The subtle racist tweet from @abcnetwork and black twitter’s reactions. - @zellieimani
Usually when someone starts off by saying “Not even trying to sound racist but”, what follows is more than likely racist. -@zellieimani
Dominican Republic: Valuing Haitian Labor Over Lives Ever since European haphazard “discovery” of the Americas, violence has been an integral part in the construction of identity in colonial lands. Indigenous and African peoples enslaved, murdered and abused for the greed of nations still profiting since colonization ad nauseum. This same abject subjugation thrives among Afrodescendants to discriminate against one another. On September 23, the Constitutional Court in the Dominican Republic issued a ruling that targeted and retroactively revoked the Dominican nationality of descendants of Haitians born in the Dominican Republic since 1929, rendering them stateless. Some never have stepped foot in Haiti and may not even speak the language. The Dominican Constitution recognizes, in principle, that ‘all persons born in the territory of the Dominican Republic’ are Dominican citizens but the September ruling denies this birthright on the grounds that children of undocumented Haitians are ‘in transit,’ which normally applies only to tourists or visiting diplomats, those remaining in the country for 10 days or less. How does this apply to generations of Dominicans of Haitian-descent? Those in power constructed this powder keg environment but will never be affected by its explosion. It is the people simply trying their best to live and survive whom suffer the most and unfortunately this scapegoating, xenophopia and anti-haitianism isn’t new. It’s been ingrained from even before Trujillo-era politics and massacre, to the most recent decades and codified in policy. No documents and proof of citizenship, means no hope to millions of Haitians and Dominico-Haitians. The 2004 Migration Law 285-04 revoked birthright (jus soli) for Dominicans of Haitian decent, 2007’s Circular 017, prohibited civil registry officers from giving anyone with “suspect” documents copies of their birth certificate, 2008’s Resolucion 12-2007 restricted access to personal identity documents and authorized civil registry officials to suspend state identification documents if they are “irregular,” 2010’s New Constitution of the Republic denied citizenship to children of nonresidents and 2013’s ruling has already brought the death of one Haitian man and the expulsion of over 200 Haitians after they turned to the police for protection for fear of targeted violence. They tragically ran straight to the aggressors. Read more about anti-haitianism in the Dominican Republic on Black Culture
Three black students waiting for bus arrested after cops order them to ‘disperse’ Three African-American students who were waiting for a school bus in Rochester, New York were arrested on Wednesday morning when police officer told them to “disperse,” even though witnesses said they did nothing wrong. According to WROC, basketball coach Jacob Scott had arranged for a school bus to pick up the boys to take them to a scrimmage on a day when school was closed. A police report claimed that the boys were blocking “pedestrian traffic while standing on a public sidewalk…preventing free passage of citizens walking by and attempting to enter and exit a store…Your complainant gave several lawful clear and concise orders for the group to disperse and leave the area without complaince [sic].” But the students and the coach dispute the police version of events. “We didn’t do nothing,” student Raliek Redd explained. “We was just trying to go to our scrimmage.” “We was just waiting for our bus and he started arrested us,” student Wan’Tauhjs Weathers added. Daequon Carelock, who was also arrested, lamented that anyone could be “just downtown, minding your own business, and next thing you know, anything can happen.” Coach Scott arrived just as the boys were being handcuffed and was also threatened with arrest. “He goes on to say, ‘If you don’t disperse, you’re going to get booked as well,’” Scott recalled. “I said, ‘Sir, I’m the adult. I’m their varsity basketball coach. How can you book me? What am I doing wrong? Matter of fact, what are these guys doing wrong?’” “One of the police officers actually told me, if he had a big enough caravan, he would take all of us downtown,” he noted. Scott called the incident a “catastrophe” for the boys and witnesses who were traumatized by the arrest. “These young men were doing nothing wrong, nothing wrong. They did exactly what they were supposed to do and still they get arrested,” Scott remarked. “I’m speaking to the officers with dignity…and still and yet – they see me get treated like nothing.” Rochester school board member Mary Adams expressed her outrage at the arraignment last week. “I think the charges should be immediately dropped and I think the district attorney’s office should be stepping in and looking at these kinds of matters,” she said. “I’m very concerned about a pattern of young people being abused by police authority,” Adams told WHEC. “To me, this seems like a really clear case, part of a pattern.” A trial for the three students is scheduled for December 11.
Renisha McBride and the Victimization and Criminalization of Black Women -@zellieimani http://black-culture.com/renisha-mcbride-victimization-criminalization-black-women/
Renisha McBride and the Victimization and Criminalization of Black Women Often at times the discourse of black folk is reduced to narratives of Black Men; likewise the discourse of women is reduced to a narrative of white women. In both cases, the voice and experiences of Black Women are left muted and silenced. A combination of racist and sexist historical and social forces render the victimization and criminalization of Black Women invisible. Acts of criminalization and victimization - structural, institutional, interpersonal – of marginalized groups are consistently denied and dismissed as exceptions instead of products of structural and cultural inequality. And so seems to be the case in the tragic death of Renisha McBride. Renisha, a 19 year Black Woman from Detroit, was involved in a car accident and went to a nearby house in a Detroit suburb seeking assistance. She was shot in the face by the white male resident with a 12 gauge shotgun. Dearborn Heights police claimed the shooter feared Renisha was an intruder and accidentally discharged his weapon. No initial arrests were made and police refused to release the identity of the man who took the young woman’s life. Her death bore striking resemblance to the death of Trayvon Martin. In both cases White Fear of Blackness excused acts of transgression and violence against Black bodies. Read the rest at Black-Culture.com! Are you following the cases of Renisha Mcbride, Marissa Alexander and Cece McDonald? What were your initial and current reactions?
Halloween is The Purge for White Folk in Blackface and Racism This Halloween season we were bombarded with horrendous images of white folk dressing up in blackface which forced us as Americans to confront the ugly legacy of racism. Yet, instead of fully awakening to this dark and ugly tradition within white communities, some instead chose to dismiss the anger and pain experienced by many Black folk. Black people were simply being too sensitive and always making an issue racial. White folk didn’t mean any harm but were only paying homage to the person they portrayed. How true is that? I refuse to believe white folk don’t know blackface is offensive; they just don’t care. Historically, blackface was a form of entertainment in which white men portrayed African Americans by blackening their skin with burnt cork or shoe polish. Wearing tattered clothes and curly wigs, the performances mocked Blackness through blatant racist caricatures. These archetypes portraying African Americans as lazy and ignorant, criminal and hyper-sexual, have brutally defiled and defamed Blackness since its inception – causing the widespread internalization of these stereotypes, and thereby creating a skewed view by Blacks and Whites alike. Read the rest on Black Culture What were some of your initial reactions to the recent images of blackface? Were you offended more by others?
Twitter reactions to White Folk and blackface http://black-culture.com/halloween-purge-white-folk-blackface-racism/ via @zellieimani
Reaction to Barneys Arrests, Racism and Classism Collide This week 19 year old Trayon Christian filed a discrimination lawsuit against the retail giant Barneys. Christian, who is Black, claimed undercover cops working inside Barneys followed him into the streets and accused him of credit card fraud after purchasing a $349 Ferragamo belt. So when reports of another hideous display of racial profiling by Barneys surfaced, the frustration and resentment amplified. Here was, Kayla Phillips, a black woman, being accused of credit card fraud after purchasing a $2,500 designer bag. “There were three men and a woman,” she recalled. “Two of them attacked me and pushed me against a wall, and the other two appeared in front of me, blocking the turnstile.” In the wake of these incidents, the most vicious attacks were not directed at the high end retail store. Many instead chose to attack the victims of Barneys racial profiling for spending their money on expensive items. Their purchases were unjustifiable for some due to them being Black and working class. Read the rest on Black Culture What were your reactions to Barneys racial profiling? Have you noticed anyone’s negative reactions to it?
Black Self Identity: How Much is Blackness Defined by Whiteness? The class was tasked with creating a self-portrait collage; the assignment seemed straight forward enough. After sketching our faces, the art teacher directed us toward the pile of magazines she’d provided. I brought a few back to my table and noticed immediately this wasn’t going to be as easy as I’d thought. I was raised in a predominantly white city…there may have been one other Black kid in my class that year. And it goes without saying, my teacher was white. In fact, tall, beautiful, blonde, and blue-eyed, she resembled the models printed on the glossy pages.Redbook, Marie Claire, Elle, Home & Garden, Glamour…our teacher provided no Ebony or Essence…no publications that might feature a more diverse assortment of images. I’m sure this was an innocent oversight on her part, not an intentional microaggression. Providing a varied selection of pictures probably didn’t even cross her mind…an advantage of privilege is the allowance to avoid cluttering one’s mental space with such trivial notions as inclusivity. My classmates quickly began tearing peach faces and beige bodies from the books…nearly every page had people who looked like them. Read the rest on Black Culture Do you recall any specific childhood experiences that led to racial self awareness? Are there times when you are more aware of your Blackness than others?
Reaction to Another black Barney’s shopper accused after buying $2G purse http://fw.to/Kpg9X1W via @zellieimani
Slavery and African Resistance The practice of slavery existed in many societies, however chattel slavery developed a more brutal and racial character. Tens of millions of innocent Africans were enslaved and transported to perform unfree labor in the Americas, Asia and Europe. The population of Africa soon became the source of cheap labor needed by Europeans to accumulate capital. It is estimated Portugal was responsible for transporting over 4.5 million Africans, not counting the many millions who perished enroute to the Americas. As black historian W.E.B DeBois noted, “It was the rape of a continent seldom if ever paralleled in ancient or modern history”. Legally owned throughout their lives, black labor created the wealth that made economic growth possible in the US and further developed capitalist production. The slaves went unrewarded for the work they were forced to regularly perform. The product of their labor was not owned by them but by their slaveowners. This surplus labor – unpaid labor – was both the source of wealth for the slave owning class and the industrializing North. South Carolina delegate Rawlin Lowndes said, “Without Negroes, this state would degenerate into one of the most contempible in the union..Negroes are our wealth, our only natural resource”. -@zellieimani Read more on Black-Culture