Author Topic: LOOK, A WHITE!  (Read 4180 times)

Offline Reginald Hudlin

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« on: March 05, 2012, 09:57:39 pm »
rom a celebrated scholar on race, a book on ways of seeing, and seeing through, whiteness

Look, a White!

Philosophical Essays on Whiteness

Search the full text of this book


George Yancy, foreword by Naomi Zack

"You read these dangerous, often breathtaking essays at your own risk. A fearless analysis that makes visible how white, racial consciousness is constructed daily and then perpetuated by narcissism and naivety, Look, a White! does more than deepen and refine our centuries-old discourse on racial being. It delivers, as the best philosophy must, a clarification of what it means to be human in the casements of our differently colored skins."
—Dr. Charles Johnson, University of Washington

Look, a White! returns the problem of whiteness to white people. Prompted by Eric Holder's charge, that as Americans, we are cowards when it comes to discussing the issue of race, noted philosopher George Yancy's essays map out a structure of whiteness.

He considers whiteness within the context of racial embodiment, film, pedagogy, colonialism, its "danger," and its position within the work of specific writers. Identifying the embedded and opaque ways white power and privilege operate, Yancy argues that the Black countergaze can function as a "gift" to whites in terms of seeing their own whiteness more effectively.

Throughout Look, a White! Yancy pays special attention to the impact of whiteness on individuals, as well as on how the structures of whiteness limit the capacity of social actors to completely untangle the way whiteness operates, thus preventing the erasure of racism in social life.



"Many scholars explore the destructive tendencies of white supremacy, but few do so with the verbal alacrity, philosophical depth, and stylistic grace of George Yancy. In Look, a White! Yancy makes it clear: whiteness must be problematized and exposed for what it is—an intellectual and cultural straitjacket capable of strangling the life out of peoples of color and whites alike by way of its dehumanizing norms. Yancy not only names the sickness; he forces the infected to name it too. He has given white folks’ problem back to us. I, for one, am grateful."
—Tim Wise, author of White like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son and Dear White America: Letter to a New Minority

"Look, a White! is an insightful addition to the growing shelf of works interrogating whiteness and its ways. George Yancy provides useful tools for those seeking to do away with the effects."
—Noel Ignatiev, Massachusetts College of Art


About the Author(s)

George Yancy is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Duquesne University and Coordinator of the Critical Race Theory Speaker Series. He is the author of Black Bodies, White Gazes: The Continuing Significance of Race, which received an Honorable Mention from the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights. He has edited twelve influential books, three of which have received Choice Awards, and was recently nominated for the Duquesne University Presidential Award for Excellence in Scholarship.

Offline The Griot

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« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2012, 07:48:33 am »
I know a few black folks that would be afraid to read this book.
"Happiness is dancing when the drumming is good."

Offline Battle

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« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2021, 10:00:07 am »
Tuesday, 30th March Twenty One
Why White People Hate Critical Race Theory, Explained
by Michael Harriot

They’re back!

On Monday, Mississippi state Representative Chris Brown (not that one) introduced two bills in the state legislature affirming the “resolute opposition to the promotion of race or sex stereotyping or scapegoating.”

While the concurrent resolutions seem like no-brainers, the measures are part of the Republican Party’s nationwide effort to eliminate the anti-racist terror threat that has triggered white people around the country.

Everybody—from preachers to teachers—is talking about it.

Arkansas Senator tom cotton introduced legislation to ban it from the military.

School boards across the country are up in arms about it.

White people briefly considered boycotting Coke over it.

It’s the dreaded Critical Race Theory (CRT).

Not since Rev. Jeremiah Wright insisted that God doesn’t like racism has one phrase caused so much consternation.

CRT has become the conservative equivalent of Black Santa Claus delivering a Little Negro Mermaid while telling little white kids that Jesus was born with melanin.

It’s not what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would have wanted.

So, to separate truth from white lies, we decided to offer this simple explainer to why white people are so upset by Critical Race Theory.

Is there a backlash against Critical Race Theory?

If you mean one that is sanctioned by federal, state and local authorities, then, yes.

Under the individual-1, the Office of Management and Budget issued a memo instructing government agencies to “identify all contracts or other agency spending related to any training on ‘critical race theory’ ‘white privilege,’ or any other training or propaganda effort that teaches or suggests either

(1) that the United States is an inherently racist or evil country or

(2) that any race or ethnicity is inherently racist or evil.”

“Critical Race Theory is basically teaching people to hate our country, hate each other. It’s divisive and it’s basically an identity politics version of Marxism,” said Florida Governor ron desantis during an interview with the racial scholars at fox News.

“Florida’s civics curriculum will incorporate foundational concepts with the best materials and it will expressly exclude unsanctioned narratives like critical race theory and other unsubstantiated theories.”

Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center says the term became the subject of a GOP disinformation campaign after the Trump administration turned against it.

Using Critical Race Theory, the Georgia legislature would have considered the historical and structural factors of voter suppression before passing their draconian electoral reforms.

And now, regular white people are lashing out against the term.

What is Critical Race Theory?

Basically, Critical Race Theory is a way of using race as a lens through which one can critically examine social structures.

While initially used to study law, like most critical theory, it emerged as a lens through which one could understand and change politics, economics and society as a whole.

Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic’s book, Critical Race Theory: An Introduction, describes the movement as:

“a collection of activists and scholars engaged in studying and transforming the relationship among race, racism, and power.”

Kimberlé Crenshaw, one of the founding members of the movement, says Critical Race Theory is more than just a collective group.

She calls it:

“a practice—a way of seeing how the fiction of race has been transformed into concrete racial inequities.”

It’s much more complex than that, which is why there’s an entire book about it.

Can you put it in layman’s terms?


Former economics professor (he prefers the term “wypipologist”) Michael Harriot, who used Critical Race Theory to teach “Race as an Economic Construct,” explained it this way:

Race is just some sh*t white people made up.

Nearly all biologists, geneticists and social scientists agree that there is no biological, genetic or scientific foundation for race. But, just because we recognize the lack of a scientific basis for race doesn’t mean that it is not real. Most societies are organized around agreed-upon principles and values that smart people call “social constructs.” It’s why Queen Elizabeth gets to live in a castle and why gold is more valuable than iron pyrite. Constitutions, laws, political parties, and even the value of currency are all real and they’re sh*t people made up.

To effectively understand anything we have to understand its history and what necessitated its existence. Becoming a lawyer requires learning about legal theory and “Constitutional Law.” A complete understanding of economics include the laws of supply and demand, why certain metals are considered “precious,” or why paper money has value. But we can’t do that without critically interrogating who made these constructs and who benefitted from them.

One can’t understand the political, economic and social structure of America without understanding the Constitution.

And it is impossible to understand the Constitution without acknowledging that it was devised by 39 white men, 25 of whom were no good dirty slavers.

Therefore, any reasonable understanding of America begins with the critical examination of the impact of race and slavery on the political, economic and social structure of this country.

That’s what Critical Race Theory does.

How does Critical Race Theory do that?

It begins with the acknowledgment that the American society’s foundational structure serves the needs of the dominant society.

Because this structure benefits the members of the dominant society, they are resistant to eradicating or changing it, and this resistance makes this structural inequality ordinary.

Critical Race Theory also insists that neutral, “color-blind” policy is not the way to eliminate America’s racial caste system.

And, unlike many other social theories, CRT is an activist movement, which means it doesn’t just seek to understand racial hierarchies, it also seeks to eliminate them.

How would Critical Race Theory eliminate that?

By blaming white people?

This is the crazy part.

It’s not about blaming anyone.

Instead of the idiotic concept of colorblindness, CRT says that a comprehensive understanding of any aspect of American society requires an appreciation of the complex and intricate consequences of systemic inequality.

And, according to CRT, this approach should inform policy decisions, legislation and every other element in society.

Take something as simple as college admission, for instance.

People who “don’t see color” insist that we should only use neutral, merit-based metrics such as SAT scores and grades.

However, Critical Race Theory acknowledges that SAT scores are influenced by socioeconomic status, access to resources and school quality.

It suggests that colleges can’t accurately judge a student’s ability to succeed unless they consider the effects of the racial wealth gap, redlining, and race-based school inequality.

Without this kind of holistic approach, admissions assessments will always favor white people.

CRT doesn’t just say this is racist, it explains why these kinds of race-neutral assessments are bad at assessing things.

What’s wrong with that?

Remember all that stuff I said the “material needs of the dominant society?”

Well, “dominant society” means “white people.”

And when I talked about “racial hierarchies,” that meant “racism.”

So, according to Critical Race Theory, not only is racism an ordinary social construct that benefits white people, but it is so ordinary that white people can easily pretend it doesn’t exist.

Furthermore, white people who refuse to acknowledge and dismantle this unremarkable, racist status quo are complicit in racism because, again, they are the beneficiaries of racism.

But, because white people believe racism means screaming the nigger or burning crosses on lawns, the idea that someone can be racist by doing absolutely nothing is very triggering.

Let’s use our previous example of the college admissions system.

White people’s kids are more likely to get into college using a racist admissions system.

But the system has been around so long that it has become ordinary.

So ordinary, in fact, that we actually think SAT scores mean sh*t.

And white people uphold the racist college admissions system—not because they don’t want Black kids to go to college—because they don’t want to change admission policies that benefit white kids.

Is that why they hate Critical Race Theory?


They don’t know what it is.

Whenever words “white people” or “racism” are even whispered, Caucasian Americans lose their ability to hear anything else.

If America is indeed the greatest country in the world, then any criticism of their beloved nation is considered a personal attack—especially if the criticism comes from someone who is not white.

They are fine with moving toward a “more perfect union” or the charge to “make America great again.”

But an entire field of Black scholarship based on the idea that their sweet land of liberty is inherently racist is too much for them to handle.

However, if someone is complicit in upholding a racist policy—for whatever reason—then they are complicit in racism.

And if an entire country’s resistance to change—for whatever reason —creates more racism, then “racist” is the only way to accurately describe that society.

If they don’t know what it is, then how can they criticize it?

Have you met white people?

When has not knowing stuff ever stopped them from criticizing anything?

They still think Colin Kaepernick was protesting the anthem, the military and the flag.

They believe Black Lives Matter means white lives don’t.

There aren’t any relevant criticisms other than they don’t like the word “racism” and “white people” anywhere near each other.

People like Ron DeSantis and Tom Cotton call it “cultural Marxism,” which is a historical dogwhistle thrown at the civil rights movement, the Black Power movement and even the anti-lynching movement after World War I.

They also criticize CRT’s basic use of personal narratives, insisting that a real academic analysis can’t be based on individually subjective stories.

Why wouldn’t that be a valid criticism?

Well, aren’t most social constructs centered in narrative structures?

In law school, they refer to these individual stories as “legal precedent.”

In psychology, examining a personal story is called “psychoanalysis.” In history, they call it...well, history.

Narratives are the basis for every religious, political or social institution.

I wish there was a better example of an institution or document built around a singular narrative.

It would change the entire constitution of this argument—but sadly, I can’t do it.

Jesus Christ, I wish I could think of one!

That would be biblical!

Why do they say Critical Race Theory is not what Martin Luther King Jr. would have wanted?

You mean the Martin Luther King Jr. who conservatives also called divisive, race-baiting, anti-American and Marxist?

The one whose work CRT is partially built upon?

The King whose words the founders of Critical Race Theory warned would be “co-opted by rampant, in-your-face conservatism?”

The MLK whose “content of their character” white people love to quote?

Martin Luther King Jr. literally encapsulated CRT by saying:

In their relations with Negroes, white people discovered that they had rejected the very center of their own ethical professions. They could not face the triumph of their lesser instincts and simultaneously have peace within. And so, to gain it, they rationalized—insisting that the unfortunate Negro, being less than human, deserved and even enjoyed second class status.

They argued that his inferior social, economic and political position was good for him. He was incapable of advancing beyond a fixed position and would therefore be happier if encouraged not to attempt the impossible. He is subjugated by a superior people with an advanced way of life. The “master race” will be able to civilize him to a limited degree, if only he will be true to his inferior nature and stay in his place.

White men soon came to forget that the Southern social culture and all its institutions had been organized to perpetuate this rationalization. They observed a caste system and quickly were conditioned to believe that its social results, which they had created, actually reflected the Negro’s innate and true nature.

That guy?

I have no idea.

Will white people ever accept Critical Race Theory?

Yes, one day I hope that Critical Race Theory will be totally disproven.


Well, history cannot be erased.

Truth can never become fiction.

But there is a way for white people to disprove this notion.

Derrick Bell, who is considered to be the father of Critical Race Theory, notes that the people who benefit from racism have little incentive to eradicate it.

Or, as Martin Luther King Jr. said:

“We must also realize that privileged groups never give up their privileges voluntarily.”

So, if white people stopped being racist, then the whole thing falls apart!

« Last Edit: March 30, 2021, 12:58:37 pm by Battle »

Offline Battle

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« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2021, 03:53:38 pm »
Wednesday, 7th April   Twenty One
tom cotton Is Extremely Concerned That We Aren't Sending Enough Black People to Prison
by Michael Harriot

America is racist.

When I invoke the word racism in this context, I am not referring to a self-concocted, liberal definition that excludes Black people and progressive white people who work in underprivileged communities with their LatinX nephew-in-law.

I’m talking about the classic, white definition of racism—the “belief that race is a fundamental determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.”

I’m talking about the belief.

A belief can never be disproven because beliefs don’t require proof to justify their existence.

It’s why people can believe in an invisible God, American exceptionalism and the inherent superiority of whiteness.

Beliefs are bulletproof, indestructible, and immune to logic or facts.

And yes, America believes in racism.

There is overwhelming proof that white people use more illegal drugs.

Yet, the only way anyone can explain why Black people are arrested for possession at three times the rate of whites is the racist belief that there is a huge drug use problem in Black communities.

Racism is the only way to explain why the largest policing project in world history revealed.

“Black drivers were searched about 1.5 to 2 times as often as white drivers, while they were less likely to be carrying drugs, guns, or other illegal contraband compared to their white peers.”

It is necessary to believe that race is a “fundamental determinant of human traits and capacities” if one wants to understand why Black men receive prison sentences that are, on average, nearly 20 percent longer than white men who commit the same crimes.

To be fair, cotton doesn’t specifically mention Black people, he just linked to an article about crime in “major cities.”

You know...where immigrants and Black people live.

It’s like me tweeting about America’s major under-seasoning problem.

Let’s be clear:

Incarceration does not reduce crime.

It does not make communities safer.

It does not rehabilitate human beings.

It targets poor and minority communities.

This is not a belief.

Every large-scale study shows it.

Like the one that shows “imprisonment is an ineffective long-term intervention for violence prevention.”

Or the study that proves “higher incarceration rates are not associated with lower violent crime rates.”

There’s also an entire book by the National Research Council that concludes “the incremental deterrent effect of increases in lengthy prison sentences is modest at best,” but “the effects of harsh penal policies in the past 40 years have fallen most heavily on blacks and Hispanics, especially the poorest.”

There’s also the U.C. Berkeley economics study that found that any benefit from harsh sentencing “is outweighed by the large fiscal costs of incarceration.”

Secondly, tom cotton already knows that crime rose in 2020 because of the largest economic collapse in U.S. history.

To be fair, cotton may not have read the numerous studies and government reports by economists, psychologists, sociologists and criminologists that show that crime rates correspond to economics and education but I haven’t read most of these reports either.

However, there’s a magical fairy godmother who lives on the internet and helps me understand things.

Her name is Google.

I can get tom cotton her email address.

cotton also understands that, aside from the recent uptick, crime has dramatically declined for years.

« Last Edit: April 09, 2021, 02:43:17 am by Battle »

Offline Battle

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« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2021, 08:47:54 am »
Sunday, 9th May  TWenty One
We Found the Textbooks of Senators Who Oppose The 1619 Project and Suddenly Everything Makes Sense
by Michael Harriot

White people love critical race theories.

While they generally oppose Critical Race Theory, the academic movement started by Black scholars, they have historically embraced the uncapitalized version of race theory.

However, because so many see whiteness as a default, they don’t understand that their entire education has already been racialized.

The fact that most people know about Betsy Ross’ amazing ability to sew or Paul Revere’s talent for riding and yelling, but have never heard of Mary Ellen Pleasant or Colonel Tye is proof that the American education system is filtered through the lens of whiteness.

So when mitch mcconnell and 38 republican senators sent a letter to the secretary of education decrying the ghastly prospect of white students having to learn actual facts about slavery, it was not unexpected.

For centuries, this country’s schools have perpetuated a whitewashed version of history that either erases or reduces the story of Black America down to a B-plot in the American script.

It’s why they hate Critical Race Theory, The 1619 Project and anything factualbecause the white-centric interpretation of our national past is so commonly accepted, white people have convinced themselves that anything that varies from the Caucasian interpretation must be a lie.

"This is not new,” Jelani Cobb told The Root.

“One of the most under-discussed topics in education is the role slavery plays in the early history of the country.”

Cobb, a journalist and educator, earned a Ph.D. in American history under the supervision of David L. Lewis, who won the Pulitzer Prize for his two-volume Biography of W. E. B. Dubois, the American giant whose early works provided the template for the study of the history of Black people in America.

As a professor at institutions from Columbia University to the historically Black Spelman College, Cobb notes that the “propaganda of history” has been so whitewashed that most people don’t realize that they learned a whitewashed version of America’s founding.

“It is important to realize that all history is revisionist history,” Cobb explained.

“The established historiographies are constantly revised as we learn more information.”

Even though no teacher in America has been hogtied and forced to teach the curriculum devised by historians, journalists and people who know things, The Root was curious.

If The 1619 Project is an attempt to rewrite history, which version of history does the gop fear is being altered?

The Root decided to see what some of the signatories to mitch mcconnell’s Strawberry Letter knew about slavery and Black history.

We dug through state curriculum standards, yearbooks and spoke with teachers to see which interpretation of history the white tears-spewing politicians learned when they were in elementary and high school.

In doing so, there are certain things we realized:

1. There is no one Social Studies curriculum: Most states’ departments of educations create a K-12 social studies curriculum that sets a minimum standard for what students should learn by a certain grade (Here is Georgia’s). The rest is usually left up to the districts, schools and even the teachers.

2. There are two histories: As someone who was homeschooled, this was a revelation to me. The majority of K-12 students cycle through two levels of social studies. The basics of geography, civics and history are usually taught in elementary and middle school. Students learn another, more detailed history and civics curriculum in high school that usually includes separate courses for civics/government, world history, and American history.

3. But really, there are three histories: Many states mandate a “state history” course, usually from a limited selection of one or two state-approved textbooks. In some cases, the state course totally contradicts what the students learn in American history classes.

4. Sometimes there are four histories. There are some states where students take two different state history courses—one elementary level class and one high school level class.

5. ...Or six histories: Take Georgia, for instance. In elementary school, students learn the basics of American history and state history. In middle school, they take world history and another year of state history. In high school, they do it over again, with mandatory courses in world history and U.S. history. However, in Georgia, and in most states, students use textbooks from different publishers and authors, many of which tell completely contradictory versions of the same stories.

6.  But no Black history: Aside from cursory mentions of the Civil War, Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement, most state educational curriculums don’t specify how much history should be dedicated to Black history. In Georgia, students have courses on Native American history, Latin American and Caribbean culture, a course that combines African and Asian geography, but nothing specifically on Black history.

Knowing this, we dug through bios, school archives and academic resources to find out how these gop legislators gained their knowledge of America’s past.

In most cases, we were able to find the exact textbook each legislator’s school district used for one of the state or American history courses.

In other cases, we were able to find contemporaneous descriptions of the textbooks from academic journals or reports.

To our surprise, most received a well-rounded education on the history of Black people in America.

Just kidding.

They all learned variations of the same white lies.

And, apparently, they’d like to keep it that way.

Here’s what we found.

« Last Edit: May 10, 2021, 07:46:04 am by Battle »

Offline Battle

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« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2021, 11:02:07 am »
Sunday, 27th June  Twenty One
In D.C., Critical Race Theory is simple truth-telling
by Colbert I. King

As though they didn’t have enough pressing national issues on their plates, five Republican congressmen — Glenn Grothman of Wisconsin, Ralph Norman of South Carolina, Bob Gibbs of Ohio, Pat Fallon and Ronny Jackson both of Texas — have introduced legislation to ban the teaching of critical race theory in D.C. public and charter schools.

Grothman, the bill’s chief sponsor, said in a news release that, through critical race theory curriculum,

“students are being taught that they are defined by the color of their skin, not the content of their character.”

“This neo-racist ideology,” warned Grothman,

“should have no place in our public education system, especially in our nation’s capital.”

Set aside for a minute the confusion over just what is critical race theory.

Understand, also, that D.C. schools don’t teach critical race theory but do provide anti-racist training for educators and classroom discussions of systemic racism.

Concentrate, instead, on the “neo-racist ideology” that Grothman alleges critical race theory teaches.

Such an ideology held a firm grip on D.C. public education, as well as the entire nation’s capital, for decades.

This was long before academics began examining how systemic racism has shaped American public policy.

I have intimate knowledge of the experiences that informed notions about racism’s incarnation in the legal systems and policies of 19th- and 20th-century Washington, D.C.

Whether or not Grothman wants this fact taught, the truth is many Black people in D.C. and in the Deep South were raised under state-sponsored racism.

We attended public schools, lived in neighborhoods, went to movie theaters, ate in restaurants, prayed in churches and were laid to rest separated from White people, by law and custom.

This focus on group identity — a practice purportedly loathed by apostles of conservatism — was not a mutually agreed upon arrangement.

White people made those decisions, including to engage in the practice of denying equal job and housing opportunities.

And those judgments have had devastating consequences.

The International Monetary Fund stated in a 2020 report on the economic cost of discrimination in the United States:

“Racism has restrained Black economic progress for decades.”

The telling of this history is not for the purpose, as charged by Grothman and critical race theory critics, of stoking cultural conflicts or “to set American against American.”

It is simple truth-telling.

Many of us don’t need critical race theory to know who did what to whom: who looked us in the face and said there were no job openings, declined mortgage requests, ignored skills and downplayed qualifications.

Who otherwise stacked the deck, giving preference to the whiteness of skin.

Grothman suggests the retelling of American history is divisive.

He implores schools to tell the story that “shares the wonderful gift we all have, to live the American Dream if we work for it.”

That Dream stared me in the face as I read pages of The Washington Post when I was a 1960 teenager looking for work:

“BOYS-WHITE Age 14 to 18. To assist Route manager full or part-time. Must be neat in appearance. Apply 1346 Conn. Ave. NW.”

“STUDENTS Boys, white, 14 yrs. and over, jobs immediately available. Apply . . . 724 9th St., N.W.”

“SALESMAN, white. With a successful background in sales or one who feels he could be successful if given the right opportunity and training.”

The Dream is there, “if we work for it,” preaches Grothman.

“If we only had a chance,” we prayed.

America, Grothman said, is seen as the land of opportunity throughout the world.

“CRT, however, teaches school children,” he said,

“that America is a horrible country.”

I was not taught that.

Neither were my public-school-educated children or my school-age grandchildren.

But I know that students being taught about the lack of affordable housing and racial housing patterns in their city will have to learn that the 1948 Washington Real Estate Board Code of Ethics dictated that “no property in a white section should ever be sold, rented, advertised or offered to colored people,” as explained by Wendell E. Pritchett of the University of Pennsylvania Law School in a 2005 paper about the system.

I was 9 at the time.

Those weren’t empty words.

The Code was strictly enforced over the years, forcing Black people in the District to pay higher rents in the limited areas to which we had access and where housing was noticeably inferior.

Students would learn that the results of that discrimination are reflected in this city’s single-family zoned majority-White neighborhoods.

Now, this isn’t a matter of teaching children how bad we are.

But it does teach how bad things came about.

A look at history also explains why the school system’s Eurocentric focus forced Black educators to take it upon themselves to introduce Black history to ensure we knew about our role in America’s growth and development.

Hopefully, out of today’s educational processes will come students intellectually and socially mature enough to understand that critical examination does not equal demonization — and that in life’s dealings, truth tops fiction every time.

And, congressmen, call it what you will.

Offline Battle

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« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2021, 09:26:08 pm »
Friday, 30th July  Twenty One
Texas republicans Try To Lie on Martin Luther King Jr.'s Name in Critical Race Theory
by Zack Linly

There’s a reason white conservatives tend to discuss race relations in America, and whatever it is they think Critical Race Theory is, in circles that are almost exclusively white and conservative.

They know their weak-and-fragile-ass arguments will fall apart under the slightest bit of outsider scrutiny, so it’s best they just use the rhetoric to rally their dimwitted-ass base with no regard for truth.

As The Root previously reported, the Texas Senate recently passed new white fragility legislation allowing educators to opt out of teaching any history that makes America look bad (*gestures towards the bulk of American history*) and that white supremacy is “morally wrong.”

Recently, the bill’s author, republican Senator bryan hughes, defended his legislation to appease washcloth-less haters during the special legislative session regarding the bill.

And because caucasity is a boundless phenomenon, hughes invoked the legacy of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in said defense, even though the legislation specifically allows educators to refrain from teaching MLK speeches.

In response, the late civil rights icon’s son, Martin Luther King III said—and I’m largely paraphrasing here—

“I thinks TF not, my melanin-deficient friends. I’ma need you to fall the hell back.”

First, let’s start with what hughes said.

“There’s been a movement called Critical Race Theory spreading across our country, into many of our schools in Texas, sadly teaching that we should judge a person by the color of their skin and not on the content of their character,” he said, the Texas Tribune reports.

“It’s obviously the inverse of what Dr. King taught us, and what as Americans we strive toward.”

First of all, I already deaded this argument when House Minority Leader kevin mccarthy tried it.

Unlike Critical Race Theory, Dr. Martin Luther King absolutely spoke on white racism in the context of white people at the individual level.

I already pointed out that if you were to compile much of what MLK had to say in speeches and other writings—which it just so happens The Root did—white people would find that the compilation of Dr. King’s words is exactly what they wrongly think Critical Race Theory is.

Anyway, let’s get to what King III had to say in response.

From the Tribune:

And Martin Luther King Jr.’s oldest son told The Texas Tribune that Hughes and other state lawmakers are taking his father’s words out of context to defend legislative attempts the late civil rights icon likely would have opposed.

“Yes, we should judge people by the content of the character and not the color of their skin — but that is when we have a true, just, humane society where there are no biases, where there is no racism, where there is no discrimination,” Martin Luther King III said. “Unfortunately, all of these things still exist.”

Many Democrats, especially those who are people of color, see GOP officials’ attempts to rewrite elections laws this year as another attempt to further marginalize people like them in the halls of power. It’s also another Texas bill that Martin Luther King III condemns, especially because it comes 53 years after his dad was killed and 56 since the Voting Rights Act.

“It’s gravely disappointing,” he said.

King III also pointed out that issues like the racial wealth gap indicate that racism in America is a systemic issue, which makes Critical Race Theory necessary since it specifically deals in systems and institutions.

Of course, the teaching of American history honestly doesn’t have much to do with Critical Race Theory, so it makes no sense that Texas’ new legislation and other bills like it are being pushed.

And King III isn’t shy about calling the bill exactly what it is.

“This was a literal effort to whitewash history,” he said.

“You literally have white women and men who are trying to whitewash, and really dramatically erase, what occurred in the history of our nation, and depriving all our children— that’s all children—of knowing what the true facts are, what true history was in our nation.”


« Last Edit: July 29, 2021, 11:27:23 pm by Battle »

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« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2021, 09:05:49 am »
Saturday, 7th August  Twenty One
Charleston unveiled its plan to address systemic racism

(Charleston, South Carolina) — Before he even mentioned the words, Charleston City Councilman Ross Appel warned that what he was about to say was political, even strategic and, most of all, not his personal opinion.

He still tried to soften the blow.

Sitting in his car, joining by video for a virtual public meeting Wednesday night, the councilman said he was “a big fan” of the newly released 545-page plan to address systemic racism in Charleston.

He said he wanted the effort to be successful.

But after reviewing the draft report, Appel said he now worried that three words threatened to derail the commission’s stated goal of dismantling racism in Charleston through policy changes.

Appel named the “buzzwords,” as he called them, one by one: Reparations, critical race theory and the 1619 Project.

And so, in the Southern city where the Civil War began 160 years ago, a modern-day political fear emerged during the meeting: Could the inclusion of these three words lead to a culture war erupting inside City Hall?

“I’m concerned that those words could be a problem when this hits the floor of council, and I’m concerned that this could create a very charged, negative process,” Appel continued.

“I don’t want to see that happen,” said Appel, who represents parts of West Ashley and James Island.

“I don’t want to see the wonderful work that this group has done get derailed because somebody on council says, ‘I can’t vote for a document that has critical race theory in it.’”

The draft document and its accompanying 125 recommendations, which was made public Wednesday evening, is the culmination of more than a year of work by the city’s Special Commission on Equity, Inclusion and Racial Conciliation.

The group was created in June 2020, shortly after protesters called on city leaders to address racial disparity and injustice in the Holy City.

It also came two years after the city apologized for its role in the institution of slavery.

Dr. Kimberly Butler Willis, who served as chair of the commission’s health disparities and environmental justice subcommittee, told Appel she expects possible political pushback when some council members read those words in the report.

“But I thought when we joined this commission it was to trailblaze, and when we start to eliminate some of the words that are actually factual, like critical race theory, we are indeed whitewashing,” Willis said after thanking Appel for sharing his concerns.

Other members in the meeting nodded in agreement.

She continued, “This is a document that is not centered in the white experience, and it will make you feel uncomfortable, but it’s in that uncomfortableness that I hope we can move forward.”

Council will vote August 17th on whether to advance the plan.

A vote in support of it would not mean an immediate adoption the recommendations.

Instead, it would send the report and its recommendations to corresponding city committees for further review and consideration.

Examples of the recommendations include reducing the Black poverty rate by 10% in 10 years, increasing assets in the Black community by 20% in 20 years, increasing the number of subsidized health care providers on the Charleston peninsula and reimagining policing as a service.

In an interview Thursday afternoon with The State newspaper, Appel said he was worried the three terms could be used as political ammunition against the city’s effort to make its 2018 apology for Charleston’s role in slavery a “living, breathing document.”

But the word “critical race theory” appears only once in the 545-page plan to address systemic racism in Charleston, a historic port city where an estimated 40% of enslaved Africans first arrived in America.

The same goes for the singular mention of the prize-winning “1619 Project” from the New York Times that sought to reframe American history through the lens of slavery.

Reparations, meanwhile, appears four times in the document.

In an interview, Appel addressed why he raised the issue despite the small number of times these terms were mentioned in the report.

“If you’re someone looking to torpedo this thing, you will mine this document for the most inflammatory grenade you can find and try to make it the headline,” Appel said.

The effort is also happening as the city barrels toward a municipal election in November.

The filing period for interested candidates opened Monday and will close at noon August 16th, the day before city council is set to vote on whether to advance the racial conciliation commission’s proposal for further discussion.

While municipal elections are nonpartisan in South Carolina, national polling shows republicans are paying more attention to critical race theory than Democrats — and, according to findings from Morning Consult, they also view it more negatively.

Critical race theory is an academic framework that has been around since the 1970s.

It is rooted in the idea that racism is systemic in institutions and public policies, like zoning, policing, banking, education, health care and more.

Inequities, the theory contends, is not just demonstrated by individual people with prejudices.

Conservative critics of the policy, led by individual-1, say Critical Race Theory paints an overly negative picture of America and makes white children feel guilty for actions they didn’t personally commit.

Six members of city council were part of the 13-member racial conciliation commission, along with nearly 50 volunteers from public and private sectors.

The report will need the support of seven city council members to advance.

Charleston City Councilman William Dudley Gregorie, who co-chaired the special group alongside Councilman Jason Sakran, compared the upcoming vote to the city’s apology for slavery in 2018.

On the anniversary of Juneteenth in 2018, after hours of public comment, Charleston leaders voted 7-5 in favor of the resolution apologizing for the city’s role in slavery.

“When we did the apology, we went in knowing we weren’t going to get a unanimous vote. We knew it. We knew it. But we needed seven, that’s all we need is seven votes,” Gregorie said.

“I don’t care about it being unanimous. I just want this document accepted.”

Gregorie said others may be “quite surprised” by the final vote for this document, but he said the responsibility now rests with the six council members who are on the commission.

They must, he said, answer questions from other council members to get them to accept the report.

“If we don’t do our job ... then we fail,” Gregorie said.

Councilman Mike Seekings, who is not a member of the commission, told The State he would need to see the words in context.

He also stressed that he had not yet read the report.

“I want to wait and see how it’s presented and how all the words and all the terms fit together, and what they say,” Seekings said, adding it would be premature to make a decision.

“It’s how those words are woven into the rest of the verbiage. Until I see it, I have no idea.”

Councilman Harry Griffin, who has already drawn a political challenger for his council seat, did not immediately return requests for comment by phone and text.

Crystal Robinson Rouse, chair of the commission’s youth and education subcommittee, warned in the Wednesday meeting that a vote against the report and its recommendations would carry political ramifications.

“And I pray that anyone who does vote it down does not plan on running again for office,” Rouse said.

But already, political backlash is happening.

Within 48 hours, Appel’s comments drew criticism on social media from local activists, including the leader of Black Lives Matter Charleston who said it showed a “rise in anti-Black rhetoric.”

Appel, in both the interview Thursday and in his comments Wednesday night, said he wants the recommendations to be accepted by city council so that the work can continue.

While Appel said he is personally comfortable with the trio of terms, he said they are often “elastic and capable of misuse.”

He also said he hoped his concerns about politics would be for naught.

“I just see these icebergs on the horizon, but maybe they are mirages,” Appel said.

“But we just live in a world where critical race theory, reparations and the 1619 Project send half the country through the roof.”

« Last Edit: August 08, 2021, 10:06:57 am by Battle »

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« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2021, 07:44:43 am »
Friday 10th  September  Two Thousand & Twenty One
Many white Americans feel threatened by the increasingly diverse country — and their fear is dangerous
by Rod Graham

If you put all Americans in a bag, shake us up and pull one of us out, the odds are that you will pull out someone who identifies as white.

That has held since the nation's founding.

However, sometime in the middle of this century — in a mere two decades — it will no longer hold.

At that time, America will be a majority-minority country.

The exact date, the tipping point, tends to change based upon the latest figures.

In 2018, William H. Frey, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, wrote that the United States would become "minority white" in 2045, according to census projections at the time.

"During that year," he wrote, "whites will comprise 49.7 percent of the population in contrast to 24.6 percent for Hispanics, 13.1 percent for Blacks, 7.9 percent for Asians and 3.8 percent for multiracial populations."

This is a demographic change few would have anticipated in the mid-20th century.

How we talk about this change – its social, cultural, and political implications – can be called the majority-minority narrative.

Unfortunately, we are not talking about it enough.

Yale psychology professor Jennifer Richeson is one of the leading researchers in what can broadly be termed intergroup relations.

In a summary published in 2017 of her work and others, Richeson wrote that white Americans who are threatened by a more diverse nation express support for more conservative policies, less support for diversity, and more racial resentment:

This emerging work suggests that anticipated growth in minority groups is perceived as threatening to whites' current status as the dominant racial group in the United States, which, in turn, triggers in-group-protective and, often, out-group antagonistic attitudes, policy support and behavior.

This dynamic is not unique to white people.

This is a human response to perceived threats.

It is, in the abstract, a reaction to the belief that an out-group is gaining in power and status and one's in-group is losing power and status.

Thus, Richeson cites research showing that in Black neighborhoods, a growing Latino population perceived to have economic advantages is met with negative attitudes by Black people.

But the main concern is how this dynamic will impact the white population for obvious reasons.

They are the largest racial group and control most of the resources and authority positions in society.

The average person can intuit this dynamic without rigorous research.

It's just common sense.

If a white person identifies as "white people" being their in-group and then perceives that non-white people are being centered in society and occupying more positions of authority, they may feel threatened.

They may feel they are losing something in terms of power and privilege.

This would then lead to advocacy of policies that reduce this threat.

We see this already with voter suppression and anti-immigrant policies from conservative state legislatures.

If we are seeing this now, what will happen when America becomes a majority-minority country?

Will it be mainstream for white politicians and white people to begin advocating openly for "pro-white" policies?

Will we have interethnic conflict?

This is apocalyptic.

But we're not talking about it.

We have all heard the expression "saying the quiet part out loud."

It describes a situation in which someone voices an ulterior motive or says something meant to be kept secret in a public space (a compilation of Republicans saying the quiet part can be found here.)

The opposite of this would be voicing that secret thing, and no one responds.

They hear it but pretend they don't, because it is such a horrible thing to talk about.

It is saying the loud part in quiet.

Jennifer Richeson and other scholars who are studying the threat responses of whites in response to the majority-minority narrative are saying the loud part in quiet.

People hear her, but say nothing.

I suspect that most people hear themselves think about it as well.

Maybe it is too icky, too unpleasant to dwell on.

Maybe, as is often the case with white Americans, they may wish to imagine they are colorblind.

Talking about this would therefore violate that cherished myth.

Whatever the reason, there is collective silence on this issue.

tucker carlson was rightly called out for his endorsing of "white replacement theory" — the idea that non-European immigrants are being brought into the country to replace white Americans.

tucker carlson notwithstanding, these demographic changes are rarely spoken about openly in conservative spaces.

Instead, they are communicated through dog-whistles.

When people say things like taking "our" country back, the "our" means white Americans.

Making America Great Again is about making it great for white folks, and so on.

In liberal spaces, when the topic is discussed at all, a more favorable narrative is preferred over one of a potential crisis.

The narrative attached to majority-minority is that of a benign statistical oddity, if not a positive development in America's quest to be a melting pot.

More sophisticated analyses in liberal spaces point to the fluidity and complexity of race and of racial categorization.

A simple binary of white/non-white obfuscates more than it enlightens, the argument goes.

More people are identifying as multiracial, what it means to be white changes with time.

(Hispanic Americans increasingly identify as white, and the rates of intermarriage are growing exponentially.)

This is the case put forth in a recent opinion piece in the New York Times by George Mason University political scientist Justin Gest.

City University of New York sociologist Richard Alba is one of the more forceful voices on the subject.

Alba wrote The Great Demographic Illusion in 2020, which summarized his arguments, and has appeared on several media outlets discussing the complexity of racial categorization in America.

Talking about America in terms of a future majority-minority country is a divisive myth, according to Alba.

In an essay for TheAtlantic, Alba and co-authors wrote:

The majority-minority narrative contributes to our national polarization.

Its depiction of a society fractured in two, with one side rising while the other subsides, is inherently divisive because it implies winners and losers.

It has bolstered white anxiety and resentment of supposedly ascendant minority groups, and has turned people against democratic institutions that many conservative white Americans and politicians consider complicit in illegitimate minority empowerment.

For Justin Gest and Richard Alba, the loud part should never be heard.

It is a myth and shouldn't even be said as it creates division.

I am sympathetic to their arguments, and I suspect they are more right than wrong.

However, the empirical reality that Gest and Alba describe is separate from the narrative and the feelings of threat it generates.

In other words, regardless of what is actually happening in society, conservative thought leaders will generate a narrative that plays on the fears of their white base.

They are already doing it and there is no reason to suspect that they will change course simply because a few well-meaning academics want them to be more accurate.

Moreover, white Americans, from across the political spectrum, are not blind to the fact that the look of America has changed drastically in the past 40 years.

Theoretical understandings of the fluidity of whiteness and statistics about rising rates of intermarriage or people checking boxes as multiracial will not be enough to assuage their fears.

They can look out of their window and see that the neighborhood they used to know has gotten browner, and they don't feel as comfortable walking across the street and asking for a cup of sugar.

Even the most racially progressive people may succumb to this "threat."

To combat a damaging narrative, we must talk about it.

We must say the loud part not in quiet, but in spaces where it's heard and discussed.

Put it out there.

Then address the concerns of people.

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« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2021, 05:58:22 pm »
Friday, 10th  September Two Thousand & Twenty One
It's 'white People'
by Michael Harriot

What’s going on with white people?

It’s comparatively easy to find out what Black people have been up to, lately.

After Black protesters “ignited a racial reckoning” that wasn’t actually a racial reckoning, “Black voters” said “hold up” and unleashed their voting powers in the 2020 election.

Then Black people focused on distrusting the vaccine know...Tuskegee.

Even though the vast majority of Americans who identify as Hispanic chose Biden, we found out that there was a lot of support for individual-1 among “Hispanic voters.”

Then, Hispanics turned toward immigration.

Meanwhile, Asian Americans were fighting hate crimes and worrying about COVID-19 reports.

Admittedly, the media is doing a better job at covering these issues.

The Associated Press, perhaps the gold standard for American journalism, has an entire Latino section, which is different from the Hispanic section, but similar to the “Black Lives Matter” section where you can read about all the negro news—from haircare products to protests.

Even the AP’s “race relations” section is all about stuff that happened to Black, Hispanic and people who shower daily.

Don’t get me wrong, African Americans don’t generally object to the fact that living in a home surrounded by people who look like them means they reside in a “Black neighborhood.”

We want politicians to recognize the power of the “Black vote.”

Most Black people wouldn’t trade being Black for all the privilege in the world.

But when was the last time you read about “white neighborhoods?”

If you Google “Black vote,” you get stories about African American voters.

Do the same with the “white vote,” and most of the results are about all voters.

I thought America wanted to have “a conversation about race.”

Is white not a race?

Has America really gotten over its reluctance to talk about these issues?

When it comes to politics, economics and actual facts, why is it OK to discuss every ethnic and racial demographic in America except one?

The avoidance of every mention of whiteness cannot be coincidental.

I just wanna know the reason.

This insidious but invisible phenomenon is pervasive throughout the news and media outlets charged with writing the first draft of history.

Although they pride themselves on the caucasian-created mythology of “journalistic objectivity,” the American storytelling machine has collectively decided that “whiteness” is synonymous with “humanity.”

Every Black writer or journalist can tell you a story about when they were accused of “race-baiting” or “being divisive.”

White journalists don’t have to face that same critique—not because they don’t talk about race—but because they almost never talk about the white race.

White people are just “people.”

The concept has become so accepted that the utter mention of white people is not just unnecessary, it’s considered divisive.

For instance, almost every media outlet in America has reported on the protests and antipathy against mask mandates.

It is one of the biggest stories in the news.

However, if objective journalism existed, wouldn’t it be more accurate for outlets to point out that the anti-mask movement is composed almost entirely of white people?

While outlets like the Washington Post were eager to point out vaccine reluctance among Black Americans—and rightly so—they apparently saw no need to point the vast majority of angry rioters staging protests against laws and rules that require face coverings are of the Caucasian persuasion.

The word “white” literally does not appear in its reporting.

Even though the Associated Press says “two-thirds of Black parents said they back mask mandates for teachers and students,” while only about “one half of white parents” do, the AP-NORC poll’s subhead explains that the “views are sharply polarized along political lines.”

NPR used two different polls to report that “most U.S. parents support mask mandates in schools.”

The poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation notes that 83 percent of Black parents support mask mandates, compared to 54 percent of white parents, but NPR failed to point it out.

Politico didn’t, even though its own poll shows the total amount of white people who “strongly oppose” mask mandates (313) outweighs every race, ethnic group, religion, age group, political identity or income bracket.

If objective journalism existed, wouldn’t it be more accurate for outlets to point out the commonality in the people who don’t like wearing masks?

It’s just white people (and Busta Rhymes).

Or when right-wing, republican domestic terrorists stormed the Capitol.

Except it wasn’t “republicans.”

Or domestic terrorists.

According to the Chicago Project on Security and Threats’ analysis, 93 percent of the 532 people arrested by federal authorities for the January 6th attack are non-Hispanic whites.

They weren’t from any particular part of the country.

They weren’t from a specific ideology.

The vast majority (87 percent) had “no connection to existing far-right militias or groups” and they were not even associated with a particular political movement.

Just white people.

And before you distract from the issue by bringing up Black-on-Black crime, crime statistics, or Chicago, please note that no one disputes the factual evidence.

Most Black people in Chicago haven’t murdered anyone.

You know who hates Black-on-Black crime more than white people?

Black people.

According to those same FBI statistics negro-haters love to pull out of their anus, in any given year, 99.9 percent of Black people won’t commit a crime.

Yet, Black people are the ones who constantly have to justify the statistically insignificant number of Black criminals.

So why don’t sports reporters ever ask Tom Brady for his thoughts on domestic terrorism or school shootings like LeBron is inundated with questions about social justice?

Why won’t the Grammys highlight Taylor Swift’s work empowering the white community like they do with Beyoncé?

Whenever a subject arises involving Black America, politicians consult with Al Sharpton, who has never been elected to a political office.

But who are the leaders of the white community?

We know “not all white people” are...whatever.

But why can’t a random Rebecca answer why the majority of white women voted for individual-1?

If legitimate news outlets believe Ice Cube is qualified to negotiate for all of Black America, why haven’t they asked Bruce Springsteen to explain why the people who believe individual-1 illegitimately won the 2020 election are overwhelmingly white, according to the latest YouGov poll?

This phenomenon isn’t restricted to politics and social justice.

It’s refreshing that every streaming service has a section for “Black movies” and “Black shows”—even when most television series are made by white people for white people.

Even though 'Friends' was just a whitewashed version of 'Living Single', it was a “show.”

'Living Single', however, was marketed as a Black show.

(Fun fact: 'Living Single' was the second-most-watched show in Black households and ranked no. 107 in white households. 'Friends' was ranked no. 99 in Black homes.)

Have you ever heard anyone refer to projects like 'Friends' or 'Seinfeld' as “white shows?”

Why won’t anyone say the thing we all know?

They have constructed a universe with whiteness at its center and everything else orbiting around a star so bright that it is unsafe for us to stare directly into it.

If there was such thing as “objectivity” in journalism, this anomaly wouldn’t exist—especially when they highlight the race of every non-white person, place or thing in America.

Doesn’t this intentional omission mean they are choosing to be less accurate?

The basic job of a journalist, news outlet or teller of stories is to answer who, what, where, why and how.

Although it is not inaccurate to say that some ideological positions are held by “a majority of Americans,” it is malpractice to sidestep or wholly ignore the question of who holds these beliefs.

Only a fool or a liar would say it’s not intentional that nearly every news outlet in America neglected to mention the most common characteristic of the anti-mask movement.

“People” don’t oppose mask mandates; it’s white people.

The people who tried to overthrow the government weren’t republicans; they were white people.

“Parents” don’t object to Critical Race Theory, just white people.

There is nothing controversial about pointing out factual evidence.

In fact, one could argue that withholding or obscuring the most common characteristics of the people who hold these views actually enables them to maintain their power.

Unfortunately, most journalists never use the objective term for this widespread practice.

As I stood in line to vote in the primaries for the 2020 election, a poll worker asked everyone in line which party’s primary they wanted to participate in.

When I reached the front of the line, she just handed me the ballot for the Democratic primary.

Perhaps she knew that nine out of 10 Black voters in Alabama vote Democrat.

I assumed that she could see that I was Black and, since I was there to vote, she simply labeled me a “Black voter.”

But now that I think about it, I wonder:

Why was she being so divisive?


kidelo sheds no tears for dead anti-vaxxers
8/26/21 10:03am

In my experience, there’s nothing that triggers white people more than pointing out they are white. Especially if they’re “one of the good ones.” If we just added white in front of -politics, -religion, -protests, there would be such a backlash.

Let’s do it.

C.M. Allen
8/26/21 10:42am

It’s hard to watch the news without being pissed that they’re not calling this kind of hands-off racism what it is — racism. “But we’re not doing it. We’re not racist!” Yeah, but you’re not calling it out either. That’s just as bad. A lie of omission is still being dishonest.

8/26/21 11:30am

Yeah. It’s crazy. In all my 38 years of living. Ive only seen white people call something white twice. And they were both down white folks. And they both got sh*t for it by other regular white folks. Like they some how let out a big secret or something.

The Thugnificent Pangaean
8/26/21 10:06am

*reads the grays*

*makes their self a mayonnaise and egg white sandwich with on white bread with a side of raisin based potato salad*

Racist salt best salt. *sprinkles racist tears*

*throws the whole thing out*


The number of angry racists in the grays could probably make up for the crappiness of Kinja.

Thanks for those site hits and ad revenue pings, angry racists!

Darius Raqqah
8/26/21 10:15am

I’m not even sure that ‘grey ayanami’ is a troll. I think it’s a Jezbecky, picks up plenty of stars over there at any rate complaining about “minority elitism” whenever anyone writes anything about White Feminism. Wants to know why we’re not just all rowing in the same direction. It may be just a genuinely upset Karen who’s waddled over here clearing her throat yelling “excuse me please, but I have to say...”

8/26/21 10:34am

Wants to know why we’re not just all rowing in the same direction.

Hey now, that’s a totally valid and logical desire! I mean, provided one ignores vast swaths of human history, sociology, sociopolitics, etc.

8/26/21 10:37am

From the grays:

Can I let you in on a little secret? White people aren’t waiting for the percentage to drop below 50%. We are 100% freaking out already.

Good to know the impetus behind the behavior.

8/26/21 10:46am

They are not invited to whatever the white version of The Cookout is.

Cornhole tournament? Pickleball game? Jimmy Buffett concert? I’m just spitballin’ here.

8/26/21 11:07am

Is polka still a thing?

8/26/21 11:54am

Dave Mathews Band listening party?

Sassy After Death
8/26/21 12:02pm

Same.  When I see or hear these dipsh*ts, I just want to punch them in the face.

8/26/21 9:45am

I am not a registered Democrat.  I decided that I really didn’t want a party affiliation because honestly I really can’t with either party, however as a black woman I donate to Democratic candidates and vote Democrat every single time.  I haven’t been wrong to do so because most Republican candidates have turned out to be trash.  Look at Florida.  DeSantis has people out here dying for whiteness and I’m fine with it, because this is what they voted for (not the majority of black people in Florida of course).  The Democrats are far from perfect and there are plenty of them that can kick rocks (looking at Manchin) but I’m not dead because my Democratic governor listened to the scientists, shut my state down and didn’t encourage maskless yahoos to come to town and get infected and spread it (Sturgis in South Dakota). 

8/26/21 11:46am

The bizarre thing is THEY are fine with it too. DeathSantis might be underwater finally in overall approval but only because Dems and Indies hate his guts. Non-Hispanic Whites tho? 51/43 approve. Not great, but still a majority AND the very group of people dying the most because they are most against doing anything that would stop COVID from killing them.

FFS, he is literally killing their children now.

Meanwhile, Elsewhere
8/26/21 12:21pm

Sadopopulism 101: Hurt people to create a resource of pain, anxiety, anger, and fear, which you then direct against others.

2Lapu Lapu
8/26/21 12:37pm

The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally......let's all NOT say it in front of a mirror ten times at midnight........I still cannot imagine the level of colossal arrogance that continues to spawn that stupidity.....merciful heavens.

8/26/21 9:53am

“So why don’t sports reporters ever ask Tom Brady for his thoughts on domestic terrorism or school shootings”

I for one am happy that they don’t. The vapid stare, sh*t eating grin, and mayonnaise answer would be completely useless.

There is still a perception that White non-Hispanics make up the vast majority of America. Especially among White people. This misconception continues to drive the news narrative because most newsrooms and newsroom management are still predominantly White. Underlying bias assumes that the audience is predominantly White non-Hispanic, most of whom do not interact with Black people on a daily basis, and therefore there is no need to point out whiteness and a counternarrative novelty in pointing out blackness. I still remember the 1988 Olympics and Debi Thomas being constantly referred to as Black figure skater Debi Thomas. Wouldn’t be surprised if some White people actually thought it was her full name.

Of course, according to the 2020 census, it is only 57.8% of the population is White Non-Hispanic. A 6% drop from 2010. The minute that number drops to 49.9% there will a clutching of pearls the likes not seen in the history of man (well, White man) and complete 180 on the concept of affirmative action.

C.M. Allen
8/26/21 10:12am

It’s still a country of deeply divided (racist) mentalities. Mainstream media is geared towards white people, because it’s largely staffed, owned (this one especially), and run by white people providing ‘content’ for an audience that is assumed to be similarly mostly white. By white people, for white people. Because, in their minds, ‘not white’ people have their ‘own’ media. They don’t need to specify the whiteness of stupid white people because that’s the presumed default status of its viewers. They only call out the ‘not us’ qualities when the groups or individuals in question *aren’t* white, because the fragile whiteness of America needs to be clear that these ‘others’ aren’t part of the ‘us’ that white people cling to — the sick, twisted, illusion of white superiority.

8/26/21 10:44am

Even more to the point: who gives a sh*t what people without a shred of bona fides in whatever subject is being mentioned have to say about it?

Who cares what some stupid talking head has to say about anything? This is especially prevalent for right-wing media, where the loudest and most obnoxious yeller gets the most air time. We’ve moved so far away from expecting that actual experts weigh in on subjects that need expert opinions, not just opinions, that I have no idea how we’ll get back to it.

And before anyone says “well, you’re on here....”, no one’s paying attention to what I have to say and giving any weight to it.  I’m just yelling into the void.  Faux News/OAN/Newsmax/etc. have national platforms full of the uninformed spewing lies to the even-less-informed. 

8/29/21 6:33pm

Accurate, but sad.

I don't understand (I really do understand) why media outlets have to tell viewers the demographic or district's?  I know!  To ensure FEAR.

« Last Edit: September 10, 2021, 08:09:37 pm by Battle »

Offline Battle

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« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2021, 07:06:37 am »
Saturday, 11th September  Twenty One


8/26/21 11:27am

A whole lot of white people think “diversity” at their dad’s law firm means that they’re staffed with blondes, brunettes AND redheads.

They can look at a photo of all white people and see ‘diversity’ because they hone in on the different hair styles and facial shapes and things that make them distinctive to people of their own tribe.

Meanwhile, I told a bartender friend of mine that some tattooed, bearded motorcycle guy that worked at his bar came in, and he asked ‘which one’ and showed me a bunch of pictures, and I said, “Yeah that’s him,” and he said “That’s like 4 different guys.”

Even with the tattoos I couldn’t tell you the difference.

8/26/21 11:09am

Maybe we need to clear up what white is: draw a line firmly in the sand, go “this is what American whiteness involves”, and have it be part of the writing style guides that govern reporting in this country. Because a large part of it is that too many f*cking LOVE to parse out and selectively include/exclude/grace with nuance and historical sh*t when called out. “You’re not talking about me, I’m Hispanic (never mind the big tent of being Hispanic with colorism out the ass)”. “You’re not talking about me, my family came to this country after slavery/Asian exploitation/worst of indigenous crimes against humanity (never mind the Europe-wide benefit of those crimes and the benefits provided regardless of when your boat or plane got here)”. “You’re not talking about me, my Irish/Italian/German/Jewish/Middle Eastern/Greek heritage has history of being treated like dog sh*t (never mind the inclusiveness that occurred as the Mayflower white pop went down and above-tawny folks started getting more civil rights)”.

We don’t get that: Black, Asian, non-white Hispanic, Indigenous - we get smushed together, despite the quirks from the diasporas and divergent imperialist/colonialist tactics, because we have easier means to be defined. “You’re not talking about me, my family is from an African country/Caribbean/Central to South America/Asian countries that does not get the positive stereotype/was part of a prior diaspora to another country which made things more odd (despite lack of interest in learning more about history and nuance - what do you look like)”.

If we can have a firm “this is what white is” we should be able to get more targeting in the f*ck-sh*t. Granted, as soon as we have that the drowning caused by the tears because lord know THEY don’t get lumped together like we get lumped together. Cause: racism...

8/26/21 11:33am

I love the "not me" examples.  This is one of the better comments I've read in a while.

Lord Whistledown
8/26/21 10:39am

The last 500 years of white culture has been to deny and deflect criticism over atrocities committed all over the world. It’s baked into their language, their legends and the stories they tell children. To get them to look in the mirror is a monumental undertaking when all they’ve been told are Native Americans are savages (so let’s steal their land), Asians are untrustworthy (so let’s steal their stuff), Africans are animals (so lets get rich off their minerals and enslave them). It’s always some “other” whose to blame.

Our institutions are made by and for white people so there’s no way even the AP is well equipped to call out the fact that white people are uniquely, explosively and nearly exclusively, losing their goddamn minds. I mean, just a week ago, a ranting lunatic of a man threatened to blow up the Library of Congress and white people shrugged like “well he’s just having a rough go of things...”

8/26/21 2:47pm

“83 percent of Black parents support mask mandates, compared to 54 percent of white parents”

I got an up close and personal look at the results of this in my 300+ student freshman chemistry class. No mask mandate because Florida. About half the students were masked. The unmasked students? All white.

white privilege is a helluva drug. Too bad it’s not an antiviral.

These brats have been convinced by their parents (and by history and society) that they will never face any consequences. For anything. And they have been taught that they are the center of EVERYONE’S universe. Of course they don’t think they’ll get sick. Of course they don’t care about other people.

Of course they’re not going to wear a mask.

revkaren *yes, my given name is karen*
8/26/21 10:42am

I’m a white woman named Karen and I came to The Root to learn what I don’t know and to be faced with truths such as this. 100%. It absolutely is white people. All white people.

In a true white Karen one disclaimer: I did not vote for individual-1 either time. I would rather die.

8/26/21 1:13pm

It’s actually the people who DID vote for individual-1 that seem to want to die.

Voting against republicans these days is pretty much a life-affirming decision.

8/26/21 2:24pm

Why won’t the mass media cover white on white violence?

TPJohnson - There are some who call me...
8/26/21 6:48pm

They will...if it involves a pretty white girl.

2Lapu Lapu
8/26/21 8:21pm

may i add 'a BLONDE' pretty white girl. About a hundred years of pedestalizations of that damned hair color as if ALL were natural 'blondes'...

The Thugnificent Pangaean
8/26/21 1:02pm

Literacy and reading comprehension is some kinda’ liberal conspiracy.

TPJohnson - There are some who call me...
8/26/21 6:47pm

I’ll respond to this part.

"Your examples of people opposed to mask mandates, those who supported the actions of the insurrectionists, and people who oppose critical rate theory do not make up the majority of white people."

It doesn’t have to make up the “majority of white people”. But those groups you mention are majority white people. ALL OF THEM. The bulk of each group is white people.  That’s not the same as saying “the majority of white people”. The same argument can be made about individual-1 supporters/voters - everyone that voted for individual-1 MIGHT not have been racist, but every racist voted for individual-1 (especially the first time).

adrian williams
8/26/21 3:13pm

It more than just Busta Rhymes. Eddie Griffin added his bullshiat opinion on the comedy hype channel on Youtube, and 90% of the commentors agreed with him. Every black person on here knows about 3 or 4 black people who won’t get vaccinated. The “I can’t find somewhere to get vaccinated” is bullshiat now, since you can walk in and get it within 10 minutes.

Mojo Openly & Unapologetically Black Hanna
8/26/21 5:26pm

Walk in and get it in ten minutes is not the case everywhere. Wish it was but it just isn’t.

8/26/21 5:42pm

“I thought America wanted to have “a conversation about race.”

No they don’t.

8/26/21 10:37am

I’ve seen some analysis of white voters on the NYC election, mostly about white liberals who thing Adams isn’t liberal or anti-cop enough against black voters who, according to polling, don’t want policing reductions.

8/26/21 9:26am

You nailed it: the media is afraid to bring up whiteness.

Based on the three data points I have (my white parents, my wife’s white parents, and my sister-in-law’s white parents) I hypothesize that the reason major newscasts won’t bring up whiteness is that (old white) people have the news on the television CONSTANTLY. Bringing up whiteness would make them feel sads in their statin and beta blocker filled brains and they might switch the channel.

So, yes, they are choosing to be less accurate because money.

8/26/21 11:31am

As a senior cis white male who hits this site several times a week to see if Michael Harriot has dropped some new wisdom — thanks, keep up the good work.

V till I D.I.E
8/26/21 10:39am

I don’t normally f*ck with Michael’s articles because even though he’s justifiably pissed and eloquently coming after people and systems that rightfully deserve to be taken down, the tone doesn’t always sit well with me. That’s not a problem on him. That’s on me and anyone who sees this is well within their right to roast me on it. I’m not even white. This sh*t is just some master class writing though. It’s something that a lot of people in this country probably know but have never pointed out. It’s the weirdest sh*t. If it was a majority black or Latino people that were rioting or setting fire to cars in Chicago or Texas, journalists would be all over that and specify which race it is. But if it was a unite the right rally or something like the January 6th siege, then it’s just “people”. That’s f*cked up and I truly wish someone would f*cking prove me wrong. I appreciate the f*ck outta this piece and I sincerely hope sh*t changes at some point. Truths cannot just be one sided and I appreciate this has been called out.

G Mc
8/26/21 9:27am

This is exactly what white people can’t seem to wrap their brains around. If white people actually, legitimately tried to put themselves in the shoes of POC, it would be easier for them to accept and change. Unfortunately “the people” were too busy revising history to make them feel good. Hey but look on the bright side - the clap backs should be fun

8/26/21 9:31am

Yikes, those fools are so proud.  She smirks that “oxygen is essential” as if she’s a professional chemist who just debunked everyone.  Does she know that surgeons still breathe oxygen while they perform surgery?  She needs to go back a few grades and start over.

Ad absurdum per aspera
8/26/21 5:22pm

It certainly is essential, and if one of her (by my guess) probably unvaccinated friends or family members gets COVID after some mask-requirement-defying person exposes them to it, she will understand this on a whole new level.

grey ayanami
8/26/21 9:37am

Step 1: Utilize the repetition of double speak rhetoric making the word “white” synonymous with supremacy/racism. Deny bigotry because “Black people can’t be racist”. White people don’t shower. Whiteness is inherently problematic. White people are all mediocre. Mayonnaise.

Step 2: Talk about how bad white people are while simultaneously complaining about the media not talking about “white people” even though you’ve said thousands of times in the past that default = white.

Step 3: ...

Step 4: Profit?

8/26/21 11:40am

Interesting thing is, not that long ago, the mainstream media did exactly what you’re asking for: “racialized” white people as white to maintain a hard distinction between them and the races they considered inferior. Read a “white” newspaper from the 1920s. They made it explicitly clear that American culture and civilization wasn’t a neutral byword for “civilization” or culture as such but the specific expression of a Nordic, Christian race. The whole point of making that distinction was to avoid mongrelization of the concept of America as a catchall, universal culture rather than a proudly white one. The need to broaden American identity into a “colorless” one (or at least with its controlling ethnicity unspoken) stemmed from World War II propaganda requirements.

Do you really want to goad white people back into a conscious assertion of their distinctness? How do you think it will end? Here’s a hint: At Mein Kampf. I don’t see how you think reracializing “whiteness” will lead to less racism. It’ll lead to more, and more extreme and violent strains at that. That’s obvious. A real “racial reckoning” isn’t going to look like a town hall talk; it’s going to look like the Final Solution.

Would that be real enough for you?

8/26/21 12:04pm

Pointing out racism is racism! It makes racism worse! If you want the nazis to stop being nazis you need to hand them teddy bears!

8/26/21 4:33pm

The point is, genius, that white people are perfectly comfortable racializing any and everyone they perceive as non-white (I got othered as a teen, because, despite my white skin, when people met my mom, saw how she looked and heard her accent, they let me know, very clearly, that I wasn’t white It was utter bullsh*t, as I benefit from white privilege as much as any other white person, but that’s how my WHITE-white friends perceived me) for centuries, then get all pissy when someone tries to talk about “white people”.

8/26/21 11:21am

white people already do. Ever heard the term “othering”? Well, us whites have been othering all non-whites for generations.

Vincent Brown
8/26/21 1:56pm

And the obsession with white folks continues.

8/26/21 3:01pm

Yes how dare we obsess with the ruling class of the country that has baked their racism into every law and establishment.

Jason Tran
8/26/21 6:41pm

I think its ok some people that do not wear mask die in the process. It comes down to Darwin- those with common sense and a little brain will evolve. The ones do not like the Neanderthal will extinct.

Ad absurdum per aspera
8/26/21 7:41pm

The trouble is, it’s more like that the people without masks might kill than that they might die, and there’s a strong streak of selfishness mixed in with the ignorance and the denial.

The masks do a bit to protect the wearer, but the main part of the game there is getting vaccinated. Masks are more about keeping your potentially germ laden respiratory particles to yourself (important because presymptomatic and asymptomatic people can transmit the virus).

A higher degree of self-protection with a mask is possible, and practiced by medical professionals in clinical settings and others who are at elevated risk for one reason or another, but requires a higher grade of mask, more care about its fitment, and more intelligent and disciplined use of it than most members of the general public are willing to go through (or, knock on wood, need to go through).

True Boomer
8/27/21 11:40am

republican means reactionary, racist whites.  What do you think it means?

John Galt
8/27/21 12:10pm

Wanting smaller centralized government, fiscal responsibility, strong military posture, more individual liberty to name a few. Nice try though.

8/27/21 12:32pm


Smaller government? Is that why they take power out of local communities using state government?

Fiscal responsibility? You mean like the hundreds of millions they have thrown away ruining voting equipment?

And liberty? Lol. No. They are the ones that suppress freedom the most.

8/27/21 3:18pm

1. It’s called they only want small government when they don’t agree with the laws. Republicans have no issues stomping on “states rights” as soon as a state doesn’t do what they want.

2. Um. No not really. Between money funding their bs “audits”, lawyers and lawsuits, and replacing equipment.

As for the infrastructure bill. You do realize that almost all of that money is going to go to pay American businesses who pay their employees who spend money? Meanwhile the individual-1 tax cuts are set to cost trillions.

3. Hahahahahahaha. No they are not. Here is a simple question. Why are soooooooo many republicans white supremacists, neo nazis and bigots? Why are only republicans the ones defending statues of kkk leaders and founders? Why do republicans love confederate leaders so much?

Let's look back a few weeks ago where republicans were defending showcasing a bust of the founder of the kkk at the Tennessee capital.

True Boomer
8/27/21 8:49pm

If they want that why don’t they ever do that? $20 billion for a 400 mile border wall, which is falling down already. That's Republican fiscal responsibility.

True Boomer
8/27/21 8:53pm

They are the party of individual-1 and rudy. The party that riots in the Capital. The party in favor of children being hungry. The party that is responsible for a 1,000 dying A week because vaccines are liberal.

Offline Battle

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« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2021, 09:12:57 am »
Monday, 13th September     ~ Two Thousand & Twenty One
The Man Behind Critical Race Theory
by Jelani Cobb

The town of Harmony, Mississippi, which owes its origins to a small number of formerly enslaved Black people who bought land from former slaveholders after the Civil War, is nestled in Leake County, a perfectly square allotment in the center of the state.

According to local lore, Harmony, which was previously called Galilee, was renamed in the early nineteen-twenties, after a Black resident who had contributed money to help build the town’s school said, upon its completion, “Now let us live and work in harmony.”

This story perhaps explains why, nearly four decades later, when a white school board closed the school, it was interpreted as an attack on the heart of the Black community.

The school was one of five thousand public schools for Black children in the South that the philanthropist Julius Rosenwald funded, beginning in 1912.

Rosenwald’s foundation provided the seed money, and community members constructed the building themselves by hand.

By the sixties, many of the structures were decrepit, a reflection of the South’s ongoing disregard for Black education.

Nonetheless, the Harmony school provided its students a good education and was a point of pride in the community, which wanted it to remain open.

In 1961, the battle sparked the founding of the local chapter of the N.A.A.C.P.

That year, Winson Hudson, the chapter’s vice-president, working with local Black families, contacted various people in the civil-rights movement, and eventually spoke to Derrick Bell, a young attorney with the N.A.A.C.P. Legal Defense and Educational Fund, in New York City.

Bell later wrote, in the foreword to Hudson’s memoir, “Mississippi Harmony,” that his colleagues had been astonished to learn that her purpose was to reopen the Rosenwald school.

He said he told her, “Our crusade was not to save segregated schools, but to eliminate them.”

He added that, if people in Harmony were interested in enforcing integration, the L.D.F., as it is known, could help.

Hudson eventually accepted Bell’s offer, and in 1964 the L.D.F. won Hudson v. Leake County School Board (Winson Hudson’s school-age niece Diane was the plaintiff), which mandated that the board comply with desegregation.

Harmony’s students were enrolled in a white school in the county.

Afterward, though, Bell began to question the efficacy of both the case and the drive for integration.

Throughout the South, such rulings sparked white flight from the public schools and the creation of private “segregation academies,” which meant that Black students still attended institutions that were effectively separate.

Years later, after Hudson’s victory had become part of civil-rights history, she and Bell met at a conference and he told her, “I wonder whether I gave you the right advice.”

Hudson replied that she did, too.

Bell spent the second half of his career as an academic and, over time, he came to recognize that other decisions in landmark civil-rights cases were of limited practical impact.

He drew an unsettling conclusion: racism is so deeply rooted in the makeup of American society that it has been able to reassert itself after each successive wave of reform aimed at eliminating it.

Racism, he began to argue, is permanent.

His ideas proved foundational to a body of thought that, in the nineteen-eighties, came to be known as Critical Race Theory.

After more than a quarter of a century, there is an extensive academic field of literature cataloguing C.R.T.’s insights into the contradictions of antidiscrimination law and the complexities of legal advocacy for social justice.

For the past several months, however, conservatives have been waging war on a wide-ranging set of claims that they wrongly ascribe to critical race theory, while barely mentioning the body of scholarship behind it or even Bell’s name.

As christopher f. rufo, an activist who launched the recent crusade, said on Twitter, the goal from the start was to distort the idea into an absurdist touchstone.

“We have successfully frozen their brand—‘critical race theory’—into the public conversation and are steadily driving up negative perceptions. We will eventually turn it toxic, as we put all of the various cultural insanities under that brand category,” he wrote.

Accordingly, C.R.T. has been defined as Black-supremacist racism, false history, and the terrible apotheosis of wokeness.

Patricia Williams, one of the key scholars of the C.R.T. canon, refers to the ongoing mischaracterization as “definitional theft.”

Vinay Harpalani, a law professor at the University of New Mexico, who took a constitutional-law class that Bell taught at New York University in 2008, remembers his creating a climate of intellectual tolerance.

“There were conservative white male students who got along very well with Professor Bell, because he respected their opinion,” Harpalani told me.

“The irony of the conservative attack is that he was more respectful of conservative students and giving conservatives a voice than anyone.”

Sarah Lustbader, a public defender based in New York City who was a teaching assistant for Bell’s constitutional-law class in 2010, has a similar recollection.

“When people fear critical race theory, it stems from this idea that their children will be indoctrinated somehow. But Bell’s class was the least indoctrinated class I took in law school,” she said.

“We got the most freedom in that class to reach our own conclusions without judgment, as long as they were good-faith arguments and well argued and reasonable.”

republican lawmakers, however, have been swift to take advantage of the controversy.

In June, Governor greg abbott, of Texas, signed a bill that restricts teaching about race in the state’s public schools.

Oklahoma, Tennessee, Idaho, Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Arizona have introduced similar legislation.

But in all the outrage and reaction is an unwitting validation of the very arguments that Bell made.

Last year, after the murder of George Floyd, Americans started confronting the genealogy of racism in this country in such large numbers that the moment was referred to as a reckoning.

Bell, who passed away in 2011, at the age of eighty, would have been less focussed on the fact that white politicians responded to that reckoning by curtailing discussions of race in public schools than that they did so in conjunction with a larger effort to shore up the political structures that disadvantage African Americans.

Another irony is that C.R.T. has become a fixation of conservatives despite the fact that some of its sharpest critiques were directed at the ultimate failings of liberalism, beginning with Bell’s own early involvement with one of its most heralded achievements.

In May, 1954, when the Supreme Court struck down legally mandated racial segregation in public schools, in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, the decision was instantly recognized as a watershed in the nation’s history.

A legal team from the N.A.A.C.P. Legal Defense and Educational Fund, led by Thurgood Marshall, argued that segregation violated the equal-protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, by inflicting psychological harm on Black children.

Chief Justice Earl Warren took the unusual step of persuading the other Justices to reach a consensus, so that their ruling would carry the weight of unanimity.

In time, many came to see the decision as an opening salvo of the modern civil-rights movement, and it made Marshall one of the most recognizable lawyers in the country.

His stewardship of the case was particularly inspiring to Derrick Bell, who was then a twenty-four-year-old Air Force officer and who had developed a keen interest in matters of equality.

Bell was born in 1930 in Pittsburgh’s Hill District, the community immortalized in August Wilson’s plays, and he attended Duquesne University before enlisting.

After serving two years, he entered the University of Pittsburgh’s law school and, in 1957, was the only Black graduate in his class.

He landed a job in the newly formed civil-rights division of the Department of Justice, but when his superiors became aware that he was a member of the N.A.A.C.P. they told him that the membership constituted a conflict of interest, and that he had to resign from the organization.

In a move that would become a theme in his career, Bell quit his job rather than compromise a principle.

He began working, instead, at the Pittsburgh N.A.A.C.P., where he met Marshall, who hired him in 1960 as a staff attorney at the Legal Defense Fund.

The L.D.F. was the legal arm of the N.A.A.C.P. until 1957, when it spun off as a separate organization.

Bell arrived at a crucial moment in the L.D.F.’s history.

In 1956, two years after Brown, it successfully litigated Browder v. Gayle, the case that struck down segregation on city buses in Alabama—and handed Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Montgomery Improvement Association a victory in the yearlong boycott they had organized.

The L.D.F. launched desegregation lawsuits across the South, and Bell supervised or handled many of them.

But, when Winson Hudson contacted him, she opened a window onto the distance between the agenda of the national civil-rights organizations and the priorities of the local communities they were charged with serving.

In her memoir, she recalled a contentious exchange she had, before she contacted Bell, with a white representative of the school board.

She told him, “If you don’t bring the school back to Harmony, we will be going to your school.”

Where the L.D.F. saw integration as the objective, Hudson saw it as leverage to be used in the fight to maintain a quality Black school in her community.

The Harmony school had already become a flashpoint.

Medgar Evers, the Mississippi field secretary for the N.A.A.C.P., visited the town and assisted in organizing the local chapter.

He told members that the work they were embarking on could get them killed.

Bell, during his trips to the state, made a point of not driving himself; he knew that a wrong turn on unfamiliar roads could have fatal consequences.

He was arrested for using a whites-only phone booth in Jackson, and, upon his safe return to New York, Marshall mordantly joked that, if he got himself killed in Mississippi, the L.D.F. would use his funeral as a fund-raiser.

The dangers, however, were very real.

In June of 1963, a white supremacist shot and killed Evers in his driveway, in Jackson; he was thirty-seven years old.

In subsequent years, there was an attempted firebombing of Hudson’s home and two bombings at the home of her sister, Dovie, who was Diane Hudson’s mother and was involved in the movement.

That suffering and loss could not have eased Bell’s growing sense that his efforts had only helped create a more durable system of segregation.

Bell left the L.D.F. in 1966 for an academic career that took him first to the University of Southern California’s law school, where he directed the public-interest legal center, and then, in 1969, in the aftermath of King’s assassination, to Harvard Law School, as a lecturer.

Derek Bok, the dean of the school, promised Bell that he would be “the first but not the last” of his Black hires.

In 1971, Bok was made the president of the university, and Bell became Harvard Law’s first Black tenured professor.

He began creating courses that explored the nexus of civil rights and the law—a departure from traditional pedagogy.

In 1970, he had published a casebook titled “Race, Racism and American Law,” a pioneering examination of the unifying themes in civil-rights litigation throughout American history.

The book also contained the seeds of an idea that became a prominent element in his work: that racial progress had occurred mainly when it aligned with white interests—beginning with emancipation, which, he noted, came about as a prerequisite for saving the Union.

Between 1954 and 1968, the civil-rights movement brought about changes that were thought of as a second Reconstruction.

King’s death was a devastating loss, but hope persisted that a broader vista of possibilities for Black people and for the nation lay ahead.

Yet, within a few years, as volatile conflicts over affirmative action and school busing arose, those victories began to look less like an antidote than like a treatment for an ailment whose worst symptoms can be temporarily alleviated but which cannot be cured.

Bell was ahead of many others in reaching this conclusion.

If the civil-rights movement had been a second Reconstruction, it was worth remembering that the first one had ended in the fiery purges of the so-called Redemption era, in which slavery, though abolished by the Thirteenth Amendment, was resurrected in new forms, such as sharecropping and convict leasing.

Bell seemed to have found himself in a position akin to Thomas Paine’s: he’d been both a participant in a revolution and a witness to the events that revealed the limitations of its achievements.

Bell’s skepticism was deepened by the Supreme Court’s 1978 decision in Bakke v. University of California, which challenged affirmative action in higher education.

Allan Bakke, a white prospective medical student, was twice rejected by U.C. Davis.

He sued the regents of the University of California, arguing that he had been denied admission because of the school’s minority set-aside admissions, or quotas—and that affirmative action amounted to “reverse discrimination.”

The Supreme Court ruled that race could be considered, among other factors, for admission, and that diversifying admissions was both a compelling interest and permissible under the Constitution, but that the University of California’s explicit quota system was not.

Bakke was admitted to the school.

Bell saw in the decision the beginning of a new phase of challenges.

Diversity is not the same as redress, he argued; it could provide the appearance of equality while leaving the underlying machinery of inequality untouched.

He criticized the decision as evidence that the Court valorized a kind of default color blindness, as opposed to an intentional awareness of race and of the need to address historical wrongs.

He likely would have seen the same principle at work in the 2013 Supreme Court ruling in Shelby County v. Holder, which gutted the Voting Rights Act.

In the years surrounding the Bakke case, Bell published two articles that were considered both brilliant and heretical.

The first, “Serving Two Masters,” which appeared in March, 1976, in the Yale Law Journal, cited his own role in the Harmony case.

He wrote that the mission of groups engaged in civil-rights litigation, such as the N.A.A.C.P., represented an inherent conflict of interest.

The two masters of the title were the groups’ interests and those of their clients; what the groups wanted to achieve may not have aligned with what their clients wanted—or even needed.

The concept of an inherent conflict was crucial to Bell’s understanding of how and why the movement had played out as it did: the heights it had attained had paradoxically shown how far there still was to go and how difficult it would be to get there.

Imani Perry, a legal scholar and a professor of African American studies at Princeton, who knew Bell, told me how audacious it was at the time for Bell to “raise questions about his own role as an advocate and, perhaps, the way in which we structured civil-rights advocacy.”

Jack Greenberg, who served as the director-counsel of the L.D.F. from 1961 to 1984, depicted Bell in his memoir, “Crusaders in the Courts,” as a complex, frustrating figure, whose stringent criticism of the organization’s history and philosophy led to tensions in their own relationship.

Yet Sherrilyn Ifill, the current president and director-counsel, told me that, despite some initial consternation in civil-rights circles, Bell’s perspective eventually found purchase even among those he had criticized.

“I think most of us—especially those who long admired and were mentored by Bell—read his work as a cautionary tale for us as lawyers,” Ifill told me.

Today, she said, L.D.F. attorneys teach Bell’s work to students in New York University’s Racial Equity Strategies Clinic.

Bell eventually formulated a broader criticism of the objectives of both the movement and its lawyers. The issue of busing was particularly complicated.

Brown v. Board of Education centered on the circumstances of Linda Brown, an eight-year-old girl who lived in a mixed neighborhood in Topeka, Kansas, but was forced to travel nearly an hour to a Black school rather than attend one closer to her home, which, under the law, was reserved for white children.

During the seventies, in an attempt to put integration into practice, school districts sent Black students to better-financed white schools.

The presumption was that white parents and administrators would not underfund schools that Black children attended if white children were also students there.

In effect, it was hoped that the valuation of whiteness would be turned against itself.

But, in a reversal of Linda Brown’s situation, the white schools were generally farther away than the local schools the students would otherwise have gone to.

So the remedy effectively imposed the same burden as had been imposed on Brown, albeit with the opposite intentions.

Bell “was pessimistic about the effectiveness of busing, and at a time when a lot of people weren’t,” the scholar Patricia Williams told me.

More significant, Bell was growing doubtful about the prospect of ever achieving racial equality in the United States.

The civil-rights movement had been based on the idea that the American system could be made to live up to the democratic creed prescribed in its founding documents.

But Bell had begun to think that the system was working exactly as it was intended to—that that was why progress was invariably met with reversal.

« Last Edit: September 13, 2021, 08:36:15 pm by Battle »

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« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2021, 09:17:46 am »
Indeed, by the eighties, it was increasingly clear that the momentum to desegregate schools had stalled; a 2006 study by the Civil Rights Project, at U.C.L.A., found that many of the advances made in the first years had been erased during the nineties, and that seventy-three per cent of Black students around that time attended schools in which most students were minorities.

In Bell’s second major article of this period, “Brown v. Board of Education and the Interest-Convergence Dilemma,” published in January of 1980 in the Harvard Law Review, he lanced the perception that the societal changes of the mid-twentieth century were the result of a moral awakening among whites.

Instead, he wrote, they were a product of “interest convergence” and Cold War pragmatism.

Armed with images of American racial hypocrisy, the Soviet Union had a damning counter to American criticism of its behavior in Eastern Europe.

(As early as the 1931 Scottsboro trial, in which nine African American teen-agers were wrongfully convicted of raping two white women, the Soviets publicized examples of American racism internationally; the tactic became more common after the start of the Cold War.)

The historians Mary L. Dudziak, Carol Anderson, and Penny Von Eschen, among others, later substantiated Bell’s point, arguing that America’s racial problems were particularly disruptive to diplomatic relations with India and the African states emerging from colonialism, which were subject to pitched competition for their allegiance from the superpowers.

The civil-rights movement’s victories, Bell argued, were not a sign of moral maturation in white America but a reflection of its geopolitical pragmatism.

For people who’d been inspired by the idea of the movement as a triumph of conscience, these arguments were deeply unsettling.

In 1980, Bell left Harvard to become the dean of the University of Oregon law school, but he resigned five years later, after a search committee declined to extend the offer of a faculty position to an Asian woman when its first two choices, who were both white men, turned it down.

Harvard Law rehired Bell as a professor.

His influence had grown measurably since he began teaching; “Race, Racism and American Law,” which was largely overlooked at the time of its publication, had come to be viewed as a foundational text.

Yet during his absence from Harvard no one was assigned to teach his key class, which was based on the book.

Some students interpreted this omission as disregard for issues of race, and it gave rise to the first of two events that, in particular, led to the creation of C.R.T.

The legal scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw, who was a student at the law school at the time, told me, “We initially coalesced as students and young law professors around this course that the law school refused to teach.”

In 1982, the group organized a series of guest speakers and conducted a version of the class themselves.

At the same time, the legal academy was roiled by debates generated by a movement called critical legal studies; a group of progressive scholars, most of them white, had, beginning in the seventies, advanced the contentious idea that the law, rather than being a neutral system based on objective principles, operated to reinforce established social hierarchies.

Another group of scholars found C.L.S. both intriguing and unsatisfying: here was a tool that allowed them to articulate the methods by which the legal system shored up inequality, but in a way that was more insightful about class than it was about race.

(The “crits,” as the C.L.S. adherents were known, had not “come to terms with the particularity of race,” Crenshaw and her co-editors Neil Gotanda, Gary Peller, and Kendall Thomas later noted, in the introduction to the 1995 anthology “Critical Race Theory: The Key Writings That Formed the Movement.”)

The next defining moment in C.R.T.’s creation came in 1989, when a group that developed out of the Harvard seminars decided to hold a retreat at the University of Wisconsin, where David Trubek, a central figure in the C.L.S. movement, taught.

Casting about for a way to describe what the retreat would address, Crenshaw referred to “new developments in critical race theory.”

The name was meant to situate the group at the intersection of C.L.S. and the intractable questions of race.

Legal scholars such as Richard Delgado, Patricia Williams, Mari Matsuda, and Alan Freeman (attacks on C.R.T. have conveniently overlooked the fact that not all its founding scholars were Black) began publishing work in legal journals that furthered the discourse around race, power, and law.

Crenshaw contributed what became one of the best-known elements of C.R.T. in 1989, when she published an article in the University of Chicago Legal Forum titled “Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics.”

Her central argument, about “intersectionality”—the way in which people who belong to more than one marginalized community can be overlooked by antidiscrimination law—was a distillation of the kinds of problems that C.R.T. addressed.

These were problems that could not have been seen clearly unless there had been a civil-rights movement, but for which liberalism had no ready answer because, in large part, it had never really considered them.

Her ideas about intersectionality as a legal blind spot now regularly feature in analyses not only of public policy but of literature, sociology, and history.

As C.R.T. began to take shape, Bell became more deeply involved in an ongoing push to diversify the Harvard law-school faculty.

In 1990, he announced that he would take an unpaid leave to protest the fact that Harvard Law had never granted tenure to a Black woman.

Since Bell’s hiring, almost twenty years earlier, a few other Black men had joined the faculty, including Randall Kennedy and Charles Ogletree, in 1984 and 1989.

But Bell, cajoled by younger feminist legal scholars, Crenshaw among them, came to recognize the unique burdens that went with being both Black and female.

That April, Bell spoke at a rally on campus, where he was introduced by the twenty-eight-year-old president of the Harvard Law Review, Barack Obama.

In his comments, Obama said that Bell’s “scholarship has opened up new vistas and new horizons and changed the standards of what legal writing is about.”

Bell told the crowd, “To be candid, I cannot afford a year or more without my law-school salary. But I cannot continue to urge students to take risks for what they believe if I do not practice my own precepts.”

In 1991, Bell accepted a visiting professorship at the N.Y.U. law school, extended by John Sexton, the dean and a former student of Bell’s.

Harvard did not hire a Black woman and, in the third year of his protest, Bell refused to return, ending his tenure at the university.

In 1998, Lani Guinier became the first woman of color to be given tenure at the law school.

Bell remained a visiting professor at N.Y.U. for the rest of his life, declining offers to become a tenured member of the faculty.

He continued to speak and write on subjects relating to law and race, and some of his most important work during this period came in an unorthodox form.

In the eighties, he had begun to write fiction and, in 1992, he published a collection of short stories, called “Faces at the Bottom of the Well.”

A Black female lawyer named Geneva Crenshaw, the protagonist of many of the stories, serves as Bell’s alter ego.

(Bell later told Kimberlé Crenshaw that he had “borrowed” her surname for the character, who was a composite of Black women lawyers who had influenced his thinking.)

Kirkus Reviews noted that, despite some “lackluster writing,” the stories offered “insight into the rage, frustration, and yearning of being black in America.”

The Times described the collection as “Jonathan Swift come to law school.”

But the book’s subtitle, “The Permanence of Racism,” garnered nearly as much attention as its literary merits.

The collection includes “The Space Traders,” Bell’s best-known piece of fiction.

In the story, extraterrestrials land in the United States and make an offer: they will reverse the severe damage the nation has done to the environment, provide it with a clean energy source, and give it enough gold to resurrect the economy, which has been ruined by policies favoring the rich.

In exchange, the aliens want the government to turn every Black person in the country over to them.

A consensus emerges that the Administration should take the deal, on the ground that mandating that Black people leave is not all that different from drafting them to go to war.

Whites largely support the measure.

Jewish groups oppose it, as an echo of Nazism, but they are silenced when a tide of anti-Semitism sweeps the nation.

A corporate coalition opposes the trade, because Black people make up so much of the consumer market.

Businesses that supply law enforcement and the prison industry oppose it, too, recognizing the impact that the disappearance would have on their bottom line.

A Black member of the Administration decides that the only way to get white people to veto the proposal is to convince them that leaving with the aliens would be an entitlement that undeserving Blacks would achieve at their expense; his plan fails.

The story ends with twenty million African Americans, arms linked by chains, preparing to leave “the New World as their forebears had arrived.”

The narrative is bleak, but it offers a trenchant commentary on the frailty of Black citizenship and the tentative nature of inclusion, and it echoes a theme of Bell’s earlier work—that Black rights have been held hostage to white self-interest.

The late critic and essayist Stanley Crouch told me in 1997 about a panel he appeared on with Bell, in which he’d criticized Bell’s dire forecasts.

“He was clean. I’m looking at this beautiful chalk-gray suit he had on that cost about twelve hundred dollars, ” Crouch told me.

“I said to myself, ‘There’s something wrong with this.’

For me having been involved with Friends of sncc and core thirty-five years ago, we’d be talking with guys from Mississippi back then who weren’t as pessimistic.”

He added, “To hear that from him was the height of irresponsibility.”

In an essay titled “Dumb Bell Blues,” Crouch wrote that Bell’s theory of interest convergence undermined the importance of Black achievements in transforming American society.

Whereas he regarded Bell’s view as pessimism, to Bell it was hard-won realism.

Imani Perry told me,

“Even as he had a kind of skepticism about the prospect that racism would end, or that you’d get a just judicial order, he was still thinking about how you move the society, what will move, and what will be much harder to move.”

Part of Bell’s intent was simply to establish expectations.

Crenshaw mentioned to me “Silent Covenants,” a book on the legacy of Brown, which Bell published in 2004.

In it, he describes a 2002 ceremony at Yale, at which Judge L. Robert Carter was awarded an honorary degree.

When the university’s president noted that Carter had been one of the attorneys who argued Brown, the crowd leaped to its feet in an ovation, which prompted Bell to wonder,

“How could a decision that promised so much and, by its terms, accomplished so little have gained so hallowed a place among some of the nation’s better-educated and most-successful individuals?”

“Silent Covenants” also features an alternative ruling in Brown.

In this version, which was clearly informed by Bell’s reconsideration of Hudson v. Leake County, the Court holds that enforcing integration would spark such discord that it would likely fail, so the Justices issue a mandate to make Black and white schools equal, and create a board of oversight to insure that school districts comply.

Bell says in the book that he wrote the ruling when a friend asked him whether the Court could have framed its decision “differently from, and better than” the one it chose to hand down.

His response is a rebuke to the Warren Court’s ruling and also, implicitly, to the position taken by the man who gave Bell his job as an L.D.F. attorney—Thurgood Marshall, who had overseen the plaintiff’s suit and sought integration as a remedy.

Yet, Crenshaw said, “at the end of the day, if Bell had been on the Court, would he have written that opinion? Well, I highly doubt it.”

As she told me, “A lot of what Derrick would do would be intentionally provocative.”

The 2008 election of Barack Obama to the Presidency, which inherently represented a validation of the civil-rights movement, seemed like a refutation of Bell’s arguments.

I knew Bell casually by that point—in 2001, I had interviewed him for an article on the L.D.F.’s legacy, and we had kept in touch.

In August of 2008, during an e-mail exchange about James Baldwin’s birthday, our discussion turned to Obama’s campaign.

He suggested that Baldwin might have found the Senator too reticent and too moderate on matters of race.

Bell himself was not much more encouraged.

He wrote,

“We can recognize this campaign as a significant moment like the civil rights protests, the 1963 March for Jobs and Justice in D.C., the Brown decision, so many more great moments that in retrospect promised much and, in the end, signified nothing except that the hostility and alienation toward black people continues in forms that frustrate thoughtful blacks and place the country ever closer to its premature demise.”

I was struck by his ominous outlook, especially since someone Bell knew personally, and who had taught his work at the University of Chicago, stood to become the first Black President.

I thought that his skepticism had turned into fatalism.

But, a decade later, during the most reactionary moments of the individual-1 era, Bell’s words seemed clarifying.

On January 6th of this year, as a mob stormed the Capitol in an attempt to overturn a Presidential election, the words seemed nearly prophetic.

It would not have surprised Bell that Obama’s election and the strength of the Black electorate that helped him win are central factors in the current tide of white nationalism and voter suppression.

Bell did not live to see the election of individual-1, but, as his mention of the nation’s “premature demise” suggests, he clearly understood that a moron like him could come to power.

Still, the current attacks on critical race theory have arrived decades too late to prevent its core tenets from entering the legal canon.

The cohort of young legal scholars that Bell influenced went on to important positions in the academy, and many of them, including Crenshaw, Williams, Matsuda, and Cheryl Harris, have influenced subsequent generations of thinkers themselves.

People who looked at the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and others and concluded that they were not anomalies but evidence that the system was functioning as it was designed to, were articulating the conclusion that Bell had drawn decades earlier.

“The gap between words and reality in the American project—that is what critical race theory is, where it lies,” Perry told me.

The gap persists and, consequently, Bell’s perspective retains its relevance.

Even after his passing, it has been far easier to disagree with him than to prove him wrong.

Vinay Harpalani told me, “Someone asked him once, ‘What do you say about critical race theory?’ ”

Bell first replied, “I don’t know what that is,” but then offered,

“To me, it means telling the truth, even in the face of criticism.”

Harpalani added,

“He was just telling his story. He was telling his truth, and that’s what he wanted everyone to do. So, as far as Derrick Bell goes, that’s probably what I think is important.”

« Last Edit: September 13, 2021, 12:25:47 pm by Battle »