Monthly Archives: July 2013

BLACK AUGUST: THE TRUE HISTORY, CULTURE AND PRACTICE via @Moorbey

See on Scoop.itCulturally Teaching

By Mama Ayanna MashamaEach year officially since 1979 we have used the month of August to focus on the oppressive treatment of our brothers and sisters disappeared inside the state run gulags and c…

See on moorbey.wordpress.com

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THE WHITE SUPREMACY FORMULA

Re-blogged from MY TRUE SENSE.ORG

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Sometimes the debate just tires you out

BY: Earnest Harris

“After much deep thought (well semi-deep at least) I have decided to discontinue this blog. It is in part because my film production company and talent management company are keeping me extremely busy these days, but the biggest reason frankly is just fatigue from trying to open people’s minds.

In the aftermath of the Trayvon Martin trial, I have watched the racial division get even more entrenched between those I feel are trying very hard to get people to to realize the many subtle and profound ways race plays into life in America, and those on the other side who simply refuse to see it. I think I have come to realize that blogs like mine either preach to the choir of those who are like-minded already (though it has been a joy to meet so many through this blog) or it goes to those who simply want to argue and no matter what logic is used, prefer to discount.

I have also reluctantly come to the conclusion that at the end of the day, for the most part, the only people that can impact white racism, in terms of getting people to maybe possibly listen, is another white person. When a person of color, especially a black man, tries to discuss what racism feels like, it is hard for some whites, the ones who most need to hear it, to get beyond the fact that a black person is saying it. They see it as whining, complaining, exaggerating, being mistaken, everything but being what it is. And certainly the same may well be true for dealing with closed minded blacks or other minorities, only other people of color may be be able to get through to them also.

The reality of this fact hit me the most in the aftermath of President Obama’s wonderful discussion on the Trayvon Martin verdict. It was heartfelt, honest and just a man talking about his real life experience. Yet the outcry from those who don’t like Obama or don’t want to hear that black male view was swift and ugly in many instances. Again, basically totally discounted.

So my decision to stop writing this blog doesn’t mean I am giving up on what matters to me. That would be impossible when I live a mixed life, with a mixed family, one of varying ethnicities and cultures. Nor do I think the majority of the people out there are bad. Not at all. And as I said before I have had the pleasure of meeting some wonderful people all over the world, and of varying skin colors through this blog. And I will continue to support, follow and comment on their blogs. I treasure them too much. I will continue to chime in occasionally through my Huffington Post blog, which I write here and there, as I am moved. I have found lots of great blogs and sites on matters of race, mixed life, and equality in general, so I know the information is out there. So mine ceasing won’t end the debates and good work so many are doing.

Thanks to the loyal readers and those that stumbled hear occasionally . I hope I added something. And I’ll be jumping into the fray here and there, so don’t think I am disappearing.”; Re-blogged from NO MORE RACE

Same Sh*t, Different Decade: Trayvon Martin and the Politics of Race

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Re-blogged from:  CHANGELAB

Author:  SCOT NACAGAWA

“When the verdict in the George Zimmerman murder trial was announced on Saturday I turned off the TV and went to bed, emotionally exhausted. My exhaustion surprised me, though the verdict did not. The verdict was all too predicable.

It is simply a fact that the racial composition of juries makes a difference in cases where the victim and/or the perpetrator are black, yet five of six jurors were white, and none were black. And in cases of murder where the victim is black, both the rate of conviction and severity of punishment are suppressed by this fact of race, regardless of the race of the perpetrator. The failure of the police to vigorously investigate the circumstances of the killing also follows a discriminatory pattern evidenced by an unsolved murder rate that is higher for blacks than for whites, especially when black people are killed in majority black neighborhoods. And not even following ordinary investigative procedures, much less conducting a vigorous investigation, guaranteed that the prosecution’s case would be thin in terms of physical evidence.

Contributing further to my bleak outlook was that fact that justice would not have been served, regardless of the verdict. Convicting George Zimmerman would not have returned a beloved son to his family. Nor would it have struck down the Stand Your Ground law without which this tragedy might not have occurred. Neither would it have reduced the implicit racism on which that law is founded; the same implicit racism that made pictures of Trayvon looking like an adult scary enough to be effective in helping to build Zimmerman’s case for self-defense.

I awoke the next day, still tired, with one name on my mind. Emmett Till. I went to the internet to remind myself of the circumstances of Till’s death. As I read, the source of my exhaustion became clear to me.

Emmett Till was a 14 year old black boy who was murdered while on a visit from Chicago to relatives in Money, Mississippi in 1955. In Money, he made the fatal error of acting like a white man when addressing a white woman. That woman’s husband, Roy Bryant, and another man, J. W. Milam, retaliated by kidnapping Till and torturing him before shooting him through the head and tossing his body into the Tallahatchie River. Bryant and Milam were charged with murder but acquitted, becoming heroes of white resistance to civil rights reforms when they admitted to the crime in a post-trial magazine interview.

Emmett Till, a Chicagoan, failed to understand the rules of engagement in the Jim Crow South; rules informed by the vicious bile of racism that labeled blacks subhuman, predatory, and criminal. According to those rules, any attempt by a black man to cross the color line, even with a look or a word, could get him killed in the name of public safety.

When the verdict came down in the Zimmerman case, it confirmed that, in spite of some not inconsiderable progress since 1955, the underlying social dynamics of race relations in the U.S. have remained largely unchanged. Like Emmett Till before him, Trayvon Martin broke unwritten racial codes.

He was a black boy walking alone at night in a mostly white, suburban neighborhood. When approached by a man with a gun who fancied himself a cop, he dared to defy him. He had a history of smoking marijuana, an act that the composition of our prisons makes clear is a sign of criminality when undertaken by blacks, but is nothing more than a minor indiscretion when undertaken by whites. He got suspended from school. He documented a fight on video, even got into a fight or two himself.

Unwritten racial codes of our society dictate that, far too often, police harassment, arrest, imprisonment, even death may result when these ordinary acts are undertaken by black people. Trayvon was today’s equivalent of a black teenager acting as though he was as free as any white man in Money, Mississippi in 1955.

And now Trayvon Martin is dead. His killer walks free because demonstrating that Trayvon had the audacity to undertake these ordinary acts was all that was necessary to raise suspicion of his criminality. And, it appears, that suspicion made credible the completely counter-intuitive theory that an adult armed with a gun was acting in self-defense when he stalked, shot, and killed an unarmed 17 year old.

That just exhausts me.”

THESE KIDS SHOW US THAT WE CAN GET PAST THE RACIAL POLARIZATION

“This video is a MUST WATCH. Especially at this time when our country seems even more polarized over the role race plays after the verdict in the Zimmerman trial. Restored my faith in people, our future. It is so so touching.”

re-blogged from: NO MORE RACE written by Ernest Harris

What did race have to do with the George Zimmerman case?

Abagond

What did race have to do with the George Zimmerman case in America? George Zimmerman, a half-white, half-Latino man who gets a bloody nose and a few scratches on his head, shoots dead Trayvon Martin, an unarmed, 17-year-old black boy, calls it self-defence and is found “not guilty” of both murder and manslaughter by a nearly all-white court. How could that possibly be racist? I mean, it is not like Zimmerman used the N-word. It was a fair trial! Besides, the president is black!

Here are some ways:

  1. Black life was assumed not to matter much. In effect, a bloody nose and a few scratches on the head of a man who is half-white mattered more than the life of a 17-year-old black boy. It was not just Zimmerman who thought that, so did the police, who did not think the killing was a big deal. So did the prosecution…

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How Racism Helps and Hurts White People

Re-blogged from:  Abagond

“This is partly in answer to Macon D’s post on Stuff White People Do: “fail to see how racism harms white people”. Here is my take:

Racism both helps and hurts white Americans. I cannot prove all of the following statements with studies, charts and figures, but this is the truth as best I know it:oldnavy

How it helps:

  • They are way richer than they would have been:
    • They live on land taken from the American Indians.
    • They benefit directly or indirectly from the free labour of blackslaves and, later, from the cheap labour of blacks and other people of colour.
    • They get paid more for a given level of education.
    • Lower unemployment: they are less likely to fired and more likely to be hired – even with a prison record.
  • They get to live in nicer, safer neighbourhoods with better schools.
  • They live longer: even poor whites live longer than middle-class blacks.
  • It helps to keep them from falling to the very bottom of society.

How it hurts:

  • They become morally blind. Since they do not see the evil they do they are surprised by 9/11, race riots, failures in foreign policy, poverty at home, etc.
  • They harden their hearts.
  • They become partly deluded: they believe lies – about themselves, their history, their society. They do not take the truth seriously when it comes from a person of colour.
  • They have a limited idea of what it means to be human. At root, racism is the idea that being “different” means there is something wrong with you. That means many whites hide or slowly kill their true selves in order to fit in, making them into plastic people.
  • They become small-minded:
    • Because they feel good about themselves by looking down on others.
    • Because they narrow their minds by not taking other people and their cultures seriously.
  • They are not true to themselves and their belief that all men are created equal – and so they live with guilt.
  • Crime is higher than in other rich countries – and so they live with fear.
  • By hurting people of colour they are hurting their own country. At the very least they are wasting a part of its human capital.
  • Many whites vote against their class interests in part because of race.

That is what comes to me off the top of my head. I might be forgetting some big ones. Commenters can kindly point them out.

In short, whites are not true to themselves – to their morals, their beliefs, their heart, their soul. They are sell-outs to an idea that is beneath them.

If I still have any white readers left I know they will strongly disagree. Perhaps they will think I hate them, that I am trying to put them down. Wrong: I am trying to be honest.

Whites signed up for racism to create America and they continue to hold on to racism to hold on to its advantages. They made a deal with the devil and we know how that ends.”

 

The Psychology of Prejudice and Racism

How do we define prejudice and racism?
As prejudice and racism have caused enormous suffering across history, it is very important to try to understand how they work. Prejudice and racism both refer to a negative view of one group of people based solely on their membership in that group. Racism is a specific form of prejudice, involving prejudicial attitudes or behavior towards members of an ethnic group. The definition of race is somewhat variable but commonly refers to an ethnic group originating on a specific continent, such as people of African, European or Asian descent.

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“What is stereotyping and how does it relate to social prejudice?
Stereotyping goes hand in hand with prejudice. The term stereotype as used in social science was first introduced by the journalist Walter Lippman in 1922. Previously the term had been used in the printing business. When we stereotype people, we attribute a series of traits to them based on the onetrait that signals their membership in a particular group. Common contemporary stereotypes are that Asians are hardworking and studious, Hispanics are macho, and that librarians are introverts. By definition, stereotypes are limiting and disregard people’s individuality. They also lend themselves to negative and derogatory assumptions. When that happens the stereotype blends into prejudice.  Read more

What did race have to do with the George Zimmerman case?

re-blogged from:  Abagond

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“What did race have to do with the George Zimmerman case in America?George Zimmerman, a half-white, half-Latino man who gets a bloody nose and a few scratches on his head, shoots dead Trayvon Martin, an unarmed, 17-year-old black boy, calls it self-defence and is found “not guilty” of both murder and manslaughter by a nearly all-white court. How could that possibly be racist? I mean, it is not like Zimmerman used the N-word. It was a fair trial! Besides, the president is black!

Here are some ways:

  1. Black life was assumed not to matter much. In effect, a bloody nose and a few scratches on the head of a man who is half-white mattered more than the life of a 17-year-old black boy. It was not just Zimmerman who thought that, so did the police, who did not think the killing was a big deal. So did the prosecution, who pretty much just went through the motions – they did not even properly prepare their witnesses.
  2. The Black Brute stereotype – the idea that black men rape and kill for no reason, that they have “violent tendencies”, “criminal propensities”, as if huge numbers of them are savage psychopaths or something. It is why white women clutch their purses, why whites cross the street – because, apparently, black men only tug at purses gently, cannot cross the street and never go after those who show fear. This stereotype ran throughout the case:
    • Zimmerman racially profiled Martin. As a neighbourhood watchman, Zimmerman only reported black males as “suspicious”. Martin was one of them, even though it was only seven at night and he was minding his own business walking back from 7-Eleven. It was not like Martin was breaking into a house or a car or beating up someone.
    • The police assumed Martin was the bad guy. Instead of giving Zimmerman a drug test and holding him for 48 hours while they sorted out what took place, the police let him go to work the next day! They believed his story just on his say-so – in part because it fit the Black Brute stereotype perfectly: some black guy jumped out at him in the dark and tried to kill him. For no reason. Because, apparently, black men are like mad dogs.
    • The prosecution lawyers never seriously questioned the main hole in Zimmerman’s story: Why in the world would Trayvon Martin want to kill George Zimmerman? Martin did not know Zimmerman. Zimmerman says he did not threaten him. Martin had no record of violence or insanity. The Black Brute stereotype is the spit holding this story together.
    • The defence lawyers painted Martin as a dangerous thug, based not on a police record or record of violence, but on how he looked! How was that possible?
    • The jury was packed with white women. We do not know what their thinking was. Maybe they were not racist at all. But the defence certainly assumed they were, playing on their purse-clutching fears of black men!”

Justice In Amerikkka

See on Scoop.itTHE LAW & INJUSTICE

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See on moorbey.wordpress.com