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Because they are white.

I keep seeing this ridiculous headline:

Why are “Oath Keepers” allowed to be armed in the middle of Ferguson protests?

The article goes on and on about how they are “exercising their rights” and about gun laws, and other related bullshit, but the reality is that these assholes can roam the streets of Ferguson, armed with fucking assault rifles, because they are white.

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Batshit crazy racists, or merely seekers of truth and justice and upholders of the American way?

You guys know what I think…

This was in response to an interviewer asking him if he’d ever dated black women.

Here’s an excerpt from the report over at Salon: (I got the link via Monica Jackson’s blog) (more…)

The following comment was left on a blog post (by somebody calling himself Barack Hussein Obama Sadaam) that I wrote a while ago, questioning whether or not racism in America had increased since Obama became president:

“I think that racism is increasing.

Minorities act like they want us to be racist to them.

Obama supports the NBA, which has some of the worst (dangerous) black people in the world.

Black leaders, such as NBA superstars, need to lead by example if blacks want racism to go away. I do not think blacks want racism to go away though.

Solution: Have all newborn black babies be adopted by intelligent white people. This will get rid of their terrible language of ebonics along with helping them succeed in life.”

This was my response: (more…)

hassanicampbell

I read about this little boy over at Angry Black Bitch’s blog. It depressed me no end.

Whenever I hear about children who have gone missing, I can’t even begin to describe the anguish that overtakes me, and when I hear that the stories aren’t important enough to warrant front page spots in the local rag, I hate the press just a little bit more.
Apparently Hassani Campbell has been missing since Monday, but with the exception of Nancy Grace – God bless her right-wing soul – apparently there hasn’t been much interest in the case.

ABB ponders the vagaries of a media that doesn’t seem overly interested when black children go missing. (more…)

By now many readers have heard about the McCain/Palin volunteer who claimed to have been attacked by a black man who purportedly wanted to punish her for not supporting Obama/Biden.

Looking at the photographs, which show a mirror image “B” superficially scratched on her cheek, it is so very easy to see that she lied, that the news about it left me cold.

Still, in the time between her claims breaking the news and the truth coming out, much damage was done to racial relations in the US.

And there is little doubt that there are people who will believe the invented attack actually happened–facts be damned–and that the ‘retraction’ was forced on the *cough* poor innocent victim *cough* by those horrid liberal dogs.

In response to that incident and the attendant racist overtones of the coverage (both ways), my recent crush, Keith Olbermann, had this to say:

And he is so right about the precariousness of racial peace and acceptance, and about how having a black candidate has brought to the surface underlying tensions and fears that many otherwise decent people don’t want to acknowledge, even to themselves.

Because this is not an isolated incident. There is a deeply rooted attitude of racism in the US, and while many–if not all–minorities face discrimination, active or passive, it is also true that it is most often evident towards blacks.

Witness, for example, the disparity in the following sentences for juvenile offenders, one white and the other black (taken from the Dallas Morning News, but available pretty much verbatim from several other sources online; bolding is mine)

With a population of 26,000, Paris is 73 percent white and 22 percent black, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

A monument to the Confederacy dominates the front lawn of the recently remodeled Lamar County Courthouse, from which a mob seized two black brothers and killed them in 1920. That was the last of at least half a dozen lynchings in the county.

“You can’t talk about Paris without mentioning the lynchings,” said William Harris, the county’s first assistant district attorney.

Two years ago, Shaquanda Cotton was the talk of the town. Paris found itself in the national media spotlight when the black teenager was sent to a Texas Youth Commission lockup for pushing a teacher’s aide. Months earlier, the same judge gave a white teen probation for burning her family’s house down.

“That was a wake-up call,” said Pike Burkhart, who is white and president of the Lamar County Chamber of Commerce. We don’t perceive ourselves as a racially divided community. We want to make sure we have more dialogue between our black and white communities.”

Ms. Cotton spent a year in a juvenile lockup and was freed after protests alleging racial bias. Still, authorities insist they followed the law.

“We did nothing wrong,” said district attorney spokesman Allan Hubbard.

Yet, you may notice that the identity of the then minor black girl has been published while the privacy of the white teen is preserved.

On the other side of the coin, we have several groups (from the New Black Panthers to member of the Nation of Islam) trying to twist what appears to be a murder committed under the influence of alcohol, into a racially motivated crime (from the same article quoted and linked above):

Motorists found Brandon Demon “Big Boy” McClelland’s mangled body early Sept. 16 in northeast Lamar County, near a curve in a two-lane county road. Authorities first suspected the 24-year-old was the victim of a hit and run, killed by a speeding lumber truck.

But suspicions soon turned to the victim’s white drinking buddies: Shannon Keith Finley and Charles Ryan Crostley. Witnesses told police that the men admitted running down Mr. McClelland after an argument. Both suspects maintain their innocence.

What is there to gain by insisting that people focus on their differences more than on what makes them the same?

Will we–humanity–ever be able to ignore color of skin, political leanings, religious beliefs, and simply remember that we all bleed the same, we all love the same, we all die the same?

Some days it feels like there  has been no progress at all in that direction. Other times it feels we are walking backwards.

edited to add: well, of course, I should have known–turns out we have people hanging the other candidate from trees and house eaves. Gee, so not surprised.

This guy spoke so much sense.

My favourite line?

“I don’t care what you are, I care about what you did”

Thanks to You-Know-Who for the link.

Are racism, cultural bias, personal prejudice, and/or life experience coloring our reading preferences?

Following on the racism discussions, I want to share something that I’ve been pondering for the longest time.

See, I have realized that I tend to avoid books wherein any of the main characters are Latino, particularly Mexican. Ninety nine times out of a hundred, I can’t buy the cultural makeup the writer is laying down for those characters. More than once I’ve been overheard saying, “Cojones, dammit, not cajones!!!” or “hispanos are human beings, not a different species!”

Which is funny, because what I sometimes take to be stereotypical representation may in reality come from the author’s life expereince. Case in point: Karen Templeton’s character Félix in Baby I’m Yours. I had trouble with him because I thought he was a stereotypical Latino man based on things like George López or what have you. Turns out Ms Templeton based Félix on a number of actual people she knows in New Mexico where she lives.

Whodathunkit?

So am I being racist in reverse? Am I actually assuming—with all the attendant asshattery—that no one can properly write Mexican or Latino characters that I can relate to?

And what about the fact that I won’t touch inspirational or self help books no matter what? Am I being a close-minded, biased, prejudiced so-and-so?

Or perhaps I simply know myself well, and know that if I do crack one of those open I’ll spend the time grumbling—if not flat out cursing—in annoyance?

AztecLady sent me the link to this statement, written by a lady called Mildred Loving. It moved me beyond words.

I’ve posted the statement in its entirety, since I know how allergic to clicking on links some of you guys are:

Loving for All

By Mildred Loving*

Prepared for Delivery on June 12, 2007,
The 40th Anniversary of the Loving vs. Virginia Announcement

When my late husband, Richard, and I got married in Washington, DC in 1958, it wasn’t to make a political statement or start a fight. We were in love, and we wanted to be married.

We didn’t get married in Washington because we wanted to marry there. We did it there because the government wouldn’t allow us to marry back home in Virginia where we grew up, where we met, where we fell in love, and where we wanted to be together and build our family. You see, I am a woman of color and Richard was white, and at that time people believed it was okay to keep us from marrying because of their ideas of who should marry whom.

When Richard and I came back to our home in Virginia, happily married, we had no intention of battling over the law. We made a commitment to each other in our love and lives, and now had the legal commitment, called marriage, to match. Isn’t that what marriage is?

Not long after our wedding, we were awakened in the middle of the night in our own bedroom by deputy sheriffs and actually arrested for the “crime” of marrying the wrong kind of person. Our marriage certificate was hanging on the wall above the bed. The state prosecuted Richard and me, and after we were found guilty, the judge declared: “Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.” He sentenced us to a year in prison, but offered to suspend the sentence if we left our home in Virginia for 25 years exile.

We left, and got a lawyer. Richard and I had to fight, but still were not fighting for a cause. We were fighting for our love.

Though it turned out we had to fight, happily Richard and I didn’t have to fight alone. Thanks to groups like the ACLU and the NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund, and so many good people around the country willing to speak up, we took our case for the freedom to marry all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. And on June 12, 1967, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that, “The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men,” a “basic civil right.”

My generation was bitterly divided over something that should have been so clear and right. The majority believed that what the judge said, that it was God’s plan to keep people apart, and that government should discriminate against people in love. But I have lived long enough now to see big changes. The older generation’s fears and prejudices have given way, and today’s young people realize that if someone loves someone they have a right to marry.

Surrounded as I am now by wonderful children and grandchildren, not a day goes by that I don’t think of Richard and our love, our right to marry, and how much it meant to me to have that freedom to marry the person precious to me, even if others thought he was the “wrong kind of person” for me to marry. I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry. Government has no business imposing some people’s religious beliefs over others. Especially if it denies people’s civil rights.

I am still not a political person, but I am proud that Richard’s and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness, and the family that so many people, black or white, young or old, gay or straight seek in life. I support the freedom to marry for all. That’s what Loving, and loving, are all about.

It’s unimaginable to me that once upon a time, you could get thrown in jail for marrying somebody with a different skin tone to yourself. We still have a ways to go, but I do think we have come a long way from those very dark days.

I watched a Panorama documentary the evening before last, about Barack Obama’s attempt at becoming the first black US president. Well, I say black, but actually he’s mixed race. The unfortunate thing for him though, is that people will still see him as black.

He comes across as a charming, articulate and most of all, conscientious man. A man who cares. All perfectly good attributes to have in a potential president, but I’m pretty sure it wont be enough to win over the majority of white America.

A political psychologist had this to say about Obama, and I found it quite interesting:

I couldn’t help but think that this stereotype of the “dangerous, dark skinned black male” could also be one of the reasons why the black hero isn’t popular amongst white romance readers. Sorry, I digress…

Apparently, no American president has ever won the election, without getting the Louisiana vote, (erm, or something like that) so the documentary makers went to America’s deep south to see what the people there thought of Obama. The reception was not great. The blacks didn’t know what to make of him, and the whites seemed to be saying hell no. I think one of the people they interviewed actually called him Barack Osama. (Although the guy in question was sporting a shaven head, built like a brick sh*thouse, tattoos everywhere, and looked like he hadn’t washed in quite a while though, so I’m not sure he was ever gonna say anything positive about Obama. Judgmental? Moi? Never in a month of puffs.)

They also interviewed a black Louisianan (is that right?) woman, and she said her vote was going to Hillary.

The documentary makers also visited Jena, in light of Obama’s emphasis on a United America, rather than a black/white America. There was a lot made of the fact that he didn’t attend a rally organised by black campaigners, who were protesting against the imprisonment of The Jena Six. A black man trying to run a race-neutral presidential campaign can’t afford to be seen rallying with other black folks, unfortunately.

Jesse Jackson was there of course, and gave his thoughts on Obama’s style of campaigning. He wasn’t particularly complimentary, and seemed to contradict himself somewhat. Nothing new there.

Obama was described as a man before his time, and others lamented that America had not yet reached the stage, where a black man could run for presidency, and have a realistic shot at winning it. A sentiment shared by a cyber pal who I spoke to recently.

I liked Obama, I really did. I mean what’s not to like? He’s handsome, (don’t tell me that doesn’t make a difference to somebody somewhere) he’s well turned out, and he knows how to give a rousing speech. He struck me as somebody I could sit down with, and have a really good chin-wag.

The problem for Obama as far as I can tell though, seems to be that the black folks think he’s not black enough, and the white folks think he’s too black. Poor sod, he’s got no effing chance. Maybe in a hundred years time he may have had a shot.

Oh by the way, they interviewed a woman from the deep south, who was clearly way below the poverty line, and initially, I felt a great deal of sympathy for her, (as any decent person would) until the documentary makers revealed that she was a single woman who had eight kids. My sympathy died on the spot.

You know what, if you know you can’t afford to feed your kids, then it would have been a good idea to either go on the pill, or make sure you use an effing condom. Or even better, keep your effing legs closed. Having eight kids when you have no way of looking after them, is beyond selfish and irresponsible. Why couldn’t she at least stop at four?

Aaargghhh!