Sikivu Hutchinson: In a district where black students are already presumed guilty until proven innocent, Gardena High School’s racially lopsided awards ceremony was not only criminal, it was yet another indication of how black students are still being systematically discarded, held hostage not only by blatant push-out strategies but by bogus reform that straightjackets children of color with one-size-fits-all bromides. Where is the outrage?
Lately, the sound of galloping hooves and rustling white sheets has risen in a deafening squall from the Capitol. Like their Klan ancestors, elite white males in Congress’ political lynch mob are once again savaging communities of color. The House’s vote to gut Planned Parenthood is a criminal act against poor and working class women [...]
Sikivu Hutchinson: The bashing of Elizabeth Edwards is just a footnote to the larger trend of right wing demonization of secular and left forces reignited by the Tea Party. This trend builds on Cold War “better-dead-than-Red” hysteria equating patriotism and “authentic” American citizenship with being god-fearing.
Sikivu Hutchinson: The mental health crisis amongst African Americans is a devastating indicator of racial and social inequity, of which the prayer as therapy epidemic is an insidious symptom. Frederick Douglass once wrote, “I prayed for twenty years and received no answer until I prayed with my legs.” What would Douglass, a trailblazing male feminist, have made of the brutal ironies of twenty first century black America?
Sikivu Hutchinson: In America being a macho man and a professional homophobe is big business, one that jeopardizes the lives and mental health and wellness of thousands of gays and lesbians. Regardless of whether the allegations against Long are true or not, his prosperity gospel of gay-bashing and robber baron profiteering at the expense of poor black people is another indictment of the moral injustice that happens on “God’s” watch.
Sikivu Hutchinson: The value-added sham won’t help parents and communities of color struggling to achieve educational equity for youth who have already been intuitively assigned a jail cell by a public school culture marching in lockstep with the teach to the test ethos.
Sikivu Hutchinson: Since God sees and “forgives” everything that is petitioned, the moral universe of children is a tiny, confining funhouse of mirrors. In communities where death at an early age is considered unremarkable by mainstream media and policymakers, the deferment demanded by faith is an insurance policy against social oblivion.
Sikivu Hutchinson: Because Franklin and Turner are black male killers of black women, it is safe to say that there will be no cable-ready film made psychoanalyzing their childhoods, no Lifetime channel melodrama on the lives and last days of their victims trumpeted in flashy national billboard campaigns, and no pathos inspiring media blitz chronicling the anguish that these murders elicited in South L.A. communities.
Sikivu Hutchinson: Regardless of whether they are custodians or corporate execs, women continue to be saddled with the majority of child care, housework, and adult caregiving. The minute a working mother hits the door, down time is sacrificed for cleaning, parenting, cooking and counseling duties. Sacrifice becomes a woman’s life creed. And it is this message that store flotillas of pink baby dolls, strollers and play houses instill in little sacrificial princesses in training.
Sikivu Hutchinson: I was recently told that I’d been deemed an unsuitable culmination speaker for a bourgie philanthropic organization’s young women mentees because of my decidedly unladylike public atheism (Perhaps the Israelite’s Old Testament shout-out to silent prostrate women would be more acceptable).
Sikivu Hutchinson: When a little white girl goes missing, online news, supermarket tabloids and cable network stations bombard us with up-to-the-minute dispatches on the crime, the victim, her shattered family and anguished community. When a little black girl is murdered in cold blood by a big city police department it is up to the community and those who care about social justice to ensure that the case doesn’t fade into the national obscurity that is usually reserved for the lives of people of color.
Sikivu Hutchinson: Homegrown black support for or ambivalence about the Arizona law is symptomatic of a deep vein of frustration, anger, cultural resentment and xenophobia. Study after study indicates that African Americans are the most residentially segregated, suffer the greatest discrimination in job application and employment, and are amongst the biggest recipients of predatory mortgage loans.
Sikivu Hutchinson: Perhaps no other book in contemporary American literature has captured the ontology of black female childhood experience and imagination as devastatingly as Toni Morrison’s 1970 novel The Bluest Eye. In the novel, Morrison’s preteen female protagonists bear fierce witness to the psychological disfigurements of racism, sexism, and segregation. They comment on the mystery of adulthood and the savagery of being dehumanized as young black girls in a culture that exalts the blue-eyed Barbie ideal. Speaking from an era in which racial progress was equated with the enfranchisement of black men, the female voices of The Bluest Eye quietly historicize the trials of black women in apartheid America.
Sikivu Hutchinson: Perhaps the only figure with national stature on the “religious left” who has been consistently vocal in his opposition to fundamentalist Christian orthodoxy has been Jimmy Carter. Clearly, if a comparable coalition existed on the Left the Religious Right’s moral and political influence on such issues as abortion, same sex marriage, stem cell research and intelligent design would be balanced by dissenting forces. That such a coalition does not exist underscores the bankruptcy of organized religion’s monopoly on morality and moral principle.
Sikivu Hutchinson: Standing jubilantly before his subjects like a schlubby cartoon potentate, Newt Gingrich, the GOP’s resident court jester/sage/adulterer extraordinaire, declared Obama to be the most “radical” president in U.S. history at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference. Reveling in the event’s torch passing pageantry, the audience lapped up Gingrich’s tirade against the “secular socialist” Obama machine. Coming on the heels of Virginia governor Bob McDonnell’s racist paean to Confederate pride (in which Southern honor was smote in a zip-a-dee-doo-da world without slavery or slaves), the conference issued another call to arms.
Sikivu Hutchinson: Reveling in nightly PR infusions from the corporate lapdogs of American journalism, the freshly evangelized macho racist right has ensured that its charge of a socialist government expansion is now viewed as a “reasonable” critique of an overhaul that effectively concedes universal coverage to the insurance industry.
Sikivu Hutchinson: It’s simply not acceptable to blame the university’s egregious disregard for the needs of students of color on the bigoted acts of ignorant white or “minority” students. UCSD’s gross underrepresentation of Black students reflects the UC system’s institutional neglect of recruitment and outreach to African American high schools.