Racism and the Myth of a “Victim Mentality”

Stereotype

Tim Wise: It’s a common argument, made by those who would rather ignore or finesse the problem of racism in America. If you can’t argue the facts, never fear, just suggest that certain facts are too dangerous to be spoken. The possibility that persons of color might adopt a victim mentality once they learn the extent of racism, means we simply have to move on, and tell those who are, as a matter of fact, often the victims of injustice not to dwell on their experiences too much, lest their commitment to self-help be vitiated.

Tiger Didn’t Apologize for Dubai’s Slave Labor

tiger woods dubai

David Love: With an economic and political crisis afoot in this crumbling empire, it seems that this salacious celebrity gossip is nothing more than that–a media-created distraction to help us forget how bad things really are in America. This is a sideshow, like the gladiator games in Rome, or feeding the Christians to the lions.

What Is Rankism and Why Do We “Do” It?

Cleaning Lady

Robert Fuller: you conclude that rankism is human nature — that we’re like the apes, and they do it, so we have no choice — and dismiss the possibility of overcoming it, consider this list of specific kinds of “put downs” that, not long ago, were deemed cool, but have become a sure way to embarrass yourself.

The New Jim Crow

Michelle-Alexander

Michelle Alexander: The clock has been turned back on racial progress in America, though scarcely anyone seems to notice. All eyes are fixed on people like Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey who have defied the odds and achieved great power, wealth and fame.

Friday Feedback: Martin Luther King Stood Up for What Is Right

I don’t care if you believe that whites are better than blacks, or if your religion teaches that the Bible says gays are immoral, you don’t have the right to oppress other citizens. You don’t have the right to deny the benefits of civil marriage to the children of gay citizens. Not in this country. That’s what makes Martin Luther King’s work so powerful – he stood up for what was ethically right, and his demands were in alignment with the Constitution of our great nation: Equal rights for all!

Massachusetts?!! Ask the Model Minority

Japanese-American evacuation during World War II

John Delloro: With a rise in right-wing populism, I am worried. Our history tells us that immigration will become the key hot button issue these next coming elections and, in the past, hate crimes against AAPIs and Latina/os have consistently risen with increasing anti-immigrant sentiment, especially during low economic periods.

Why Can’t Politicians Say “Light-Skinned Negro”?

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Sharon Kyle: Unless they’re compelled to address it, as Barack Obama was during the explosion of negativity around Rev. Jeremiah Wright, you can pretty much count on race not being discussed on the campaign trail.

Friday Feedback: Call for Jobs Programs

I can’t say I was “disappointed” in the jobs summit, because I didn’t expect it to be more than window dressing, but every day I wake up with the hope that President Obama will read one of the articles by people like Paul Krugman or Bob Herbert in the NY Times and a light will finally click on in that sharp brain of his.

­How Nobodies Can Be Somebodies: FAQs for the Dignity Movement against Rankism

Dominance

When discrimination and injustice are race-based, we call it racism; when they’re gender-based, we call it sexism. By analogy, rank-based abuse and exploitation are rankism. We won’t be able to confront rankism until we overcome our fear of seeming uppity by using the word in public.

Racism and Reaction Must Be Confronted

teabagger

Rightwing populism is dangerous but the greatest potential peril lies not in the presence of some loony or deluded, irrational people parading through the streets. It arises from the certainty that there will always be someone lurking about in a trench coat to fan the flames for their own cynical purposes.

The Conversation America Won’t Have on Race

witch-doctor

No matter what kind of shape-shifters or mask-wearers we are as African Americans leaders, even our post-racial leaders are finding out that the nagging issue of race is an unavoidable one.

A Teachable Moment: Police Authority and Racism

Handcuffs

President Obama was right the first time when he said the police acted stupidly, because they should know better. It’s unfortunate that the president found it necessary to step back and retract the remark because until we can see this kind of action with some objectivity, we will never learn enough to actually be objective in such matters.

Blacks and Latinos Hit Harder in Hard Times

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Unemployment is and always has been much higher in Black and Latino communities. But the gap has widened during this recession. In fact, Black unemployment is nearly double that of Whites, while Latinos are unemployed at a rate one-third higher than their White counterparts.

Rankism: The Elephant in Professor Gates’s House

Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

The Gates Affair reminds us of our sorry history of racial profiling and gives new impetus to ending it. It also suggests that we’re more likely to eradicate profiling if we show our guardians the same dignity that we seek for ourselves.

Are We Always Going to Be Preoccupied with Racism?

Five generations of a slave family.

Yet, the long view shows that since this racial system had a beginning, and important changes have taken place, one can venture that it will also have an end. The election of Barack Obama is an encouraging sign.

Living While Black in Cambridge

Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

None of us African-American residents of Cambridge are surprised or shocked by the humiliation and harassment Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., 58, of Harvard University encountered at the hands of Cambridge police.

Sotomayor IS a Wise Latina, and Our Court Needs Her

Sotomayor

Exposure to a wide range of life experiences and education are the keys to progress. Judge Sotomayor has had both the benefits of that exposure and the formal as well as practical education necessary to make her a wise Latina justice of the Supreme Court.

Reflections on Racism

black-muslim-woman

Barack Obama feels able to counsel others – most recently Armenians and Turks – to work through their pasts “in a way that is honest, open and constructive.” Otherwise, he cautions, unresolved history “can be a heavy weight.” And yet Obama decided to leave his own country’s past unresolved by boycotting this week’s international conference [...]

Good Hair v Nappy Hair

iStock_000017068698Small-Optimized

The N Word We Rarely Discuss: NAPPY ike most blacks in America, I was raised in an environment where hair like mine, kinky hair, was frequently referred to as “bad hair.”  Conversely, straight hair or kink-less hair was characterized as “good hair“.  I grew up receiving a steady stream of messages that directly or indirectly [...]

Glenn Beck Spins the Holocaust Museum Shooting

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Wednesday afternoon, Glenn Beck and two of his guests argued that Adolph Hitler and the Nazi Party were “left wing”; that “political correctness” led the committed white supramacist, James Von Brunn, to shoot a security guard at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC; and that ultimately President Barack Obama is the one responsible for the [...]

Plea Bargains in the Criminal McJustice System

Philadelphia D.A. Lynne Abraham

In Philadelphia, it is time for a new district attorney. The current D.A. Lynne Abraham is retiring, and none too soon – after 18 years in the position, she has been called “America’s deadliest D.A.” for her exceptionally voracious appetite in seeking the death penalty. Without question, most of the people sentenced to death were [...]

Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s Nomination: Obama Gives the Nation Another Teaching Moment

sotomayor-gop

President Barack Obama has done a symbolically extraordinary thing by nominating for the first time in U.S. history a person of Latino descent to the Supreme Court. The president has stayed true to the theme of his long campaign when he adopted “Si Se Puede” from the legendary Latina leader, Dolores Huerta. Right-wing talk show [...]

Award-Winning “Journalism” Targets Obama’s Head

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Meet one of the “winners” from the Association for Alternative Newsweeklies 2009 awards. The above inflammatory PW cover art is for the AAN award-winning article Hater Nation, an article on an anonymous letter received by the PW threatening Obama’s life. (hmmmm, could troll Aaron Proctor be the author of this letter?? he and Joe were [...]

Who Mourns the Confederate Slave?

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Klansman and Nazi David Duke was arrested in Prague, Czech Republic, the last week of April 2009: it is a crime to deny the Holocaust. In Germany and Austria, it is a crime to express support for National Socialism; it is even problematic to honor soldiers who died fighting for Hitler. By contrast, in May [...]

Inside Joe Arpaio: Arizona Deputy Calls Him a Disgrace to the Department

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“It ain’t right,” the man with the soft, desert cowboy drawl says slowly into the phone. “These folks are human beings and he treats ‘em like swine. Well, actually, Joe treats everyone who ain’t white and rich like swine.” ”Here in Maricopa County, he thinks it’s a crime to be poor or have brown skin [...]

The New William H. Parker Center Controversy: Revisionist History Cannnot Override Long Racial Legacy

Photo by Al Muto

The City of Los Angeles is about to unveil its brand new “state-of-the-art,” world-class headquarters for what it considers its world-class law enforcement agency. Just know there’s one too many “world-class” attributes in that last sentence, and given the latest controversy — the public should decide where the “world-class” attribute should actually go. A month [...]

The Legacy of Torture: Story of the San Francisco Eight

sf8poster

ACLU Pasadena Public Forum “Will we face the torture chambers in our cities as well as on Guantanamo?” Tuesday, May 12, 7 p.m. Neigbhorhood Church 301 North Orange Grove Boulevard Pasadena, California Hear two of the SF8 tell their story of torture and persecution over 37 years. The San Francisco 8, former members and associates [...]

Lobbyist Money + Right-Wing Extremists = Tea Party

Photo by the One True Bix

he tea parties that recently took place around the country were billed as a grassroots, bottom-up groundswell against taxes, big government and bailouts. Fox News, apparently promoting itself as the official teabag network, hopes to grab ratings by embracing the pseudo-populist protests as their own. Republican politicians tried to hitch onto the mean-spirited tea party [...]

US to Boycott UN Racism Forum

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A global conference devoted to addressing racism is having trouble attracting an audience. The event, slated to take place in South Africa next week, boasts Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as a plenary speaker — and so far, only a handful of leaders have RSVP-ed oui. Others have announced they will not attend: Israel, Canada, some [...]

Michelle, Malia, and Sasha Cannot Be the Only Black Women Whose Lives Matter to Us in 2009

jasmyne_1

So I went to the scene of the crime yesterday afternoon that left a teenage girl dead and a 30-year-old paraplegic arrested for murder. If I’d driven by too fast, I’d have missed the small makeshift memorial of candles and teddy bears that marked the spot where another Black person lost their life to senseless [...]

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