Tag Archives | Racism

The Blood on Our Hands: An Analysis of Mass Murder

Blood on hands

The synchronicity was disturbing. My research for an upcoming article had me immersed in hate crime statistics, when a friend from South Carolina told me the news. A 21-year-old Southern white male had just opened fire on a prayer group at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC. This story hit something deep that data points and bar graphs cannot reach.

The Charleston shooting shook my South Carolinian friend to his core. Nine black Christians had welcomed an angry white kid into their prayer circle, and he gunned them down on a mission to “protect the White race.” My guts stirred with a sick feeling of recognition. It was as if the shooting had been a dreaded inevitability. Or was it that we’ve been here before?

If you think Dylann Storm Roof fits the typical hate crime profile, you are only half-correct.

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Charleston and the Age of Obama

There’s so much to say about the Charleston atrocity and no shortage of commentary throughout the media. One of the most perceptive analyses we’ve found is from David Remnick, editor of the New Yorker:

Between 1882 and 1968, the year Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated, three thousand four hundred and forty-six black men, women, and children were lynched in this country—a practice so vicious and frequent that Mark Twain was moved, in 1901, to write an essay called “The United States of Lyncherdom.” (Twain shelved the essay and plans for a full-length book on lynching because, he told his publisher, if he went forward, “I shouldn’t have even half a friend left down [South].”) These thousands of murders, as studied by the Tuskegee Institute and others, were a means of enforcing white supremacy in the political and economic marketplaces; they served to terrorize black men who might dare to sleep, or even talk, with white women, and to silence black children, like Emmett Till, who were deemed “insolent.”

Dylann Roof's Facebook photo with jacket showing  the flags of Rhodesia and apartheid South Africa

Dylann Roof’s Facebook photo with jacket showing the flags of Rhodesia and apartheid South Africa

 

But the words attributed to the shooter are both a throwback and thoroughly contemporary: one recognizes the rhetoric of extreme reaction and racism heard so often in the era of Barack Obama.

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How to Not Be Racist

zeevveez (CC BY 2.0)

zeevveez (CC BY 2.0)

Agustín Fuentes Ph.D. writes at Psychology Today:

I am occasionally racist— and so is most everyone in the USA.  [Notice he didn’t specify white people. — G.G.]  Even if we don’t think we are. Race is all around us, often in ways we often don’t realize. We can be less racist, and even move away from racism, but it takes a bit of work and some courage.

Race, and racism, is part of our environment, history, language, psychology, and politics. For example, what do we picture when we hear the term “ethnic food”? It is not hot dogs or hamburgers, but why not? Why is there an “ethnic hair products” aisle in the drugstore? Why aren’t those products just in the “hair care” aisle? And what the heck is “ethnic”? Don’t most people just use it as shorthand for race?  Yes they do, but no store is going to use the labels “foods from non-white groups” or a “products for black people’s hair” for those aisles.  

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Racism and Sexism Viewed as Aristotelian Virtues

Aristotle

CAVEAT EMPTOR.

Colin Liddell writes at Alternative Right:

For Aristotle there were always two vices for every virtue. This was because of his belief in the “Golden Mean.” For example, the virtue Courage existed between a vice of deficiency (Cowardice) and a vice of excess (Rashness).

To emphasize the metapoint: Aristotle saw all vices as existing on a continuum with all virtues, with no wall between them. This is very different from the Manichean morality that later poisoned the West through Judaic theology. What happens, however, if we apply this Aristotelian analysis to the major “vices” of the modern day, namely “Racism” and “Sexism”?

Of course the liberal left, with its agenda of deconstructing all elements of identity above the atomistic individual, seeks to impose its totalitarian will through a variation on this Judaic Manichaeism called “political correctness.” The sins of “Racism” and “Sexism” are accordingly seen as evil essence that must be expunged from society and all intellectual discourse through a no-platform, knee-jerk, quarantine, point-and-sputter approach.

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Chicago Police Put Antlers on Black Man and Posed for Pictures

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Juan Thompson writes at the Intercept:

The photo shows two white Chicago Police officers posing with an unidentified black man [above]. The officers — Timothy McDermott and Jerome Finnigan — are holding rifles as the black man lies on the floor with a dazed look on his face and with antlers on his head as if he were a prized, big buck finally hunted down.

Finnegan is smiling and grabbing the right antler, while McDermott is holding up the man’s head as if it were his trophy.

The photo was taken in a police station on the West Side of Chicago sometime between 1999 and 2003. The Chicago Police Department successfully kept it hidden from the public until a judge refused to keep it under seal and the Chicago Sun-Times pulled a copy from a court filing. 

Finnigan is a notoriously dirty ex-cop who was a member of the police department’s elite Special Operations Section (SOS) until 2006, when he was charged with leading a gang of fellow officers who robbed suspects, illegally invaded homes and stole thousands of dollars in cash.

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Emory Douglas: The Art of The Black Panthers


Emory Douglas: The Art of The Black Panthers from Dress Code on Vimeo.

Emory Douglas was the Revolutionary Artist and Minister of Culture for the Black Panther Party. Through archival footage and conversations with Emory we share his story, alongside the rise and fall of the Panthers. He used his art as a weapon in the Black Panther Party’s struggle for civil rights and today Emory continues to give a voice to the voiceless. His art and what The Panthers fought for are still as relevant as ever.

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Mother Publicly Beats Her Son, Mainstream Media Calls Her a “Hero”

Stacey Patton, writing at the Washington Post:

It’s not surprising that a black mother in Baltimore who chased down, cursed and beat her 16-year-old son in the middle of a riot has been called a hero. In this country, when black mothers fulfill stereotypes of mammies, angry and thwarting resistance to a system designed to kill their children, they get praised.

“He gave me eye contact,” Toya Graham told CBS News. “And at that point, you know, not even thinking about cameras or anything like that — that’s my only son and at the end of the day, I don’t want him to be a Freddie Gray. Is he the perfect boy? No he’s not, but he’s mine.”

In other words, Graham’s message to America is: I will teach my black son not to resist white supremacy so he can live.

The kind of violent discipline Graham unleashed on her son did not originate with her, or with my adoptive mother who publicly beat me when I was a child, or with the legions of black parents who equate pain with protection and love.

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#BaltimoreUprising isn’t just about Baltimore

As unrest continues in this broken and beaten down city, if we simply look at the events leading up to the Freddie Gray incident, we see a pattern – a pattern that is noticeable nationwide. A pattern of robbery, racism, injustice and inequality. Freddie Gray is the tip of the iceberg but this corruption runs deep – from TPP to FTP. #RiseUp

Watch the full episode: http://youtu.be/asonJ3tEJFw
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“Why I Want Class War” by Lee Camp of Redacted Tonight

We’re already in the middle of a class war perpetrated by the top .01% against the bottom 99.9%. And the riots in Baltimore are only a symptom of that. It’s even worse in the Black community because they’re impacted not only by crippling wealth inequality — but also decades of systemic racism in a society that claims to be free and democratic. Redacted Tonight’s Lee Camp explains how a class war is already underway — but we need to fight back against the powerful rich minority, not with violence, but with class warfare of the mind. (And somehow he makes it funny too.)

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Racism Is Real

The latest from Robert Greenwald’s Brave New Films:

Racism is real.

Since the election of President Barrack Obama many white Americans have been operating under the false assumption that racism is “over” and does not impose a significant barrier to People of Color.

Similarly, the seminal victories of the 1960s to combat the most obvious aspects of institutionalized bigotry created a perception that widespread racism had been largely eradicated.

The misplaced perception that racism is over was on full display last year when the deaths of African Americans like Eric Gardner and the Michael Brown exposed how tone deaf our society can be to the everyday plights of People of Color.

This video is the first installment in a series of short films Brave New films is producing to promote an invigorated fight for racial justice in this country. In it, we present a “split-screen” comparison of two individuals, a Black man and a White man, as they attempt to achieve progress by modern means.… Read the rest

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