tagged w/ Prejudice
The films theme is based around identity perceived through accents. The short video which exhibits an array of whimsical observations about language, popular culture and class, put into question the film-makers own Northern Irish accent and the stereotypes and bias surrounding his perceived identity. The work aspires to stimulate constructive dialogue.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzh7j0ReZaAThe films theme is based around identity perceived through accents. The short video... more
In this thought-provoking programme, volunteers consider the arguments for and against open borders and ask whether there is a generation gap on attitudes towards immigration. Being positive about immigration we learn, has become a badge of moral superiority and is used to admonish a supposedly bigoted white working class for being anti-immigrant and work shy. This is not a by-product of immigration to the UK but a result of its use by an elite who consider the masses in need of behaviour modification and migrants in need of strict control. Without open borders, Saleha Ali argues we cannot claim we have freedom.In this thought-provoking programme, volunteers consider the arguments for and against... more
(Reposted) -- This is interesting and kind of sad. A recent study shows that a majority of Americans hold prejudiced views of blacks.
According to the study, 51 percent of Americans have prejudices against blacks, up from 48 percent in 2008.
Some excerpts from the study:
"We have this false idea that there is uniformity in progress and that things change in one big step. That is not the way history has worked," said Jelani Cobb, professor of history and director of the Institute for African-American Studies at the University of Connecticut. "When we've seen progress, we've also seen backlash."
Barack Obama has tread cautiously on the subject of race, but many African-Americans have talked openly about perceived antagonism toward them since Obama took office. As evidence, they point to events involving police brutality or cite bumper stickers, cartoons and protest posters that mock the president as a lion or a monkey, or lynch him in effigy.
"Part of it is growing polarization within American society," said Fredrick Harris, director of the Institute for Research in African-American Studies at Columbia University. "The last Democrat in the White House said we had to have a national discussion about race. There's been total silence around issues of race with this president. But, as you see, whether there is silence, or an elevation of the discussion of race, you still have polarization. It will take more generations, I suspect, before we eliminate these deep feelings."
Overall, the survey found that by virtue of racial prejudice, Obama could lose 5 percentage points off his share of the popular vote in his Nov. 6 contest against Republican challenger Mitt Romney. But Obama also stands to benefit from a 3 percentage point gain due to pro-black sentiment, researchers said. Overall, that means an estimated net loss of 2 percentage points due to anti-black attitudes.
The poll finds that racial prejudice is not limited to one group of partisans. Although Republicans were more likely than Democrats to express racial prejudice in the questions measuring explicit racism (79 percent among Republicans compared with 32 percent among Democrats), the implicit test found little difference between the two parties. That test showed a majority of both Democrats and Republicans held anti-black feelings (55 percent of Democrats and 64 percent of Republicans), as did about half of political independents (49 percent).
(Interesting, so while Republicans appear to be somewhat more racist than Democrats -- but not dramatically so, they also appear to be more open with their racism)
(Note, this story was reposted because yesterday a troll attempted to hijack the thread crapping a bunch of partisan inflammatory codswallop all over the thread that had virtually nothing to do with the actual survey. I apologise. This gives people a chance to comment on this issue who didn't get the chance yesterday.)
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/49577563(Reposted) -- This is interesting and kind of sad. A recent study shows that a... more
ALL NEW!!! Very exciting time for my friend Eric Deggans, media critic of the Tampa Bay Times! His first book, Race Baiter, a very serious examination of the intersection of media and race relations, was just published. We had a really good discussion of it in today's video interview. I hope you'll watch it, share it and, of course, order his book! Thanks! http://www.mrmedia.com/2012/10/race-baiter-eric-deggans-made-you-look-bill-oreilly-2012-video-interview/#.UIALElTfK7OALL NEW!!! Very exciting time for my friend Eric Deggans, media critic of the Tampa... more
The following is a statement from American Humanist Association Board of Directors concerning a sensible approach to Islam.
A Sensible Approach to Islam
Islam and the Politics of Violence
Over a long period culminating in recent years, Muslim fundamentalists dedicated to establishing Islamic theocracies have ascended to power and solidified their authority in several countries. They have also established enclaves in many other nations, and some of them have formed terrorist organizations. Though belonging to various Muslim sects, these theocrats share a willingness to implement Islamist Sharia laws with punishments that disregard basic human rights, particularly women’s rights, and some conduct assassinations and brutal reprisals in the name of "true" Islam.
Though adherents of this type are gaining in numbers and power, they do not represent all Muslims. Generalizing Islam as entirely violent undermines the efforts of millions of Muslims and others who are struggling to challenge the rise of extremism.
Since September 11, 2001, prejudice and discrimination have been on the rise in Europe, the United States, and elsewhere against Muslims. Such individuals are suffering from increased security screenings, hostile media attention, and oppressive new laws, as well as localized acts of violence and widespread disrespect. Moreover, disinformation campaigns and negative imagery have led to popular confusion wherein al-Qaeda is inaccurately connected to the former regime of Saddam Hussein, Iranians and South Asians are misidentified as Arabs, Sikhs are mistaken for Muslims, and the world faith of Islam, with its 1.3 billion followers, is viewed as a doctrinaire monolith.
The American Humanist Association is opposed to both the activities of Islamic extremists and to the “crusade” mentality rising in Western circles that condemns all Muslims indiscriminately. This statement aims at defining a rational and informed humanist position.
Humanists should assess Islam using the same standards applied to all belief systems. This means, in practice, that humanists support the concept of a democratic secular state, with complete separation of religion and government. Consistent with this, humanists oppose theocracy in all of its forms and support:
The freedom to think and believe or not believe, and to profess or critique, resisting efforts to impose one’s religious beliefs on others through coercive and punitive measures
The choice to observe or not to observe religious practices, to the degree that such practices do not harm others or interfere with their rights
Democratic principles, to the degree that such choices do not permit the state to engage in religious indoctrination or similar tyrannies of the majority
Modern human rights, not tolerating violations of those basic rights whether or not they are bolstered by religious law or custom
A Balanced Humanist Policy
There is a great deal of violence in the world today, a disturbing portion of which is perpetrated in the name of Islam. Humanists recognize that the world of Islam is vast and heterogeneous, and problems that exist in one area may not exist in others. For this reason, one-size-fits-all responses to issues that outsiders perceive within Islam are not only unworkable but are likely to be detrimental to humanistic solutions.
While small numbers of Muslim revivalists may reside in the United States, and while there is a continuing threat of terrorist attack from Islamic terrorist groups, extremist Islam as a political force has not taken hold in this country. Problems are mostly limited to instances when Islamic requirements, such as those relating to dress or prayer, conflict with preexisting law and custom. These are often resolved in a spirit of mutual understanding. When that fails and the courts intervene, their decisions should reflect both practical requirements and a respect for religious freedom. In general, humanists do not support either extending religious accommodation in ways that would create an unequal playing field between the religious and nonreligious or rigidly enforcing legal provisions that unnecessarily encumber individual religious liberty.
Some countries, notably in Western Europe, have been less successful than the United States in integrating Muslim immigrants into mainstream society. Humanists respect the desire of the majorities in these countries to preserve their human rights traditions; they also support the efforts of humanist groups to resolve emerging problems in a humane and practical manner. But this is not a blanket endorsement of cultural preservation. Some approaches have been strikingly racist and ethnocentric in nature. While freedom of speech must not be compromised, humanists oppose nativism, jingoism, and open hostility toward Muslim citizens and immigrants within any nation.
Humanists strive for a world where violence and fear are not the drivers of ideals and actions. In every case and in all its forms, extremism must be condemned. But neither should fear and ignorance be permitted to sanction prejudice and discrimination. Humanists recognize that challenging Islamists, Christian fundamentalists, and all others who hold to religious or ideological extremes is not a process with an easy or short-term conclusion, but it is the way toward progress.
Humanists see no contradiction, on the one hand, between their longstanding adherence to principles that run contrary to religious beliefs and, on the other, their strong distaste for efforts to propagate a crusade mentality against Islam or any other religion. Religious liberty means freedom for all: freedom to peacefully affirm and practice a faith, freedom from religious coercion, and freedom to peacefully leave or reject a faith. Such religious liberty is and always has been a central tenet of humanism and is herewith reaffirmed.
(Original online posting can be found here: http://www.americanhumanist.org/news/details/2012-09-a-sensible-approach-to-islam)The following is a statement from American Humanist Association Board of Directors... more
I can genuinely tell you that "Guest of Honor" by Deborah Davis is a gem of political history. And my video interview with her is pretty darn good, too! http://www.mrmedia.com/?p=4771I can genuinely tell you that "Guest of Honor" by Deborah Davis is a gem of... more
Do nothing at your own peril. Fight Discrimination. Heal the world.
"I really thought this video was worth posting.... What do you Folks think???"Do nothing at your own peril. Fight Discrimination. Heal the world.... more
"Moments such as the backlash against Derbyshire's article are an opportunity to confront the racism that still exists in American society. Derbyshire, after all, has been writing this stuff unmolested for over a decade. Instead of focusing on why we reject his views now, maybe we should be considering why we tolerated them for so long.""Moments such as the backlash against Derbyshire's article are an... more
1 year ago
My granddaughter stayed overnight last night. She will be eight years old soon. I love her with all of my heart.
Though I’m a bit more relaxed now that I am older, I’m a born worrier. If there isn’t something that I can worry over,My granddaughter stayed overnight last night. She will be eight years old soon. I love... more
Since the 15th century, Lady Justice has often been depicted wearing a blindfold. The blindfold represents objectivity, in that justice is or should be meted out objectively, without fear or favor, regardless of identity, money, power, or weakness; blind justice and impartiality.Since the 15th century, Lady Justice has often been depicted wearing a blindfold. The... more
"Buy them books and send them to school, even give them Food Stamps and they still cannot appreciate what they are given.... Sheeesh!!!"
"Are these folks allowed to Vote??? Oh my Friggen God!!!!???" =("Buy them books and send them to school, even give them Food Stamps and they... more
Gay rights have vastly improved over the decades, but have we progressed enough? This lively on-the sofa discussion with Jason Smith a freelance journalist and director of Birmingham salon explores the state of ‘queer progress’ today, from Clinton and Cameron’s advocacy of tying foreign aid to gay rights to Stonewall calling for a policing of anti-gay speech in the playground. Has intolerance of anti-gay intolerants lead to a tyranny of the minority? Are gay individuals so vulnerable they now need posh protectors to police our views and intervene in African states?Gay rights have vastly improved over the decades, but have we progressed enough? This... more
There's no gentle way to put it: People who give in to racism and prejudice may simply be dumb, according to a new study that is bound to stir public controversy.
The research finds that children with low intelligence are more likely to hold prejudiced attitudes as adults. These findings point to a vicious cycle, according to lead researcher Gordon Hodson, a psychologist at Brock University in Ontario. Low-intelligence adults tend to gravitate toward socially conservative ideologies, the study found. Those ideologies, in turn, stress hierarchy and resistance to change, attitudes that can contribute to prejudice, Hodson wrote in an email to LiveScience.
"Prejudice is extremely complex and multifaceted, making it critical that any factors contributing to bias are uncovered and understood," he said.
The findings combine three hot-button topics.
"They've pulled off the trifecta of controversial topics," said Brian Nosek, a social and cognitive psychologist at the University of Virginia who was not involved in the study. "When one selects intelligence, political ideology and racism and looks at any of the relationships between those three variables, it's bound to upset somebody."
Polling data and social and political science research do show that prejudice is more common in those who hold right-wing ideals that those of other political persuasions, Nosek told LiveScience. [7 Thoughts That Are Bad For You]
"The unique contribution here is trying to make some progress on the most challenging aspect of this," Nosek said, referring to the new study. "It's not that a relationship like that exists, but why it exists."
Brains and bias
Earlier studies have found links between low levels of education and higher levels of prejudice, Hodson said, so studying intelligence seemed a logical next step. The researchers turned to two studies of citizens in the United Kingdom, one that has followed babies since their births in March 1958, and another that did the same for babies born in April 1970. The children in the studies had their intelligence assessed at age 10 or 11; as adults ages 30 or 33, their levels of social conservatism and racism were measured. [Life's Extremes: Democrat vs. Republican]
In the first study, verbal and nonverbal intelligence was measured using tests that asked people to find similarities and differences between words, shapes and symbols. The second study measured cognitive abilities in four ways, including number recall, shape-drawing tasks, defining words and identifying patterns and similarities among words. Average IQ is set at 100.
Social conservatives were defined as people who agreed with a laundry list of statements such as "Family life suffers if mum is working full-time," and "Schools should teach children to obey authority." Attitudes toward other races were captured by measuring agreement with statements such as "I wouldn't mind working with people from other races." (These questions measured overt prejudiced attitudes, but most people, no matter how egalitarian, do hold unconscious racial biases; Hodson's work can't speak to this "underground" racism.)
As suspected, low intelligence in childhood corresponded with racism in adulthood. But the factor that explained the relationship between these two variables was political: When researchers included social conservatism in the analysis, those ideologies accounted for much of the link between brains and bias.
People with lower cognitive abilities also had less contact with people of other races.
"This finding is consistent with recent research demonstrating that intergroup contact is mentally challenging and cognitively draining, and consistent with findings that contact reduces prejudice," said Hodson, who along with his colleagues published these results online Jan. 5 in the journal Psychological Science.
A study of averages
Hodson was quick to note that the despite the link found between low intelligence and social conservatism, the researchers aren't implying that all liberals are brilliant and all conservatives stupid. The research is a study of averages over large groups, he said.
"There are multiple examples of very bright conservatives and not-so-bright liberals, and many examples of very principled conservatives and very intolerant liberals," Hodson said.
Nosek gave another example to illustrate the dangers of taking the findings too literally.
"We can say definitively men are taller than women on average," he said. "But you can't say if you take a random man and you take a random woman that the man is going to be taller. There's plenty of overlap."
Nonetheless, there is reason to believe that strict right-wing ideology might appeal to those who have trouble grasping the complexity of the world.
"Socially conservative ideologies tend to offer structure and order," Hodson said, explaining why these beliefs might draw those with low intelligence. "Unfortunately, many of these features can also contribute to prejudice."
In another study, this one in the United States, Hodson and Busseri compared 254 people with the same amount of education but different levels of ability in abstract reasoning. They found that what applies to racism may also apply to homophobia. People who were poorer at abstract reasoning were more likely to exhibit prejudice against gays. As in the U.K. citizens, a lack of contact with gays and more acceptance of right-wing authoritarianism explained the link. [5 Myths About Gay People Debunked]
Hodson and Busseri's explanation of their findings is reasonable, Nosek said, but it is correlational. That means the researchers didn't conclusively prove that the low intelligence caused the later prejudice. To do that, you'd have to somehow randomly assign otherwise identical people to be smart or dumb, liberal or conservative. Those sorts of studies obviously aren't possible.
The researchers controlled for factors such as education and socioeconomic status, making their case stronger, Nosek said. But there are other possible explanations that fit the data. For example, Nosek said, a study of left-wing liberals with stereotypically naïve views like "every kid is a genius in his or her own way," might find that people who hold these attitudes are also less bright. In other words, it might not be a particular ideology that is linked to stupidity, but extremist views in general.
"My speculation is that it's not as simple as their model presents it," Nosek said. "I think that lower cognitive capacity can lead to multiple simple ways to represent the world, and one of those can be embodied in a right-wing ideology where 'People I don't know are threats' and 'The world is a dangerous place'. ... Another simple way would be to just assume everybody is wonderful."
Prejudice is of particular interest because understanding the roots of racism and bias could help eliminate them, Hodson said. For example, he said, many anti-prejudice programs encourage participants to see things from another group's point of view. That mental exercise may be too taxing for people of low IQ.
"There may be cognitive limits in the ability to take the perspective of others, particularly foreigners," Hodson said. "Much of the present research literature suggests that our prejudices are primarily emotional in origin rather than cognitive. These two pieces of information suggest that it might be particularly fruitful for researchers to consider strategies to change feelings toward outgroups," rather than thoughts.There's no gentle way to put it: People who give in to racism and prejudice may... more
Two more states allow same-sex civil unions
By Josh Levs, CNN
updated 5:24 PM EST, Sun January 1, 2012
Gay couples first civil unions in Hawaii
Hawaii and Delaware began allowing same-sex civil unions Sunday
5 states recognize same-sex civil unions; 6 and DC recognize same-sex marriage
Opponents say civil unions are a springboard to redefining marriage
"It means that our state supports us," one member of a same-sex civil union says
(CNN) -- Several same-sex couples came together in the first minutes of New Year's Day in Honolulu to become the first in the state's history to enter into civil unions.
"We really don't want to wait any longer because we have been together for 33 years waiting for the opportunity and our rights and everything that goes with it," said Donna Gedge, who was with her partner Monica Montgomery, speaking to CNN affiliate KITV. "So why wait?"
The couple told CNN last week about their plans to stay up late for the ceremony.
With Hawaii and Delaware joining the list Sunday, five states now recognize same-sex civil unions, while six other states and Washington, D.C., allow same-sex marriage, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Illinois, New Jersey, and Rhode Island already recognize civil unions providing state-level spousal rights to same-sex couples, the NCSL says.
Marriage licenses are given to same-sex couples in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York and the District of Columbia, the NCSL says.
California does not currently allow same-sex marriages to be performed.
In May 2008, the state's Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry in California. Proposition 8, a state constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman, passed later that year.
In 2010, a federal district judge ruled that Proposition 8 violated the U.S. Constitution, but enforcement of that decision was stayed pending appeal.
Delaware said its new law became effective at 10 a.m. Sunday.
In Hawaii, online application for civil union licenses was made available beginning at midnight, despite the fact that government offices are closed until Tuesday, the state government said.
The union becomes valid after a ceremony performed by someone licensed by the Department of Health.
"It means that our state supports us, and that's a really good feeling after all this time," Montgomery said at the ceremony.
The laws in Delaware and Hawaii followed heated debates in both states.
In 2010, then-Gov. Linda Lingle, a Republican, vetoed a similar bill in Hawaii, saying the issue needed to be put to a referendum.
Some religious groups were among those pushing for the move. "We need you to mount a campaign to flood the governor's office with requests to veto the bill," Larry Silva, Catholic bishop of Honolulu, wrote on the Diocese of Honolulu's website at the time.
A group called the Hawaii Family Forum argued that "a vote for civil unions is a vote for same-sex marriage."
"Civil unions are a desperate and dishonest attempt to force same-sex 'marriage' on Hawaii," the group said. Despite the opposition, there was no referendum.
In both Hawaii and Delaware, the language of the law emphasizes that "it is not the legislature's intent to revise the definition or eligibility requirements of marriage."
Gedge and Montgomery told CNN last week they hope there will one day be federally recognized same-sex marriage.
Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie, a Democrat, signed the state's civil unions bill into law last February, calling it "a prime example of exercising civic courage. It is about doing what is right, no matter how difficult, no matter how much opposition."
Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, a Democrat, signed his state's bill into law in May.
The Delaware Family Policy Council, which says its goal is to "educate, equip, unify and engage the citizens of Delaware in advocating for family values and preserving the integrity of the family as an institution," argued that civil unions "are a springboard to redefining marriage."
"You can't really talk about civil unions without talking about same-sex 'marriage' because there really isn't any difference," the group argued.
But Markell, at a signing ceremony last year, said, "This bill is about a new energy and excitement. It's about a moment in our history that came about because people came together to work for it, because it became clear that Delaware's LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community is in fact part of every Delaware community. The greater good is served when we speak out and fight hard when we see that bias, prejudice or even outdated laws attempt to lessen any one of us."
Bonnie Limatoc, who was part of the midnight ceremony in Hawaii on Sunday, told KITV, "The historic part for me is to be one of the first to open that door so that the rest of them after us, there's others out there that want to do this. ... We can show them, "Hey, you love somebody, you have the right to be with them the rest of your life also.'"
"Our message is go for the gusto," her partner Lydia Pontin added. "Don't be ashamed."
CNN's Brianna Keilar contributed to this report.
Two more states allow same-sex civil unions
By Josh Levs, CNN
L. Frank Baum, with all his glorious fantasy imagination skills could not write a script that could possibly involve characters in a storyline that would include these nonfictional banshees extraordinaire!
He might say, "There can't be people like these, even in a world of make-believe!
He'd be wrong...........L. Frank Baum, with all his glorious fantasy imagination skills could not write a... more
It was a mostly white world. In 1950, the census counted about 900 black residents out of a population of about 13,000 in Haskell County, numbers that have declined steadily. Most blacks worked as maids or field hands and lived in an across-the-tracks neighborhood in the city of Haskell, the county seat, about 20 minutes from Paint Creek.
Throckmorton County, where the hunting camp is located, was for years considered a virtual no-go zone for blacks because of old stories about the lynching of a black man there, locals said. The 1950 Census listed one black resident in Throckmorton County out of a population of about 3,600. In 1960, there were four; in 1970, two; in 1980, none. The 2010 Census shows 11 black residents.
Mae Lou Yeldell, who is black and has lived in Haskell County for 70 years, recalled a gas station refusing to sell her father fuel when he drove the family through Throckmorton in the 1950s. She said it was not uncommon in the 1950s and ’60s for whites to greet blacks with, “Morning, nigger!”
“I heard that so much it’s like a broken record,” said Yeldell, who had never heard of the hunting spot by the river.
And you wonder why black folks had to use The Green Book as a guide for safety while touring this country?
Rick Perry’s family retreat was/is named “Niggerhead.” The Washington Post’s cover story is a distraction of course from more important issues such as a failing economy, Perry’s questionable record on jobs and the environment in Texas, and a far-Right leaning Republican presidential field that would combine Ayn Rand with the Christian Taliban. But a distraction can still be instructive and productive.
For the Left and other critics, Rick Perry’s Niggerhead hunting camp is more proof that he is a racist and a bigot. For the Right, this story will be greeted as “gotcha politics” and more bias from the “mainstream media.” Lockstep, the Right-wing media will revert to form and argue that “all of this race stuff” is playing the “race card” against white people. Who cares anyway since Perry’s dad was a Democrat and he originally owned Niggerhead anyway? Predictably, there will be more spin from Conservatives and a recurring blindness to political history, i.e. Southern Democrats aka “Dixiecrats” are now the base of the Tea Party GOP.
And of course, black Republicans such as Herman Cain will be trotted out to dance on the stage while they answer questions about Rick Perry and racism.
All in all, theatrics that are par for the course of what counts as reasonable discourse in the 24 hour opinion driven news cycle.
I would suggest that Rick Perry’s Niggerhead family retreat is important in so far as formative childhood and adult experiences impact political attitudes and beliefs. Rick Perry is from the Jim and Jane Crow South and has advocated for secession. He also panders to the Tea Party with all of their “take my America” pleadings and is part of a cultural movement that possesses an almost deranged hatred for the country’s first black President. Racism and Conservatism overlap in America; the Conservative political imagination yearns for a return to the “good old days” and is blinded by a myopic White nostalgia for the past.
In all, why should anyone be surprised that there is a Niggerhead skeleton in Rick Perry’s closet? Moreover, I would bet that there are many Niggerhead skeletons in many white folks’ closets in this country.
We must also be cautious and not paint with too broad a brush, or suggest that Rick Perry is somehow unique in this regard. He is not alone in a willful denial of white supremacy and the Slaveocracy/Jim and Jane Crow/Confederacy’s hold on American popular imagination even into the 21st century.
The white racist Southern Redemptionist fantasy and lie that is Gone with the Wind is still beloved by millions of people (all those happy black folks; white people in big houses and fancy clothes; what good fun!). Lady Antebellum is an acclaimed musical group (where are the Auschwitz singers? Or the Trail of Tears emo band?). A significant percentage of Americans do not believe that the Civil War was fought over slavery and the rights of White people to hold Black people in perpetual bondage. The Whiteness of history is glaring. Rick Perry, as demonstrated by his love for Niggerhead, is just one of many Americans who are transfixed by it.
Nevertheless, Rick Perry’s Niggerhead moment is teachable history. For that reason it is important.
Rick Perry grew up in a sundown town. As James Loewen exhaustively and masterfully documents, there were thousands of these communities across the country where blacks (and in some cases Jews, Mexicans and other non-whites) were not allowed to live, journey through, or be present in after dark. These towns were often created by racial violence and the wholesale ethnic cleansing of non-whites through murder, forced exile, rape, banishment, theft, and violence.
When we wonder why some neighborhoods look the way that they do, why there are no black folks or other people of color living there, or stand vexed by the intergenerational wealth gap in the United States, part of the answer lies in American Apartheid. Sundown towns were a key part of the Racial State’s apparatus and how it structured the day to day lives of all people.
Racial terrorism was a tool of economic exploitation. Because many in White America are loathe to acknowledge the power of structures and institutions as they cling to the lie that is the myth of meritocracy, Niggerhead is a reminder of lived history in the present. Yesterday wasn’t even yesterday; it created the present terms of political, cultural, economic, and social engagement.
While some Americans have a limited knowledge of the relationship between housing segregation and the maintenance of the colorline, fewer know about sundown towns and America’s history of ethnic cleansing. This history hides in plain sight. It lives on in debates over the racialized names of rivers, towns, mountains, and other public places. It is present when real estate agents refuse to show people of color homes in certain communities. It is the ether and lifeblood of whitopia.
Ignorance of race and racism’s historic role in structuring life chances, and basic geographies such as where one lived, married, worked, and traveled, is especially common among the post-Civil Rights generation. This dynamic is especially true for Millennials who would be aghast at the reality of white supremacy as the norm for American history where their imagined multicultural moment is indeed an aberration–a very recent development–and one that works through conservative colorblindness as opposed to a deep and radical engagement with human difference, identity, justice.
Rick Perry’s Niggerhead moment will be a short-lived blip on the news radar. Niggerhead will confirm what his detractors already believe about Rick Perry. Niggerhead will encourage his supporters to circle the wagons and double down their support because their “culture” is under assault. Unfortunately, Niggerhead will be a missed opportunity. This could be a teachable moment where White Americans could choose to look in the mirror and see the collective ugliness looking back at them. Whiteness, for most people in America, and indeed the world, was the face of terror. It was ugly and not beautiful.
Folks of all colors should know their shared history; instead it is easier to look away, make up fun fictions, and tell yourself easy lies and platitudes about “post-racial” America.
Remember folks, there is a little Niggerhead in all of us…for some like Rick Perry, a good deal more than others.
http://t.co/5KKwsdjZIt was a mostly white world. In 1950, the census counted about 900 black residents out... more
You’ve got to be taught to hate and fear.
You’ve got to be taught from year to year.
It’s got to be drummed in your dear little ear.
You’ve got to be carefully taught.
You’ve got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made
And people whose skin is a different shade.
You’ve got to be carefully taught.You’ve got to be taught to hate and fear.
You’ve got to be taught from... more
Ugly, senseless, blind hatred...
Friday, August 26, 2011
Can't Even Go to the Park
The same people who say I shouldn't impose my morality on them, are imposing immorality on me and my children to the point that I literally have a hard time even leaving my home anymore to do something as simple as visit the park. And this is freedom?
I am a Catholic stay-at-home mother of seven, and I live in the state of Massachusetts where "gay marriage" has been legal for seven years and it's just one aspect of the larger secular agenda. Because we have so many little children, it takes a phenomenal effort to go anywhere. We have only filled our truck with gasoline twice this entire summer vacation. We go to Mass and we go two miles up the road to a small outdoor swimming pool. That's pretty much it.
At the pool this summer there were homosexual couples with children and, while I was polite as my own young daughters doted on the baby with two "mommies", I also held my breath in anticipation of awkward questions - questions I'm not ready to answer. My young daughters are all under the age of eight and they are not old enough to understand why a baby would have two women calling themselves "mommies".
When there were two men relaxing at the side of the pool unnaturally close to each other, effeminately rubbing elbows and exchanging doe-eyes, I was again anxiously watching my children hoping they wouldn't ask questions. They don't see Daddy do that with anyone but Mommy. We haven't been back to the pool for a couple of weeks, except once but it rained. The truth is, now I don't really want to go back.
So what am I harping about?
Today we decided to go to the park. We live near a nice park that is safe, clean and quiet. Two of my daughters were in the sandbox, one on the slide, the other on the swings, and as I lifted the baby out of his stroller I looked up to see four women laughing at a baby boy as he was swinging in one of those bucket baby swings. That seems harmless enough, but I'm so sensitized to the strangeness in my community that I've developed this ever-present jumpiness whenever I'm in public. Sure enough, two of the women, so happy to see a baby boy laughing, embraced and remained standing there rubbing each other's back in a way that was clearly not just friendly affection.
This is my community. I find myself unable to even leave the house anymore without worrying about what in tarnation we are going to encounter. We are responsible citizens. We live by the rules, we pay our taxes, we take care of our things. I'm supposed to be able to influence what goes on in my community, and as a voter I do exercise that right. But I'm outnumbered. I can't even go to normal places without having to sit silently and tolerate immorality. We all know what would happen if I asked two men or two women to stop displaying, right in front of me and my children, that they live in sodomy.
So now I go on a rant.
Our taxes are being used to fund contraception, abortion and IVF already. That offends me in ways that are inexpressible. I read last December in the Wall Street Journal how two men near us are raising two assembled daughters after announcing to the world how they killed two other siblings in surrogate mothers in India. Let me guess? I shouldn't offend them though, right? And what's next at the park? A needle exchange drop-box for heroin users? No joke. These things are not isolated, it is all the same issue at a fundamental level. We're being pushed to accept immorality and it's not just on TV and in Washington D.C. It's right in front of us too.
We fund a lot of illegal immigrants here (just ask the President about his auntie) and helping people who really need help is not something I'd ever oppose. But it's still haunting me that just this week I learned of an illegal immigrant who killed a young man innocently out for a ride on his motorcycle. The illegal immigrant, who didn't have a license, was so drunk he didn't notice when he hit a motorcyclist and then dragged the 23 year old college graduate a quarter of a mile while people were yelling at him to stop. When he finally did stop, the young man was still alive until the drunk driver put the car in reverse and backed up over him before driving away. He's charged with vehicular homicide and "reckless conduct creating a risk to a child." He had a six year old in the car with him.
Do you think knowing this happened about seven miles from my home makes me afraid to leave the house? You bet it does. But that just adds to everything else I'm being asked to tolerate. Seriously, is this freedom?
.Ugly, senseless, blind hatred...... more
In the aftermath of the twin attacks in Oslo and on the island of Uyoeta, German media analysts assumed that radical Islamists were to blame. Felix Steiner says that's a sign that acts of terror poison our thinking.
Terror of this dimension is shocking – irrespective of whether the suspect is right-wing, left-wing, a religious fundamentalist or whether he was raised by crazy parents. For the victims of terror it is irrelevant why they have been killed. Terror victims are innocent. And that's why an act like this is so disgusting, irrespective of who commits it.
Criminal acts become terrorism when their effects extend to more than just the affected victims. Terror creates fear: is my city, my plane or the event that I am attending perhaps the next target? Politicians often say that we shouldn't change our normal behavior as a reaction to terrorism - otherwise the terrorists have already won.
But terrorism does create fear. Fear of possible suspects. Is my neighbor or the man beside me on the train dangerous - because he has a beard, or because he is wearing particular clothes, or is Muslim or because he just looks different? It's clear that terrorism colors people's thinking. Fears create prejudice, extreme fear and even phobia. Things shouldn't progress that far in a free, democratic society.
Like the analyst's reactions in the first few hours after the Norway attacks, the most recent election results for nationalist and anti-Islam parties have shown how poisoned the thinking in Europe already is.
Everything seemed to fit together: Norway sends troops to Afghanistan and takes part in NATO attacks on Libya, so the bomb in Oslo's government quarter could only have been laid by a Muslim. Two and a half hours later and there were gun shots in the youth camp. Aren't concurrent attacks a known Al-Qaeda tactic?
And the subsequent news reports didn't put the security experts on German TV off their conclusions either. The arrested suspect was a Norwegian citizen? Well, many Muslims have taken on foreign citizenship. The suspect was blond and blue-eyed? Then it must be a local who has converted to Islam.
Converts are always particularly radical proponents of their new beliefs, the experts argued. After all, here in Germany there was a 2007 bomb-plot that involved two German-born terrorists who had converted to Islam, they pointed out. What did the Muslims living in Germany think about these statements? It's clear that the comments are prejudiced. These statements poison our thoughts too.
Now we know that the arrested suspect is definitely not a Muslim, but more likely a radical Christian. It's too early to make any further conclusions. One thing is for sure, terrorism is disgusting, especially because of the pain to victims - but also because it poisons our minds.
Author: Felix Steiner / alIn the aftermath of the twin attacks in Oslo and on the island of Uyoeta, German media... more
By David Ferguson
Sunday, July 17th, 2011 -- 12:37 pm
Twenty-two-year-old Aaron Pace was trying to donate blood and plasma at a local blood center in Gary, Indiana, when he was informed in an interview during the screening process that he was ineligible to give blood because he "appears to be a homosexual".
Because of a 1983 measure adopted by the Food and Drug Administration, all men who have had sex with another man since 1977 are banned from giving blood. Workers at Bio-Blood Components, Incorporated assumed that Pace was gay, apparently based on his "looks, character, and behavior".
Pace, who is not gay, is understandably miffed. He says he was "humiliated and embarrassed". He also says, "It's not right that homeless people can give blood but homosexuals can't. And I'm not even a homosexual."
The FDA law came about as a result of fears about HIV and the fact that no test existed in 1983 to screen donated blood for the presence of the virus. Now all donated blood is tested for HIV as well as Hepatitis A, B, and C. Still, the law remains in place, in spite of the fact that most places in the United States are facing critical blood shortages.
Bio-Blood, Incorporated has declined to comment on the matter.
(hat-tip to Gawker)
"How Stupid is This, what's next, not allowing folks who are well fed to not
contribute food to a food Bank???" Eeeesh!!!!By David Ferguson
Sunday, July 17th, 2011 -- 12:37 pm
Twenty-two-year-old Aaron... more