These systems have been sustained via legal and/or extralegal measures from the colonial period to today. What's clear is that they have been around since 1619 and they result in economic and social advantage for some while taking it away from others.
Want to know how many unarmed people police kill a year? a month? Curious about how frequently deadly force is used and under what conditions? Seems like the kind of data that should be easy enough to get your hands on. Should just take a little digging, right? That’s what I thought until I started to dig.
The story behind the creation of the Statue of Liberty was suppressed for more than 125 years. Finally, the National Park Service includes literature that explains the shackles and chains.
My cousin called to tell me that his neighbor, an 18 year old black man, was shot multiple times by law enforcement in a case they admit was mistaken identity. They were trying to apprehend a murder suspect when they encountered the kid and ended up shooting him -- seven times! Fortunately the young man survived but then things got really strange...
I published a piece earlier today about my take on the way whites view racial issues.
In response to my piece, an awesome DailyKos regular commented,
"I've been saying for a long time now that White people (and yes, I'm White) consider themselves the "default humans".The woman's comments went further to discuss people with disabilities which led me to reflect on my personal aha moment when I learned of my own priviledge
Look at the Supreme Court - mostly White, mostly male. For generations.
But when a woman or person of color is added, it's expected that they will only represent "their" portion of Americans - the women or people of color. But White men are supposedly able to represent ALL Americans??
As with many sectors of America’s economy, the entertainment industry is notorious for its long history of blatant racial discrimination. A half century ago, the wholesale exclusion of actors of color from the big and small screen alike was the norm.
Not only was there a dearth of storylines involving people of color but when the story specifically called for a non-white character, Hollywood regularly cast the part with white actors sometimes using heavy makeup to render the depiction more believable – think Burt Lancaster as an Apache or Katherine Hepburn as Japanese.
These days it's hard to argue with people who believe the major political struggle in this country is not between the Left and the Right but is between the top and the bottom. I'm convinced they are right.
Per capita, the United States incarcerates more of its citizens than any industrialized nation in the world. Over 2.3 million Americans are living behind bars. According to a report in the New Yorker Magazine, six million people are under correctional supervision in the U.S.—more than were in Stalin’s gulags. Without a historical perspective we don't have a sense of the extraordinary nature of this phenomenon... But, get this, until recently we were like other countries.
The exclusive Congressional health club in Washington D.C. which is subsidized by taxpayer dollars, is closed to the public - only members of Congress are granted access. As with other taxpayer supported operations like the national parks and Head Start, when the government shut down the exclusive congressional gym was subject to closure too but. . .
I procrastinated in writing this piece. Then I delayed the process by not making it public. Perhaps because the first part of this story got attacked by a bunch of rightwing idealogues.
Few articles spark the level of interest of those written about race. So the last piece I wrote on the lack of diversity at Netroots Nation in San Jose last month –didn't disappoint. It even attracted the attention of a right wing blogger. The result? A slew of conservative comments posted on my site laprogressive.com giving our regular progressive readers a window into a world they don't frequent.
Here's a sample of what the right has to offer:
Netroots Nation is in California! I'm at one of the largest gatherings of progressives in the country writing to you from a hotel in the wee hours of the morning of the third day of the Netroots convention after spending 2 days with upwards of 3,000 progressives. Yet, speaking as a black woman, it almost seems like I've entered a world where blacks just don't tread.
First Lady Michelle Obama made headlines after being interrupted as she was giving a talk at a D.C. fundraiser. Ellen Sturtz -- an outspoken activist for the gay rights group GetEQUAL -- demanded that the First Lady convey a message to the president.
Like most people, the First Lady didn't take kindly to being yelled down in the public sphere. But instead of responding with a canned remark, she went off script. Unsurprinsingly, her response landed her on Fox News but it also trended on Yahoo and in social media.
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