Despite poetic mantras championing the American Dream and romanticized ideas of equality regarding race, gender and sexuality -- laws were not instituted to protect or factor morality.
My name is Rachel, and I'm white. I've benefited from white privilege my entire life, most of the time without knowing it. When I became a mom, things changed for me, dramatically. My husband and I decided that we could be great parents to a child of any race.
I realized as the tears ran down my face that I had adopted a stoic stance about these things; all week I hadn't allowed myself to feel the sadness of what Freddie Gray, his family and Black Baltimoreans, young and old had suffered.
That things haven't gone deeper into the constant fear and violence that permeated the decade of the 1960s is a testament to the grassroots organizing that takes place around this country, in ever urban, suburban and rural area.
HBCUs offer opportunity where none typically exists for students and families seeking higher education. If black institutions don't matter, it won't be long before the black lives they were designed to serve also fall into the abyss of perceived irrelevance.
In the past year or so, there has been a tendency for white people opposed to any outcry against police brutality and ongoing racial discrimination to invoke MLK's words about the content of character being the yardstick to judge a man instead of skin color.
If one examines the Pew Research Center's recent statistical portrait of black immigrants one notices a curious finding. Black immigrants have a median household income of $43,800, but overall immigrants have a median income 9.6 percent higher.
Is there even any value in my pain, frustration or trying to use my voice? Is there any point in trying to engage my fellow American in dialogue that can bring about awareness? Should I even waste my breath trying to explain to you why Black people are sick and tired of being sick and tired?
Xtatic is a trailblazer when it comes to African emcees, becoming the first Kenyan artist signed to a multi-album/publishing deal with a major label, Sony. She took the continent by storm. Then she went silent.
Our nation owes a great debt to the young persons and older adults who protested against acts of actual or perceived police misconduct in Baltimore, Maryland; Staten Island, New York; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Ferguson, Missouri; Cleveland, Ohio; North Charleston, South Carolina; and other cities around the country. They are the moral conscience of our nation.
The young people of Baltimore are human beings. They are not thugs. They are not leeches on society. They have hopes and dreams. People in Baltimore -- all of them -- are real, live human beings, with real blood flowing through their veins, who are all important to someone and loved by someone.
Like so many African American men before him in this country, Gray was guilty of nothing other than "walking while black." In his case, Baltimore's sordid history of racial and class oppression, combined with the war on drugs, made for a deadly combination.
We should not have to take to the streets every time a Black person is killed by police. Demanding accountability for individual injustices is very important. But we also need to use our voices and our power to change the systemic, structural inequality that will continue to result in police violence and abuse against Black people.
In the jazz-laden track, the woman represents the pressures and expectations that white America places on the black man. It's an ill-favored conflation of the relationship between black men and black women -- suggesting that in America, black men suffer an oppression that black women routinely serve to augment.
During my childhood I was aware that I was different in color from the majority of people around me, but my father and mother emphasized brainpower, not color. Color was what you were, but not using your brain was a choice.
'Why?' It's the most useful one word sentence in the English language. It's how we begin the search for causes, for understanding, for truth. We have to figure out why something happened before we can figure out how to make change going forward.
The curfew has been lifted in Baltimore. But the poverty remains, and so does the death and injury it brings. Structural violence is the deepest and deadliest form of violence in our country, and it is a byproduct of inequality. Until it is addressed, simmering tensions may continue to erupt into open conflicts like Baltimore's -- or worse.
Socialized into a deeply internalized sense of superiority and entitlement that we are either not consciously aware of or can never admit to ourselves, white people become highly fragile in conversations about race."Getting it" when it comes to race and racism challenges our very identities as good white people.
Pew Research is just discovering something: Black people are not all the same. This is a truth that the Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI) has been living for the nearly decade of its existence. And it is a truth that Black people have known for generations.
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