After activists protesting the death of Philando Castile left the governor’s mansion in St. Paul, Minn., on Saturday night, they marched through the city down Lexington Parkway and then onto the highway, across all eight lanes of traffic. There, some of them sat down, a provocative gesture of civil disobedience in the face of rushing commerce.
They were occupying a highway that, a half-century ago, was constructed at the expense of St. Paul’s historically black community. Interstate 94, like urban highways throughout the country, was built by erasing what had been black homes, dispersing their residents, severing their neighborhoods and separating them from whites who would pass through at high speed.
That history lends highways a dual significance as activists in many cities rally against unequal treatment of blacks: As scenes of protest, they are part of the oppression — if also the most disruptive places to call attention to it.
“If your goal was to clear slums,” Connolly, the historian, said, “the best way to get bang for your buck was to use the highway as a slum clearance instrument.”
The resulting highways were then meant to speed whites who’d moved to the suburbs back and forth to jobs and attractions downtown, leapfrogging minority communities along the way. As Connolly suggested, they still serve this function today. And often, highways that passed through black communities weren’t planned with on- and off-ramps to them.
“They’re not designed for, nor do they serve, low-income communities who are actually already close to downtown,” said Brown University historian Robert Self. “If you live in West Oakland, you don’t need a freeway to get to downtown Oakland.”
This infrastructure that destroyed black communities then helped build white ones, in the form of far-flung bedroom communities that boomed once these roads made longer-distance commuting feasible.
“They’re massive, massive occupiers of space,” Self said of highways. “When you’re flying through them in a car, you don’t think ‘this is actually an entire block or two or three of housing that had to go for this to be there.’ But there was a historical moment when that was housing.”
above- several article headlines telling us what we “really” are, only one (maybe two) of which are of actual substance. guess which.
why are people so obsessed with studies proving ashkenazi are “actually white”? i don’t understand why people can’t trust our own narratives about ourselves as a people. i mean, it might be true that the large part of ashkenazi mtDNA comes from europeans, but that’s likewise true of non-ashkenazi jewish populations- the maternal lineage is mostly from the host country. but the paternal lineage is pretty clearly from the levant. anyway, i’m no geneticist and i know the literature isn’t always clear-cut, but. still.
this isn’t a discussion on certain jews benefitting from white privilege, or passing as white, or anything else like that. it’s obvious that a lot of us do, and that this means we have certain social responsibilities- but that’s an entirely different discussion. this is about the endless work done to discredit our own stories about ourselves, purportedly in the name of science.
i’m tired. i realize a lot of us are tired of the “are jews white” question, or more specifically and realistically, “are ashkenazi jews white” question, but like. i’m more tired of being told how to feel about my heritage than i am tired of that question, so.
hey so??? im mixed naitive and white and i usd to id only as white bc i wasnt rly comfy disclosing my race because of issues i have with my family and now im saying im mixed bt im not saying what of because im still uncomfortable with it is that wrong??? shld i tell everyone?? im kinda white passing btw
Honestly i think you’re fine. If disclosing your race makes you uncomfortable then don’t force yourself to explain yourself.
I don’t think people give this generation’s of Disney Channel Stars enough credit. Like I said before, we have Cameron Boyce who’s white passing but speaks out about his black heritage and roots. We have Dove Cameron who’s a fucking angel, literally what I refer to as this generation of Disney’s Hilary Duff and who speaks up about girl power (plus, she and her boo Ryan are engaged and the cutest Disney couple since Zanessa). Zendaya, the BEYONCE of Disney Channel right now, who slays the game all fucking day and basically runs her own shit, do her own thang and pointing out REPRESENTATION. Skai Jackson, need I say more? Who wouldn’t love this child? ROWAN FUCKING BLANCHARD who vocally supports and shows so many respect to LGBT+, #BlackLivesMatter, Feminism and speaks out on so many fucking issues that literally she (and Zendaya) is like one of the very few Disney Channel stars that speak on all of these issues and more. We have Sofia Carson, who’s representing the Latina community of Disney and tbh it’s been since WOWP since we had that. Not to mention the cast of Stuck in the Middle, clearly that’s representation of a big Latina/Hispanic family that Disney has not done in years. Sabrina Carpenter, who’s voice is like a breath of fresh air, one of the talented voices that Disney has ever consumed. And there’s so much more and so many current DC Stars that are bringing a new light to what was a dim Disney Channel. People are so quick to not like what they see because it isn’t what it used to be for them. Well, I believe and I know these stars are talented and bringing new material to a growing world and network.
i never thought i’d be on the side of the kardashian family (or even have to type in the word “kardashian”) but a broke clock is right twice a day, and i’m always down for someone clocking taylor swift. her and her whole “squad” of faux-feminist, mostly white(/passing), skinny ambivalent chicks need to have all of the seats (except for zendaya; blessed be the young queen for always coming correct). everyone of them is on twitter talking about “let’s focus on the real issues of the world,” but i don’t see them talking about Black Lives Matter, gun violence, Trump, immigration, the global refugee crisis, the economy, politics, or anything else of substance, so why the plea of civic engagement all of sudden? stay pressed! this new class of “star/celebrity” is weak as they come.
Mark your calendars for August 15th for Brown Skin Appreciation day!
Who can participate?
Anyone who is “brown” and is not a white passing person of color. This is not limited to but also includes: South Asians, South East Asians, East Asians,non white people from the MENA region, non white Latinxs, African Americans, Africans, anyone who identifies as black, Mixed POC,Pacific Islanders, West Indians,and Indigenous peoples.
Why is this a thing?
Because people need to appreciate the beauty that is brown skin. For years, people have been putting lighter skinned POC or white passing POC on a pedestal and perpetuating the idea that “light skin is beautiful and dark skin isn’t”.
How can I participate?
Post a selfie with the tag “Brown Skin Appreciation Day” on August 15th! And reblog everyone’s Brown Skin Appreciation selfie to show your love and support. You can also tag “BrownSuggestion” on your selfie on Instagram!
I hope everyone who is brown participates and spreads the brown skin love!