Tag Archives: racism

If a tree falls in a forest – The Critical Race Debate

The age-old question asks If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? As conservatives enact laws to shut down the teaching of topics such as critical race theory, an academic movement that seeks to critically examine social, cultural, and legal issues as they relate to race and racism. The question to ask today is if we ignore the inherent racism that has played a pivotal role in so many aspects of this country since its birth did racism ever exist? 

Anyone who looks at the history of American with an objective eye would have to agree that several factors, including redlining, underfunding schools in communities of color, the lack of culturally diverse teaching in schools, disproportionate incarceration of people of color, disproportionate disciplining of students of color, negative media stereotypes, lack of employment opportunities and a host of other factors have contributed to today’s America being 100-meter dash with one group being afforded a 90-meter head start.

The argument that students—predominantly white students—will be exposed to supposedly damaging or self-demoralizing ideas is nonsense.  Germany has not tried to sweep its Nazi past under the rug.  For example, as the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz drew near. Angela Merkel delivered a speech at the Auschwitz Memorial, where she expressed a “deep sense of shame for the barbaric crimes that were here committed by Germans.”   Major German cities boast monuments, museums, and centers dedicated to the study of antisemitism and the Holocaust.  Its schools present a conscious and responsible approach to dealing with the past sins of Nazi-era Germany.  The past has already taken place, it cannot be changed, and it cannot simply be ignored because it makes some feel uncomfortable. It must be taught so we learn from our past mistakes and understand how we can change and develop for the better as people. If we ignore it, we doom ourselves to repeating those same mistakes and never growing as a society.

OUR LIVES HAVE ALWAYS MATTERED OUR VOICES WILL NEVER BE SILENCED

When a segment of a society willfully marginalizes another segment is not surprising to see unrest. It is not surprising to see the very foundation that it was built begin to crumble. It is not surprising when it starts to crumble from within; For society’s good, the masses must rise and denounce those who spew racism and bigotry. Reject what makes them different, listen, and learn about each other and embrace their diversity. A diversity that has made them stronger. Only then will society be able to say with one voice this the true spirit of our humanity; these are the thoughts, insights, and musing of an everyday African American on the state of race relations in America today.

OUR LIVES HAVE ALWAYS MATTERED
OUR VOICES WILL NEVER BE SILENCED

Available at Amazon.com in paperback or as an e-book.

Again

I know many of you reading this are not people of color but are parents, and I want you to ask yourself how you would feel if your child left the house and every time you had to worry if they were coming home. How you would feel if you were visited by the police, who informed you your unarmed child was shot and killed by a police officer. How you would feel if you turned on FOX News and all they were talking about was “Chaos in the Streets,” ignoring the reason for the “chaos” was the killing of your unarmed child. How would you feel if you saw video after video of unarmed white youths not complying with officers telling the officers they have rights, don’t have to get out of the car, and don’t have to give their names, and nothing happens to them.

Men of color, particularly black men of color, have been stereotyped since the minute we were brought here in chains as a threat, simply because of the color of our skin. It is well past time that we stop pretending that everyone who puts on a police uniform is above reproach. Like every aspect of society, there are bad apples among them, and those bad apples see communities of colors not as communities; they are charged with protecting and serving. But as enemy combatants, they must subdue, and if those bad apples make up only one percent of police forces around the nation, that is one percent too many. As Chris Rock once said, American Airlines can’t say most of our pilots like to land; we just got a few bad apples who like to crash into mountains; please bear with us.

We have to do better; We have to have better police training, we have to weed out ALL the bad apples, we have to tune out all the voices looking for excuses and trying to blame the killing of an unarmed black man on the black man who was killed and if you can’t see that. If you can’t get behind that 100%, then you are part of the problem.

A Promise To My Child

The first time I held you and looked into your eyes, I saw myself looking back at me only with innocence and optimism that has long ago been stripped from my soul. There is nothing I wouldn’t do for you, no lengths I wouldn’t go to protect you. Tears filled my eyes the first time I held you. Those around me took them as tears of joy, and make no mistake, the joy I felt at that moment was overwhelming, but sadly the tears also represented guilt, sadness, and fear. Guilt that I had brought you such a bright light into such a dark world. Was my desire to have a child selfish? Was I only thinking about my wants and desires and putting aside how this world will treat you because of the color of your skin. Sadness because I knew all too well how it would, that no matter how brilliant you may be, how much hard work you put in, how good a person you are, the challenges ahead of you will be daunting, challenges others will not have to face but will be there every day because of the color of your skin. Fear that one day my phone will ring or there will be a knock at my door, and someone will say to me the words that no parent should ever hear you have been found shot and killed—killed because of the color of your skin. How many more parents must, on what should be unquestionably one of the happiest days of their lives, look into the eyes of their baby and be consumed with worry that no matter how much they try, they will not be able to shield that baby from the ugliness that they will confront? How many more times must we mourn the loss of another bright light extinguished by hate. How many more times must our communities echo with the sound of grieving parents as they stand over the lifeless body of the child they once held in their arms before we say enough! I look back at your smiling face and the innocence in your eyes and see a bright future with unlimited potential ahead of you that they will try and deny you of. At the moment, I make you a promise that as long as there is my breath in my body, I will protect you and do everything in my power to ensure no one takes that away from you. My blood flows through you, I am responsible for bringing you into this world, and it is my responsibility to protect you from its hatred. Our bond is forever. You are my child, and I will always love you and be there for you.

Spineless Coward with No Principles

The forgone concussion of Trump’s 2nd impeachment trial only goes to prove what I have said since he first rode down that escalator, He tapped into the hearts and minds of the people who saw America changing becoming more diverse, more inclusive and they felt America was being taken from them. They felt so strongly about it being “our” America not “their” America that they rallied behind the man they felt would be their last line of defense in a way they never have anyone else. The rest of the GOP saw this and knowing that alienating his base would cost them politically and being the spineless cowards with no morals or principles they are they went along with it. Now they are so connected to it they know they can’t get out they know that for for all intensive purposes they are Trump and a vote against Trump is a vote against themselves.

The chickens have come home to roost. America at a crossroads

A Capitol under siege
A Nation looks on in horror.
A world stares in disbelief.
The chickens had come home to roost.
America was founded on the principle that All men are created equal was a self-evident truth, while America has never fully realized that noble principle. It has made strides throughout its existence in an attempt to. For centuries racism, bigotry, sexism, religious prosecution have either flourished in the open or simmered beneath the surface. Over the last four years, the Trump administration has tapped into that hate to openly divide our country more so than it has been in the recent past. The mantra of Make America Great and Take our Country back code words to return to the good old days when the 25,000 Ku Klux Klan members marched down Pennsylvania Avenue in full regalia. When women couldn’t vote, had no control over their bodies, and stayed at home barefoot and pregnant. When the LGBT community knew its place was in the closet.
For years communities of color have said that there was racism in the system. This claim is hardly a surprise as any large group will inevitably have a few bad apples in its rank. But instead of addressing the problems, the cries went on deaf ears, shouted down by the blue lives matter crowd, and echoed by right-wing politicians and media as a condemnation of the police as a whole. Now today, a group of domestic terrorists with active and retired law enforcement among them are responsible for the senseless death of a police officer in the name of hate.
The ADL has been monitoring the activities of these groups both on and offline for years. They told Americans that we must take white extremists at their word. That their threats of violence were not just the internet chatter of crazies but a real danger, in 2017 after Charlottesville, a march in which white extremists threw Nazi salutes and waved swastika flags, as they chanted ‘Sieg heil!’ and “The Jews will not replace us.” and carried signs that proclaimed the ‘Jewish media is going down;’ ‘Jews are Satan’s children.’ President Trump’s response? He equated these racist white supremacists with counter-protesters who were there to stand up against hate by saying, “There were good people on both sides.” Subsequently, despite being given many opportunities to so, he repeatedly refused to denounce white Supremacist terrorism. When asked in 2019 when directly asked if there was a growing threat of white nationalism worldwide, Trump responded, “I don’t really.” And then, in his first debate with Joe Biden, he again refused to denounce it; instead, he responded directly to the Proud boys to “stand back and stand by.” Throughout it all, the silence from his defenders on Capitol Hill was deafening, taken as a wink and nod by white supremacists that they were with them. On Wednesday, January 6th, Trump and other right-wing politicians stood on a stage in front of a group of individuals, many of whom proudly displayed their racism and bigotry. They were looking for a fight; they needed someone to light the fuse, and Trump, along with other men and women who had sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America, gladly obliged.
But for every action, there is a reaction, and this tacit approval of white Supremacists and their rhetoric has led to radicalizing a whole new generation—individuals who now feel emboldened to display their hate in broad daylight. Individuals who are willing to overlook corruption and believe any conspiracy theory spewed at them as long as those spewing it hate the same people they do, so much so that groups like QAnon, which not that long ago would be dismissed as far-right crazies, now have members who not only run for elected office but are elected. The result? Members of Congress openly state they don’t trust some of their colleagues and, as a measure of protection, have for themselves have instituted the mandatory policy of having to walk through metal detectors to gain access to the Capitol Building.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn said:
It is not because the truth is too difficult to see that we make mistakes. It may even lie on the surface, but we make mistakes because the easiest and most comfortable course is to seek insight where it accords with our emotions — especially selfish ones.
It is hard to believe that Trump’s Enablers and his hate-filled agenda did not see the truth. However, it is easy to believe that they choose to ignore it in their selfish greed for power. Whether they ascribed to that hate or not, their silence has made them no less responsible for the hatred that rages through the lifeblood of this country.
As a country, we once again stand at a crossroads. It will take courage and leadership to guide us through this dark period. It will take those we have entrusted with the governance of this noble experiment known as the United States of America to stand up to those who see only what they wish to see, be it right or wrong, as long as it continues their grip on in power.
As Dr. Martin Luther King said, Cowardice asks the question, ‘Is it safe?’ Expediency asks the question, ‘Is it politic?’ And Vanity comes along and asks the question, ‘Is it popular?’ But Conscience asks the question, ‘Is it right?’ And there comes a time when one must take neither safe position, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right.”
It is time the majority of our leaders do what is right before the chickens come home to roost again.

We Keep Moving Forward

The movie character Rocky Balboa said It’s not about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward.

You have hit us hard.

Shackled us in the chains of bondage

Lynched us under cover of night

Brutalized us for the color of our skin

Beat us when we demanded to be treated as equals

Oppressed us economically

Marginalized us socially

Devalued our lives

But we keep moving forward.

Does that surprise you? It shouldn’t. We are a unique people; our indomitable spirit keeps us moving forward in the face of all things done against us. It is a spirit that not only keeps us moving forward; it has protected and strengthened us. It is a spirit that screams WE ARE BLACK EXCELLENCE!

Why We Say Black Lives Matter

The echo of gunshots filled the air.
And the young man’s lifeless body fell to the ground.

The cries of I can’t breathe filled the air.
And the young man’s lifeless body fell to the ground.

The howls of disbelief filled the courtroom.
And the defendant walked free once more.

The sound of silence filled the halls of the city, state, and nation’s capitals.
And those in power did nothing yet again.

For centuries, our lives have been devalued by those who see only the color of our skin. 

Have we not helped build this nation?
Have we not fought for this nation?
Have we not shown time after time our love for this nation?
Have we not been every bit the American that you believe yourself to be?

Because of your hatred, your racism we must scream for the world to hear that Black Lives Matter because, for 400 years, you have demonstrated that to you it doesn’t. It isn’t a logical mentality, but it is true.