and age.  I encourage all of my followers to read this article.

27

Feb

Institutional Racism - a brief discussion

The prison system of the USA is a warehouse of racism, white supremacy and hatred. 

It is a complete and utter failure.  It is the reasons communities have been destroyed, the reason for single-parent families, and it is the depository for the racist “War on Drugs” which is a unilateral deliberate attack on Black and Latin@ communities. 

The “War on Drugs” was formulated and implemented by the same monsters who imported the heroin and crack cocaine into the ghettos they were already destroying with policing.  They are pigs.  And they are still here. 

This country is still struggling with these issues today. 

The People have the right to defend themselves against racism.  They have the right to speak out against injustice.  Denying that right is not an act of defiance - it is an act of obedience.  Denying the right of the oppressed to use violence to defend themselves against existential threats is oppression. 

We are less than 200 years from the world’s most lecherous and abhorrent slavery system, and it took place right here. 

We are less than 100 years from the racial violence of the post-antebellum period, when Black people lived in absolute fear of white terrorists who would routinely pillage, lynch, bomb, and execute their community members. 

We are less than 60 years from the massive uprisings of the Civil Rights era, which had its victories, although the fact is downplayed that Black Nationalism and Black unity organizations were terrorized by the snakes behind our “justice and law enforcement” system, who attempted to eradicate them through violence.  Teachings in public schools of the Civil Rights era also downplay the significance and deliberateness of the assassinations of prominent Civil Rights activists, such as Malcolm X, Fred Hampton, Martin Luther King, Jr., Robert F. Kennedy, and countless others.  Teachings in public schools also downplay the number of illegal arrests and detainment of activists, and the efforts of the white establishment to contain the ideas Black Power movement in academia, education, and media. 

Shortly thereafter, Richard Nixon declare “War” on drugs and began the invasion into Black and Latino communities, another recurrent example of the terrorism perpetuated by the government of the United States. 

Racism is everywhere, and permeates every institution.  It is what this country was built with, it is what made it possible to slaughter Indigenous peoples and force the remaining scattered tribes on to reservations, where resources are made deliberately scarce.  The same story can be told of the kidnapped and broken people taken from the African coastline.  These stories are yet to be told with honesty to the general public, who are enticed with the flavor of the day, week, or month, and meaningless controversies amongst celebrities and politicians. 

Pay attention.  Look closely and with a critical eye. 

23

Feb

Putting "The Help" in context - Al Jazeera English

Harvey Young is a professor at Northwestern University, where he holds appointments in African American Studies, Radio/Television/Film, and Theatre. He is the author of Embodying Black Experience, and winner of the 2011 Lilla A. Heston Award for Outstanding Scholarship from the National Communication Association.


[…]

This week, The Help and its cast compete for their own Oscars. The occasion of the imminent award ceremony alongside the occurrence of “Black History Month” in the United States merit a consideration of exactly why a woman’s most heartfelt prayer for her children and grandchildren would be for “good white folk”.

It is no secret that sexual assaults of black women occurred with great frequency within private residences throughout the long history of legalised captivity and the century that followed emancipation.

It was widely rumoured in the late 18th century that Thomas Jefferson fathered the children of Sally Hemings, a slave who worked in his household. In recent years, the Thomas Jefferson Foundation and the Thomas Jefferson Heritage Society have independently released statements asserting the “high probability” that the former president or, perhaps, his younger brother Randolph, was the biological father of some or all of Hemings’ six children.

In her 1861 autobiography, Harriet Jacobs, an escaped captive, reveals that a girl’s 15th birthday - “a sad epoch in the life of a slave girl” - marks the beginning of heightened sexual attention by her “master”. She remembers, “My master began to whisper foul words in my ear” and, “He told me that I was his property; that I must be subject to his will in all things.”

Other autobiographies suggest that unwanted sexual attention and advances occurred at an even earlier age. Olaudah Equiano, in his autobiography, writes about the behaviour of slavers on transatlantic ships in the late 1700s: “I have even known them to gratify their brutal passions with females not ten years old.”

[…]

The AWBH further alleges that the film’s “[portrayal of] the most dangerous racists in 1960s Mississippi as a group of attractive, well-dressed, society women, while ignoring the reign of terror perpetuated by the Ku Klux Klan and the White Citizens Council, limits racial injustice to individual acts of meanness”.

Read more.