Posts tagged racism
Posts tagged racism
Today was my first time attending a Community Rights Campaign monthly meeting and it was amazingly informative and motivational!
We ate delicious breakfast, with filling and healthy options, while milling over La Opinón and other informational handouts. Then we played an ice-breaker game and shared names and home city/school. Making a big circle, different CRC organizers re-/introduced us to the CRC’s major visions and demands (outlined in bilingual Spanish and English posters) and also the past and upcoming events and victories. The organizers all shared in talking about these and why now- post the Newtown shootings and the reconsiderations of gun control laws and regulations- is a crucial time for action as a community of activists envisioning a school system in which police do not have unbridled discriminatory control, and schools are fitted with resources such as an Equal Opportunity Office, counselors, nurses and other resources.
We then counted off into groups of about 6 people and explored a CRC museum exhibition. Student organizers from Taking Action had created four posters in their previous meeting- creative and informative visual engagements with pre-prisoning, upcoming legislative battles, re-structuring and closing of working class Black and Brown schools and coalition building. Each group went to a poster exhibit where two or three organizers explained the poster and then encouraged the group to ask questions and briefly discuss.
The first museum exhibit was a creative analysis of the letter sent by Superintendent Daisy to CRC in response to the challenges against pre-prisoning and the increase in police force in schools. The poster had the key terms and phrases from the letter around a drawing of a pig with bacon, in the middle of the pig were outlined statistics the Taking Action group came up with in response to each (false, racist) statement by the superintendent. The presenters/curators discussed how the notion of “safety” is constructed by these governmental forces. They challenged that ticketing students for truancy, disturbing the peace and small infractions is not, at all, about the safety of the students in school, but about maintaining control through surveillance, costly tickets and police state-sanctioned violence. This was a major theme in all posters- the notion of a healthy school environment held by businesses and the government includes huge numbers of police, criminalizing Black and Brown students, and teaching for the test with no real investment in the school culture or the individual students’ wellbeing.
The next poster was a collage of Journey of Justice, a trip that some organizers from CRC went on to DC where they met other school students, parents, teachers and community members from about 30 districts who were protesting certain manifestations of this institutional educational racism and privatization. These groups shared stories and carried out legal cases using Title VI to denounce the discriminatory closing down of Black and Brown schools and the targeting of teachers of color. The curators discussed the impacts that these public/private practices are having on working class communities and really debunked the notion of the closing and restructuring of schools as healthy for the community. It is clear that all of this re-structuring is in efforts to privatize and therefore profit from the dismantling of Black and Brown student’s schools (and teaching for tests).
The next poster was Counselors, Not Cops! in which the organizers outlined why more police is not what is needed in the community, but instead more resources like libraries, positive behavior support and other resources that would be much more useful and effective (and much less racist and exploitative) than spending the $52 million dollar LASPD budget on ticketing students, as young as 6, $100 to $1000 dollars for minor “offenses”. The group discussed the historical response to the Columbine shooting (in a white suburban neighborhood) and how the increase in policing disproportionately targeted Black and Brown students. The curators shared numbers on the ages of the students targeted (40% are under 14), number of tickets (38,000 in the past 4 years). They then discussed Restorative Justice, and tactics such as petitions to LAUSD which are in motion or planned.
how is whiteness normalized in some of my classes? the unquestioned use of “we” plays a big role. an unspecified “we” is often procalimed in the conversations about the environmental perils with which all members of the planet are faced, and who and what to blame for them. i have always felt angered by this discourse and it is obvious to me that i feel so because this is a creative rendition of the colonial projects of our past and present: the negating of the African to create and reinforce the european perspective… which then becomes the unchallenged given aka hegemony. daily I hear whatever variation of: “we have gotten ourselves into this mess because of our laziness and consumptive behaviors. we need to change the way we are living to save the earth.” although these comments seem innocent and even inspirational to some of my peers (and professors?), they are far from it. putting the european capitalist people and system at center is an erasure of any and all ways of living that are not european. many life-ways have existed and many continue to, are being born, are being [re]claimed! not all people are living in earth-damaging ways!! it is important to specify who is “we”, because the hegemonic we is just not the universal given (i hate this neoliberal idea), it is racist, classist, sexist, euro-centric, etc to assume so. not only are the Black and Brown people who are living in their own ancestrally-informed ways ignored, they are then categroized by whiteness through the savior/saved dichotomy. who are the so-called primitive people who need saving along with the planet? and who will do the saving? hmm. the perils of the white man’s burden mentality is old news to many of us, yet so-called radical (white) environmentalists fail to analyze this form of thinking as such. the european colonialist worldview is pervasive and normalized. and that i can’t have a decent critically analytical conversation about it in my classes makes me ANGRY. and i remember audre lorde, and breathe.
the white capitalist industrial system is the dominant model for ‘development’. and its group members manage to further this exploitative agenda with their ‘green revolution’. can someone in my class please note that not all people in ‘developed’ nations such as the united states of amerikkka are partaking in the super exploitation of humans and non-human nature? are there groups that live mainly using public transportation, buying little, making and creating a lot, reusing almost all, living in dense close-knit communities and sharing resources? are they celebrated for it? why/who are they? it is necessary to specify which groups are causing the most damage and being honest would not allow for the continued denial that it is overwhelmingly the monied white groups “that have gotten us into this mess”. there would also be an acknowledgement that the burden of this mess is disproportionately carried by people of color, people living in poverty, and particularly women of these communities. yes i will say it is true that eurocentric capitalist folk need to change their ways of living and stop imposing them on people of color, in order to stop destroying the earth.
Wangari Maathai, Unbowed. (via withendlesslove)
An incredible environmental justice, womanist, African spirit.
Byron Spellman, 16, left, Robert Coleman, 15, center, and Elijah West, 16, right, are a few of the local Savannah youths who stood in front of a crowd Saturday at Sacred Heart Church wearing t-shirts implying that they are Troy Davis. They wanted to represent to the community that this unfortunate circumstance could happen to anyone at any age and that Troy Davis could have just as easily been them. One speaker said that people are walking around Savannah at this very moment without a care in the world and turning their heads to this situation, and they will continue to do so until it is their own loved one whose fate will be decided by an unjust system.
Prison officials in California are preparing to release thousands of female inmates who have children to finish their sentences from home. The state faces a court-imposed order to make room in its overcrowded prison system. The release would apply to mothers convicted of nonviolent, non-sexual crimes with two or less years left on their sentence. Officials say the decision would apply to more than 4,000 of the 9,500 female inmates behind bars
*PRISONS AS THEY FUNCTION IN THE USA TODAY, SHOULD BE ABOLISHED*
the mass-incarceration of poor people of color in order to exploit their labor, disenfranchise and destroy communities.
[Image Description: A patchwork of six brown faces, filtered through green and red alternating colors. The text reads: 10 years after 9/11 / Since 2001, thousands of Arab, African, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian people have been racially profiled and targeted for hate crimes. / Communities United Against Islamophobia]
There is an extremely dangerous trend on Tumblr, especially amongst some race bloggers, to constantly vilify white as the basis of all things evil, bad, ignorant, uneducated, wrong, unsympathetic, etc. etc. etc. I’ve seen everything from posts by race bloggers who state that they cannot understand why a white person would ever reblog something they’ve written on race, to posts that are flat out racist against whites.
Newsflash: Non-whites can be racist too!
If you think blogging about how white people suck, or how all white people are stupid and ignorant and incapable of understanding or even thinking about racial tensions and interrogating their own racial privilege, you are being racist. If you stereotype all whites into a certain category or class, defined by certain traits, and refuse to think beyond universalist, reductive, and essentializing discourse, you are being racist.
It is really ironic, or rather, just incredibly disappointing, to see all these race bloggers write these incredibly provocative, interesting posts on race, and then turn around and immediately write the most racist bullshit ever.
There is no such thing as reverse racism. But there is racism. And when you employ racist discourse, you are no better than the very racist you critique.
No. I hate when people say this shit. Do you know what racism is?
Racism = prejudice PLUS POWER.
Black people in America, as a collective group, do not posses the power to oppress White people.
Therefore, we cannot be racist. We can be prejudiced, sure, but not racist.
Also, I’m gonna defer to Malcolm X on this one:
“Usually the black racist has been produced by the white racist. In most cases where you see it, it is the reaction to white racism, and if you analyze it closely, it’s not really black racism… If we react to white racism with a violent reaction, to me that’s not black racism. If you come to put a rope around my neck and I hang you for it, to me that’s not racism. Yours is racism, but my reaction has nothing to do with racism…”
So there you have it. I’m not saying I hate all white people. I don’t. Clearly. But a lot of white people really suck, and I’m not going to apologize for calling out oppressors on their oppression of others—whether it’s by active choice or by participation in, or encouragement of, systems that are inherently oppressive against those unlike them. Sorry I’m not sorry.
Fucking commentary, yes! And that Malcolm X quote has been in my head this whole time.
“We take for granted that more than 2 million US citizens are incarcerated. These books suggest it’s time to rethink the whole operation.”
I believe that the Jalan website has either been taken down or is under construction, so here’s a great article from them that I copied and pasted from Google’s cached copy of the web page (it’s a snapshot of the page).
Now read on…
On the origins of…