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White people: This isn’t hard. Really, it’s not.

 

Civil war:  Was about owing human beings. It was not about States Rights (ask the free states who the South told had to return escaped slaves.) #badpeople #badcause #losers 

Owning human beings: #bad

People who downplay owning human beings: #badpeople

Slave owners who had sex with slaves: #rapists, #badpeople

Confederacy: #traitors who took up arms against the U.S.

Confederate flag and monuments to the confederacy: #painful, #insulting reminders to people.

Confederates: #losers #nothonorable

Confederate flag, flying and displaying of: Actual U.S. flag disrespect. (See #traitor. See #bad.)

People who kidnapped human beings from one continent and enslaved them on another: #badpeople #nothonorable #horriblehumanbeings #terrorists

400+ years of systematic and institution racism = #reparationsnow

This was a White country: No, it wasn’t. Ever. Even if that was a thing, it wasn’t. Remember Native Americans? Remember the economic benefits enjoyed by some but created by the enslaved people who did all the actual work and got worse-than-nothing for it?  (#thatisjustastupididea)

 

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What does it really mean to identify as ‘white?’

Someone asked in a Facebook group “What does it really mean to identify as ‘white?'”

Context is everything. I had shied away from this, in part, because White Nationalists loudly identify as White, and they are horrifyingly bad examples of humanity. However, failing to understand that society identifies me as White, and that I benefit from that, only skirts the issues.

To identify as White is to consciously accept what it means to be identified as White by institutions and systems. It means being conscious of the ways in which that identity has afforded me benefits, whether or not I asked for them or recognized them, and how those systems and institutions harm others.  It means understanding that calling a Black woman’s hair “ethnic” or bánh mì “ethnic” but calling burgers and tuna casserole and bobs “American” has so much deeply embedded racism that it’s literally stunning. It means seeing that while White people often say “it’s not a perfect system but it generally works and it’s the best there is,” people of color point out all the ways the system most emphatically does not work and is, in fact killing people.

Identifying as White means seeing that I am not the norm as if anyone who differs from me is abnormal. It also means seeing myself as all-too-normal as in my hair style is exactly as “ethnic” as a Black man’s Afro. Black is not abnormal; White is not the “correct” standard.

Identifying as White reminds me that people of color do not experience the world the same way I do–not even close. It reminds me that my experience does neither validates nor invalidates another’s experience. It reminds me I cannot know what it’s like to be a Black woman, and that trying to speak as, or for, her is ridiculous. It reminds me to amplify her voice.

Identifying as White means seeing that white is not colorless. It means seeing that there are as many different ways of being Black as being White. We White people are prone to say things such as “oh, we’re from many different places” as if all people who we identify as Black came from a single village on one diverse continent. It means accepting that while race isn’t a scientific notion, racism very much is. Even if DNA doesn’t draw circles around “races,” people do, and that is racism and it’s killing people.

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ICE: “We don’t need no stinking badges.”

As we give props to Republicans suddenly being shocked by what they’ve systematically over decades wrought…let’s keep in mind the people who are really taking risks, and facing real, terrible consequences.

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Always believe an autocrat; he means what he says

Why is anyone surprised any more? I get that we can be shocked and appalled and horrified on a daily basis, but…surprised? Trump has never been anything but what he has always been. If you don’t like what he’s doing today, you should have said something years ago.

If you weren’t appalled and activated when a presidential candidate talked about Mexicans as rapists and murderers or talked about having a right to grab women’s pussies just because you’re not brown or female…don’t look for any sympathy for suddenly noticing when the threat is directed towards you. This train has been coming down the track for a loooong time, and it’s never pretended to be anything other than a train.

Even the GOP, in general, has been exactly who they’re proving themselves to be on a daily basis. They promised to “starve the beast” that is government…well, except for the institution they benefit from or feel safe from…and they’re doing. exactly. what. they. said. they’d. do.

Always believe the autocrat will do exactly what he says he’ll do.

#JeffFlake #TooLittleTooLate

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What were you doing when you were 22? Whatever it was, Trayvon Martin never got the chance.

What were you doing when you were 22? I was recently graduated from college. Starting my life with my eventual husband. Wildly in love. We didn’t make much money but that was okay. We had hope that if we worked hard we’d be okay. We didn’t apply for jobs only to be disregarded because we had “black-sounding” names. Were never told to come see an apartment for rent but then told “oh, um, sorry, it’s been, um, rented, yeah” after we arrived because we weren’t the color the person was expecting [fact supported by study after study].
Travyon Martin would have been 22 this year. He never got the chance to have that scary, yet, also hopeful, time in life.
Now this I’ll #NeverForget.

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Roll call

This post is for me to bring links together that I continue to reference in every single conversation I have with people making the following claims and/statements. It’s a work in progress. Let me know if I’ve erred, or ideas about additional points to include. Thanks for reading.

  1. If Michael Brown had been sensible and done what the cop said, he’d still be alive. Not necessarily. Eric Gardner was killed by a cop’s choke hold just a couple of weeks before Mr. Brown was shot dead.
  2. Looking like a gang banger | shoplifting a pack of cigarillos is reason enough to be shot by a cop. (Um, no, neither are capital crimes, he seemed to be dressed the same as many young men of many colors I see, and he did not, as far as I’ve been able to find, shoplift anything.)
  3. Obviously Blacks in Ferguson just need to vote and get their act together. This is almost the saddest one. I can only imagine the frustration of hearing this after years and years of desperate attempts to fix this, to get attention paid to the problems. Anyway, a link to the Missouri Attorney General’s report on racial profiling for 2013.

Just since Michael Brown was shot dead in Ferguson by Officer Wilson.

Eric Garner, 43, July 17, 2014 Please note this was just a couple of weeks before Michael Brown was killed. This news was still fresh and distressing for anyone paying attention.

Kajieme Powell, 25, August 19th, 2014 Compare to the case of Joseph Houseman. “A police officer repeatedly asked Houseman to put down his gun so they could talk, but he refused and accused the cop of ‘acting like a prick’ and being in a gang.”

John Crawford, 22, August 9, 2014 “And the next thing I know, he said ‘It’s not real,’ and the police start shooting and they said ‘Get on the ground,’but he was already on the ground because they had shot him.'” Compare to open carry shows of force.

Akai Gurley, November 21, 2014 “’It was a pitch-black hallway,’ Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said of the Thursday-night shooting at East New York’s Louis Pink Houses. ‘The deceased is a total innocent.’”

And, Monday.
Tamir Rice, 12, November 24, 2014 Twelve.

Articles
Prosecutor McCullochs has, at best, a conflict of interest.
http://www.newsweek.com/ferguson-prosecutor-robert-p-mccullochs-long-history-siding-police-267357

Note:
African-Americans were targeted for 92 percent of vehicle searches, though searches of white suspects were more likely to turn up contraband (34 percent of searches of white suspects found contraband, versus only 22 for black suspects). http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/22/ferguson-black-america_n_5694364.html

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Zimmerman’s acquital of Trayvon Martin’s murder represents only the latest, most egregious betrayal of every Black American

It’s not surprising Zimmerman was acquitted of the Trayvon Martin killing. It’s simply the latest in a long erosion of civil rights. The Klan couldn’t be more pleased. It’s an ingenious strategy, though not new: try the victim, not the defendant.

“It’s an injustice” is empty and inadequate. If only the nation, with one clear voice, would shout out that this is a betrayal of every Black person in America and will not stand. But it won’t. We won’t. We are just comfortable enough, just scared enough, just cowardly enough to think, in our secret hearts, “Thank God it wasn’t my son.”

If you say that, then you are one of the betrayers. The betrayal of the last, small hope that this country could work toward the principles its founders, imperfect in themselves, framed. Some of us have decided, or accepted, that it’s too uncomfortable to be faced with our own failings in comparison to our ideals, too hard to change those aspects of ourselves that keep us from reaching up, too easy to pretend everything is just fine. Others of us have decided there is no hope, never was any hope, and, anyway, every hope is betrayed in the end.

Congratulations Floridians, those who support “stand your ground” and twist it to mean “it’s okay to shoot a young black man down in the street.” You must be pleased. Lynching WAS terribly awkward. It must be much easier to use a pistol. Anytime, anywhere. It’s open season.

 

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