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Ignorance

A Legacy of Hate


By Sevgi Fernandez 

No longer are the threats thinly veiled
No longer is your judgement of our little boys and girls spoon fed to us with a sprinkling of sugar to mask the coal that you plant in our hearts

The coal that with time and proper feeding seeps slowly through our beings raping us of hopes, dreams, pride and future

You have come full circle now

Openly feeding the currents of ignorance 

Nourishing the streams of fear, spawning a new generation of creatures who embrace inhumanity, who would sooner claw out their eyes than truly open them

“Let’s make America great again!” your rally cry as you latch on to the desperate 

As you leech any morsel of decency from the masses of drones who blindly follow

Your alternative facts, a glimpse into the alternate reality that is the 1%

Your past immigrant 

Your present dictator

Your future, a legacy of hate

……………

Please join our organization Together We Stand a nonprofit dedicated to dismantling racism, discrimination and police brutality nationwide, through Advocacy, Education and Legislation 

Togetherwestand.nationbuilder.com

Facebook/Twitter/Instagram @TWSrevolution

#TogetherWeStand

#TheRevolutionIsHere

“What are YOU?” Black, White, Other?

By Sevgi Fernandez 

 

“What are you?”

The question that’s been on repeat since I burst into this world

A little caramel girl who would grow up with the weight of two worlds

“What are you?”

I’m LOST between two worlds at war with one another

I’m lost between two worlds that made me, yet neither will claim me

 If I listen to you………

I’m too light, 

like I’ve blinded u with my high yellow ass

I’m too dark, 

like the pit of your soul

I must be uneducated, unemployed, and unloved

I must be stuck up, a sell out and all the above

If I listen to you I,”talk like a white girl”
Yet my “white girl speech” doesn’t erase the melanin in my skin 

What are u?

Mexican, Puerto Rican, Hawaiian?

I must be black….no I must be white….no no that’s right,

I’m other.

I’m so tired of the labels

I’m so tired of you trying to find out what I am so you can decide whether I’m worth your respect

What am I?

I’m a mother…a daughter… .a sister….

What am I? 

I am done with the labels, the stereotypes, the games

No longer will my self worth be determined by your shame 

I am the bridge between two worlds 

Not black….white…..other

But

Black….White……Together 

I am Found, no longer bound by the fear and ignorance that surrounds 

No longer will I take the bait to hate myself because u fear what I am and what I will become

I am found

I am found



Image source 

http://www.kennyonline.net


Segregation 2015

   

By Sevgi Fernandez

As I look at the state of our country and the racial divide I can’t say I’m surprised. In fact, although formal segregation hasn’t been at play in many years, racism has never left and it plays out in our schools everyday.

With the majority of students in k-12 public schools being of color and the majority of the teachers in these schools being white, the racial biases the teachers hold are cause for great concern. Aside from parents, one could argue that teachers are the next most influential people in our children’s lives. They lay the foundation for how our young people view education and what they are capable of becoming in the future. They are pivotal in how far reaching our children’s dreams will be.  

Institutional racism is a pervasive machine that begins to work on a child’s sense of self worth the moment they begin school. It’s a machine that’s been well oiled and perfected over the years.  With knowledge comes power and one need only look at the history of racial oppression in this country to see why the white dominant society would want to create and perpetuate a system that makes getting a quality education equal to that of their own extremely difficult to attain for people of color.  

“So while our education system is highly problematic—it is neither fair nor equal—it’s not broken. It does exactly what it was deliberately built to do.” C. Royal

If we look back at the history of education in the U.S., we can clearly see how the systematic approach to keep people of color uneducated began.

  
“Most White Southern slaveholders were adamantly opposed to the education of their slaves because they feared an educated slave population would threaten their authority.”H.A. Williams, 2005

Although many slaves and free Africans found ways to self teach and there were whites who aided them in their education, there was a significant amount of time in which there were few schools available to them.
In the 1600-1700’s there was a steady increase in schools and educational options for blacks yet by the early 1800’s leading up to the imancipation proclamation, many southern states outlawed the education of blacks both free and slaves. These laws had steep penalties for anyone caught aiding in the education of blacks as well.

In the interest of keeping this an article and not having it turn into a book, I’m go to skip around a bit. So let’s fast forward to 1954 and Brown vs The Board of Education. On May 17, the U.S. Supreme Court outlawed racial segregation in schools. Did that change things? Yes, absolutely. Unfortunately the statistics aren’t all one would have hoped. 

 

 
It’s telling that we live in a country where it took a Supreme Court order to desegregate our schools. What’s even more abhorrent is the fact that since over 200 school districts (mostly in the south) were released from this court order, many quickly returned to their segregated ways.    


“But while segregation as it is practiced today may be different than it was 60 years ago, it is no less pernicious: in Tuscaloosa and elsewhere, it involves the removal and isolation of poor black and Latino students, in particular, from everyone else. In Tuscaloosa today, nearly one in three black students attends a school that looks as if Brown v. Board of Education never happened.” (N.H. Jones)

The effects of this systematic racism are apparent in the African American community across the country, wherever you look. It’s in the hopelessness of our youth, in the violence within our communities and at the hands of the police. It’s in the educational system that is set up to fail our kids and the healthcare system that is either unattainable or so discriminatory many fear ever seeking out the care they need.  Rather than educating and nourishing the minds of our young people of color, the system is feeding the school to prison pipeline .

“Young Black men — across the board — score below their counterparts in other racial and ethnic groups when it comes to graduation rates, literacy rates and college preparedness. And many African American men, in turn, are virtually locked out of employment and are filling up the nation’s prisons in disproportionate numbers.” (J. Daniels)  
  

“Nearly 75 percent of imprisonment spending happens at the state level, where dollars are drawn from a general fund that is meant to pay for a range of public needs, including health care, housing, public assistance, and education.” S. Hawkins

 So when people wonder what all the protests are about, what black people are so upset about, just open your eyes!!!! Why are our youth rioting??!!! It’s not just about police brutality, it goes much deeper.  Look at the reality these young people face everyday. Poor quality education, teachers who don’t understand them culturally, who don’t believe in them, who tell them what they cannot be.  

“When black teachers and white teachers are asked to sum up black high school students’ potential, white teachers are much less likely to see black students as college material. And that’s true even when they’re discussing the same students.” L. Nelson

They face a school system that has been designed for whites to excel. A system that is funneling our children of color into prisons at epic proportions.  A curriculum that is culturally irrelevant to a huge percentage of those it’s there to teach. A system that is funneling money into prisons while subsequently starving the programs that could keep our kids out of prison. They are insuring the continuance of the cycles of poverty, illiteracy and hopelessness. 
This system is purposeful. There have been plenty of studies that have examined why the system is failing African American children and plenty that have offered solutions, yet here we are.

For example, the “No Child Left Behind” law that instituted mandatory testing with the purpose of accountability, has failed miserably. The number of African American drop outs increased by 10% in its first 10 years. One study shows only 50% of the nations girls of African American, Hispanic, and Native American descent are actually graduating high school. The statistics for boys are much lower.                   W.B. Harvey 

Why?

  1. The curriculum is designed by whites for whites.
  2. The testing is based on this curriculum and once again was designed by whites for whites.
  3. Schools are concerned with test scores only, not the child, not the education
  4. Most of our urban public schools are non-white and subsequently underfunded
  5. Many African American children are misinterpreted and mislabeled due to racial stereotyping 
  6. These children feel the effects of this stereotyping and begin to feel dumb because they are labeled dumb

If we examine this list, we can see why our African American youth are in the state they are in.  I was fortunate to sit on the thesis committee of an incredible educator, Chilufiya Safaa, she summed up what these children are facing with heart piercing accuracy:

The children act out; they take on the labels of being dumb or trouble. They then become vulnerable to the streets, jail, and death.  They start fighting each other rather than fighting against the stereotypes and the system which is oppressing them.  It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

Wake up folks. We are steadily heading backwards. Racism and segregation are very real and our young and vulnerable are faced with it everyday. We can’t just complain, or close our eyes and pretend it doesn’t exist. It takes critical thinking and community action. What can you commit to do in your community to address these issues and bring about change? If you don’t know here are some places to start:

  
Sources:

  1. Tavis Smiley Reports. EPISODE 5: Too Important to Fail.  Fact Sheet: Outcomes for Young, Black Men.  Tamika Thompson
  2. SELF-TAUGHT, African American Education in Slavery and Freedom. HEATHER ANDREA WILLIAMS. CHAPEL HILL: UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS, 2005. 
  3. http://www.nationalcenter.org/brown.html
  4. The Impact of the Brown v. Board of Education Decision on Postsecondary Participation of African Americans. William B. Harvey, Adia M. Harvey and Mark King. The Journal of Negro Education,Vol. 73, No. 3, Special Issue: Brown v. Board of Education at 50 (Summer, 2004), pp. 328-340
  5. http://m.ourweekly.com/news/2013/oct/03/whats-african-american-literacy-rates/. What’s up with African American literacy rates?Story by David L. Horne, PH.D. 10/3/2013
  6. Racism in K-12 Public Schools: Education Series July 12, 2011,       JessieDaniels,racismhttp://www.racismreview.com/blog/2011/07/12/racism-k-12/
  7. Racism in the classroom: the “soft bigotry of low expectations” is just regular bigotry.  Libby Nelson, August 19, 2015, @libbyanelson libby@vox.com
  8. Nikole Hannah-Jones, ProPublica, April 16, 2014, 11 p.m.
  9. http://m.prospect.org/article/education-vs-incarceration. Steven Hawkins
  10. http://magazine.good.is/articles/our-education-system-isn-t-broken-it-s-designed-to-create-winners-and-losers. Our Education System Isn’t Broken, It’s Designed to Create Winners and Losers. Camika Royal.

Trump’s Civil War

  
By Sevgi Fernandez

Civil War! We’ve been in one! Race war! It’s been here! We are going to all have to engage in this fight in order for it to end. It WILL get worse before it gets better. They are fearful, they know they have already lost and they will do anything to hold on. The United States is no longer a nation that will be run by the racist white elite. The civil rights movement began what our revolution will finish! We cannot do it divided. We must come together, it can’t just be about individual communities. Natives, Muslims, Immigrants, Blacks, Asians, Christians, LGBTQs, we are all one community that must unite against the hate and oppression. We must garner our power and hold each other up through this most important battle. Losing IS NOT AN OPTION!#TogetherWeStand

#TheRevolutionIsHere

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https://m.facebook.com/Together-We-Stand-1535933513365584/?ref=bookmarks

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An Open Letter to the Neighbor Who Filed a Complaint against my Black Lives Matter Sign

Dear Neighbor, I don’t know who you are, but you surely know me. We’re a pretty conspicuous family: two dads—one white and one Asian—and two young kids—one black and one Latino—who live right up the street from Thoreau Elementary. Maybe you’ve seen me reading on the porch while my kids play soccer in the front […]

https://gaysiandad.wordpress.com/2015/10/28/an-open-letter-to-the-neighbor-who-filed-a-complaint-against-my-black-lives-matter-sign/

Racist’s Fear

Confronting My Prejudices About People Like Me

This article discusses what many will not, personal bias. The author even goes one step further in examining her biases against her own people. It gives a clear and frightening look into how people of color can internalize the racism and oppression they’ve experienced and turn it on themselves and/or their peers. The messages portrayed in the media, school curriculum, and society as a whole are so negative and demeaning and pervasive that we as people of color often apply them to ourselves without even being aware.

I harbor prejudices about people like me: Black and living in the inner city. However, I wasn’t fully aware of it until one night I hobbled on to the number one subway train on Manhattan’s Upper West Side using my cane.

http://nikabeamon.com/2015/10/17/confronting-my-prejudices-about-people-like-me/

The 2016 Democratic Party Debate’s Award Winning Racist Tweet

While there were plenty of racist tweets made during the Democratic Party Debate on Tuesday night, we’re going to have to point to former Arizona Republican Party chairman Randy Pullen as the winner…  At least from elected Republicans.  The voters themselves took the racism to another level and maybe we’ll cover that later. After the candidates […]

http://republicansareracists.com/2015/10/15/the-2016-democratic-party-debates-award-winning-racist-tweet/

Howard Stern Calls For Israel To “Wipe Palestinians Off The Face Of The Earth”

Posted by: Mary Carmel Dr. David Duke. Phd Howard Stern calls for Israel to “wipe Palestinians off the face of the earth” — That’s ok, right? Commentary —This article from the Times of Israel says it all about the double standard whereby Jewish privilege allows Howard Stern to call for the genocide of an entire […]

https://wikkorg.wordpress.com/2015/10/11/howard-stern-calls-for-israel-to-wipe-palestinians-off-the-face-of-the-earth/

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