To the Students in English1000C

I sat in a class where I believed race didn’t actually matter. When I am on my college campus, the level of diversity within the student body tends to make me forget about race to some degree because we are all here for a common goal ; to graduate. In class, we had dealt with topics such as women. I didn’t chalk it up to one simple conclusion about women because I am not a woman. I won’t sit here and tell you what it’s like to be one but I can tell you there are systematic advantages by not being one. I understand that I do not understand. 

Today we read about Langston Hughes and proceeded to do group work. I felt this particular project would proceed as simple and smooth as the projects on women had. I thought people would defend and understand how racism is still very obvious even in todays time. Maybe it’s because I’ve been around more liberal people as of late I thought that. 

By the time we sat in groups my teacher had announced she read our private journals(for class) and many students had admitted to believing in some racist ideals, even if they didn’t act on it. Part of me believes my classmates don’t understand what racism really is. I still hope that to be true. I hope their pre meditated judgements are what they view as racist and not their true hatred for minorities and a dire love for the system that continues to hold minorities down.

As I read Langston Hughes poem, one classmate said to me ” 1949, I guess Racism was over by then”. I had politely corrected him about that. Then my other group mate followed up ” Now racism doesn’t exist…”. I had then realized that my teacher had also said that “Civil Rights was 50 years ago”.  I had began to see the level of discontent and awkwardness on the black students faces, all 4 of us. 

I was in a class that probably believes that just because our president is half black racism was over. I was in a class that believes just because their favorite performer is Beyonce, racism is over. I was in a class full of students and I mind you not all white, that live in this fantasy world where racism in America is not a real thing. To a degree, they’re right, because in their world it doesn’t. For the 22 year old white male, your privilege can blind you from seeing the faults in a system because the faults don’t pertain to you. For the white woman, you are given an idea of sympathy when it comes to Feminism because the feminist movement is there to really protect white women. 

I was in a class full of students who weren’t willing to sympathize because they saw nothing to sympathize with. Rather than say they don’t understand they believe that they do understand. They don’t understand and they won’t understand and rather than sit here in my face and pretend as if you do, admit you don’t. Just like I don’t understand what it is like to be a woman in America, non-minorities don’t understand what it’s like to be a minority in America. Just because your friends are black, just because your idols are spanish, doesn’t mean you understand what it’s like. 

To test for political prejudice, Shanto Iyengar and Sean Westwood, political scientists at Stanford University, conducted a large-scale implicit association test with 2,000 adults. They found people’s political bias to be much larger than their racial bias. When Democrats see “joy,” it’s much easier for them to click on a corner that says “Democratic” and “good” than on one that says “Republican” and “good.”
To find out whether such attitudes predict behavior, Iyengar and Westwood undertook a follow-up study. They asked more than 1,000 people to look at the resumes of several high-school seniors and say which ones should be awarded a scholarship. Some of these resumes contained racial cues (“president of the African American Student Association”) while others had political ones (“president of the Young Republicans”).
Race mattered. African-American participants preferred the African-American candidates 73 percent to 27 percent. Whites showed a modest preference for African-American candidates, as well, though by a significantly smaller margin. But partisanship made a much bigger difference. Both Democrats and Republicans selected their in-party candidate about 80 percent of the time.
—  Cass R. Sunstein, “'Partyism' Now Trumps Racism
Race matters. Race matters in part because of the long history of racial minorities’ being denied access to the political process.

Race matters to a young man’s view of society when he spends his teenage years watching others tense up as he passes, no matter what neighborhood he grew up. Race matters to a young woman’s sense of self when she states her hometown, and then is pressed, ‘No, where are you really from?’

The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to speak openly and candidly on the subject of race, and to apply the Constitution with eyes open to the unfortunate effects of centuries of racial discrimination.
6

No more fears, no more doubts.

Race has nothing to do with it!
— 

Same ol’ comment made by a white person whenever race has everything to do with it. 

When an unarmed Black person is murdered in cold blood by the police for suspiciously doing nothing: Race has everything to do with it.

When a Black person/a group of Black teens are followed and stopped and frisked for suspiciously walking or dressed in their choice of apparel: Race has everything to do with it.

When a Black person is pursued, stopped and searched for driving a nice car: Race has everything to do with it.

Black people in America have always been treated guilty until proven innocent. Race matters. 

Ironic:

The moment I post something about racism on my feminist blog, I lose followers. Last time I checked, race was part of feminism, kiddos. You can’t expect others to acknowledge their privileges if you can’t acknowledge your own.

Social justice is an internal pursuit.

Disney Fans Who Say Children Don't See Race

That’s a damn lie. I’m a 90’s baby born in 1992, Princess and the Frog came out in 2009. I was 17 yrs old. I had to wait 17 years to see a Black Disney princess. Growing up little Black Girls had only one or two options to see themselves Pocahontas, and Jasmine. That’s it, that’s the closest thing we had to Black that was what we had. Do you know the pain a child feels because they’re told they can’t be Cinderella because she wasn’t Black. Or noticing that you couldn’t be Pocahontas because you didn’t have long hair like her, or Jasmine for that matter, or if you were too dark to be them. I remember when the Brandy version of Cinderella came out and broadcasted on tv, I remember hearing how she didn’t count as a real princess because the real Cinderella is white. I remember being sad because none of the princesses looked like me.

I remember asking myself what is wrong with a Black Princess. You notice as a child, you notice these things and it’s destructive because no one bothers to give a child the whole truth. Tiana was a frog throughout her movie, and I remember sitting there being pissed because we got one, and I have to watch her be an animal. I don’t even get to see her be a woman, going through adventures like Belle, Cinderella, Ariel, Snow White, Aurora. My brother was babysitting his friends daughter. He asks me to put on Princess and the Frog for her, I do. She is around 4 or 5 years old. She turns to me and says “I don’t want her to be a frog. I want her to turn back.” I felt a sting in my chest, because well I’m not gonna spoil the movie for her, however what sort of an answer is that to tell a child “She does turn back…at the end.” She has to wait to the end of the movie to see her be a princess, and to see her be a human again. Little Black Girls have to wait til the end to see their humanity, they don’t get that access to it right away. She was a child and she recognized she didn’t like seeing Tiana as a frog, I was a child and I recognized that I didn’t look like the other princess, and noticed there wasn’t a Black Princess. There is a extreme loneliness you feel when you don’t see yourself but you notice that everyone else can. But what’s even worse is when adults around you don’t validate your loneliness but instead tell you “that’s just the way it is”.

Watch on unapproachableblackchicks.tumblr.com

A skin-tingling speech which speaks to the heart of #Ferguson — Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal on Missouri Senate floor Sept. 10, 2014. Chapelle-Nadal delivers a gripping speech calling Gov. Nixon to the carpet for allowing Senators and constituents to be stripped of their 1st Amendment rights while being tear gassed and treated like animals. She details how MO Governor Nixon allowed the state of emergency to escalate while he did nothing. Senator Chapelle-Nadal brings it all into perspective, detailing personal experiences as well as the racist history of #Ferguson which culminated into the aftermath of the Michael Brown shooting when the MO Governor treated #Ferguson like foreign enemy territory. A must watch speech!

White supremacist ideology is based first and foremost on the degradation of black bodies in order to control them. One of the best ways to instill fear in people is to terrorize them. Yet this fear is best sustained by convincing them that their bodies are ugly, their intellect is inherently underdeveloped, their culture is less civilized, and their future warrants less concern than that of other peoples.
—  Cornel West

the walking dead || poster

People of color do not have the power to be racist.

I’m putting it out there. I don’t care who wants to debate me on it.

People of color do not hold enough power to structurally enforce the power dynamic that is racism. 

There is a difference between prejudice and racist. 

Just because some black girls look at you funny for dating a black man doesn’t make them racist. It makes them feel a hurt they cannot articulate to you without egos being involved. It makes them feel like even our own family thinks we’re not good enough; even the men I love won’t love me back.

Or maybe…

She’s staring at you because she likes your outfit and you can’t read her face. 

Maybe she doesn’t give a fuck that you have a black boyfriend and you’re in her line of vision. But consider the fact that white beauty is held as the standard that everyone else has to measure up to. 

Maybe she’s fucking a white man and is contemplating some sort of irony. Who the fuck knows, but mean mugging ain’t got shit on school closures, lack of employment, being stereotyped and welfare mother or dead beat dads, having and overall lack of proper educational and medical care, and being thought of as, “A cool black_______”. 

I have the right to be upset at the disproportionate amount of institutionalized favor given to those who are a members of a particular race. My anger isn’t because I find white people inferior or lesser than myself, my anger is because no matter what the fuck I do, my color is always going to matter more than my gotdamn character. Someone who is white will generally dismiss my grievances of race because of their personal experiences with stereotype, and I’m not allowed to say shit about it. 

Fuck that. I’m mad, I’m hurt, I’m heart broken, and most importantly, you have  a black friend and that’s suppose to excuse your ignorance. 

White supremacist ideology is based first and foremost on the degradation of black bodies in order to control them. One of the best ways to instill fear in people is to terrorize them. Yet this fear is best sustained by convincing them that their bodies are ugly, their intellect is inherently underdeveloped, their culture is less civilized, and their future warrants less concern than that of other peoples.
—  Cornel West
Watch on dmwalking.tumblr.com

Thank you hip hop. I miss songs like this. Substance >

Two Americans with Ebola have been flown in from Liberia over the past week and treated with a “secret serum” in the hopes of helping them successfully combat the deadly virus.

However, Ebola has already taken its first American victim.

To be fair, 24-year-old Nathaniel Dennis did not have Ebola, but the fear inflamed by the rapidly spreading disease that has already killed more than 800 people in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea certainly contributed to his death, his older sister, Natasha Dennis, told The Root.

“The first case of Ebola was in February, March. Why wasn’t it more contained then? What happened to the education of the people to make it get to this point right now? My brother, he’s still a victim of Ebola, but he’s a victim of the hysteria it caused,” says Dennis, 27, who lives in California.

It all started following a family vacation to Liberia, where the siblings’ mother, Precious Dennis, lives as an educator. Nathaniel decided to stay in Liberia once the trip was over when the music lover found a job at a local radio station. After about a month, on July 24, his mother awoke to find her youngest son comatose on his bedroom floor, his body stiff and his eyes rolled back, Natasha Dennis said. His room was in disarray.

“That’s when the Ebola outbreak started getting really big; of course, any time anyone’s sick they have to confirm that it’s not Ebola, so they put him in quarantine right away and he was there for three days just being treated for Ebola. All his tests came back negative,” Dennis explains. “So at this point we’re calling the embassy, we’re trying to get him out, everyone’s telling me that they’re not flying into Liberia at this time, no one can help us, there’s nothing they can do, things like that.”

When Nathaniel Dennis was released from quarantine, the family attempted to get him evacuated to Ghana to receive the treatment he needed—which was just a respirator and a dialysis machine. However, Ghana wouldn’t let him in, given the Ebola scare and having closed its borders to Liberia.

“My poor brother,” Dennis says. “He lasted a week, and at the end, he just needed a ventilator to keep him breathing, to help him, and they didn’t have that.”

Nathaniel Dennis died on July 30, with a doctor telling the family that the cause was kidney failure. The family’s frustration did not end there, however.

“What we still don’t understand is that the next day after my brother passed, they sent a plane to go get these doctors that do have Ebola, and I think that’s the most frustrating part for us. We can’t understand,” the grieving big sister tells The Root.

After all, Nathaniel Dennis was an American, too, a Maryland native like his siblings.

“Everyone knew he was an American citizen, he obviously needed help … he was in a coma, he obviously needed to see a doctor immediately, and for that to not have happened, or someone to help make that happen, is ridiculous, and then they send for two American citizens that do have Ebola. It doesn’t make any sense,” Natasha Dennis says.

However, she isn’t resentful of the treatment that the two Americans with Ebola were afforded.  

“I’m so happy that they were able to come here and get that health care. We’re absolutely praying for their families, hoping for recovery, hoping for a serum that works,” she says. “So we’re hoping and praying something comes from this. That it wasn’t in vain that they were brought to the States … and we can help Liberia and we can help everyone from this disease.”                     

image

(Nathaniel Dennis and Natasha Dennis in Liberia in June 2014)

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