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.

Race 2012, Platforms & Ideology

This nation has taken on the inequity of education at every level from K through university as part of the on-going debate. The question we have to ask ourselves is it only poverty that drives the inequity or is there something else at work is there a racial undercurrent, still. It is hard to ask the question, hard to look at the year and think back to the days of Civil Rights marches, sit-ins, busing and finally forced school integration and have to ask; have we really not come any further than this?

There are some things we can see in black and white, there is no question there is a lack of parity. What is not so easy to determine is why. It is easy to say this is pure institutional racism, brush our hands together and move on to the next subject. Is that enough, have we solved the riddle? I don’t think we have, the inequity built into our education system has been with us for a very long time, it is the outcome of how we fund and administer our local schools. It is only natural, eventually, as poverty forces people together into communities, schools along with other services would suffer the consequence of economic decline.

It isn’t just poverty that divides us. Unless we cannot absolutely avoid it, we will always seek out communities where we are comfortable. We will always seek out a place to settle where the people look like us and sound like us.

Ruby Bridges, New Orleans 1960

It is natural, we might not even realize we are doing it; it is our own deep-seated fears and underlying prejudice driving us on, informing our choices. We might not be Racist, we might not be a raging flaming outright Bigot but these are very different animals from carrying that seed of fear and that ember of racial bias. We are by nature Xenophobic; we fear what is different from us.

I am not a Racist!

Except where racism is overt, where the neo-Nazis, KKK and others of their ilk march down city streets decked out in well-pressed sheets or Para-military gear, racism hides behind polite social forms. Since the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 there have been changes in what is accepted in our public discourse regarding race we have even found a racial etiquette, at least until recently. This etiquette though, this burying of the Jim Crow era overtness has given way to new resentments and new racial dog-whistles.

  • Government Intervention
  • Welfare
  • Affirmative Action
  • Title I
  • Drug War

What does all this mean when it comes to education? It is an unfortunate truth, the very communities that have been ripped apart by our failed policies and barely concealed bias, have failing schools. We covertly accept some children, within some communities will not thrive and thus set up the circumstances for them to fail while paying lip service to hoped for success.

I am not going to try to hide my disdain today; the following quotes are taken directly from the GOP Platform, you can read all about their thoughts starting on page 35 [2]:

The Republican Party is the party of fresh and innovative ideas in education.

periodic rigorous assessments on the fundamentals, especially math, science, reading, history, and geography; renewed focus on the Constitution and the writings of the Founding Fathers, and an accurate account of American history that celebrates the birth of this great nation;

We renew our call for replacing “family planning” programs for teens with abstinence education which teaches abstinence until marriage as the responsible and respected standard of behavior. Abstinence from sexual activity is the only protection that is 100 percent effective against out-of-wedlock pregnancies and sexually-transmitted diseases including HIV/AIDS when transmitted sexually. It is effective, science-based, and empowers teens to achieve optimal health outcomes and avoid risks of sexual activity.

We support keeping federal funds from being used in mandatory or universal mental health, psychiatric, or socio-emotional screening programs.

Republican Governors have led in the effort to reform our country’s under performing education system, and we applaud these advancements.

Now let me just quickly give some examples of what one Republican Governor has done as part of the reform of his under performing system.

  • Removed Thomas Jefferson from history books as part of the Enlightenment. Why you ask? Well because he was a known Deist who coined the phrase “separation of Church and state”; can’t have that coming out of the mouths of one of our Founding Fathers. He is still in the History Books, obviously can’t remove him completely but he isn’t mentioned as one of the key figures of the Enlightenment.[1]
  • Added a section called the unintended consequences of Affirmative Action. In the meantime, there is a section about the positive aspects of slavery in America and the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade is now referred to simply as ‘Atlantic Triangular Trade’. [1]

Can you begin to guess who this genius of Educational reform is? This stellar representative of a GOP Right Wing-nut might be? This would be President? Oh, I won’t hold you in suspense; it is my very own Governor Rick Perry. Only in Texas would they think to screw the pooch of Education this deep, keeping in mind a very large portion of our students are poor, Hispanic or Black.

The GOP promotes school choice, so do I so should we all. The GOP also promotes vouchers and privatization of our education system, here is where the GOP and I part ways. Families with no means to send their children outside of their communities, no transportation, no extra funds for school uniforms will not be in a position to ‘choose’ schools outside of their immediate communities. School choice is only for those with true choices, true means beyond the single ‘voucher’ for tuition and possibly books. The meme of borrowing money from your parents doesn’t begin to touch on what poverty means to those whose entire communities have been decimated by it.

Private industry will not build schools or invest in communities that represent no return on that investment, no profit. What does this mean? It means public funds will be all that remains and will be even more limited so long as we continue to limit public funding to property tax collection. It means after the Unions have been busted, public school teacher ranks have been further demonized and decimated and school text have been bastardized by boards with agendas, our children our future will be left in failing systems with no hope and no future.

Is this Race Based? It is poverty based and has the unintentional effect of further kicking the can down the road, closing the door on dreams and opportunity for those who would like to live the once real American Dream.

Is this Race Based? Perhaps a more important question is this truly unintentional or is it simply the new more polite Jim Crow.

http://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator_sdi.asp

http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2012/2012006.pdf

http://www.census.gov/prod/2011pubs/acsbr10-05.pdf

[1] http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/13/education/13texas.html?_r=0

[1] http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/22/education/22texas.html?fta=y

[2] http://whitehouse12.com/republican-party-platform/

http://www.democrats.org/democratic-national-platform#moving-america

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