Run Race Problems

soapboxpileWe don’t have a Race problem in the United States of America, how many times have you heard this? How many times has someone you know said this to you when you have attempted to have a conversation about Race with them? How many members of the media, paid to inform and even define the cultural standards of the day insisted, we do not have a Race problem in the United States of America, those days are over.

I am here to tell you, I agree with all of them. We do not have a Race problem in the United States of America. We have something entirely different. What we have is this.

We have a CULTURE of RACISM.

Institutionalized and culturally accepted. We have a culture that not only tacitly agrees, but one that has been built on the enslavement of an entire people, yet refuses to acknowledge its history. We have an entire nation, whether ‘Left’ or ‘Right’, whether wringing their hands and cringing at the use of the ‘N-word’ or blatantly calling our President a ‘Nigger’, who frankly will not admit our roots our deeply sunk in slavery and Jim Crow, we would rather white wash the entire thing pretending it simply never happened. Worse, those roots of disenfranchisement, poverty and hate are part of who we are and I think we must love them because we refuse to look our history squarely in the eye, acknowledge it, apologize for it and fix the inevitable outcomes of it.

Fix it, what am I saying? Fix it, not only do we not want to fix it we are actively working to undo any small advances we might have made in the past sixty years. Shall we look, just take a small peek at what has happened since 1954.

  • 1954 – Brown vs. The Topeka Board of Education, integrates public schools
  • 1964 – Civil Rights Act
  • 1965 – Voting Rights Act
  • 1967 – Loving vs. The State of Virginia
  • 1991 – Civil Rights Bill, a setback for all minority groups in their ability to seek remedy in court
  • 2007 – Parents Involved in Community Schools vs. Seattle Schools District No. 1 and Meredith vs. Jefferson Co. Board of Education, these two begin to unravel fundamental principles of Brown
  • 2013 – Voting Rights Act, significant portions invalidated by SCOTUS leaving open the ability of States to enact draconian Voter ID laws and redistricting, which has now been on-going and in many cases successfully implemented leading up to this years mid-term elections

Since the election of this President, yes the Black Man in the White House, Barack Hussein Obama this nation has lost its presence of mind. People who once at least tried to pretend they were on the right side of history no longer even pretend. The Right has moved so far to the right they make no attempt to curb their lunatics or shut down their fringe, in truth their fringe are welcomed to the fold with open arms. Don’t misunderstand me, President Obama didn’t cause people to suddenly become bigots or racists, no this isn’t the case at all. What the election of President Barack Hussein Obama did is scare the holy hell out of the White Man who for so long had been in power without having to share or feel at all threatened. The election of this President shook the White Man to the core of their very being and they have come out swinging, determined to hang on by whatever means necessary.

With fists, with guns, with draconian voting laws, with redistricting, Confederate flags in front of the White House, with a do-nothing Congress. The list goes on and on. With marches on the White House and calls for impeachment by members of various groups who lampoon this President in guises taken directly from minstrel shows of the nineteenth century and we do nothing, we say nothing. We stand by and complain while these ignorant buffoons are insulting both the office and the man, but in honesty, we do nothing, what the hell are we afraid of losing our own privilege?

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Type ‘Hate Nigger’ in Google search, you will get 295,000 site hits in .4 seconds. None of these will be hits decrying the use of the word, or the history of the word in our Lexicon which I have provided in the footnotes if you are interested. No, they will all be sites specifically focused on exactly what it sounds like, 295,000 hits. Some are duplicates I would suspect, I didn’t do anything more than look at how many I would get. Type in ‘White Power’, you will get 1,630,000 hits in .55 seconds, admittedly some are the standard Wikipedia, but those are just the first two or three, the rest are sites for real live groups promoting ‘White / Aryan Nation’ bullshit.

What got me fired up today? This got me cranked over:

Now admittedly, this is the tip of the iceberg. This is one old man in Mississippi, likely hanging on by a thin thread to his brought-upsie and his moonshine. The problem I have is this, he isn’t alone and he doesn’t represent himself. He represents a host of others, he is an elected and seated judge. He said aloud what others think but are too afraid to say. He and his kind are why we continue to have a CULTURE of RACISM and why we do indeed have a very real problem in this nation.

Let’s take a look at some other recent examples:

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The list just goes on and on until my head spins and my skin burns. No, they must all be correct in their assessment, we surely do not have a Race Problem in these United States of America. What we have is a problem with those who would hold onto power by any means necessary. What we have is a failure to address history, acknowledge we built this nation on the backs and shoulders and through the sweat, blood and labor of those we murdered and enslaved. What we have is a nation seeped in blood, stolen from those who were here first and from those who labored for nothing to build it. What we have is a blood price owed and a failure to even admit it is far past due.

Poverty Rates

Frankly, I do not give a damn if you are personally a bigot. I don’t care if you hate every single person who doesn’t look like you. It matters not a whit to me if you are afraid, it is your problem deal with it. It is though long past time this nation stop putting Silly Putty over the wounds of hundreds of years, time to stop targeting those this nation has disenfranchised and shut out of full citizenship since the day the first slave ship landed on these shores.

We don’t have a Race Problem, we are the problem, every last one of us who turn away and allow these Neanderthals to continue to reside among us in positions of power and authority. We have a Culture of Racism so deeply embedded we are comfortable pretending it doesn’t exist. We are comfortable saying, “I am not a Racist, I am not a Bigot, I can’t do anything about the rest of it”.

I don’t know, I don’t think that is the answer anymore. I don’t know what the answer is, truly I don’t. I do know this country better get off its moral high ground and quickly. I do know, we are a failing nation and this is one of the greatest failures of all.


 

A brief history of the word Nigger: http://www.aaregistry.org/historic_events/view/nigger-word-brief-history

Atlas Left Report on Judge: http://atlasleft.org/mississippi-judge-called-out-for-slapping-disabled-man-and-yelling-run-ngger-run-video/

The Atlantic, The Case for Reparations, Ta Nehisi: http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2014/05/the-case-for-reparations/361631/#ii-a-difference-of-kind-not-degree

Introduction and additional information for the fabulous Ta Nehisi article in The Atlantic: http://theobamacrat.com/2014/05/24/the-case-for-reparations-by-ta-nehisi-coates/

FoxNews is a blatant source driving the ongoing race baiting since the election of the current President, rather than me attempting to show the proof, News Corpse is a great on-going source: http://www.newscorpse.com/ncWP/?cat=417

The Inequality Report 2014: http://www.stanford.edu/group/scspi/sotu/SOTU_2014_CPI.pdf

*Not true to FBI statistics, 49.3 percent of murders were committed by whites vs. 48.7 by blacks in 2010. Whites are more likely to commit violent crimes. Crime is an issue in black communities in several major cities across the nation. Nevertheless, white criminals aren’t viewed as America’s problem, although more whites commit crimes than blacks.

Comments

  1. I do not know you, but thank you from the bottom of my heart for writing this.
    I am not young and have seen many men come and go from the White House, with little real ugliness or extreme hate.
    Sadly now, I watch what this man, this President, is exposed to on a daily basis, being called names that years ago would not be spoken of in polite society.
    These ignorant lowlifes are using obscene filth and insulting a man who was elected not once, but twice by the PEOPLE.
    They are vicious, ugly and sad, they are not worth the time it takes to write this, yet they must be addressed.
    It is sickening and appalling that anyone could speak about the President of our Country in this way.
    To his absolute credit, he seems to be above it all.
    Thank you!

  2. Well said! And, glad you posted a link to Ta Nehisi’s article in The Atlantic. I thought it was brilliant.

    In a way, I think we’re on the right track — in this ever-expanding world of social media, people are called out more often, especially by people they know. Of course, some people attack someone when they say something ignorant or racist, and attack has never been a good choice when trying to change someone’s mind. But, not that long ago, Cliven Bundy or Donald Sterling would have made their remarks, and there would be little follow-up. Instead, it becomes world-wide news. People from all walks of life call then out, tell them how awful their words are. True, they both had supporters too, but when you’re that entrenched in a particular view, it can be almost impossible to open your mind enough to change it. So, I think there will always be people with those beliefs …

    Is there a solution? I don’t think there is only one answer. I think it is too complex an issue to have a simple answer. But, I do believe we can change. Perhaps not as fast as some of us would like to see — but, change is change, however slowly it happens. Right? Or am I just too hopeful?

    • John, I am told I live in ‘Hopeland’ so you might be talking to the wrong person. Despite I despair sometimes at how terrible this world is, I continue to hope we can change the hearts and minds of man. Even if it is just one at a time, I continue to hope.

      I think sometimes attack is the only way, truly I think militancy and fury is the only way. Even if it is my normal way, there are things that boil my blood so badly my tongue won’t stay behind my lips even when I know it might be dangerous for me to speak. I think we have to combine the more reasoned with the militant, maybe the partnering of the two is what wins in the end. I don’t know.

  3. Things change when folk stand up more for other folk, when it isn’t just the disenfranchised talking; when influencers benefiting from “privilege”, continue to advocate to change, and ultimately eradicate, this culture of racism. I’ve known all along of its existence, having been privy to its microagressions on a most regular basis.

    • Seeing it, knowing it and still it doesn’t seem to be enough. I know I am not the only one, yet still there seems to be this huge divide. Sometimes I think it is only lip service, it infuriates me and I want to shake people until their teeth rattle.

      These cultures we create for our comfort, they are terrible and ultimately soul killing. For all of us.

  4. I loved this post.. I don’t know many of those mentioned in your clip slides, but Val I 100% agree .. We have a problem….. That people still judge.. and forget we are now all evolving in our multicultural world…

    One day I am sure we will all be Yellow with Purple spots .. Does it matter the colour of the skin? what matters is what colour’s our hearts and how we treat each other with respect and love.. One day! I hope this world wakes up that we are ALL of us Humans in this Human Race.. What Mankind has forgotten, is how to be Kind… to his Kind..

    Love to you… Sue

    • I suspect we will not be quite as colorful as you describe, that would be interesting. We will though evolve, we will become more and more mixed over time. I think Sue this is what frightens the increasingly small group of white folks at the top in nations like the US.

      You are so right, we are truly one Race, we are the Human Race. That we have for our entire ‘civilized’ existence felt the need to make these distinctions is what has led to the poverty of our souls.

      Love back

      Val

  5. Val, thank you for your passion and heart in drawing attention to this issue. I crafted a long, reasoned argument for and against the idea of institutionalized racism in America. It was damn eloquent. Then I deleted it.

    How can we ever hope to end racism if we can’t even talk about it like reasonable people? It makes me sad. I’m going to slink away now.

    • Oh Peg, we have passion on all sides. It is hard and it isn’t I think something we can fix in a day. The problem? The proof is all around us, in our schools, in our opportunities, in our prisons. We have only to look to see it. If we don’t start somewhere, we fail to start anywhere.

      I am going to keep writing. I am going to start taking smaller pieces of it. I would really suggest reading The Atlantic piece. It is excellent, eloquent and has hard truths in it.

    • Jueseppi B. says:

      I am curious why you deleted your damn eloquent response, Ms. Pegoleg?

      • Because I don’t want to get jumped on by someone who disagrees with me, Mr. JB. Like most everybody, I suppose, I get enough crap dumped on me in real life. I don’t need to go out to the interwebz to get some more.

    • I have so much I could say in response to this, but I’m currently caffeinated, hyper and waiting for a baby to awaken. My focus isn’t great, but was enough to (a) appreciate this piece and (b) share another I think you might find interesting: “Burn. Down. The House.” Great food for thought, there and here.

      • You and I friend, we see with clear eyes the monster in the shadows and under the beds and yes, even in the closets. We fought those fights, we shouldn’t have had to fight. We remember, we are privileged because of the skin we wear, even if it hides scars untold and sometimes still bleeding. We love where we choose, without regard for other peoples ignorance.

        We are I think both blessed, despite we know there are monsters we remain hopeful, standing with grateful hearts.

        Thank you for that one. As always, when you visit I am happy to see you. I love you.

      • Thank you, Deborah, for sharing my post and leading me to this one.

  6. You forgot the 2009 Citizens United case, which now allows unfettered monetary donations to political campaigns. Since there aren’t too many non-White multi-millionaires or billionaires in the U.S., that may skewer things along racial lines.

    In one of my Linked In groups, someone commented that, when Europeans first arrived in what is now the U.S., it was a “vast wilderness.” I called her out on it, since it’s a term I’ve heard before. She responded by stating I misread what she wrote (gosh, I guess I’ve been doing that for years!) and tried to justify herself by saying that “most of North America” was comprised of vast wilderness.

    I pointed out in one of my first blog posts that Obama is an unintentional martyr on the alter of progress in the U.S. We’ll hear more noise from the bigoted loudmouths when we elect our first female, Hispanic, Asian and Native American presidents. Alas, it’s a sad, but painfully necessary trek we must endure on the road to absolute fairness and equality.

    • I left off Citizen United with intent. It is not specific to Civil Rights, instead it is broader and touches more issues. You are right though on your other points.

  7. OK, you all know the loon was in the US for two weeks and in that time I didn’t see one incident of racism. And you know I am always on high alert for that kinda crap. What I saw in New York, Baltimore and Washington DC were people of all persuasions just trying to get by.

    I do however remember seeing an empty shoe shine chair in one of the train stations and it kinda made me sad as it was so symbolic of the African American past.

    The distance between African Americans and white Americans is miniscule compared to that of Australian Aboriginals and white Australians.

    I kinda bundled you all up as Americans but in Australia it is incredible obvious the divide. It isnt all white folk fault nor the indigenous’. It’s the ultimate clash of cultures, Our indigenous come from a nomadic tribal background with many finding it hard to assimilate or simply don’t want to . Their culture is ancient and ours is modern and fast. There is a good deal of racism coming from both sides. It doesn’t really help that our friggin Australia Day celebrations falls on the date Australia was founded by the British. I have, and will always protest this. How do you expect a nation to celebrate as one when some “white man” has chosen this date, of all dates.

  8. Or, in other words, white people don’t have a race problem in this country.
    Or maybe they (we) just have totally un-racist and completely legitimate problem with black folks. But no racism, no siree.

  9. Racism is apparent wherever you look. I was appalled today on wordpress reader – I searched “Obama” and the hatred was overwhelming obscene and quite unhinged. I don’t understand why white people feel threatened by the color of someone’s skin. It makes no sense. I’m cynical though that someone who thinks that way can ever really *want* to change…and want is what is needed to create change.

    • Tao, the problem is in most cases they don’t want to change. I think each generation is moving closer, is becoming more open minded and more accepting of the broader range of humanity. But this doesn’t change the generations of Cultural Racism and what it has meant to be Black in America. It doesn’t fix a fundamental issue, one that we need to care about. We are losing a history that is important, history is being rewritten and if this happens we will forget what we did, we will begin to believe something other than the truth. We cannot allow this to happen.

  10. Brilliant blog that faces the issue. The solution escapes me, too, but there has to be somewhere to start.

    • I believe it starts with acknowledgement. If we do not acknowledge where we started as a nation, stop running from the truth, stop trying to hide our reality then we cannot even begin to fix the fundamental problems that exist. This is more than ‘race’ relations, it is more than parity or equality. This is fundamental reparations for generation upon generation of inequality of opportunity within society.

  11. Yup. Right again. Val.

  12. Jueseppi B. says:

    Reblogged this on The ObamaCrat™.

  13. Oh absolutely there is still a race problem. No doubt. The Sterling thing that got everyone fired up lately was just a reminder. Unfortunately I don’t think it will change any time soon… Thanks for having the guts to do this post, Val. You push boundaries – in a good way, as we need change in North America!

  14. Jueseppi B. says:

    Wow, this is magnificently put together, I mean very professionally done as if you have a freakin staff on payroll. Great post Ms. Valentine, I will be rebloggin very soon.

  15. I think race merchants like Al Sharpton bring a white backlash that would not ordinarily rise. I am sensible to issue though because my grandchildren are various mixtures of African American, Haitian, Cuban and Italian. Miami, Florida USA is very different on bigotry because we are 80% minority and over 50% foreign born. Regards.

    • I do not consider him a race merchant. I consider him speaking from his perspective of long standing within the Civil Rights movement. It is a very different perspective and one most of us do not have.

    • Jueseppi B. says:

      Are you stupid Mr. Carl D’Agostino? No caucasian male has a right to call Al Sharpton a race anything, I am not a fan of The Rev. Al’s but you have no muthafuckin business labeling any person of color anything racial until your ass has walked in a Black man’s shoes. The Rev. Al, whom I am NOT a fan of, has put his life on the line since his teenage days fighting for me, and others with my skin color. So in closing, go fuck yourself and leave The Rev. Al’s name out of your dumbass mouth.

      I apologize Ms. Val for addressing Mr. Carl D’Agostino in the way I speak to racist assholes. I shall refrain from leaving my opinions on your blog so as not to chase away your followers. Again, my apologies, Ms. Val.

      • We all have opinions and as I have never in the past I won’t in the future stop anyone from voicing theirs.

        • Jueseppi B. says:

          I’ll just confine my comments to my blogs comments section, I don’t usually comment on other bloggers post because I fine I have raw/strong responses to dumbfuckery best left on my blog. I’ll still be reading but not commenting. ʚ(ˆ◡ˆ)ɞ

      • Jueseppi B: I was a high school teacher for 28 years in 85% African American high schools and 6 years in 95% Haitian high school population. I spent my entire adult career teaching minority kids history and to improve reading and writing skills. I faced with my students everyday: violence, drugs, poverty, broken homes, death drive-by shootings – all of it. I am not a racist. I was in the trenches every day. I never saw Al there or anywhere doing this foot soldier work. He was in his $5 million dollar condo, chauffeured limo and $1,000 suits. I have taught at least 75,000 minority teens and adults how to sustain themselves with education. I detest Al, but am no racist.

        With respect to Valentine Logar’s blog , I will abstain from future discussion here but you may have my personal email for conversation on this matter. Seems to me you are a very intelligent and passionate individual and feel confident that conversation would find us having more common ground than not. dagostino07@gmail.com. I live in Miami, Florida which is 80% minority and 55% foreign born.

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