You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘race’ tag.

As depressing as it is to say, racism/white supremacy is just as rampant today as it has ever been at any time in history.  Granted, it’s not as overt or as outright and widespread as enslavement, but it’s present nonetheless.  More than that, it’s no longer hiding under the veil of civility.

This may not seem like a profound revelation to some but for those who have had to endure this malady from the cradle, while often pretending that they don’t, it’s groundbreaking.

It’s groundbreaking not because it’s so shocking or somehow strange to modern day sensibilities.  Rather, it’s groundbreaking because of the clarity it brings to the everyday existence of the affected parties.

For those above mentioned individuals, the reality that a large portion of white America, as well as a decent sized swath of the rest of the population, considers them to be lesser people answers a lot of the nagging questions they have had about the status of their lives, education, and employment.

For those individuals, it answers the “whys.”  Why are other races of people allowed to prosper?  Why are blacks treated differently from other races?  Why do the cries of black people fall upon deaf ears? Why are black people profiled as criminals regardless of their contributions to society?

Regardless of what is going on in the world or what other races of people are actually committing crimes, somehow, blacks are projected as the race of people that should be feared.

Even though the recent school shooters, church shooters, concert shooters, cinema shooters and mail bombers have all been white males, black males are still seen as the most dangerous threat imaginable.  Somehow, the white males are often presented as loners (not terrorists) and arrested without incident.

Meanwhile, a young father in his grandmother’s backyard with a cell phone was fatally wounded by law enforcement…because the officers suddenly feared for their lives!

The reality of seeing so many people armed to the teeth for fear of black and brown people answers the question of why the police don’t fear for their safety when dealing with white armed males but are afraid of unarmed black males to the point that they are murdered.

It also answers why so many other races of people who see proof of the injustices manage to somehow justify them.

Still, the question must be asked, what’s going on here?

Do white people believe black people are imagining these situations?  Do they see the fight for life as whining?  Complaining about nothing?

Can white people actually justify these situations as fair?  Do they even care?

More importantly, how long can any group think they will get away with these atrocities without repercussions?

Can anybody hear me?

Advertisements

Ok, I need to say this…

I’m so…sooooo tired of makeup companies and their biases.  I mean, supposedly they sell makeup products for black women…but they use the same formulas that they do when making makeup products for white women.

And that’s a problem.

I don’t understand why these mega companies cannot grasp that black women have very different needs when it comes to makeup than white women.  Is it really THAT hard to understand?

I mean it’s Makeup Science, not Rocket Science.  This should be fairly obvious.

Simply stated, white women often choose make up products that provides shine to their skin.  They refer to this shine as a youthful glow.

On the other hand, black women choose makeup products that control or limit shine.  They often incorporate face powder, etc., for a more matte finish.

And that’s ok.  What’s not ok is for companies to pretend that different women don’t have different needs, expectations and requests from their makeup and other products.

Why do black women have to/want to wear the same shiny makeup that white women wear?

At what point do companies that manufacture makeup—and other products in general—realize that different races of people may have differing needs when it comes to product selections?

Sadly, this has been going on for decades now.  It seems as though black women have been forced to more than compromise on every level.  Straighten your hair, stay away from afros, braids or any other “ethnic” hairstyles or be written up as unprofessional and intimidating.  Shave your legs, regardless of whether or not that is necessary for your body’s standard of beauty or be considered ugly and backwards.

In any of a thousand different ways, women of color are pushed into conformity with white standards of beauty.

This should not be.

Now, I’m not suggesting to you that all black women didn’t choose to shave.  My point is, black women were being cited at work and in other professional arenas for not accepting that this way is the only way PERIOD.

Enough already.  Compromising doesn’t seem to be working.  The more black women accept, the more employers, et al., want them to accept.

Now, I realize that there are companies popping up all over the country that specialize in makeup, skin and hair products for women of color.  And that’s as depressing as it is inspiring.  It’s inspiring to see products on the shelves that reflect the diversity of the people.  But it’s upsetting to think that a company has to be black-owned in order to care about black people.

I’m looking forward to the day when racial differences can be respected instead of overrode by someone else’s cultural needs being viewed as THE standard.

Can anybody hear me?

Black cop, White cop, to-may-to, to-mah-to, let’s throw the whole thing out!

Let’s face it, regardless of the race of the police officer, they are all the same.  Yet, the media et al., would have you to believe that there is a difference  — that if an African American is pulled over by a police officer and brutalized (which may or may not result in death), somehow it makes a difference as to whether the officer involved was black or white.

People are willing to concede (albeit begrudgingly) that if a tragedy against a black person, African American or person of color is committed by a white cop then, it MAY be an act of racism.  But, if the officer is not an active member of the KKK and/or spouting racial epithets while goose stepping, carrying a noose and burning a cross, racism may be ruled out.  However, if the same level of violence occurs at the hands of a black or Asian or Hispanic police officer, racism isn’t even considered as a factor.  This is because of a fundamental lack of understanding of what racism is and what it does.

Newsflash (to America and abroad):  Racism is systemic!  Racism is causative or contributory of EVERY social malady from sea to shining sea!  But, and this is the important part, racism is more complex than a white person disliking a black person or even a white person not wanting to sit or live next to or even physically touch a black person.  Racism is EVER so much more than that.  For clarity, I quote the late Francis Cress Welsing’s definition of racism:

“Racism (White Supremacy) is the local and global power system and dynamic, structured and maintained by persons who classify themselves as white, whether consciously or subconsciously determined, which consists of patterns of perception, logic, symbol formation, thought, speech, action and emotional response, as conducted simultaneously in all areas of people activity (economics, education, entertainment, labor, law, politics, religion, sex and war), for the ultimate purpose of white genetic survival and to prevent white genetic annihilation on planet Earth – a planet upon which the vast majority of people are classified as nonwhite (black, brown, red and yellow) by white skinned people, and all of the nonwhite people are genetically dominant (in terms of skin coloration) compared to the genetic recessive white skin people”.

Now that we have this working definition of racism in hand, it becomes clear that racism is more than just a function of individuals who classify themselves as “white.”  It is a mindset and a system of values and beliefs all geared toward the same goal.  Much like the ideas of Freedom or Independence, Racism is intangible, but subconsciously governs the actions of all people.  And these same individuals are in total control of all areas of black people’s lives.  Thus, black person attempting to live, work or play in a country built on racism must themselves conform to racist laws, policies, religion etc., in order to attain even a modicum of success.

Simply stated, if people of color (namely black or African Americans) become police officers (or occupy any other position in a country where the laws were established during their enslavement) they are tasked to enforce the same set of rules or regulations that white police officers enforce, regardless of whether the rules/regulations are racist or not.  With that in mind, it is fair to say that a police officer is a police officer, color be damned.  Once a member of any race becomes a police officer, he or she has to honor the established CREED of police officers, similar to how gang members have to operate as one entity.  The race of the police officer is immaterial.

Black persons, African Americans, persons of color or whatever other name is fashionable at the moment are disproportionally killed by police officers for infractions as minor as a taillight being out.  They are obvious target of racism in America.  As such, they would do well to treat ALL police officers as a collective and not as individuals.

My advice to anyone of color who is pulled over by a police officer for any reason, whether the officer is black or white, is to run like hell!  You’ll still die, but at least your family won’t have to argue that you are pointing a cannon at innocent, harmless officers while tripping in a sexually aggressive drug trip.

Can anybody hear me?

If you find yourself in the category of individuals who, while watching the News, discover that there is—yet again—a new medical malady to be leery of; if you are wondering if the latest disease has any bearings on your life; if you are wondering what it might possibly “look like on you,” then listen up! Even though you are receiving pound after pound of scary information in vivid detail about what symptoms to look for when assessing potentially life threatening conditions, please note: Some of this information may or may not actually apply to you!

For example, melanoma. Whereas I am certain that individuals of color are sometimes stricken with this terrible disease, I would surmise that the vast majority of individuals afflicted are Caucasian, Asian, white Hispanics and/or other “fair-skinned” groups of people. So why the herd call as if we all have the same risks factors or the same requirements for prevention of every ill? And, when illnesses or diseases truly affect the masses, why are we given one-sided information that tells only one side of the story and gives symptoms for only “some” of the affected individuals? Simply stating that symptoms include “paleness” or even “redness” depending on how richly colored individuals are is insufficient at best! Whereas these symptoms might help Caucasians or other light-skinned individuals,they mean absolutely nothing to individuals of color who will never appear truly “pale” until their conditions have worsened almost to the point of death.

Think of sickle cell anemia. While it does affect people of all races, It would be negligent to discuss sickle cell in catastrophic terms for all races when, in fact, it mainly affects African Americans?

Even if we have overlapping diseases such as STDs and cancers, why not acknowledge racial and ethnic differences and let individuals on all parts of the color spectrum know what they should be looking for on their colored skin? This would be a real acknowledgement that people of color reside on this earth and that different people may have very different needs!

Can anybody hear me?

With all the celebrating of the 50th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s, “I Have a Dream” speech, one barely has a moment to reflect on exactly what is being celebrated. More importantly, no one has even considered the idea that a grand celebration may be contraindicated.

Fifty years ago, Jim Crow laws shaped the lives of black persons. Basic human rights were denied to them, under the guise of law and morality. Voting rights were a constant issue as well. While not outright slaughtered in the streets, black people were beaten and killed from state to state while the wheels of justice were seemingly stuck in the middle of the road. The very lives of blacks were taken as near worthless. As a result of this madness, there were constant marches and boycotts against the very visible Jim Crow. But Jim, though successful, was unpolished. He simply could not hide his evil and venom from the world at large and, as such, was an embarrassment to his Northern cousins. So, in order maintain the status quo of inequity and unfairness, he required a makeover. In essence, he had to reinvent himself.

Jim Crow gave birth to a new and more sophisticated form of himself. Instead of donning sheets and hoods, he donned business suits and carried leather briefcases. He traded in his fire hoses, rope and dogs for law, policy and money. He changed his stance and speech patterns, gained epicurean insight and began calling himself James Crow, Esq.

Unlike his uncultured cousin, James Crow, Esq., has a stellar education and is better able to twist and pervert the justice system for his dirty work. Unlike his counterpart, he uses the pen as his weapon instead of the noose. In this way, he is able to distance himself from the old, obvious racism and pretend that his own sins, though as numerous and cruel as his counterpart’s, are somehow right and fair-seeming. The outcome is the same for those targeted by Jim or James, but James’ hands APPEAR to be clean…and in today’s society, appearance is everything.

But we celebrate. We celebrate the death of Jim Crow while ignoring the continued survival of James. We tell ourselves or, better yet, are told that race is no longer an issue and that those who think otherwise are troublemakers and race baiters. But, lo and behold, just as in the days of Jim Crow, voting rights are still an issue. Decades later, the new face of an unjustified and unpunished murder is Trayvon Martin instead of Emmett Till. In 2013, African Americans are still given harsher penalties than their white counterparts for the same crimes.

So…what was the celebration for?

As strange as it may seem, we appear to be celebrating the strides African Americans have made in their quest for equality in the same vein as someone who was suffering under eight tumors and now has only six. Obviously, you don’t want to dismiss the unmistakable healing that has taken place but, make no mistake, he is not whole. He continues to need major assistance and adjustments. For all his strides, the cancer is still there.

Now, let’s imagine that it took 50 years for the two tumors to vanish. Would you feel the same about his achievements or would you have expected him to have been restored to wholeness and able to stand on his own two feet?

Can anybody hear me?

It seems that every once in a while, something has to happen to remind people that race relations between blacks and whites have not changed much since the days of slavery. As with any point regarding human nature, someone has had to die in order to get it across. The latest, publicized victim is Trayvon Martin. For those living on a different planet, Trayvon Martin was a 17 year old kid who, while visiting his father in Florida, was gunned down by a volunteer Neighborhood Watch warden named George Zimmerman. Zimmerman was later acquitted of any wrongdoing.

In fact, some people are saying that young Trayvon contributed to his death as much as Zimmerman. After all, what right did he have to strike another human being? Here’s the thing they fail to consider. For all the talk of whether Martin was a street thug or a scholar, we seem to forget that he was, above all else, a child. He was a young, dumb kid who responded in an immature way to a perceived threat. In his young mind, he was defending himself against a lurking presence that wished to do him harm. He was defending himself as much as Zimmerman claimed to be.

No matter what side of the verdict you find yourself falling on, I think we can all agree on one thing: the entire incident could have been avoided. Zimmerman could have had some identifying factors such as an ID or official uniform that would have revealed his identity to Martin. Consider those worn by the Guardian Angels. They are immediately recognizable as individuals working for the common good. Uniforms and badges give validity and purpose to the people wearing them. They let others know that these are people who, while in positions of some authority, are able to be depended upon.

If this is too over the top, Zimmerman always had a trump card. He could have taken the advice of the dispatch and not have followed Martin in the first place. He could have stayed in his car and “watched” to see what Martin was doing and/or where he was going. After all, Zimmerman was the neighborhood “watch,” not neighborhood “security.”

However, he chose not to do that. Instead, he chose to put his faith in his OTHER trump card—the gun that he was carrying. As a result of his decision, a young man is dead . . . forever!

I guess as a consolation, one of the jurors is now saying that Zimmerman got away with murder.

Okay, tell us something we don’t already know.

She goes on to say that Zimmerman will not escape God’s judgment. Seriously?? Isn’t that the same for any situation or crime? Who can escape God’s judgment? No one. The people were not asking for God’s judgment. The people were asking for man’s judgment. In particular, they were asking six women to judge Zimmerman right here on earth! Now is simply not the time for platitudes and hokey religious sayings. Frankly, I’m not trying to hear them. That kind of thinking is what got us into this mess as a people and will continue to get us in situations such as this. Yes, God is in control of this universe. But constantly eschewing the responsibility of working for justice in this world just ensures that there is never any real accountability for crimes of this nature. Can anybody hear me?

How come white Americans have the freedom to speak publicly about not wanting to be “too white” and, consequently, of the desire to tan or darken their skin, crinkle their hair (curly perms), inject their lips in order to attain fuller lips, increase the size of their buttocks (surgically or otherwise) etc., under the guise of self improvement and health while black Americans, on the flipside, suffer socially if they talk openly about being “too dark,” of straightening their hair (perms), of skin lightening (the opposite of tanning), of wanting smaller buttocks or of wanting thinner lips?

White females are allowed to wear weaves, wigs, hair extensions, fake nails, fake butts and fake breasts while black females receive ridicule for using the same beauty props.  Why is this?

White Americans are given a pass to pick and choose body parts off of other races of people, especially from black Americans, without appearing on Steve Wilkos, Maury or Tyra as haters of themselves and/or of their race.  Isn’t it apparent that they “dislike” their natural white attributes enough to risk skin cancer in order to darken, not to mention enduring other risks factors associated with surgical alterations, etc.? Blacks in this same situation are referred to psychiatrists, psychologists and deemed haters of themselves and their own race.  At the same time, they are seen as lovers of the white race.  So, why aren’t whites who make physical changes that resemble blacks treated similarly?

Why is it acceptable for whites to be displeased with as well as to alter themselves physically while blacks are supposed to celebrate and accept the physical attributes that they are born with?  Did I miss something?  Can anybody hear me?