Like so many before it, the outcome of the trial of Michael Dunn for the murder of Jordan Davis reveals how deeply ingrained racism is in this country. Somehow, some way, this must end, and it is up to each of us to end it.

— Jodi Jacobson

Paralysis Is Not an Option: What We Must Do While Mourning Jordan Davis.

When An Obviously Racist ‘Shopping While Black’ Situation is Happening, Who Steps In to Help?

“Shopping While Black” is a faux crime that black people fear committing—along with a whole host of other while-black faux-offenses that are rooted in racism against black people rather than in any real crime or even action—and consists of being black in a store, and thus being treated suspiciously, unwelcomingly, or even hostilely by store staff. Many black people have experienced it at least once in their lives; yet who steps in to help someone being victimized and humiliated by such outright racism in public spaces?

This social experiment, conducted by ABC‘s What Would You Do?, shows the answer to that question in real-life footage. A point to note is that it is not only amazing how few white people step in on the side of justice in this video, but also how surprised the white people that do step in are by racism when it is a fact of life for people of color in America today.

Parents outraged after daughter’s hairstyle not allowed at Deborah Brown Community School

Over the weekend, a public relations firm representing the university issued a statement denying any involvement in the school’s policy by Langston and calling for its immediate change.
“After a discussion between Langston University President Kent Smith and the superintendent of the school, Ms. Deborah Brown, it was mutually agreed that the policy in question should be changed,” the statement reads.
“On Monday, Ms. Brown will propose a policy change to the school’s board during a special meeting. Smith said he supports the change in the policy because it reflects an important value at Langston University to respect the individuality of students.”
Tiana’s parents, Terrance and Miranda Parker, said they think their personal stance on another of the charter school’s policies — spanking students — might also have something to do with how they’ve been treated.
“They act like the kids are their children,” Miranda Parker said. “Maybe that’s OK with other parents, but we are very involved. Very concerned. I wouldn’t sign their waiver. We don’t beat our own kids, so why would we let them?”

Read more: http://bit.ly/17SdEaI 
And keep up the pressure by signing the petition: http://bit.ly/ApologizeToTiana 

Parents outraged after daughter’s hairstyle not allowed at Deborah Brown Community School

Over the weekend, a public relations firm representing the university issued a statement denying any involvement in the school’s policy by Langston and calling for its immediate change.

“After a discussion between Langston University President Kent Smith and the superintendent of the school, Ms. Deborah Brown, it was mutually agreed that the policy in question should be changed,” the statement reads.

“On Monday, Ms. Brown will propose a policy change to the school’s board during a special meeting. Smith said he supports the change in the policy because it reflects an important value at Langston University to respect the individuality of students.”

Tiana’s parents, Terrance and Miranda Parker, said they think their personal stance on another of the charter school’s policies — spanking students — might also have something to do with how they’ve been treated.

“They act like the kids are their children,” Miranda Parker said. “Maybe that’s OK with other parents, but we are very involved. Very concerned. I wouldn’t sign their waiver. We don’t beat our own kids, so why would we let them?”

Read more: http://bit.ly/17SdEaI 

And keep up the pressure by signing the petition: http://bit.ly/ApologizeToTiana 

Eve Ensler Is Wrong That for Women and Trayvon Martin, ‘Our Struggles Are One’

imageIn her open letter to teenage homicide victim Trayvon Martin, whose killer was acquitted on July 14, renowned sexual assault activist Eve Ensler writes, “I am not you. I am not Trayvon Martin. I will never know what it feels like to live in the skin, in the daily rhythms and predeterminations of a black boy or man in America. I will never know what it is like to always be held suspect, to feel categorized from birth as dangerous. But as a woman, there are things I do know and things that I have experienced that bring us into the same story, the same struggle.”

Ensler goes on to explain how she and Martin are alike. For example, she says she knows “what it’s like to be worried about being followed, to speed up my step or slow down and pretend to be casual.” She also says she knows “what it feels like to be attacked or raped and be blamed for it because of what I was wearing (hoodie=short skirt).” Later in her letter, she adds that she’s met many men like Martin’s killer, George Zimmerman, who “are full of a simmering explosive rage, determined by poverty or shame or violence or humiliation or low self esteem.” For that reason, she explains that next year’s One Billion Rising event, an event her V-Day movement created in 2013, will focus on justice for all victims of gender violence. Among other things, the event will encourage people to “rise for an end to guns and Stand Your Ground laws where unarmed 17-year-olds are shot down dead,” writes Ensler. “We will rise to say Justice involves the whole story—the story of race, of class, of gender. Our struggles are one.”

With all due respect to Ensler, I don’t think a letter to Martin was the right place to push an agenda about her campaign to end violence against women, especially without first acknowledging the fear many people are taught to feel about men of color—a fear that is just as present in the women’s movement as it is in each of the United States of America. For many, the case against Zimmerman and his acquittal represented a symptom of the nation’s “unaddressed racism.” Ensler, then, had an opportunity to address this issue of race, particularly in the women’s movement, but she blew it.

Read More

STOKING FIRE: Islamophobia Trumps “Pro-Life” Ideology

(Annika Rydh pictured above.)

Written by Eleanor J. Bader for RH Reality Check. This diary is cross-posted; commenters wishing to engage directly with the author should do so at the original post.

Just three days into 2013, Annika Rydh, a Swedish government official from the town of Almhult, issued a shrill call to both her colleagues and neighbors. Worried about the perceived growth of the Muslim population in her homeland and beyond, she urged the European Union “to act by having some kind of restriction, like the one-child policy in China.” If Muslims don’t like the proposed rule, she continued, they can go back where they came from.

Rydh’s appeal comes on the heels of a decade-long campaign to curtail Muslim immigration into western countries and reduce the number of babies born to Muslim families. International in scope, the anti-Islam movement relies on scare tactics that, more often than not, imply that the Judeo-Christian traditions are in danger of being trampled by Sharia law.   

Joseph D’Agostino of the virulently anti-abortion Population Research Institute makes the case: “Because Christians and Jews are refusing to have children, refusing to get married, and having such low birth rates, the Muslims are going to inherit the earth.”

His boss, PRI founder Steven W. Mosher, goes even farther: “Many security experts have long believed that excessive population growth in Muslim countries is a national security threat to the west.”

Read the rest here.

The Brutal Lust of the “Jigaboo” Fantasy “Mammyfied” Through Fashion

Written by Jasmine Burnett for RH Reality Check. This diary is cross-posted; commenters wishing to engage directly with the author should do so at the original post.

Cross-posted with permission from jasmineburnett.com.

It is my hope that at least, every Black woman who sees these “Mammy” earrings is going to say they are racist without a second thought or question in their mind. I say that because, the fact that there have been “polls" to prove how racist it is, further indicates that "Post Racial" is only real in the definition of the word, not in the lives and conditions of Black women and girls. I have no patience to tell you why this among many other structural and institutional things that society profits from is racist, nor, will I ever become immune to society’s constant disrespect of Black women and girls. What should have happened as those designs were being sketched was a simple consideration, who is harmed by this luxury product created for profit? Of course, its Black women and girls and our dignity but again, no one asked us what we thought or how we felt.

I imagine what bores black people about the racism of well-meaning white people is watching them struggle with this shroud and entangle themselves in it and blow at it and touch it and ignore it and disown it, all the while remaining rapt in the drama, the spectacle of our own anxiety, at the expense of the encounter itself.

Naomi Wolf, “The Racism of Well-Meaning White People”

Yet, I’m clear that society still only sees us in one way, those fantasies that percolates in its DNA: Hottentot, Jigaboo, Mammy, Sapphire and I could name more. How do I know this? Because I and millions of other Black women walk in the legacy of that experience every day. 

Read the rest here.

How Governments and Individuals — Meaning Each of Us — Deny the Persistence of Racism and Abuse

Written by Marianne Møllman for RH Reality Check. This diary is cross-posted; commenters wishing to engage directly with the author should do so at the original post.

When you work on human rights issues, you notice a certain pattern in government denial of abuse. First line of defense: it didn’t happen. Or if it happened, they did it to themselves. Or if they didn’t, we certainly had nothing to do with it. Or if we did, we didn’t mean to. It doesn’t matter if the issue is torture, forced evictions, or garden-variety employment discrimination. The response from those in charge is often, if not always, the same.

Though this pattern is annoying, to say the least, I have lately become acutely aware of a much more depressing trend: the denial of abuse among those of us who should know better. Of course, we don’t call it denial. We call it “realism.” But the mechanism is the same.

1. “It didn’t happen.”

For decades, commentators and a large proportion of the US public have posited that racism no longer exists. Despite the fact that skin color and ethnicity matters with regard to just about any social indicator you care to look at — health, education, employment, housing, law enforcement — most white people believe the system we live in is racially just.

The writer Touré has described this situation as a “fog of racism:” a situation so subtle, it is blurred. “With this form of racism,” he says, “there is no smoking gun. There is no one calling you a nigger to your face. There’s no sign saying you can’t enter this building. … But … it’s there.”  

This is not much different from the many people who are genuinely puzzled at the need for continued attention to women’s issues in the United States now that “the genders are equal.” 

Read the rest here.