Posts Tagged ‘racism’

February 19, 2012

Video on CNN:

I actually watched the video of the ESPN commentator who was suspended for using the term “chink in the armor.” He should have been given an opportunity to apologize for his mistake. This was not a Don Imus situation but shows what happens in a society that focuses on political correctness instead of teachable moments.

Obama! Please don’t make another race speech!

July 21, 2010

Your adminstration has already issued its apology and Ms. Sherod accepted. If this happened under President Clinton or Bush, the media outrage would have stopped at the Secretary of Agriculture. There were many racial incidents during their tenure and they spoke about by them by choice, not by force. Please don’t turn yourself into a Black mammy figure, always consoling the guilty people you work for. We as adults should be able to handle this with the example that you set in your administration. If we can’t then the problem is with us, not you. No more words need to come directly from you on this issue.

Selling out Shirley Sherrod

July 20, 2010

In an era of non-fact based journalism, we have sold out Ms. Sherrod. Because of our fear of talking about race, we used video editing to kill someone’s career, in this economy. The NAACP sold her out so it could look objective, conservatives edited video, and now the White House sold her out because it’s afraid to talk about race. This is shameful. Is the NAACP now going to protest for her to get her job back? What happened to hearing both sides? This is the state of america we are in and we should be ashamed.

Not surprised black kids hate themselves

May 19, 2010

Whether it’s watching movies like “Precious” where all the dark-skinned characters are evil and all the savior characters are lighter-skinned, or having to explain to my daughter at 2 years old that she’s not inferior to white people because all of the main stream images from cartoons to pull-ups all have white princess on them, I am not surprised that many black kids hate themselves.  having a black President and a new black princess movie isn’t going to change 400 years of negative imagery, though it helps. Some of the kids, as you saw in the video, hate themselves because they think WE as adults hate them. They don’t know how to describe it. They just feel or perceive it. Oftentimes, unfortunately, perception is reality.

Let’s REID through the lines on race in America

January 11, 2010

Americans would rather point fingers about race than talk about it directly. As a diversity educator, I encounter people every day who are just not ready to have this dialogue, yet are quick to say that we are post racial now that we have a black president. Most of us still hold stereotypes about other groups but we would never know they are stereotypes until we confront our beliefs. Entire policies from education to law enforcement have been crafted in America based on race and this is still an issue. Furthermore, we know full well that many other politicians have said things behind closed doors about Obama and racism. What most people do now is take a “holier-than-thou” approach when these issues come up and just call for someone’s resignation. We should be calling for dialogue but Americans are too scared to engage in one. I’m ready if you are…

Judge Sotomayor a racist? Talk about the pot calling the kettle white!

June 1, 2009

Judge Sonia Sotomayor made history by becoming the first Latina to be appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). I did not expect to become as emotional as I did as I watched President Obama introduce her. For the many (not all) Latinos who support her, I assume that this is almost similar to the feeling that we as African Americans had with Obama’s DNC victory. I just know that it felt great to see the diversity of Obama’s administration from Biden to Obama to Sotomayor. While President George W. Bush had great diversity in his cabinet, I did not see diversity of thought so that’s why this is different. In any event, within an hour of my joy at Sotomayor’s nomination, I quickly had to move from offense to defense as the republican attack machine quickly went into action.

From former presidential candidates like Mitt Romney to Rush Limbaugh, Judge Sotomayor has been called everything from a sexist to a racist. At the heart of the accusations is a comment she made several years ago at UC Berkeley when she said “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.” With this comment, an entire career has been marred. New campaigns are being launched to destroy this woman and compare her to former KKK members like David Duke. I can’t say I’m surprised by these accusations because we know that the Republican party is still grasping at straws to pin something on President Obama and his actions. What we cannot allow, however, is to let these detractors forget their own racist past as well as that of the Supreme Court.

Critics of Sotomayor speak to her biases as if the Supreme Court has always held the best interests of everyone in the country at heart and not just white males. This is despite the fact that only 4 of the 110 justices over the years have been non-white males. If this is the case, let’s look at more of Sotomayor’s comments from that same speech. She also stated in that speech that “Until 1972, no Supreme Court case ever upheld the claim of a woman in a gender discrimination case.” Let us not also forget the battle for civil rights in this country and how so many cases were thrown out from what seemed to be not a supreme court, but a supremacist court. Such was the case with the Dred Scott decision of 1857 that declared blacks could not be U.S. citizens as well as the Plessy v. Ferguson case of 1896 that upheld separate but equal facilities in America.

Cases like these highlight how the Supreme Court was used to retain the white male racist and sexist power structure in America. Talk about affirmative action. To somehow compare or connect Sotomayor to this history is ridiculous at best. If Limbaugh, et al, want to talk about racists, they can simply look at the histories of politicians such as Jeff Sessions and Senator Byrd (a democrat) who are still serving in office now. This is indeed tragic and we can’t let this go by without vigorous defense of Sotomayor. It’s not like she called someone a nappy headed ho. Had she done that, Imus(t) conclude she would have been a shoe-in for her nomination with republicans.

While there are many white male Supreme Court justices who have helped to remove some of the most discriminatory rulings of the past, we cannot reread American history with rose-colored glasses. I don’t agree entirely with the wording Sotomayor used, however, I am in agreement with the overall tone of her speech, which most people won’t read because we unfortunately live in a society where we make up our minds quickly based on one sentence and change them slowly when lifelong facts are revealed. I guess this is the price to pay for living in a microwave society but we need more of a slow cooker approach on judging the judge as well as American history overall.

An Open Letter to President Obama: Your decision to not attend World Racism Conference is shameful and disgraceful

April 20, 2009

I simply could not believe my ears when I heard that the Obama Administration was not going to attend this year’s United Nations Conference on Racism in Durban, South Africa. I romantically thought that since the Bush Administration walked out on the Conference in 2001, you would actually attend yourself and even go meet with former South African President Mandela, make joint statements, etc. etc. I haven’t been this off on a whim in quite a long time.

Mr. President, I do not believe that you were obligated to attend the conference because you are the United States’ first African American President. That will never be a reason I would expect you to do anything. The reason your refusal to at least send a delegation to the conference is so disgraceful is because you claimed throughout the campaign that you wanted to engage the global community. Mr. President, engaging the global community doesn’t just mean going to meet world leaders and privileged college and high school students. When you’re traveling abroad, you have to also be engaged in speaking to issues that have served as the basis for many of the issues we face as a global community.

Mr. President, I am hard-pressed to find any other issues that have served to keep one group oppressed and the other in high esteem and privilege other than race and religion. These two words have been used to make slavery, the Holocaust, the Crusades, the Trail of Tears, the Armenian Genocide, the Rwandan Genocide, and many other global atrocities acceptable. This conference seeks to affirm the right of all global people to have the same right to the pursuit of happiness as everyone else, yet your loyalty to Israel prevents you from taking part in this event. In truth, your loyalty to Israel should be the reason why you should attend.

I actually went and read the statement on racism by the Conference. The statement clearly acknowledges that it wants an end to anti-Semitism and anti-Arabism. It fully acknowledges that the Holocaust occurred and says it should “never be forgotten.” As a matter of a fact, here are the statements from the 62-page document that your administration has been working to change for the past few months:

“We are concerned about the plight of the Palestinian people under foreign occupation. We recognize the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and to the establishment of an independent State and we recognize the right to security for all States in the region, including Israel, and call upon all States to support the peace process and bring it to an early conclusion…As for the situation in the Middle East, calls for the end of violence and the swift resumption of negotiations, respect for international human rights and humanitarian law, respect for the principle of self-determination and the end of all suffering, thus allowing Israel and the Palestinians to resume the peace process, and to develop and prosper in security and freedom…”

What more can be said Mr. President? Do you want the statement to say: “We acknowledge that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is completely the fault of the Palestinians.”? The statement they provided above could not at least get you to send a delegation? Attending the Conference does not mean that you have to sign on to everything. Attending means you simply contribute to the dialogue on “Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance.” Mr. President, as you well know, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not the only conflict in the world. The Conference also deals with issues such as child labor and sex trafficking.

Mr. President, as long as you continue to walk lockstep with (or behind) Israel, you will never be able to credibly engage the world community on issues of race and injustice. Though Israel has suffered tremendously during this conflict, you and I are smart enough to know that whenever there are adults engaged in a conflict, the only people who are 100% innocent are the children. As it has been said, when two elephants battle it’s the grass that gets trampled. Your administration needs to seriously reevaluate how you choose to engage the global community and you can start by recognizing the grievous mistake you made by boycotting this conference.