This student’s message about white privilege is NOT the most important thing you’ll read today

 

The most important words in this were not written by Jenny Lundt but by Sahil Gadhavi:
“[W]here is this response when you see black men being incarcerated everyday while white men walk free for the same crimes or more? Where is this overpouring of attention when black children are being shot by the police everyday, while your own white children are being raised in the ignorance afforded by their skin? Where is this praise when black activists march up and down the city squares all over the country screaming “Black lives matter” and all they hear back is All lives matter.”
Until that question is answered, this reads too much like Trump’s coining of the phrase, “prime the pump”. He believes he coined the phrase because he has never come across it before because of his willful intellectual ignorance. Ms. Lundt is correct that this is about privilege. The privilege to ignore a subject until you decide to address it and then to treat it as if it sprang full blown from your forehead like Athena bursting out of Zeus’ dome. Your creation. Your insight.
And that insight has been analyzed and passed around and added to. All because a nice, upper class White woman decided it was worth her notice. Just notice. No action beyond her admission. Just notice. Meanwhile, marginalized people EVERYWHERE continue to suffer due to inaction of the privileged. The privileged who are the only people that can solve these issues.
Excuse me, if I don’t join the parade. If you can’t answer Mr. Gadhavi’s questions with a “Right here”, you, like Ms. Lundt, are the real problem.
(Hat tip to John Belt)
– Eliot

Students boo Trump’s education secretary Betsy DeVos – BBC News

 

US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos faces thunderous boos from students as she gives the graduation address at historically black Bethune-Cookman University in Florida.

Source: Students boo Trump’s education secretary Betsy DeVos – BBC News

I don’t have a problem with Betsy DeVos in this. She was asked to speak. So she spoke. However, I do have a HUGE problem with the Chancellor standing next to her in the Dumbledore costume.
How dare he stand in front of people that have just spent over $100,000 buying his product and speak to them like they are toddlers? You are going to mail them their degrees if they don’t stop acting like adults?!? If they don’t sit down and shut up? Seriously?
This is an ongoing issue. We older Black folks need to stop feeling that we can speak to younger Black ADULTS as if they are children. It perpetuates the historical American view of Blacks as not people but just overgrown “children”. It perpetuates that view because it is a direct product of that view. Too many older Black folks do believe that Blacks are just overgrown children that need to be handled as such. Told what to do. Threatened. Yelled at. Never treated as the fully equal adults that they are. Not ever.
Stop it.
Bethune-Cookman should issue an apology to their students. And the Chancellor should resign.
It isn’t the kids that need to grow up. It’s us.

Trump suggests financing for historically black colleges may be unconstitutional – POLITICO

I wonder if the group of Black “clergy” that gathered for KellyAnne Conway to take a picture of them with President Trump are happy with the payment in full they just received from President Trump? I’m not a big believer in “race” but I am a big believer in “racists” and “racism”. I’m also a big believer in “colorblindness”.

In a signing statement on the $1.1 trillion omnibus government spending bill, Trump singled out the Historically Black College and University Capital Financing Program as an example of provisions in the funding bill “that allocate benefits on the basis of race, ethnicity, and gender.”

Source: Trump suggests financing for historically black colleges may be unconstitutional – POLITICO

Donald Trump is colorblind when it comes to race. Completely and totally colorblind. Which is why Donald Trump is a racist. His colorblindness allows him to ignore the very real disparities in our society based on an individual’s “racial orientation” which is more commonly referred to as “race”. That ignorance causes him to perpetuate those disparities by simply ignoring their existence and their reliance on racial orientation as the determining factor.

Many of my friends are colorblind. They proudly proclaim it. And, like President Trump, they are racist and practice racism. They believe they don’t because they NEVER (almost never) use the “N” word. I’d rather they scream NIGGER from the tallest mountain than continue to be colorblind.

In America, colorblindness kills.

Every day.

– Eliot

 

 

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Centers a White Woman’s Gaze on a Black Family According to a Black Woman…Huh?

Shannon M. Houston‘s review of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks makes me want to see a movie that I would otherwise avoid. I’m not an Oprah Winfrey fan. I find her lacking in genuineness. She always seems to be in promotion mode and that irks me.  Of course, that is why she is successful. She never misses an opportunity to push the Oprah brand. I always see that when I look at her and it makes the suspension of belief necessary to watch an actor impossible. And, don’t get me started on her need to one up tragedy.

Ms. Houston’s review is predictable. It complains that this movie tells a Black story from a White perspective. Oddly, her final thought is that you should see the movie because it puts facts into the public mind that need to be there. I’m wondering whether she is saying that the perspective didn’t matter OR the perspective was correct OR the message was just that important OR she was implicitly admitting her entire hypothesis was bullshit.

The only way to find out is to see the movie. So, I will. The bonus is that I’ll learn something about a person that everyone should thank on a daily basis.

– Eliot

In HBO’s made-for-TV movie, starring Rose Byrne and Oprah Winfrey, the extraordinary story of Henrietta Lacks doesn’t get the treatment it deserves.

Source: We’ve Been Bamboozled: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Centers a White Woman’s Gaze on a Black Family :: TV :: Reviews :: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks :: Paste

Rick Wilson Is My Hero

https://vid.me/e/ymnt?stats=1

For some reason, I saw this. Bill Mahrer was on my television and I saw this. I even ran the TV back to watch Wilson say it again. Insisted that Lisa stop doing what she was doing so she could witness the sheer beauty of this moment.
 
Watching Tomi Lahren spend the entire segment trying to bait someone into an argument of one of her pet dogwhistle issues AND seeing everyone ignore her every time would have been worth suffering through Bill Mahrer.
 
But Rick Wilson’s jumping in – excusing himself, and jumping in – to point out the lunacy of Lahren’s statement? A statement so insane he could only call it “F*cking crazy”?
 
That made it even worth having to suffer Michael Eric Dyson’s bad Jesse Jackson impersonation.
 
Very much worth it.
– Eliot

White Students Hold ‘Trump’ Sign, Turn Backs On Black Basketball Team | The Huffington Post

The Missouri school district has apologized.

Source: White Students Hold ‘Trump’ Sign, Turn Backs On Black Basketball Team | The Huffington Post

Not sure how I feel about this. I don’t think it bothers me very much and it seems like a lot to do about nothing. At Widefield High School, a majority White school, in the 1970s our crowd was known for doing things to rattle the other team. As far as I know, they started the whole “reading a newspaper during introductions” thing.  Was it unsportsmanlike? Nope. Was it rude? Absolutely. Was it racist? Nope.

There is true racism in today’s America. It was put on display for the entire world to see by the election of Donald Trump. (Hold your outrage. You and I both know it’s true. The only  difference is I don’t have to pretend it’s not in some desperate attempt to save my own morality.) This, however, is not it.

I AM A MAN!

February 12, 1968, Memphis sanitation workers went on strike to protest, among other things, the death of two of their fellow workers due to unsafe working conditions. The Memphis mayor refused to negotiate. He saw no reason for concern over the condition under which “Negroes” worked and, besides, the strikers would be back as soon as the money ran out.

His cavalier and uncaring attitude raised a simple question in the men’s minds: Am I not a man? This same question had been used by abolitionists in an attempt to shame “Christian” men and women into realizing that Slaves were humans. Just as they were. And beholding to the same God and due the same rights. Eventually, a war was fought to settle that question from a legal standpoint. Blacks were men UNDER THE LAW.

 

 

Now, we find ourselves suddenly realizing that UNDER THE LAW means nothing if it isn’t recognized by the people. Virtually all Americans pay lip service to the truth that Black men are indeed men but many through their actions and the law demonstrate that it is, indeed, only lip service. It is time once again to let them now that we are men. Let them know that “I AM A MAN”That is the simple fact. And as a man in this country I have certain rights which I will insist are recognized and honored. All because I AM A MAN.

There was a time when Black men who wanted to be recognized as men had to stand up and declare it. And they did. Loudly and proudly.

They let the world know they were men by simply carrying a sign that declared “I AM A MAN” and not letting anyone forget it. Today, we find ourselves in the same situation. Black men are no longer seen as men. They are seen as criminals and thugs. They are, to quote the Governor of Maine, “the enemy” as far as much of America is concerned.

To fight back, we’ve designed a shirt to tell the world you have had enough. That you are a descendant of those men that carried a sign declaring their manhood. They were beaten, attacked by dogs, jailed, and even killed for taking this stand. Take your own stand and help others at the same time.

Purchase one of our I AM A MAN (Say it again) t-shirts. You don’t have to be Black or White or Brown or Red or Yellow to wear it. You don’t have to be Straight or Gay or Bi or Trans. You don’t have to be Anglo or Latino. You don’t have to be Native-born or Immigrant.

You don’t even have to be a man.

You simply have to be willing to say “I will have my rights AND YOU WILL NOT STOP ME!” They come in the original red letters on white background and a more impactful and modern white letters on black background.

 

redwhiteiamamanwhiteblackiamaman

Our shirts pay homage to those brave souls who carried that simple sign. Those men that said “I AM A MAN”. By wearing this shirt you’ll continue the message. You’ll be doing your part to fight the prejudice and bigotry so many face every day. You’ll be saying that without a doubt that now and forever “I AM A MAN”.
Get one for yourself and some for the men in your life. Just Click on the shirt you want and follow directions.
50% of all profits will be going directly to the ACLU. I’m pretty sure they’ll need the money over the next few years. The other 50% will go to keeping The RiverHouse Chronicles on-line.  Thanks loads and if you feel like sharing this EVERYWHERE…it couldn’t hurt.
– Eliot

What Happened? Why Trump?

If I see one more liberal in a hair shirt flinging ashes around and wailing about their lack of familiarity with real (read that “White”) working class America, I’m going to retch. “I don’t know any Trump voters and that’s the real problem.” says Nikolas Kristoff. Well, Mr. Kristoff, I know loads of Trump voters. That’s not your problem. It isn’t familiarity with the Trump voters. Its willful ignorance of their motivation.
Its the fear that somehow you will be tainted by their barbarity because you share a skin color. A race. Welcome to how the world feels to every Black man who has watched the evening news. Or Muslim that hears the words “active shooter.”
 
People voted for Trump for reasons much baser than the last few days of tortured analysis claim. I expected that analysis to occur. And I expect it to take months, if not years. However, I was not surprised by any of the Trump voters that I know. I see no reason for a protracted analysis.
Everyone that I assumed was going to vote for Trump, voted for Trump.
 
And I didn’t base my assumptions on any of the reasons being bandied about on television. I just took 57 years of living as an American into account and assumed that Americans would play to type.
 
Works every time.
 
And now, good Democrats will reconfigure their party based on the flawed analysis that this was anything more than the primal scream of a country still deeply stratified by a caste system we just can’t seem to get rid of. The blinders that keep the Democrats from realizing there are multiple strata at work here. It’s the resistance to movement within any of those strata that causes social tension. Social tension causes people to lash out against other tribes. So who are the others?
It’s not just race or sex or sexual orientation or gender or nationality or ethnicity or religion or color or ableness or anything else. It’s all of those things. It’s strata within strata.
 
We can fix this only if we see it that way. If we see that limiting a human being based on anything over which they do not have control is wrong. And won’t be tolerated. Once that is established, everything else falls into place. But that is hard work. It is something that humankind has never been able to do.
 
Will that change now?
– Eliot

Trump’s ‘Christian soldier’: ‘Your skin color will be your uniform’

Source: Trump’s rhetoric excites ‘Christian soldier’ for civil war: ‘Your skin color will be your uniform’

 

Somehow in all of the confusion of the election, we’ve turned it from a political contest into a religious war. There was a time when the election was a contest of ideas between political parties. Those ideas were based on theories and beliefs that, while different, were always understood to be the proponents best attempt to move the country forward. As such, they deserved the respect of a hearing.

Unfortunately, people started believing those ideas were more than they were. That they weren’t the result of human thought and discussion. That they didn’t come from people trying to figure out better ways to live together. People started believing that those ideas were handed down by God. And, since that was the case, those ideas were perfect. The people that created them were perfect. The ideas were never to be questioned. Or improved. Or removed. They were law. God’s law.

There are several problems with this belief. The first of which is that it is simply wrong. It has no basis in reality. It is a loathsome fantasy designed to gain power by those who created it AND to maintain power by those who promote it.

The second is that a law requires enforcement. Now for the danger. There is no enforcement mechanism so you run the danger of having the adherents to this false religion taking it upon themselves to enforce their God’s law. And it must be enforced because IT IS GOD’S LAW. Perfect and infallible. Just. And they do.

The same slackjawed idiots that fall for the scam Trump and his ilk are pulling on them. They use a perversion of the 2nd Amendment and add it to the central tenets of their mad religion. Some going so far as to claim Jesus the Christ as the patron saint of the AR despite the evidence of all the red words in the Bible. They gather the Holy AR and go forth to enforce God’s Law:

If you’re White, you’re all right.

They know they are in the right because Trump tells them that the election is rigged. He has no proof. But they believe him because if it isn’t rigged that means that most Americans disagree with them. Disagree with the hate. Disagree with the racism. Disagree with the sexism. Disagree with the homophobia. Disagree with the religious bigotry.

Disagree with their God.

And their God – like the God of the Old Testament – is a vain and jealous God. He suffers no amount of being ignored. His followers, the good, righteous, WHITE soldiers of the Lord are ready to fight for him. To put the unbelievers and the race traitors and the mud people all in their place. Not because of racism. Or sexism. Or homophobia. Nope. Because it’s what their God wants. He is God, after all.

The mistake we make is pretending this isn’t the case. We believe that because they’ve appropriated some of the trappings of true Christianity, that they are Christians but just confused. That they worship the same God that we do. But they aren’t. They don’t. They aren’t Christians. They don’t worship our God. They are Christianists and they are evil. They worship the religion Christianity as defined by them. In their bastardized religion, Christ is accepted as a symbol of Christianity but His words hold no more sway than anyone else’s. Less if you count the teachings of the Christianist tradition handed down from preacher to preacher, from priest to priest, from minister to minister. His words are only valid if they support the prejudices of the Christianists. When they don’t, He is ignored. Or marginialized.

Christianists are inherently violent and dangerous. We would do well not to ignore the danger they pose AFTER the election. Their brethren in the Middle East, Daesh, have shown us just how much damage can be wrought by religious zealots that worship men. Are we ready to fight off a Christianist Jihad?

– Eliot