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It seems as though Women’s Rights have become the latest hotbed issue.  Every time you turn on the TV, women’s groups are popping up everywhere hell bent on getting what they feel is their due.  From clergy to politicians, everyone seems to have an opinion on the role of women in modern day society.

Black Women, White women, Asian women, Hispanic women, Indian women, et al., have come together to demand rights from their oppressors…men.   And why not?  Especially when every committee and senate meeting that focuses on women are comprised of nothing but men.  But, for all the sign making, speech writing and girl talk, there seems to be very little focus on reality!  Thankfully, that’s where I come in.  I promise to be brief but frank.

All disenfranchised groups in America are essentially battling one group of people to obtain their rights—wealthy, white men.  To be completely frank, the white man is the target of all protest in America, because that one group, whether in politics or the business world, makes all the rules/decisions and run the country.  But, while we’re speaking the truth, let’s also admit that African Americans have an even more complex battle with white America than other groups, owing to their arrival not being of their own volition.  No other group in the history of the country was forced to forget their names, gods and identity, or later forced to cohabit with the same people who made that so.  So, it would stand to reason that, although Black females are confronted with the same issues as White women, Asian women, Hispanic women, Indian women et al, the discrimination they face has another dimension to it.

This is because Black Women, even today, experience the type of racism that is a result of and caused by white America denying the basic reality of her humanity (right along with her black male counterpart).  Far from being denied certain rights simply because of her womanhood, the Black Woman is denied certain rights because many feel she isn’t enough of a person to deserve them.  Thus, I have to believe that the issues of racism and being treated as a human being must surely far outweigh her need to be equal to her black man since both of them aren’t even considered fully human yet, even in 2017.  Look no further than the constant barrage of monkey comparisons and Harambe based comments about darker skinned women to see examples of this.  Nevertheless, she is being dragged into a campaign of fighting for Women’s rights, a fight that really does not benefit or involve her at all!

In fact, let’s be honest.  White Women have been the biggest beneficiary of so-called equal rights fight for women.  It is HER counterpart, the white man, who is refusing to include her in the spoils that racism has afforded him, but he still considers HER to be higher than any other woman.  After all, she supported his destruction of an entire race of people; she stood with him at lynchings; she kept the sheets of his robes washed and the eye holes on his torture outfit aligned; etc.

She’s been a faithful partner to her white man.  But, where did it get her?

She, the White female, has a valid point.  Her contribution to racism is totally being ignored by him.  This is unfair to her!  She was tricked, bamboozled . . . had!   She made major contributions to the implementation of racism and, as such, she expected more of a piece of the American Pie.  She didn’t get it.  She has to fight for her cut.  But the rest of us don’t necessarily have to join in that fight.  Let us not forget that, while women make less than men for the same jobs of equal quality, the White woman is still making more than any other race of women and, in many cases, the men of color as well.

But, what does the Black female stand to gain by the acquisition of Women’s rights? After all, she isn’t even viewed as a human being, much less a “REAL” woman.

So, how about channeling this wasted energy into securing human rights for black people as a whole before fragmenting and diluting the issues with issues that aren’t yet of any consequence? If after being fully acknowledged as human beings Black Women are being male dominated, I’ll join the fight.  Til then, there are bigger fish to fry.

Can anybody hear me?

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In the News, Julianne Hough has been receiving criticism for her choice of Halloween costume—namely Crazy Eyes of Orange is the New Black fame.   My question is why?  She didn’t don blackface to portray a nameless, faceless parody of all blacks (African Americans), she put on black face makeup to simulate the face (and hairdo I might add) of her favorite African American character.  Where is the harm?

Would it have been different if an African American chose Judge Judy as her Halloween costume?  Would she not have to don a wig?  Would she not have to don white face make up?  If she did not, would anyone know who she was imitating?  Probably not.

That being the case, was Julianne Hough supposed to don the hair and garb of her character choice and skip the fact that her choice is an African American?  Would you have guessed who she was imitating is she had not donned the skin coloring?  Probably not.

Now, do not misunderstand.  Blackface is incredibly offensive.  It marks a period of history where African Americans were treated as little more than circus clowns and toys for white Americans’ amusement.  Even today, signs of the quote unquote buffoonery can still be seen in certain aspects of entertainment.  Just a few years ago, it was used as a plot device for comedic effect, though I doubt anyone who noticed that was laughing.  Nevertheless, we must be able to distinguish between a simple—if poorly chosen/thought out—costume and one meant to offend.  Let’s face it, intent matters…as does effect.

As I hinted in a previous blog, there is a lot of confusion over what racism is and what it is not.  At the time, I stated that people seem anxious to label name calling racism and to ignore real racism such as what exists in the job market, in home buying, in choices of schools etc., for minorities.

I’ll/let’s revisit that.

Racism is not donning a costume for Halloween.  Racism is using that costume to inspire misery and feelings on insecurity for profit or entertainment.  Racism is not saying something that people do not like.  Racism is profiting or benefitting from the degradation and abuse of another group of people.  Racism is not mimicking.  It is destroying.  In the grand scheme of things, Julianne Hough’s actions amount to nearly nothing.

Julianne Hough did not cause the Federal Government to close down for three weeks for foolish reasons.  She didn’t name any of the sports teams in this country with offensive names like “Redskins” and then pretend that she doesn’t understand the true issue behind this choice of team name.  What she did was decide to dress up as her favorite television personality like most of us have been doing for years.  In fact, when challenged, she immediately backed down and apologized for her insult, however unintended it was.  I repeat, where is the harm?

Perhaps, just perhaps we should spend more time focusing on real issues of racism and not reduce ourselves or the struggle to squabbling over petty things.  A costume one day out of a year is not responsible for the imbalance in the law that benefits one group of people and harms another, nor is it responsible for the continued suffering of millions of people.  The fact is, we have much more of a pressing racial problem than whether or not some actress no one will even remember a few years down the line is engaging in cosplay.  Can anybody hear me?

There seems to be a lot of confusion in the world today regarding racism vs. racist remarks.  This isn’t surprising considering the level that true racists go to in order to make their beliefs seem little more than a difference of opinion.  However, nothing is farther from the truth.  The difference is staggering.  You see, while racism deals with one race’s overall destruction of another race of people, racist remarks have, at best, only temporary social implications. Let’s face it, no one likes to be called a bad name—race-related or otherwise.  Nevertheless, I think it is important to differentiate between the two.

According to Dr. Frances Cress Welsing, “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…”

Notice that, while speech (name calling, etc.) is listed among the resources, or rather weapons, used, it is but a piece of an overall puzzle.  According to that definition, which some will undoubtedly challenge, racism stems from the belief that another race—or even all races—are an inherent threat to the survival of the racist, and must be controlled if not eradicated outright for their continued existence.

This differs exponentially from calling someone a cracker, a nigger or a wetback, etc.  These are racist names/remarks.  Though they are hurtful, merely being called by these racist names does not have any impact on the life situation or survival of the target.  Their use does not, on their own, destroy the entire race of the target, though the target may suffer long-term emotional or psychological effects.

To put this in perspective, racism, as a system, has a profound impact on the life and/or livelihood of its target—in this case, an entire race of people.  That is its direct intent.

Names hurt.

And the hurt might take a long time to go away.  Still, there is a huge difference between hurting someone with words that are spoken or written—and let’s face it, can be overcome or ignored—and hurting someone with laws, finance, politics, military, drugs, AND words either in print or spoken.

So, the next time somebody calls you out of your name, don’t call them a racist unless their people—that is, the race they belong to—have both the capability of destroying the race of people that you are a part of and the intent to do so.  To do otherwise allows racism, already a very cunning and slippery weapon, to mask itself as merely an issue of free speech and not an issue of the continued and purposeful destruction of a people.  Can anybody hear me?