Eric Avila: Few people question the formal study of indigenous, African, Latino or Asian peoples, but studying whiteness sparks a range of reactions, from open curiosity and interest, to derision and outright hostility. Whiteness in American History
Janaya Khan: I tell white folks that we don’t actually need them trying to organize in Black movements as we urgently need them to organize in their own communities.
Tim Wise: Perhaps it is President Obama who has internalized the idea that black people, even highly educated ones, are would-be malingerers, just waiting for a reason to go soft and “blame the world for trying to keep a black man down.”
Charles D. Hayes: Devoid of compassion, mainstream indifference is a hostile, authoritative, and testosterone-laden environment where the weak are ridiculed and the poor are held in contempt.
Sikivu Hutchinson: When you’ve been suckled on Ozzie and Harriet, its “hard” to have your whiteness referenced as a source of violence; especially by people of color.
Unai Montes-Irueste: Bob Costas’ backhanded compliment of Gabby Douglas’ ability to overcome “imaginary barriers,” is undeniably a statement uttered by a rich white man, blinded by his privilege.
Ezili Dantò: There’s a reason to recall the efforts responsible Haitians make to survive the Western rabid rage hidden behind the do-gooders’ benevolence.
Jessie Daniels: The clever, sinister thing about institutional racism in education is that it operates relentlessly on its own, like a machine, even when people of good will want it to operate differently.
Tim Wise: How even liberals, progressives and leftists, despite our advocacy for equity and stated commitment to racial justice, still manage to manifest and further racism — whether deliberately or not — in our activism, messages and policy prescriptions.
John Delloro: Longtime labor and international activist Bill Fletcher likened the Tea Party movement to herpes—they have always been there lying dormant and inevitably re-emerge whenever the nation’s immune system goes down. Highlighting the racist overtures of this inflammation on the body politic, Bill adds that it will take more than “economic inoculation” in order to return them into a slumbering state. In other words, just addressing “bread and butter” issues will not be enough. We still need to address race.
Carl Matthes: Desmond Tutu, the former Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town and a Nobel Peace Price winner, has lent his name to the fight against homophobia saying, “Homophobia is a ‘crime against humanity’ and ‘every bit unjust’ as apartheid.” Brad Pitt, in a 2007 Vanity Fair interview of Tutu, remarked, “So certainly discrimination has no place in Christianity. There’s a big argument going on in America right now, on gay rights and equality.”
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.