Under Which Circumstances Can Nonwhites Talk About Race?

Question: How many of the people who are upset with Black people’s responses to the Martin-Zimmerman case were raised by parents [or grandparents] who were upset with Black people’s responses to the murder of Emmett Till?


Despite some obvious contextual differences, the public sentiment, anguish, and disappointment is the same.

The question then becomes, were Black people “race-baiting” or “playing the race card” when they protested Till’s murderers being found not guilty?

What about after JFK, Malcolm X, and Dr. King were assassinated?

How about when factories, plants, and businesses began to close down en masse in innercity neighborhoods (e.g., Detroit, South Los Angeles, D.C., Chicago) during the 1970s, 80s, and 90s, thus changing the economic prospects of the people who’d depended on those jobs for generations, and pushing them toward despair, crime, and dysfunction? When this is mentioned by Black talking heads, whether they be President Obama or Al Sharpton for that matter, is this playing the race card?

Is it race-baiting when Blacks mention longstanding inequalities in wealth, income, employment opportunities, educational opportunities, housing opportunities, and health outcomes, to name a few?

When Blacks lament the numerous killings of Blacks by Whites, from the times of slavery, to the Jim Crow lynchings, to police brutality, to unequal death penalty sentencing, to rogue Americans like George Zimmerman, is this playing the race card?

And, if none of this is racism, or at least deserving of a serious discussion of race, then, please tell me, what is?

It seems to me that the people who are upset with the fact that Black people are upset, feel as if they are in some sort of “war” against Blacks. To them, there is only one correct way to feel and think about this case, and that is to believe that George Zimmerman was at best a hero and at worst an unfortunate fellow that had to use deadly force to protect himself from “one of those” raging Black criminals. To them, no other perspective is legitimate, and any mention of race, or history is just “playing the race card.”  (Unless, of course, it is the history that presents Blacks as criminals who are “always” robbing, stealing, and killing–that’s legitimate, not just a stereotype, and certainly not something to be placed within the context of slavery, Jim Crow, lack of opportunity, inequality, etc.)

Again, when is it OK for nonwhites to talk about race?

Trump & His $5,000,000.00

Frankly, it’s a check that I very much want to write…

However, because I’m completely full of shit, that won’t happen.

I absolutely would be the most happy of all if I did, in fact, make this contribution, through the President, to these charities.


Election Watch 2012: Mitt Romney is “Robin Hood in Reverse”


***SPOILER ALERT***  I’ll be voting again for Barack Obama this November.  I was critical of his earlier decisions to delay the EPA’s clean air regulations and to not push for Medicare for all, and I was appalled when it appeared that he and the Dems in Congress were giving in to the Right by allowing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy to remain.  But make no mistake, he’s been a good president, and would undoubtedly be a better president for almost all Americans than would Mitt Romney.

I am particularly pleased with his recent labeling of Governor Romney as “Robin Hood in Reverse.”  I was just saying a week ago that he and his surrogates have got to do a better job of exposing Mr. Romney’s plan as one to increase poverty; not one of “trickle down,” but rather of deluging up, from the working and middle classes to the wealthy.

At the heart of this debate, of course, is philosophy.  You either believe government is innately bad and should be curtailed–except for when it comes to defense and things with which your religion agrees, such as stopping gay marriage and giving women the right to choose (in those instances big government is fine).  Or you believe government is the most viable force for creating and ensuring equality, opportunity, corporate responsibility, legal and social justice, environmental protection, etc., and you want people in office who know that their role is to fight for those things. Continue reading

The Government Says the Government Sucks! (Huh?)

Ron Paul, who made some good suggestions during the recent republican presidential candidate debate, had this to say:

I’m of the mind that government isn’t good at managing anything

Um, if he’s not a member of this government, and the people who were on stage with him weren’t members of this government, who the hell IS running this apparently inept government–if not members of congress?  It’s always interesting to me that members of congress speak of “government” as if they aren’t the government!


Bin Laden’s Dead: Things To Look For Next

Under the direction of President Barack Obama, Osama bin Laden has been tracked down and killed in Pakistan.  In order to keep bin Laden’s adherents from having a place to memorialize him, bin Laden’s body has been “buried” at sea.  This is outstanding news, and it’s difficult to not feel good knowing that bin Laden is dead.  Symbolically, his death represents a great victory, but here is what we all need to expect: Continue reading

Imagine if the Tea Party Was Black–by Tim Wise

(This post was authored by Tim Wise and was originally posted on http://ephphatha-poetry.blogspot.com)

Let’s play a game, shall we? The name of the game is called “Imagine.” The way it’s played is simple: we’ll envision recent happenings in the news, but then change them up a bit. Instead of envisioning white people as the main actors in the scenes we’ll conjure – the ones who are driving the action – we’ll envision black folks or other people of color instead. The object of the game is to imagine the public reaction to the events or incidents, if the main actors were of color, rather than white. Whoever gains the most insight into the workings of race in America, at the end of the game, wins.
So let’s begin.

Imagine that hundreds of black protesters were to descend upon Washington DC and Continue reading