To be clear, this is not about picking on one person quoted in Time. It’s about the casual assumption behind a key portion of the quote. See if you can spot it.
Shannon Goodin, 24, Owosso, Mich. A first-time voter who doesn’t consider herself a Democrat or a Republican, Goodin says Trump earned her support by being “a big poster child for change,” adding, “Politicians don’t appeal to us. Clinton would go out of her way to appeal to minorities, immigrants, but she didn’t really for everyday Americans.”
It’s worth pondering for a moment just how difficult it is to survive on $2 per day. That’s a single gallon of gasoline. Or half a gallon of milk. If you took a D.C. bus this morning, you have 25 cents left for dinner. Among this group in extreme poverty, some get a boost from housing subsidies. Many collect food stamps — an essential part of survival. But so complete is their destitution, they have little means to climb out. (The book described one woman who scored a job interview, couldn’t afford transportation, walked 20 blocks to get there, and showed up looking haggard and drenched in sweat. She didn’t get hired.)
Edin is a professor specializing in poverty at Johns Hopkins University. Shaefer is an associate professor of social work and public policy at the University of Michigan. In several years of research that led to this book, they set up field offices both urban and rural — in Chicago, in Cleveland, in Johnson City, Tenn., in the Mississippi Delta — and tried to document this jarring form of American poverty.
Nobody can doubt that virtually all of the president’s political enemies would vehemently defend themselves against a charge of racism. Virtually all of them observe the forms and taboos of political correctness. If any very visible one of their own should insult the president by a recognized racial slur, they would all join in the predictable outrage. But the paramount fact of this moment in the history of racism is that you don’t have to denominate the president by a recognized racial slur when his very name can be used as a synonym.
This subtilized racism is not only a perhaps unignorable lure to Republican politicians; it can also be noticeably corrupting to Democrats.
In Kentucky, for example, where Obama is acknowledged carefully to be “unpopular,” candidates of both parties have been, and still are, running “against Obama.” If the president comes into the state to visit, some Democratic candidates, like Republican candidates, become conspicuously busy elsewhere.
Though we are a nation of immigrants, a segment of the American people has always wanted to walk through the door and then close it behind them, keeping everyone else out. This segment dates back most clearly to the nativist movement that took place in the years leading up to the Civil War. When the nativists have their way, the US stops being a nation united by principles of freedom and justice. We are unfortunately witnessing a resurgence of these politics. An understanding of their history, and the history of their defeat, could help to embolden the contemporary generation.
Only a few decades after the American Revolution, the “bad’ folk were the Irish escaping from the famine and British oppression. Many of the nativists of that time were Protestant, mostly Presbyterian and Lutheran, living in Ohio, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. One of the strangest parts of their story was their flag, which carried the banner “Native Americans Beware of Foreign Influence.” Of course, none of the nativists were American Indians. In fact, Indians were branded as “bad’ folks as well.
Seattle Police Officer Cynthia Whitlatch was fired Tuesday for showing racial bias and a lack of remorse when she improperly arrested a 69-year-old black man who was using a golf club as a cane.
“I was disappointed by your failure during your Loudermill hearing to take any responsibility, or show any understanding that your conduct at issue here was inappropriate,” Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole wrote in her decision to fire Whitlatch. “In particular, when I asked you what if anything you would do differently in retrospect, you stated that you would do nothing differently.”
When I was a child, Grandma and I spent hours in Concord Baptist Church in Forest, Mississippi, at revival, in Home Mission and in Sunday school, hoping that we’d learn to walk with Jesus and protect our insides from what white folks had done, were doing and would do. But in far way more ways than either of us want to admit, in our healing spaces in Concord – the place where we were taught to love, honor and remember humungous parts of ourselves – we were also taught to become the world’s biggest fools to and for white folks and white supremacy.
We members of Concord were supposed to love white folks because they knew not what they did. We were supposed to heal them because they knew not who they were. We were supposed to forgive them because salvation awaited she or he who could withstand the wrath of the worst of white folks. We were supposed to pray for them, often at the expense of our own healthy reckoning.
Grandma and her church taught me that loving white folks in spite of their investment in our terror was our only chance of not becoming them morally.
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 marriage. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.
If Chief Justice Warren and his associates had known God’s word and had desired to do the Lord’s will, I am quite confident that the 1954 decision would never have been made. The facilities should be separate. When God has drawn the line of distinction, we should not attempt to cross that line.
Our burden as White people is to work to highlight and expose, as much as we can, the many ways that the system in which we live is fundamentally, at its core, racist. This burden is ours not because anything in particular is our individual fault, but because it is our responsibility, and we are up to the task. (To put it another way, you obviously never owned slaves, and you might have been born after the end of de jure segregation, but don’t get too smug about all that.)
It is also unfortunately true that a great many of our fellow White people are much more likely to listen and understand this issue if the message comes from one of us.
This is why I don’t like the story of the good samaritan. Everyone likes to think of themselves as the person who sees someone beaten and bloodied and helps him out.
That’s too easy.
If I could re-write that story, I’d rewrite it from the perspective of Black America. What if the person wasn’t beaten and bloody? What if it wasn’t so obvious? What if they were just systematically challenged in a thousand small ways that actually made it easier for you to succeed in life?Continue reading →
Because we (by which I mean white people, mostly) seem to need reminding now and then.
Why do we say “BlackLivesMatter”? Because, if you bothered looking at the news longer than the latest ZOMG new story of someone getting shot by the cops, it’s bloody obvious that black lives don’t matter. If someone shoots and/or kills a cop, people go out of their fucking way to celebrate their lives, to mourn, to pull up happy pictures of good time, and (most importantly) to find the fuck what shot/killed them. Hell, people do the same thing when POLICE DOGS are hurt in the line of duty.
On the other hand, black victims do not even get the courtesy. Let’s look at that video of the cop throwing down a 14 year old girl while she screams for her mother over and over again. That black male that was shot two seconds after the cops stopped was obvious a dangerous 20 years old man with a really real gun instead of a little boy with a fake one playing in the park. Did that dead black guy have a criminal record that had fuck all to do with his murder? Any pictures of them holding their hands up a way that we can call a gang sign? Say, maybe they had weed in their system. You know how wild and violent they get when they’ve had their pot. So scary. Shoot/harm first, ask questions later, if not never.
White killers get more sympathetic press than black victims.
Killer cops fucking up at their job get more sympathetic press than black victims.
ANIMALS get more sympathetic press than black victims.
That is what we are talking about when we say “black lives matter”, because it’s fucking obvious that they don’t in our society. Do you fucking get it now? It’s not about hating cops or white people or Southerns or what the fuck ever. It’s a cry for help, a cry for attention (the right sort, the sort that requires change in our society), and it’s only getting louder.
In many other cases, however, justifications of slavery seemed primarily like an attempt by white Americans to avoid feelings of guilt for the past. After all, for many people, beliefs about one’s ancestors reflect one’s beliefs about oneself. We don’t want our ancestors to have done bad things because we don’t want to think of ourselves as being bad people. These slavery apologists were less invested in defending slavery per se than in defending slaveowners, and they weren’t defending slaveowners so much as themselves. Continue reading →