Member since: Sun Jul 4, 2004, 02:07 PM
Number of posts: 20,558
Number of posts: 20,558
It looks like you'll have to actually copy the url if you want to go to the link - the @ is throwing it off.
Law enforcement’s reliance on the term ‘resisting arrest’ incarcerates many blacks who have claimed to do no such thing. As a matter of fact, it’s a simple fact that the human body bends in certain ways at certain joints. So, when an arm is twisted by surprise at specific angles by a burly officer (or several), any person’s involuntary muscular reaction is to correct the pain they’re feeling. This is called ‘resisting’. What regular person can lie perfectly still as their arm is being broken? Who can pretend to not be in pain?
Terms such as ‘black on black’ crime place a spotlight on black crimes while omitting that ‘white on white’ crime is nearly identical statistically. Major news outlets rarely pay attention to black conferences for peace or organizations that uplift our youth such as Black Girls Rock as blacks try to ‘do for self’. As a result, the narrative continues that blacks don’t care about crimes or the well-being of black neighborhoods. Nothing could be further from the truth.
When white crimes are actually acknowledged there are double-standards in the terminology. The same action committed by whites versus those committed by blacks are somehow perceived as less threatening if there is a white aggressor. According to Polite White Supremacy, screwdrivers become ‘burglary tools’ depending on the color of the person holding them. A group of black people gathering is thus deemed a ‘gang’ and a group of whites gathering is…a group of whites gathering. Words such as ‘Lawlessness’, ‘looting’, ‘criminal’ and ‘thug’ often accompany the most peaceful protests by Black Americans long before agent provocateurs can influence a crowd towards violence.
What do media outlets call white rioters who torch property after their team wins or loses? ‘Revelers’. Basically, ‘revelers’ means they’re white and just having some wild fun. The perception is that revelers are white and aren’t scary like those black ‘rioters’ who did just as much property damage, though for different reasons.
Posted by gollygee | Wed Jul 20, 2016, 10:28 AM (1 replies)
"What?” you say. “My home is being robbed! Aren’t you going to come and stop them?”
“Well, I don’t know why you need to make this about your home, ma’am,” the operator says. “All houses matter.”
There is a difference between something being true and something being relevant. In the above conversation with an imaginary 911 operator, what he was saying was very true. All houses do matter. But at the moment, it wasn’t relevant. It wasn’t even helpful. All things considered, it was downright dangerous. You had an actual crisis going on at your house—that’s why your house mattered. While the operator was lecturing you on how important all houses are, bandits were trying to figure out whether they could get all your stuff in one load or if they’d have to make two trips.
It’s the same error people who respond to “Black Lives Matter” with “All Lives Matter” are making. It’s not that what they’re saying isn’t true. It’s just that it’s unhelpful. It’s an attempt to erase an actual crisis under the guise of being fair. And by continuing to use “All Lives Matter” to drown out the cry of “Black Lives Matter,” the real problems the movement is trying to address are being ignored. “All Lives Matter” is useless. It is destructive. It is hurtful. We need to stop saying it.
Posted by gollygee | Sun Jul 10, 2016, 09:12 PM (132 replies)
(Re not talking to your kids about race in an attempt to be "color blind.)
These white parents are clearly well-intended in this approach, but a colorblind ideology may actually do more harm than good.
While parents may assume that their own egalitarian attitudes will rub off on their children, this is usually not the case. In one of my studies I found that children were more biased than their parents, and there was no direct association between the parents’ and children’s attitudes. Instead, the children’s attitudes matched their perceptions of the parents’ attitudes.
Almost half of the 5 to 7-year-old white children in the study said they did not know whether their parents liked black people, and about 35 percent either said that their parents would not approve of them having a black friend or they did not know if their parents would approve. This was despite the fact that their parents reported positive racial attitudes.
So in the absence of conversation, children are apt to make assumptions that may not be true, but these assumptions often reflect the biases the children are exposed to in the world around them. In other words, the silence can breed prejudice.
Posted by gollygee | Fri Jul 8, 2016, 09:42 PM (10 replies)
This is an older article, updated because of an improvement in this issue, but there are still other legacies of this shameful part of America's past built into our society.
UPDATE (6/29/16): The Supreme Court this week declined to review Home Care Association of America v. Weil, in which the home health care industry challenged the Department of Labor’s extension of minimum wage and overtime protections to home health care workers.
The decision means that some 2 million home health care workers — 90 percent of whom are women and most of whom are women of color — will be entitled to basic wage and overtime protections under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (although the exclusion of agricultural workers from federal labor protections has yet to be remedied).
On August 21, 2015, The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit overturned a lower court ruling that had vacated the Department of Labor’s new protections for home health care workers. By declining to hear the case, the Supreme Court upheld the appeals court decision, rejecting a residual legacy of Jim Crow-era lawmaking and putting a long-overdue end to the shameful exclusion of home health care workers from federal protections.
(Start of original article)
Ever since the New Deal era, U.S. labor laws guaranteeing minimum wages and overtime pay have excluded workers who care for elderly individuals and people with disabilities in their homes. These home health care workers — 90 percent of whom are women and most of whom are women of color — perform strenuous labor for long hours, helping those who need assistance with everything from dressing to meal preparation to eating to going to the bathroom to getting around. To this very day, these workers are denied the basic protections of minimum wages and overtime pay, even as demand for their services grows. They are among the poorest workers in our country, barely getting by on low wages, with 23 percent living below the poverty line.
Posted by gollygee | Fri Jul 1, 2016, 07:57 AM (1 replies)
took Johnson six months to get Hatten a state photo ID because, like many African Americans born in the Jim Crow South, he didn’t have a birth certificate, and the DMV rejected his initial application. He took his new ID to the polls, but the address on it didn’t match his new address, which the poll workers needed to register him at the site (Wisconsin is one of 14 states with Election Day registration). While Hatten conferred with the poll worker, another man who tried to register with his veterans’ ID was turned away.
After a lengthy conversation with election officials, Hatten went back to his apartment and retrieved a utility bill with his new address. After waiting patiently in line while Johnson looked on nervously, he was finally able to cast a ballot. “I’ve never had any problems voting until I came to Wisconsin,” Hatten said, holding up his “I Voted” sticker. “If someone didn’t know the law like I did, they would’ve walked away from the voting booth.”
In fact, many Wisconsinites who didn’t have Johnson’s help or Hatten’s perseverance were blocked from the polls. Their experiences offered a striking rejoinder to Governor Scott Walker’s contention that the state’s voter-ID law “works just fine.” Eddie Lee Holloway Jr., a 58-year-old African American who had moved from Illinois to Milwaukee, brought his expired Illinois photo ID, birth certificate, and Social Security card to get a photo ID for voting, but the DMV rejected his application because his birth certificate read “Eddie Junior Holloway,” the result of a clerical error. Holloway spent $200 on a bus ticket to Illinois to try to amend his birth certificate and made seven trips to government agencies in two different states, but he still couldn’t vote in the Wisconsin primary. To date, the state’s DMV has rejected nearly a fifth of all applicants for a voter ID, 85 percent of whom were African American, Latino, or Native American.
“This is the worst election I’ve ever seen in Wisconsin,” said Johnson, who’s lived in Milwaukee her whole life. “I go to bed thinking we’ve settled something, and I wake up and there’s something else.”
Posted by gollygee | Fri Jul 1, 2016, 07:33 AM (29 replies)
I can only past 4 paragraphs
Here's what it feels like to be called out on unintentional racism: You're trying to make a complex argument for how to deal with Iran and someone keeps interrupting you to tell you you're pronouncing "nuclear" wrong. What a pedantic prick.
Here's what it feels like to receive unintentional racism: A guy is driving to get groceries and on the way he runs over you with his car. When you complain, he calls you a pedantic prick.
When a manager hires 10 white people in a row despite having qualified minority candidates, quite often they "weren't thinking about race at all." For every blatantly racist asshole that won't hire some race because "They have no work ethic," there's a well-meaning manager with the same subconscious biases we all have, unintentionally feeling a better "vibe" from candidates similar to them.
When Manager Natasha gets called out, this is the first time in the process that race has been directly brought up, so it seems totally true to her when she says, "You're the one bringing race into it." Race has, of course, been heavily involved the whole time, but it's been doing its dirty work out of her subconscious.
Posted by gollygee | Sun May 29, 2016, 08:44 PM (1 replies)
Average American lifespans have grown over time. For example, an average 65-year-old man in 2015 can expect to live nearly six years longer than his counterpart 50 years earlier; for an average woman, the gain is over three years. But these average figures mask significant differences among Americans at different rungs of the socioeconomic ladder.
Richer people live longer — and the gap is growing. The higher a person’s socioeconomic status — whether measured in earnings, income, or education — the longer his or her life expectancy. As the chart shows, for example, higher-earning men can expect to outlive lower-earning men by more than five years. Moreover, the gap between the lifespans of rich and poor has grown significantly, an abundance of research shows, and this trend is accelerating.
Meanwhile, poorer women’s lifespans have actually shrunk, some studies show. Some groups of Americans are living shorter lives than their parents. This disturbing phenomenon is concentrated among women: the poorest 40 percent of women have lower life expectancies than the previous generation, one study found. Higher death rates among white women seem to drive this trend.
The growing longevity gap makes Social Security less progressive. Social Security is designed to replace a larger share of pre-retirement earnings for lower earners than higher earners. But lower earners receive retirement benefits for fewer years before dying. As the longevity gap between lower and higher earners grows, the share of retirement benefits going to needy households shrinks.
Posted by gollygee | Fri Jan 22, 2016, 09:38 AM (7 replies)
Today in American politics, the phrase “playing the race card” is still being used by pundits, politicians, and media outlets to either dismiss or downplay a very serious issue. Using the term is a form of denial, a way of talking about racism, while still pretending that it doesn’t really exist.
When understood in its historical context, the phrase is deeply rooted in racism. Just as John Tenniel’s 1862 illustration portrayed the issue of slavery as just another ‘card’ in a game, the phrase that is most often connected to that image is used to trivialize issues like police brutality and disparity in the criminal justice system – issues that are anything but trivial.
There is no ‘race card’. Racism is not a game. The phrase ‘playing the race card’ can and should be removed from our national language. Without it, racist politicians and frightened Tea Party ‘patriots’ would be forced to face and address the issues, instead of consistently hiding behind meaningless catch phrases, meant to detract from them.
It is one thing to debate the presence of racial motive in a circumstance, but it is quite another to suggest that people who suspect a racial component are exploiting some mythological, vaunted position and prerogative of aggrieved groups or exerting the exclusionary authority of the dominant group.
And furthermore, what other forms of discrimination are so routinely diminished and delegitimized in this way — cast as a game, a tactic or a stratagem?
The truth is that the people who accuse others — without a shred of evidence — of “playing the race card,” claiming that the accusations of racism are so exaggerated as to dull the meaning of the term, are themselves playing a card. It is a privileged attempt at dismissal.
They seek to do the very thing they condemn: shut down the debate with a scalding-hot charge.
Posted by gollygee | Mon Nov 9, 2015, 01:29 PM (30 replies)
Published in 1936, Gone with the Wind represents a particular moment in the history of domestic work. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, many European women—Irish, German, and Scandinavian—worked as domestics, especially in the North and Midwest. With the curtailment of European immigration in the 1920s, African American women, who had long served as the primary domestic worker labor force in the South, came to dominate the occupation in the North as well. This context of African American women becoming synonymous with domestic work enabled the warm reception of the representation of Mammy in Gone with the Wind.
Although the popular stereotype of Mammy was powerfully resonant for many white Americans, the history of African American domestic workers tells a different story. Two years before Mitchell’s book was published, household workers in New York City had formed the Domestic Workers Union—with an estimated one thousand members—to challenge the ongoing exploitation and mistreatment of household workers in the context of the Great Depression. Led by Dora Jones, who lived in Sunnyside Queens, they established a hiring hall, insisted on minimum wages and a contract signed by employers, and fought for state-based labor protections. The DWU eventually affiliated as a local of the Building Services Employees International Union. And it was not the only organization of household workers. Similar groups emerged in other parts of the country. Domestic workers, it seems, were far from passive or content.
Examining the character of Mammy in light of the organizing and resistance by African American women, who were challenging the racialized nature of the occupation, illuminates how this novel entered into a contentious and highly-charged debate about the labor of black women. Black women activists were trying to break free of the history of slavery and servitude and end the rampant labor exploitation that characterized the occupation. Indeed, the New Deal offered some hope for a new racial order. In Gone with the Wind, however, Mitchell landed firmly on the side of seeing African American women as the servants of white women. It was no accident that Scarlett’s struggle for survival was aided and supported by the black women around her.
Gone with the Wind is still a favorite among American audiences. What’s to account, then, for the novel’s ongoing popularity even though African American women are no longer the primary household worker labor force? The themes of feminist success and racial subordination seem timeless and continue to play out in multiple ways. In contemporary political debates, the context is the corporate boardroom and (white) women’s struggle for voice, autonomy, and leadership. Female corporate leaders encounter sexual objectification, the work-family balance, and dismissive attitudes in high-powered meetings. Their success has become, for some people, representative of the feminist struggle. They are quintessentially women, mothers, and professionals. Missing in their stories of success (and this goes for corporate male leaders as well) is the staff of workers who help raise the children, clean the house, and tend to the lawn. In fact, most professionals depend on a supporting cast of low-wage service workers to carry out much of the day-to-day drudgery that enable them to be the best that they can be. Success and subordination, the central themes of Gone with the Wind, are still very much with us today.
Posted by gollygee | Tue Sep 8, 2015, 03:26 PM (0 replies)
Many working people across the United States are enjoying a three-day weekend thanks to Labor Day. But sadly, it has become more of a retail holiday and a marker for the end of summer than a celebration of workers and organized labor. Even those who do honor workers and unions rarely explore the historical links between the Pullman Strike of 1894 and the black Pullman porters who could not strike—because they weren't allowed in a whites-only union.
In an op-ed for The Grio, Theodore R. Johnson wrote about how Labor Day was born:
Labor Day was nationally established after the Pullman Strike of 1894 when President Grover Cleveland sought to win political points by honoring dissatisfied railroad workers. This strike did not include porters or conductors on trains, but for the black porters, racism fueled part of the workers’ dissatisfaction, and was never addressed. Pullman porters were black men who worked in the trains’ cars attending to their mostly white passengers, performing such tasks as shining shoes, carrying bags, and janitorial services. During this period, this profession was the largest employer of blacks in the nation and constituted a significant portion of the Pullman company’s workforce, yet blacks were not allowed to join the railroad worker’s union.
Being excluded from the right to even fight for fair work and wages, the Pullman porters formed their own union called the Brotherhood of the Sleeping Car Porters, the first black union, and A. Philip Randolph was its first president. That name should sound familiar: the first planned March on Washington was Randolph’s brainchild. Set to take place in the 1940s, this demonstration was called off weeks before its kick-off date because President Roosevelt met with Randolph and other civil rights leaders in 1941, and signed an order barring racial discrimination in the federal defense industry. Roosevelt did so to stop the march from happening.
Posted by gollygee | Mon Sep 7, 2015, 09:39 AM (6 replies)