All Articles Tagged "racism"
If you’re familiar with the show “What Would You Do?” You know they put people in tight, yet realistic situations that test people’s moral fiber. And even have you asking yourself what you would have done in the same situation. In one of the latest episodes, an actress “Rachel” is pretending to be a stylist in the popular Harlem barber shop Denny Moe’s. She’s giving eyes to one of the male customers, a black guy, when all of a sudden his white girlfriend walks in. And instead of playing cool or sucking her teeth and rolling her eyes on the low she begins to question the black man for his choice and out and out disrespect the white girl in the place. I mean, she goes in.
Take a look at the video to see how the women and men in the shop respond in this scenario. And then ask yourself–though you could never know until you’re in it–what would you have done in this situation?
A dance troupe has claimed to be victims of racial profiling while traveling in Texas. Houston police reportedly stopped the troupe when they saw a white female and two black males sharing a vehicle. Landry Thompson, the white female who is 13 years old, told KHOU-TV she and her dance partner along with their instructor were approached by policemen at 3 a.m. when they stopped at a Houston gas station.
Although the trio told police they were a dance group from Tulsa, Oklahoma and had spent the day recording a dance video with a local Houston group called Planet Funk Academy, the officers didn’t believe their story. According to the Daily News, Landry stated:
“They were convinced I was a runaway. ”
So Landry, her dance partner Josiah Kelly, 22, and their dance instructor, 29-year-old Emmanuel Hurd, were taken into custody by the police. Once at the station, the police called Landry’s mother, Destiny Thompson, to confirm her story. The policeman who spoke to Thompson allegedly stated: “Are you aware that your daughter is with two black men?”
After Thompson told the officer she knew of her daughter’s whereabouts, he then began to question her parenting. Thompson mentioned to the officer that her daughter is home schooled so she can focus on building her professional dance career which often gives her the opportunity to travel on the road. Thompson also noted to the policemen that Hurd had paperwork that showed Landry had permission to be away from home.
“Emmanuel had a letter signed by us, had every contact number they could’ve possibly needed,” Destiny Thompson said.
After thoroughly explaining her daughter’s predicament, the police officers told her she would have to drive to Houston to get Landry who was placed in Houston’s Child Protective Services. Although Hurd and Kelly were not charged, they are considering taking legal action against Houston’s authorities. They waited for Landry to be released from Child Protective Services, six hours later from the time she was initiated into the system.
Houston Police Department did not give a comment on the actions which took place but refuted the dance troupe’s claim of racial profiling. The department told KHOU-TV:
“Given the age discrepancies … and the child had no relatives in the area, officers in an abundance of caution, did their utmost to ensure her safety.”
Below is the KHOU-TV news report on this incident.
Do you think Landry should have been traveling alone with Hurd and Kelly?
White Male College Students File Complaint Against Black Female Professor For Discussing Racism In Class
If you’ve ever been in a class in college where the topic of race was brought up to the disgust and discomfort of your white classmates (for me, it was the fraternity and sorority loving, trust fund baby bunch), clearly this is a more common issue than you might have previously thought. One a teacher can get in trouble for. According to Raw Story, Shannon Gibney, a faculty member at the Minneapolis Community and Technical College, decided to speak about structural racism in an Introduction to Mass Communication class. Gibney says that when she began her lesson, she was interrupted by one student, a young white male, who asked her point blank, “Why do we have to talk about this in every class? Why do we have to talk about this?” When speaking on the way the young man delivered his complaint, Gibney said this in an interview according to City College News:
“[h]is whole demeanor was very defensive. He was taking it personally. I tried to explain, of course, in a reasonable manner — as reasonable as I could given the fact that I was being interrupted and put on the spot in the middle of class — that this is unfortunately the context of 21st century America.”
But the young man wasn’t trying to hear it, and neither was another student male student who jumped in with the guy to argue and said, according to Gibney, “Yeah, I don’t get this either. It’s like people are trying to say that white men are always the villains, the bad guys. Why do we have to say this?”
Gibney says she tried to tell the students that they were taking the lesson a little too personal, but the students kept trying to argue with her and a debate ensued. At one point, she eventually said to them, “if you’re really upset, feel free to go down to legal affairs and file a racial harassment discrimination complaint.” Unfortunately, they called the professor’s bluff and did just that, and she’s since been reprimanded. According to the Raw Story though, this isn’t the first time she’s been reprimanded for talking about race. An editor of the college’s newspaper filed a racial harassment discrimination complaint against Gibney in 2009 for a class discussion that was also centered on race, but this time, the Vice President of Academic Affairs wrote her a letter scolding her for the situation. He said that he found “it troubling that the manner in which you led a discussion on the very important topic of of structural racism alienated two students who may have been most in need of learning about this subject.” He went on to say the following:
“While I believe it was your intention to discuss structural racism generally, it was inappropriate for you to single out white male students in class. Your actions in [targeting] select students based on their race and gender caused them embarrassment and created a hostile learning environment.”
Clearly he didn’t even try to back up Gibney, so she is filing an anti-discrimination lawsuit with six other professors against the school. Gibney says that the Vice President of Academic Affairs, by reprimanding her, has “helped those three white male students succeed in undermining my authority as one of the few remaining black female professors here.”
This is all just ridiculous when you think about it. If she tries to speak about the realities of racism in our society in the future, will Gibney have to change her whole lesson plan if one student gets up and says they don’t want to talk about it? The fact that people are so scared or bent out of shape to speak on something folks face every day is proof that we really do need to have a discussion about racism. It’s one thing to quietly be willing to be ignorant about such issues, but to argue with someone and say that folks need to get over it just proves that we have a long way to go.
On Sunday, the Republican National Committee tweeted out an ill-advised tribute to civil rights icon Rosa Parks, praising the late activist for “her role in ending racism.”
Today we remember Rosa Parks’ bold stand and her role in ending racism. pic.twitter.com/uxIj1QmtkU
— RNC (@GOP) December 1, 2013
The message was widely mocked by Twitter users who pointed out that the end of racism was news to them:
BREAKING: GOP says racism is over. In related news: “We were joking about that Kenyan-Muslim-socialist-dictator-Madrassa-foodstamp thing.”
— Goldie Taylor (@goldietaylor) December 1, 2013
— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) December 1, 2013
Read more at BlackVoices.com.
From Black Voices
A Georgia court is struggling to explain a report that it listed “slave” as an occupationon its juror questionnaire.
On Monday, a prospective juror in Dekalb County told local NBC affiliate 11Alive that he typed the letter “S” for “Sales” on the online questionnaire and said the word “Slave” popped up instead.
Court Administrator Cathy McCumber told the station that the online form is a month old but was derived from an older list that’s been used to survey jurors for 13 years. The web development company that the court contracted to make the form says the occupations are user-generated.
McCumber told 11Alive she’s not sure if someone added “Slave” after the court put the questionnaire online or if it had always been listed among the other occupations.
The Dekalb County Court did not respond to our request for comment.
Read more at BlackVoices.com
If ever there was a case for why diversity matters in news rooms, it is the fraudulent and overhyped knockout story, aka the roaming gang of menacing and pillaging young black thugs-story.
From the New York Times:
The attack added to a growing log of reports of such crimes in the Northeast and beyond. Young assailants were randomly picking unlucky targets and trying to knock them out with just one punch.
Yet police officials in several cities where such attacks have been reported said that the “game” amounted to little more than an urban myth, and that the attacks in question might be nothing more than the sort of random assaults that have always occurred.
And in New York City, police officials are struggling to determine whether they should advise the public to take precautions against the Knockout Game — or whether in fact it existed.
“We’re trying to determine whether or not this is a real phenomenon,” Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said on Friday. “I mean, yes, something like this can happen. But we would like to have people come forward and give us any information they have.”
Yes, your lying eyes are not deceiving you: The New York Times is reporting that the week’s worth of going H.A.M folks have been engaging in on social networking about how these black hooligans are disrespecting the race and how somebody needs to lock the scourge of those hoodrats up and throw away the key, were all based on media sensationalism mixed with urban legend and likely spurred on by anti-black sentiment. In fact, the Times reports that police officials have yet to see any evidence of an organized game, particularly one with roots online, and have expressed concern that the sensationalized “news” stories about the so-called Knock-out Game, might actually end up creating, “the atmosphere where such a “game” could take hold in New York.
More from the Times article:
““Much news coverage of reported knockout attacks includes 2012 footage from a surveillance camera in Pittsburgh of James Addlespurger, a high school teacher who was 50, being swiftly struck to the ground by a young man walking down an alleyway with some friends. Yet the Pittsburgh police said the attacker insisted the assault was not part of any organized “game.”
“This was just a random act of violence,” Police Commander Eric Holmes said in a televised interview last year. “He stated that he was just having a bad day that day.” The assailant saw Mr. Addlespurger, the commander said, “and decided this was a course of action he was going to take.”
Telecasts have also shown teenagers in Jersey City, their faces blurred, describing knockouts, which they defined as anyone might; someone is struck and knocked out. But they did not report that it was a game. Bob McHugh, a police spokesman in Jersey City, said there had not been a single reported knockout incident there.“If there ever was an urban myth, this was it,” he said. Still community concerns spurred by the video prompted a member of the City Council there, Candice Osborne, to post on her Facebook page, “there have been NO reported instances of this type of assault.”
I swear, the next few days of watching news agencies walk back their original sensationalized reports are going to be better than Michael Jackson’s Moonwalk – either that or folks will double down on the original dubious claims. And if I were a betting man – and an actual man too – I would put a hefty wager down on the latter.
Angela Bassett appears on the December issue of JET Magazine looking absolutely gorgeous. While she was there to promote her work on “American Horror Story: Coven” and the upcoming movie Black Nativity (in theaters November 27), she also chatted about her personal life. She spoke about her struggles to get pregnant, disagreements with her husband Courtney B. Vance, her public persona and how her children had to deal with racism as early as four years old. Check out the highlights below.
“After trying and trying, I unfortunately couldn’t have my babies. It was my reality. I heard about the surrogate option and it worked out beautifully.”
Her children facing racism
“The kids were playing one day, and a blonde, blue-eyed girl said that she didn’t want my daughter to be a part of the family. My son stood up to her and asked the child how would she feel if she was treated like that, and the girl said ‘bad.’ They were only 4 years old at the time.”
Her public persona
“I’m pretty sure that people think that I’m really serious. I know that they think I’m stern as well. People are always surprised that I’m actually fun, and not all stuck-up and mean!”
Her son is a bold one. I don’t know if I would have had the courage to speak up at just four.
You can read more of the cover story over at JET and pick up this issue on newsstands November 25.
Black people catch a lot of shade from their names. Whether you have a “black name” or a “white name,” these struggles are just part of being black.
When People Think You Have a White Name
In Season 4 of 30 Rock, they came up with a joke about a white man named Wesley Snipes. When Liz Lemon made fun of the Wesley character’s name, he said:
It’s insane that the actor Wesley Snipes has that name! Look. If you saw a picture of him, and a picture of me, and you were asked “Who should be named Wesley Snipes?” You’d pick the stuffy Englishman every time! Every time, Liz!
When we have “black names” white people shade us for being ignorant. When we have “white names” that reflect the country we’ve lived in for several hundred years, we’re trying to be like white people. It’s impossible to win.
One thing I’ll say about Oprah Winfrey is that she does not shy away from the discussion of race like so many black folks in her tax bracket…er, well, at least close to her tax bracket anyway.
Not too long ago, the queen of all media caused an international stir when she discussed an incident of shopping while black where she was denied proper service while looking at a $38,000 Tom Ford purse at an upscale boutique in Zurich. In the same month, she had the conservative blogs in a tizzy over comments she made in an interview with Anderson Cooper, about whether or not race played a role in George Zimmerman shooting Trayvon Martin, to which she responded, “Hellz Yeah. Duh!” Okay, I lied. What she really said was this:
“A lot of people, they think if they’re not using the N-word themselves, they actually, physically are not using the N-word themselves and do not have, harbor ill will towards black people, that it’s not racist. But, you know, to me it’s ridiculous to look at that case and not to think that race was involved.”
Then last week came reports of another interview in which Winfrey talked about racism, more specifically how not a single black person has risen above its hateful and destructive glare – not even the literal H.N.I.C also known as Barack Obama. According to the BBC, Oprah said, “There’s a level of disrespect for the office that occurs in some cases and maybe even many cases because he’s African American,” she said. “There’s no question about that. And it’s the kind of thing no one ever says, but everybody’s thinking it.”
Right on, Oprah! For all the chatter and gossip about Winfrey’s lack of consciousness when it comes to race-talk in America, it certainly appears like she has no problem with calling out every single bit of it – even when she technically doesn’t have to. In the same interview she also had this to say:
“There are still generations of people, older people, who were born and bred and marinated in it, in that prejudice and racism, and they just have to die.”
And that is where she kind of lost me.
I kind of get what she’s saying: The United States of America was founded largely on racist principles, specifically the institution of slavery and the alienation of Native American tribes and thievery of their lands. And since its inception, the country has gone to great lengths to ensure that brown folks of all ethnicities are marginalized in society. Like it or not, racism is as American as apple pie and the thought that it will ever stop abiding by anything other than what its founders had intended does not seem naive.
But the idea that waiting out racism as a course of action to bring about a more just and equal society just seems defeatist. For one, they will never die. Because just like us good, non-racists folks, the bigoted generation that marinated in all that prejudice and racism can and did procreate. And odds are that they passed and will pass the same sort of mental dysfunction down to the next generations of little bigots. Like this mother, who thought it would be cute to dress her kid as a K.K.Klan member for Halloween based upon “tradition”; Or this future leader of tomorrow’s now viral rant about those annoying hordes of Asians with “poor manners” at UCLA; Or this genius here, who while probably closer to Winfrey’s age, is trying to build an all-white town in North Dakota so that all the little racists can live together in perfect Aryan supremacy harmony. To re-conceptualize the words of the late great comedian Robin Harris, racists don’t die, they just multiply.
I remember being a little brown-skinned girl in the Philadelphia public school system in the ’80s, listening as my elementary school teacher gave a presentation for Black History Month on who else but Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We didn’t learn about Dr. King’s opposition to the Vietnam War or his condemnation of U.S. policies, which help create the poor. Instead, our teacher, a young and overly-enthused white woman still high off of her foray into the inner-city school system, taught us from the pages of King’s more racially harmonious speeches and told us about this colorblind utopia our generation was going to bring about. More specifically, how our diverse generation, with our interracial games on the playground and shared love for New Kids on The Block and M.C. Hammer were the cure all to the nation’s problems. “Racism is really part of America’s past now and you guys are proof. By the time you all grow up, everyone is going to be even mixed up and you’ll see a change in society,” she said.
Being young and impressionable, my whole class soaked up that nonsense like a sponge. Many moons later, my ambitious teacher was right that folks are indeed slightly more “mixed” up racially than we have been before, however, folks are still pretty much racist, a point especially made after the election of the first black president. Likewise, the political, social and economic conditions of the historically marginalized have stagnated, if not become even worse. Clearly, waiting for the racists to sober up, breed out or die off is just not working. Nope. Addressing racism has to be intentional, and it needs to be called out and shamed. It has to come by way of righting past wrongs and ensuring that the system does create new ones. But ignoring racism will never make it die out, instead, it just gives it an unchallenged and unchecked platform to fester and breed into normalcy–like the Tea Party.
The Dearborne Heights, Michigan man that shot 19-year-old Renisha McBride in the face, killing her in cold blood for knocking on his door at 2a.m. on November 2, was held accountable for the crime last Friday.
Theodore P. Wafer, 54, was arraigned on second-degree murder, manslaughter and felony firearms charges at the Dearborn Heights District Court, reports MyFoxDetroit.
Prosecutores will ask Wafer, who is not currently in police custody (though the on-air newswoman says that he is), to turn himself in. His bail has been set at $250,000, with a preliminary examination set for Dec. 18.
McBride, whose blood-alcohol content level was 0.22 according to toxicology reports, said to be significantly higher than the allowed legal limit to drive, is thought to have been in a nearby traffic accident. Traces of marijuana were also found in her system. Her family believes she knocked on Wafer’s door seeking help.
Civil rights groups have called for a thorough investigation, saying they believe race was a factor in the shooting — McBride was Black, Wafer is White. Prosecutors insisted that race was not relevant.
“In this case, the charging decision has absolutely nothing to do with the race of the parties,” Worthy said Friday.
Read more at EurWeb.com