Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Dear White Friends of Facebook | A Brief History of American Racism

Dear White Friends of Facebook, 

Maybe it would be more constructive to stop getting so angry about the fact that racism still exists and, rather, admit it and actively fight against it. Your replies to mine and others Facebook posts are peculiar in the fact that you are free to ignore any post at will, yet, in angry and emotional tirades, you waste valuable energy that could otherwise be focused on solving the problem of racism. 

The resurgence of hateful and violent rhetoric in the recent years towards black American, latinos, and other people of color is alarming and further proof that we do not now, nor have we ever, live in the postracial society you so adamantly insist upon.

I am at a loss here. I read your comments about how the race card is being played and about how this is all one big media spectacle. 

I am left to wonder if you have ever taken time to listen to the stories told by black Americans. If you have ever listened to the stories of discrimination and of hatred. Have you ever taken seriously the black voice in America? Do you care about the lived experience of those denied basic citizen and human rights? Have you ever stopped to reflect on the fact that your experience as a white American is incredibly different from those that are not white? 

Why are you so violently against the pursuit of equal rights? Why are you so violently convinced that racism is a conspiracy theory conjured up by Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson?

Why does your heart not break and the continual lack of care for black lives? Why are you not outraged that young black males are continually murdered by white police officers? What will it take for you to connect the dots between theses stories of injustice and the actions and reactions of white Americans?

What is it going to take for white people to realize that just because whites are not hanging blacks from trees and referring to them as niggers (a word that is still used and is being used more often as days go by), that the underlying perceptions and prejudices whites hold about blacks informs their emotions and interactions with blacks? What is it going to take to connect racism with the continual use of words like - animals, thugs, ghetto, those people, criminals, etc - with racist beliefs and behaviors? 

I realize that for most of you, there is nothing that can be said, written, or done to change your heart or beliefs. 

However, I know there are may whites that feel uncomfortable with what is happening in our country and are paralyzed by the fact that they are unsure of what is real and confused about what to do. For those of you, who like me, feel it is no longer possible nor moral to stand by and watch, I have only a few recommendations:

  1. Read about our history and the history of racism
  2. Be open to facts and stories that do no fit the what you have been taught and the frame through which you view the world
  3. Listen to your black friend, hear their stories, legitimize their experiences, and learn more about our society
  4. Speak up. When white friends tell jokes, use racist language, or misrepresent the history and contemporary circumstance of race in America 
  5. Finally, be empathetic. Don't feel pity rather actively engage your ability to listen, understand, and feel along with those that society treats as less than
I write this for those of you that want to understand more and develop a more critical knowledge of how racism works in this society. I by no means pardon myself from the ways in which racism is enacted and perpetuated through me. I am white and I am privileged in this society because of my whiteness. But I can always strive to do better, to be better, to listen and to empathize.

Below, I have provided a brief history of American racism that I hope can be a valuable resource for those of you seeking a deeper understanding. Read it or don't read it, but it is my small and hopefully humble attempt to be better and do better.

Monday, November 10, 2014

New Music From Talib Kweli and Friends | Javotti Media Presents: The Cathedral (Free Download)

Video | The White Savior Industrial Complex - Who Wants To Be A Volunteer?

We found this video this today on the email. Anyone, especially those who work at a University in the United States and those who have a lot of Christian friends on Facebook, will recognize the humor in this parody.

Stream the video below and click here to read the world.mic article.

The Industrial Blogging Complex,