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Why Black Lives Matter Too!

***************** RELEASING JUNE 19, 2016 ******************  
We are pleased to announce our soon-to-be-released multi-contributor anthology, “Why Black Lives Matter (Too)”! Recognizing that the fight for social justice and equality is bigger than any one person and that there is room for diverse talents and expertise of anyone who is committed to freedom, this multi-contributor anthology comprises curated essays written by 50 social justice advocates from across the nation.
Our release date, June 19th, is set to coincide with Juneteenth—also known as Independence Day or Freedom Day—a holiday commemorating the announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas in June 1865, and more generally the emancipation of African American slaves throughout the Confederate South.
Book Summary: The Black Lives Matter movement evolved as a protest against police brutality against unarmed Black men. This book extends beyond police brutality to revolutionize the national conversation about racial injustice and inequality and advocate for freedom and justice for all Black Americans. Addressing a range of hot button issues and racial disparities that disproportionately impact the Black community, this is a call to action that will challenge you to confront your long-held values and beliefs about Black lives and confront your own white privilege and fragility as you examine racial justice and equality in a revolutionary way.
All proceeds will benefit The Sentencing Project, a leader in the effort to bring national attention to disturbing trends and inequities in the criminal justice system through the publication of groundbreaking research, aggressive media campaigns and strategic advocacy for policy reform. Our gift to the organization will support their efforts to promote reforms in sentencing policy, address unjust racial disparities and practices, and advocate for alternatives to incarceration.
Stay tuned, and please consider purchasing this book, when available, to support the vital work of The Sentencing Project.
#VoicesForEquality #WhyBlackLivesMatterToo

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.

Together We Stand

 We advocate for victims of racism, discrimination and police brutality across the country. We also hold workshops on dismantling racism and building community. We plan to incorporate a youth leadership academy that trains participants to become social change agents and prepares them to enter college with an excellent foundation in civil and social justice advocacy. We will also offer participants mental health services that allow them to process the issues they see in their communities and in their lives. Our hope is to develop a successful model that can be implemented in cities across the country. We are raising money to cover the filing, legal costs, and the various other needs that come with starting a non profit. We hope that you will help us on this journey! Just click the link below, and please SHARE! 
 https://www.gofundme.com/TogetherWeStand1

Corruption in SF District Attorney’s Office

  
Diverse World Coaching is sharing this letter we received from a social justice advocacy group:

I am writing on behalf of a national organization dedicated to racial equality and social justice. We are deeply concerned about San Francisco District Attorney, George Gascón’s treatment of Gurbaksh Singh Chahal. 

There is growing concern not just in the Bay Area, but across California and nationally regarding what is clearly a pattern of racism and discrimination. Chahal is a very successful businessman, and through his success has amassed a celebrity-like following globally for people that look up to him for inspiration. This also serves the political agenda of George Gascón, to target people of color that are in the limelight, for his own political aspirations.

 

George Gascón has been on a witch-hunt to revoke Chahal’s probation, for the last 2+ years and has wasted millions of tax payer dollars in doing so. Gascón had originally filed 3 charges to revoke Chahal’s probation, and then dropped 2 charges in the last 48 hours before his hearing since they were all false. The last one left, remaining is a person, by the name of Laura (Soobeen) Bae, making an accusation of domestic violence, even though when sources close to the SFDA’s office shared documents, it was Chahal that asked her to stop stalking him.

 

George Gascón’s office stated that the alleged victim presented a laundry list of requirements to be furnished by Gascón’s office in return for a falsified testimony. The list includes as follows:

 

1. U Visa (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U_visa)

2. The ability to work under that visa once in the U.S.

3. A First Class plane ticket for the long flight from Korea

4. All hotels and housing paid

5. A daily monetary allowance 

 

We have worked with many victims of violence and have yet to see anything come close to this. Victims of violent crimes are usually more concerned with getting the proper therapy and mental health support, yet this seems to be a concerted effort to skirt the immigration system. 

 

Other sources inform us that on Monday April 25th, the office of Brian Stretch the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California will begin investigations into the corruptive practices of George Gascón and the San Francisco District Attorney’s office.

 

We cannot allow our elected officials whom we charge to uphold the law, to act in such unethical ways with no checks and balances. No one is above the law, least of all those we rely upon to see it through.

 

Sources close to Chahal; state he plans to sue the City San Francisco once he is victorious and cleared of these false allegations tomorrow. While he has no need for financial gain, his only option to stop this witch-hunt, is to sue the City of San Francisco since George Gascón has immunity for his corrupt behavior. Hopefully, Brian Stretch from the US Attorney General’s Office, will pursue the necessary criminal charges we need against Gascón and his D.A.’s whom also participated in prosecutorial misconduct.

 

As witnessed on social media, there are various racial allegations that have been brought to our attention about the obstruction of justice within Gascón’s office. We certainly hope to see that you take this matter seriously and will take the proper steps to ensure a full and unbiased assessment and investigation occurs. 

 

 

 

 

 

Together We Stand

Winter 2016

Together We Stand is more than a Facebook Group, more than an organization, it is a Movement. Our mission is to proactively dismantle racism, discrimination and police brutality through education, advocacy and legislation. This is our very first newsletter, and we welcome you to our family.

2015 In Review

I started this group with the hopes of creating a forum where people could have open, honest and respectful dialogues on the difficult issues surrounding racism in this country. Never could I have imagined what was to come. Since our inception in August, Together We Stand, (TWS) has evolved from one person, into a group of over 1,200 amazing members, all of whom have shown their commitment and dedication to ending racism, discrimination and police brutality.

We have advocated on behalf of many, some who are no longer here to advocate for themselves, and some who needed others to join in their fight for equality and justice. Here is a list and brief summary of a few of the cases we have assisted in:

Laquan McDonald

The murder of Laquan McDonald by officer Van Dyke, and the subsequent handling of the case by the police, prosecutors, and local government was nothing less than abhorrent. We have called for the resignation of both Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Prosecutor Anita Alvarez and are following the campaign of Prosecutor Alvarez in 2016 and plan to continue challenging her throughout. TWS sent out numerous letters to state and local government along with law enforcement, denouncing the terrible racial injustices that plagued not only this case, but the city of Chicago.

Lateef Dickerson:

The acquittal of officer Thomas Webster IV in the assault of Lateef Dickerson was an absolute injustice to Mr. Dickerson and a blow to the morale of his community. We reached out to Mayor Christiansen, Police Chief Bernat and President of the Dover County NAACP Mr. Dunn, asking for the termination of officer Webster and offering our assistance in helping their community work through this and develop preventative measures so occurrences like this won’t happen again. Our follow up committee is still working on this as of March.

Corey Jones:

This case is particularly close to us as we have Family of Corey’s in TWS. Corey was killed on the side of the road after his car broke down. Corey was shot 3 times by plain clothed officer Officer Nouman Raja. Officer Raja claimed he believed the van to be abandoned and was then confronted by an armed suspect. There was no evidence to back up this claim. TWS along with several other organizations vpushed for there to be an independent investigation into this case. The officer was placed on administrative leave and subsequently fired in November. The family made the following statement:

“While we are pleased that the city of Palm Beach Gardens has terminated the employment of the officer who gunned down Corey Jones, we maintain that the officer in question must also be held criminally liable for his reckless actions that night,” the statement read. “Our family remains hopeful that the outside agencies brought in to investigate Corey’s killing will soon begin to yield factual information about how and why this officer acted so callously.”

Gresham School:

Rosella “Rose” Kaquatosh was wearing a Menominee medicine pouch when a kitchen employee at Gresham school allegedly demanded she take it off, citing tobacco products were not allowed on school property. After being taken to Principal Keary Mattson, he allegedly examined the pouch and removed some of the tobacco, which was culturally inappropriate and insensitive. She was in tears and the actions on the part of the school were not only culturally insensitive, but also disrespectful. TWS wrote the school board and principal demanding an apology and a safe environment for all students to practice their diverse beliefs. During a follow up conversation, we are pleased to say that a provision to allow such religious and spiritual items is now in place and the staff has undergone diversity and cultural sensitivity training.

Sandra Bland:

We have written letters to the state and local authorities calling for an independent investigation into the death of Sandra Bland as well as prosecution of the arresting officer. We have also circulated a petition asking Vanita Gupta the Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division to open an investigation. We are pleased that the arresting officer Brian Encinia, was finally terminated, yet we still continue to push for criminal charges against Encinia and those involved in the death of Ms. Bland and the subsequent cover up that ensued.

John Carroll University:

TWS member Brittany Kincaid, a student at John Carroll and part of the university’s African American Alliance, was involved in a movement on campus demanding structural changes to staff and curriculum to make the campus a more inclusive and culturally diverse environment. TWS wrote to president Niehoff on behalf of the AAA, stating our full support of their demands and asking that he take any and all necessary steps to rid the community of racist vitriol. We also asked that a safe space for students of color to express their needs be provided. We look forward to assisting other universities in creating and maintaining an atmosphere of Trust Respect Empathy and Ethics.

2016 A Look Ahead

Advocacy

We have hit the ground running this year! We receive many requests everyday for assistance in cases across the nation and are pleased that word of our organization is spreading to those in need. We also want to thank our members who diligently report issues and cases to us, we appreciate your dedication. Here is a peek at some of the work we have done so far this year::

Mayor Hagen:

After Mayor of Superior, Wisconsin, Bruce Hagen, posted anti Islamic rhetoric on social media, TWS assisted one of our group members, Kym Young, in her work to demand his resignation. We reached out directly to the mayor and also to state representative Milroy. We truly believe that there is no place for racism, oppression or discrimination in our country and specifically within our government. To see our elected officials act in such hateful and inciting ways is totally unacceptable. We will be campaigning against Hagen in the upcoming election.

Victor School District:

After being notified that a bilingual educational aide for Victor Elementary School District was posting racist pictures and rhetoric we spoke to the Superintendent and the person in question was informed that her behavior was not appropriate or acceptable. We believe in the first amendment, but we do not believe it is a pass to tout racist or hateful rhetoric. Clearly we cannot go after everyone who does this, but given the person in question was working with children of color in a school, we felt it important to say something.

Gynnya McMillen:

The death of Gynnya McMillen, at the Lincoln Village Juvenile Justice Center still remains a painful mystery for her family. The cause and circumstances surrounding her death have not been made available. The family has asked the public for help in finding answers. We have contacted the Principal of the detention center as well as the Mayor of Elizabethtown, Kentucky demanding answers. We will continue to follow up and support the family in whatever way we can.

Tamir Rice:

This case is one that hits us all hard given it was a child, Tamir Rice, who was killed so senselessly. A grand Jury failed to indict the officers in this case and it has been an impossible injustice to accept. TWS has been in touch with the City Council, Mayor, and Chief of Police regarding the impact this has had on the community, and how we can work collectively to insure this doesn’t happen again. We are also calling for Prosecutor McGinty to resign. His clear bias has tainted this case and his handling of it all but guaranteed there would be not Justice for Tamir or his family. He is up for reelection this year and if he does not resign, we will fight to make sure this is his last year in office.

Judge Olu Stevens:

Judge Stevens is an example of someone in our criminal justice system who is doing this right and unfortunately because of that he has become a target. Within the last year, Judge Stevens repeatedly has made national headlines, most notably for dismissing juries that were not racially diverse. Jefferson Commonwealth’s Attorney Tom Wine had asked the Kentucky Supreme Court to decide whether Stevens has the authority to dismiss juries for having too few black members, as the judge has done twice. The state Judicial Conduct Commission is investigating Stevens for insinuating on Facebook that Wine is racist and wanted “all-white juries.” TWS is investigating Wine’s history and plan to write his office denouncing his action against having diverse jury pools. We are also contacting the Chief Justice John Minton regarding this case and his removal of Judge Stevens from cases because of his stance on diverse juries and for speaking out against Tom Wine’s motives. It is important that we support those who do the right thing in the face of adversity.

Felicia Huston:

We have written the North Carolina Parole Commission on behalf of the family of Felicia Huston who was murdered by Robert Hinton, asking that his parole be denied and he be forced to continue his life sentence.

Flint Water Crisis:

TWS is working in conjunction with Stanley Plumbers and Crossing Water to secure home water filtration systems for 200 of Flint’s most needy. The filters are in the process of being tested to insure they will properly filter out the high levels of lead and iron found in the water supply.

If you would like to donate money to the residents of Flint please do so through Crossing Water at https://www.crowdrise.com/crossingwaterworkingforflint

Special thanks to Stanley Plumbing and Michael Hood of Crossing Water for your collaboration.

Three Strikes Reform Act:

We are joining Choose1.org and TWS member LaTease Levye in supporting the Three Strikes Reform Act of 2016. To read about the initiative and volunteer to help, please visit http://www.choose1.org

Nonprofit

Fundraising

Everyone knows that to start a nonprofit organization there must be fundraising! We have a few ways that you our supporters can help us grow our organization and in turn assist us in not only advocating for people on a larger scale, but also in our efforts to train youth to become social justice leaders. We have two crowd funding campaigns and the links are below. For those who cannot donate monetarily, we always need volunteers! If you would like to volunteer time please email us at twstherevolution@yahoo.com

As of the publishing of this letter we have received $620 from some of our members and we’d like to thank you all!

Toya Marie, Edwin Harris, Julie White, Rhonda Leath, Eva Caraher, Julie A. Fernandez, Amber Kerr, Rahel Smith, Eva Cohen, Tyler Gage, Caroline Gage, Yolanda McInnis, Dwight Ford, Don Scott, Daniel Schuette, Nancy Slocum and Lori Thames!!!!!

TWS wants you all to know that your assistance is so meaningful! With the funds we have raised so far we were able to get help with our logo, get our website going and get our filing fee for incorporation paid.

We recently launched two fundraising campaigns selling TWS shirts and Hoodies. This was a time limited campaign and we were unable to meet our minimum sold to go to print, but we want to thank everyone who did order and let you know that if you’d still like to support us you can do so at the links below!

Gofundme:

https://www.gofundme.com/TogetherWeStand1

Generosity:

http://igg.me/at/1xGsMVwExcU

Workshops

Sevgi has been running groups and workshops for many years with her company Diverse World Coaching. Last fall she began the first of a series of workshops by TWS that she hopes to bring across the country, Unite Against Racism:Breaking Down Walls and Building Community. The series ran from November-February and covered some of the following topics:

• White Privilege

• Conversations with my Black Child

• Examining Bias

• Police Brutality

The next series will focus on Political Action, specifically looking at groups like the Black Panther Party from the past, and Black Lives Matter today. What works, what doesn’t, and how do we move Together We Stand into a position to affect change in 2016 and beyond.

Meet our Board of Directors

  


Sevgi Fernandez/President

Sevgi founded Diverse World Coaching 8 years ago after many years working with high risk youth in the San Francisco Bay Area. She specializes in working with blended, cross-cultural and interracial families as well as individuals struggling with racial identity formation, anxiety and depression.

Sevgi has a successful blog covering that reaches readers in over 60 countries She is a published author and seasoned speaker. She offers workshops in the following areas:

 • Racism and White Privilege

 • Parenting Mixed Race Children: Understanding their Racial Identity Development

 • Navigating the Blended Family

 • Youth Empowerment through Community Action

Sevgi is the Senior Vice President of Race and Cultural Diversity at ARMCGlobal providing research, executive coaching and product development.

She did her undergraduate and graduate work in Psychology at the Western Institute for Social Research and now sits on their board of directors.

Sevgi is now embarking on what she believes is her life’s work in Together We Stand. Her vision of a movement that crosses the nation ending racism through education, advocacy and legislation is certainly going to be a challenging goal, but her life has prepared her for this moment, this movement.

  

Dr. John P Fernandez

Dr. John P. Fernandez is the founder and president of Advanced Research Management Consultants Global, LLC. He also works closely and in collaboration with Diverse World Coaching.

Prior to founding ARMC Global, John worked for 15 years at AT&T, becoming the first Black division level operations manager. Responsible for a division that had over 500,000 customers, John developed and enhanced processes for selling, construction, engineering, human resource management and technological innovation.Based on his extensive experience working with many corporate clients and issues, John has written and produced more than 36 videos on human resource management, leadership, cross-cultural teams, Diversity and Proactive Inclusion®, and GlobalTREE℠ from a global perspective. He has written and developed e-learnings for Bank of America, Citibank, GlaxoSmithKline, and Lucent.Dr. John P. Fernandez is the author of 10 books and has received critical acclaim as one of the world’s leading thinkers in areas of leadership, team building, diversity, childcare, eldercare, and human resource management. He is currently working on a new book about glass-ceiling phenomenon, and the global perception of female managers.After graduating Magna Cum Laude from Harvard, John received his Ph.D. from the University California at Berkeley. As a highly sought out speaker, John has appeared on CNBC, CNN and Marketplace on National Public Radio. John has taught at Yale, New York University, Antioch, and the University of Pennsylvania.

  

Carol Laborde/Outreach and Research

Carol Laborde received her BA in Sociology from Nyack College. Carol is retired now and has spent much of the last three decades volunteering her time and skills to various nonprofit organizations. She worked with the Rockland Family Shelter for battered women and children from 1988-2002. During that time she served as a Rape Crisis Trauma Counselor, was on the Board of Directors from 1988-2002, and served as President of the Board from 1998-2002. Carol also served on the Board of the Nyack Center, aiding at risk youth with breakfast club and after school mentoring. Carol currently heads up TWS advocacy communications and works as an Ambassador for Hope with Shared Hope International, an organization working to end sex trafficking.

Ty Anderson/Chaplain

Ty Anderson has his Associates in Graphic Arts as well as being a self taught artist.

Ty worked for the City of Rochester’s Public Library Promotions Graphics & Public relations department and also sat on the Quality Council Team which assisted in fairness and accountability between Supervisors and their employees. He is also a part of his community’s Neighborhood Empowerment Team/NET and currently works in Forestry as an Arborist.

Ty is an American of mixed European, African & Native-American heritage. The spirit of family, culture, ethnicity and inner accountability are things he takes great pride in which have fueled his passion for bringing people together. Helping others to discover their commonalities and celebrate their diversity is something he excels at and brings to TWS as our online moderator. Serving in the capacity of TWS Chaplin, Ty’s goals are to help keep the group moving in a positive and affirming direction, keeping our mission to educate and advocate, one of integrity based on Trust, Respect, Empathy and Ethics.*

*GlobalTree, Trust Respect Empathy and Ethics, ARMCG 2015

  

Rhonda Leath/Secretary

Rhonda Leath was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. Rhonda majored in Psychology and minored in Journalism at Los Angeles Trade Tech and Southwest College. Rhonda worked as a youth counselor in residential treatment and as an EMT on the Psych Emergency Team. She is a mother of 3 and a grandmother of 7 and is active in her community doing faith based and social justice work. Rhonda is a key member of TWS doing endless work behind the scenes assisting with administrative work and research.

In closing we want to welcome you to our TWS family and ask that you spread the word about who we are and what we do!

#TogetherWeStand

#TheRevolutionIsHere

Follow us on Twitter @Twsrevolution

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

Like Together We Stand on Facebook and help us advocate for victims of racism, discrimination and police brutality!

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

Follow us on Twitter @TWSrevolution

Police Brutality

  

 By: DJ Schuette

  Police Brutality

      A man jumped out of the car. He was a big guy, mid-40’s maybe—bald and wearing a white t-shirt and jeans. He was about 25 feet away, and totally amped up. He had a gun pressed against his right temple. His eyes were wild, like a cornered animal. My partner and I pulled our Glocks and took aim. He demanded that we back off or he’d shoot himself.

      “Get out of here,” he screamed. “I’ll do it, I’m serious!”

      I called for him to drop his weapon. From my left, my partner did the same. I noticed that the pitch of her voice was just a bit higher than it had been a few moments before. I don’t think she was in a panic, but it was pretty clear to me that she was nervous. Hell, I was nervous. The guy might blow his own head off, or turn the gun on us at any moment. Neither of us wanted to shoot him.

      Then time slowed down for me. I became hyper-aware, my senses turned up, like someone had jacked my dial to 10. Tunnel vision. My finger pressed harder against the trigger guard. 5.5 pounds of pressure and about a third of a second was all that was keeping me from ending this guy. At eight meters, I wouldn’t miss.

      He grew more agitated. His voice rose and grew more frantic. Then he raised the gun straight up from his temple, pointing it toward the sky. 

      My partner blew his ass away

        Today is October 19th, 2015. As of the moment I write this, 922 people have died at the hands of police in this country, this year alone. In just a handful of hours, that number will almost certainly be 923.

       Last year, 1106 people died at the hands of cops. If we continue at this pace, this year will again top 1100. From May to December of 2013: 748.

        I want you to think about that for a minute…

 In roughly two and a half years, as many people will have died at the hands of police as did in the attacks on 9/11.

  Nearly 3000 lives lost.

   The worst year of US casualties in Iraq: 904. In Afghanistan: 499. That’s right. Our police are killing more people on American soil than die in active war zones. Often, significantly more.

 Consider also:

There have been 47 lethal-force deaths in England over the past 95 years, and only one so far this year.

In Germany: one this year, and one last.

In Australia: just six in 2014

In Norway: there hasn’t been a single police-related killing in nearly ten years

In Iceland: only one in nearly 71 years.

In 2013, police in Finland fired a grand total of 6 bullets. In the US that same year, a single suspect with a rock was fired upon 17 times.

    Contrary to what you may believe from the early content of this post, I am not anti-police. I can’t say enough that the vast majority of cops are some of the bravest and best among us, protecting us from the absolute worst among us. Their jobs are sometimes dangerous. They don their uniforms despite the understanding that they may not make it home to their families. There’s a reason why kids so often want to be cops when they grow up—to them, they’re real-life, honest-to-goodness heroes. Without law enforcement, society would surely collapse into chaos and anarchy. We need them. And they need and deserve our respect and cooperation. 

     But they are also human beings. Prone to all of the same injuries, insecurities, emotions, prejudices and even instabilities and errors in judgment that plague the rest of us. A badge is not a mystical talisman that makes them superhuman. It is not a shield of invulnerability. They are people, just like you and I, sometimes placed in high-intensity scenarios that call for split-second, life-or-death decisions. They make mistakes. And occasionally those mistakes prove fatal.

       Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting deadly force is never justifiable. There are “imminent danger” scenarios, in which I would support an officer’s decision to discharge their weapons. If lives are at grave, immediate risk, then I get it. Truly, I do. That said, shooting an unarmed, fleeing suspect when no one else is around? That’s murder in my book, whether you’re a coked-up thug or an adrenalin-amped cop.

       But what is it that makes our society so much more susceptible to death at the hands of those we trust to serve and protect us? With that question in mind, I decided to see if I could find some answers. What I discovered is that there’s no single, obvious solution—no silver bullet. But there are a handful of factors that seem to play a part.

      Socioeconomics/Income Inequality: Operating under the assumption that less crime equals fewer encounters with law enforcement and thus fewer opportunities for lethal force to be an issue, I took a look at crime rates in other countries. While researching statistics in Iceland, I came across an article (here) about a man whose thesis was on the subject of the lack of violence and crime there (there was only one intentional homicide in 2014). This is despite the fact that nearly a third of its population is armed. One of his conclusions is that the overall economic and social equality in the country is a primary reason—97% of the population considers themselves to be middle income or working class. At first blush, this would suggest that the current economic gap in the U.S. might be partly to blame—but is this indicative of the whole, or merely an aberration?

      I discovered something called the GINI Index, which is a tool used to measure income distribution. In the simplest of terms, the lower the number, the closer that country is to perfect “income equality.” When compared alongside the intentional homicide rates*, there is a very suggestive correlation between the two: the smaller the GINI coefficient, the more likely that country is to have a lower intentional homicide rate. To use the above countries as examples, Iceland’s GINI Index is one of the lowest at 24. Finland is around 28. Norway, 27. Sweden, 26. Germany, 31. Australia and England come in at around 34 and 38, respectively. The U.S. income coefficient is nearly 41. Conversely, countries with extremely high GINI’s like Brazil (53), Honduras (57) and South Africa (63) all have higher intentional homicide rates than we do here in America. Obviously, there are exceptions and outliers, but generally speaking, it certainly appears that there is a parallel between income inequality, unrest and violent crime. And violent crime means more police in positions where they might encounter deadly force situations.

     Arming/Militarization of Police: As one might logically expect, there are far fewer police-involved killings in countries where the police don’t carry guns at all: England, Norway, Iceland, New Zealand and Ireland are among those that don’t (except in exceptional circumstances). But as we’ve seen, violent crime itself is also much lower in those countries as well (our intentional homicide rates are five times higher than those of New Zealand and Ireland, in case you were wondering). But whether those lower violent crime statistics are part of the reason that police don’t need to be armed, or a product of it, is a line of inquiry worth examining. Put another way—is a society less violent when their police don’t carry guns, or is it inherently less violent to begin with?

      With the rise of police killings in America, it seems that there has been a fundamental breakdown in our trust of the police, and respectively, theirs of us. If people are afraid that police might use excessive force against them, might they then be more apt to act aggressively? And if people act more aggressively, does it stand to reason that police, concerned for their own safety, might use more force than necessary? Does being armed, in and of itself, engender a self-perpetuating and self-fulfilling cycle of violence? Does violence (or the very threat of it) beget more violence?

      I’m not necessarily championing the idea that police in the U.S. shouldn’t have firearms, but there is a case to be made for moving in that direction. Since 1997, our government has been issuing surplus military equipment and weapons to our police departments. Unfortunately, FBI statistics are woefully incomplete on the subject, so it’s hard to assess whether or not this has had a direct impact on the amount of violence perpetuated by police, but it certainly seems like it has. Some would argue this “militarization” allows them to be more prepared and able to respond to any situation. Others wonder if it just further perpetuates the mistrust between the public and their police. And it isn’t as if police don’t have a number of (typically) non-lethal weapons and tactics available to them: backup, batons, mace, tasers, flashlights, fists. Most are trained in self-defense, and/or hand to hand combat. Even an uncooperative suspect doesn’t deserve to be brutalized, and certainly not shot and killed. The primary objective should always be to apprehend and subdue first, and then escalate only as much as the situation requires. More on this in a minute.

Gun Culture: There are very nearly as many guns as people now in this country. I’m a gun owner myself. We know from Iceland’s proliferation of firearms (fifteenth in the world) that it’s not simply a matter of the weapons themselves. But Iceland does have extremely strict regulations in place. Most of their guns are used for hunting. Very few people own handguns. This is in stark contrast to gun control policies in the U.S., where there are a variety of ways to skirt background checks, and where proficiency exams, transfer paperwork, and medical/mental health screenings aren’t required in most states.

      The prevalence of guns in America goes right back to the issue of trust. As much as we need to be able to trust police, they too, have to be able to do their jobs without fearing the very citizens they’re tasked to serve and protect. Armed with the knowledge that anyone might have a weapon, police are sure to be more cautious and on edge and they are more likely to act more severely if questioned or challenged.

      I’ve had several people contend that cops must go into every scenario believing that they might be killed. I find this to be not only ludicrous, but also an irresponsible and dangerous mindset. My position is that police must always go into every situation alert, prepared, (and perhaps most importantly) calm. If every officer constantly believes they are about to be shot and their adrenalin is flowing as if they’re taking their last breaths, there are sure to be bad outcomes.
      The screen went dark and the sim ended. My partner had shot the suspect twice, once in the head and once in the chest. My finger had never left the trigger guard.

       Our instructor deemed it a justified shooting. The suspect had made a sudden movement, and my partner was scared. It rang hollow and felt flimsy to me. I mean, I get that she was scared. I was too. But I felt like I had all the time in the world to make that life-or-death decision. The gun never swung toward us at all. He might have been preparing to throw it down on the ground. He might have surrendered. But now we’ll never know. Because that guy is dead. My partner killed him. 

       This story is important to me because I learned a few things during that shoot/don’t shoot simulation. The first is that we are all different and will therefore react to these kinds of high-pressure scenarios differently. While everything came into perfect focus for me, my partner’s fear drove her to a split second reaction that I didn’t have. Part of that is training. I’ve fired a gun many times and consider myself highly proficient at that distance. I was confident that I had plenty of time to make and enact the right decision. She was not as confident. Training—repetitive situational training, until one’s responses and reactions become almost reflexive—might help that to some degree. But when it’s not a laser sensitive screen and the people and guns are real, I’m sure it’s a very different thing. Instinctive survival mechanisms kick in. A conscious effort must be made to combat the flight-or-flight response. You can bet there will be adrenalin flowing. Until you’re put in that scenario, there’s no way to know how you might react. But I suspect, just like with my partner and me, some will act upon action and others will act upon their fear. 

     That’s another thing I learned. In being told that the threshold for a “righteous” shooting was fearing for my life, I realized that threshold sits on a very nebulous and sliding scale. It will be different for all cops, based on their training, experiences, confidence, focus and control. And how can anyone be expected to judge an officer’s level of “fear” in a given situation? We must provide more tangible, measurable criteria as to when use of force is justifiable. I’ve heard many times that cops are “held to a higher standard,” but as it pertains to shootings and brutality, that’s not true at all. If any citizen shot a fleeing, unarmed man in the back after a struggle, they’d almost certainly face Murder Two charges. Police, on the other hand, are rarely indicted (much less prosecuted) as their actions are considered within the realm of their duties. But if we are to judge those actions, there must be some way for us to know the circumstances that led to them. Enter body cams. In my view this is an obvious solution, as it provides protection for both citizens and law enforcement alike. If we were able to see the circumstances that led to an officer’s use of force, then we would be in a much better position to determine whether or not their decisions were justified.

     I was also told that officers are permitted to be one degree of threat beyond that of a suspect at any given time. One. If a perpetrator is holding a knife for example, I can have a projectile Taser, or failing that, a gun. If they have a gun in their waistband, I can have my gun in hand. If they have a gun in hand which is not aimed at me, I can have my weapon trained on them. One degree. If that is indeed true, then I must admit some confusion as to how 187 of this year’s victims were shot while unarmed. How does one man with a rock end up with 200 grams of lead inside of him? How does a teenager with no weapon facing multiple officers wind up shot to death?

      I’ll be the first to admit that I’m armchair quarterbacking here. There’s no way I can comprehend every complexity of every scenario—maybe it’s too much to even say that I can comprehend the complexity of any scenario. I’m not a cop. But I am a human being. A human being without extensive training on how to react to potentially dangerous situations. A human being without a number of non-lethal weapons at my disposal. A human being without self-defense, or hand-to-hand combat training. I’m at a disadvantage in all of those ways. And even so, I can’t see myself shooting an unarmed, fleeing suspect in the back several times. If I’m honest about it, I don’t believe my sim partner should have taken those shots. Our suspect did not pose an immediate threat to either of us or anyone else for that matter. A danger, perhaps—but not an imminent threat. And in my view, that must be the measure of every lethal force scenario—are lives in grave peril right now? This very second? If the answer is no, then there are still other options on the table and it is the responsibility of police to work toward a non-violent resolution.
      This issue is clearly very complex. I believe at its heart lie economic factors that are rooted in our society that will not change easily or quickly. I also think the militarization of law enforcement coupled with a lack of reasonable gun ownership regulations has created an escalating pattern of violent outcomes with police over the past several years. But perhaps most to blame is the profound erosion of trust between police and citizens. Thanks to the media, we forget that the vast majority of police are good people who have a potentially dangerous job to do. And every now and again, they forget that we’re not at war with one another. Our lives don’t matter less or more than theirs, and their job is to preserve life—all life—if at all possible.

      I do think that cops in the U.S. are sometimes too quick to resort to deadly force when there are other alternatives available to them. I feel that there needs to be a tangible hierarchy of police tactics and responses and exhaustive re-training of our law enforcement officers in those procedures. Then someday, if we’re smart enough to endeavor for more equality (in all of its forms) and start reducing our reliance on firepower as a solution, I believe we can begin to restore the kind of trust we see in Norway and Australia and England. Places where police related killings are the rare exception and where cops who don’t even carry guns still feel perfectly safe among the people they serve.

Let’s hope.

*I chose to use intentional homicide rates as a measure here because it is static and means the same thing in all countries, whereas “violent crime” has different definitions in other countries and cannot be compared quite so easily.

 DJ Schuettewww.djschuette.com

Sources:

The Counted (The Guardian)

GINI Index (Quandl)

Crime Statistics (NationMaster)

Police Use of Force: The Impact of Less-Lethal Weapons and Tactics (Philip Bulman, NIJ)

5 Countries Where Police Officers Do Not Carry Firearms—and it Works Well (Rick Noack, Washington Post)
     

 

 
       

 

 

          

 

     

 

 

 

     

 

 

 

 

Black Lives Matter…..Well, they do don’t they?

  

  

  


By: DJ Schuette 

http://www.djschuette.com

 It borders on absurd that it’s even necessary to write this particular post, but there are so, so many people out there incessantly raging against the Black Lives Matter movement that I felt I must. Every day, I see posts calling their members “racists,” emphatic proclamations of “All Lives Matter,” and pictures of police officers with “Their Lives Matter” emblazoned on them in some way, as if it’s become a competition to determine whose lives matter most. I should confess, for the record, that I was—until very recently—one of those “All Lives Matter” guys. But my opinion on the subject has evolved, so I encourage you to at least consider the content of this post before deciding one way or another. Maybe you’ll see things from a different perspective in a few minutes.

My own “aha!” moment came to me while reading a rather brilliant reddit post by user GeekAesthete (which you can read here if you wish). In short, it asks you to imagine that you’re at dinner with your family and your father is dishing everyone’s food, but leaves your plate empty. You say, “Hey Dad, I should get some.” In response, your father corrects you by saying “Everyone should get some.” That sentiment is true, and really, supports your very point—that everyone (including you) should get to enjoy dinner. But Dad’s response utterly rejected your concern without doing anything whatsoever to remedy it. Meanwhile, you’re starving and your still empty plate is a testament to just how little he cares. 

I’ve seen other fine examples floating around on the Internet: if I were to say “Save the Whales,” that in no way implies that I don’t care about dolphins, sharks, and stingrays; but if I were to instead say “Save All Marine Life,” how would you know that the whales are endangered? Another: Your house is burning down and someone is spraying water on a nearby home that isn’t on fire, with the caption “All Houses Matter.” By responding to BLM with “All Lives Matter”, we’re effectively saying that we don’t care if your house burns to the ground, as long as mine doesn’t. We’re refusing to even acknowledge the issue, are (conveniently) dismissing the concerns of people who are plainly in crisis, and who are already being singled out by our society and justice system.

The BLM movement has never stated (nor ever suggested) that other lives don’t matter. It’s not the “No Lives But Black Lives Matter” movement. I have yet to hear anyone chanting “Black lives matter more than yours!” If that were the case, I might understand people taking such exception. Instead, it’s very simply and succinctly stating a fact: black lives matter. And they do, right? If we can’t even agree on that much, then you need to take a good hard look in the mirror, because the person staring back at you is almost certainly a racist.

Some argue that the BLM moniker is itself racist—that it sows further division among us because it segregates one group from the whole. They feel that it would be more acceptable if the name were “Black Lives Matter Too.” Maybe it would seem more inclusive to some if it were stated that way, and BLM and their supporters wouldn’t constantly have to defend such a silly litany of semantic arguments. And they are silly. Do black lives matter? Yes or no? It’s not a trick question. It’s not “do black lives matter more than everyone else’s?” But, but but… No buts. So let me ask you again. Do black lives matter, or do they not?

Perhaps you’d feel better if we used the even more inclusive “All Lives Matter,” though that utterly fails to address the concerns of the black community. Or perhaps you’ll respond with “Cops Lives Matter,” as if those of us that support BLM are not also capable of supporting law enforcement. I’ve recently even heard some suggest that they should start a “White Lives Matter” group to counter the “reverse racism” that BLM perpetuates (this is at it’s core, ridiculous, since protesters of all races are welcomed to join Black Lives Matter rallies). Do white lives matter? Sure. If you want to start a movement based on that, knock yourself out. But white lives have always mattered in this country, so starting a WLM campaign would be petty and pointless and insensitive. Do all lives matter? Absolutely. And guess what? Included in that “all” are black lives. In saying “all lives matter,” you’ve just inherently agreed with the BLM movement. You’re actually on the same team—you’re just refusing to play because you don’t like the team name, and that, quite honestly, is a fine bit of ignorance. And what about cops? Do blue lives matter? Of course they do. But again, how does saying black lives matter suggest that police lives don’t? Why is BLM suddenly a siege on law enforcement? 

Many, including Fox News (that bastion of reporting integrity), point to an admittedly unfortunate chant (“Pigs in a blanket, fry em like bacon”) that took place at a BLM march recently as evidence of the racist, anti-cop, and potentially violent nature of the movement. It was sad to see that side come out of what otherwise amounted to a peaceful display of civil disobedience. I too was disappointed. But then I was reminded that there are bad people in every group—police, the church, protesters, white people—who have their own agendas, and want something that isn’t necessarily compatible with the message the rest are trying to convey. There are pedophile priests; should we therefore condemn the entire Catholic faith? There are a handful of bad cops out there—but that doesn’t mean that the overwhelming majority of them aren’t incredibly brave and kind men and women doing a sometimes dangerous and often thankless job of serving and protecting the public. Sometimes peaceful protests get out of control because an unruly few instigate and fuel riots and looting. (Some people really do just want to watch the world burn). The few—as bad as they may seem—can’t be used as a barometer to judge the whole. So while I freely admit the chant was vile and unfortunate, I have to remember that the content of that chant is not the message that BLM portrays—which is, simply, that black lives matter. Their goal is to create awareness and to attempt to correct a society and justice system that consistently appears to deem black lives as less valuable than those of others. 

Fox News and many police officials have also latched on to the tragic murder of a Texas sheriff’s deputy at the hands of a black man as further evidence of the violent nature of BLM, and have now gone so far as to label them as a “hate group.” It is important to separate fact from fiction here, however. There is absolutely NO evidence that the killing was in any way related to the Black Lives Matter movement. While they would have you believe that BLM is inspiring violence against cops, police deaths have gone DOWN since the inception of BLM in 2013. There is precisely zero correlation between BLM and increased violence against police officers. There has however, been an increase of police lethal force cases the past few years. Last year 1106 deaths came at the hands of police. This year, we’re on track for 1100. There have been 1070 (more than 200 of those unarmed) so far in 2015. Of those, 25% of the victims were black, yet the black population is less than 13%. Without even speculating what the reasons may be, the simple fact is that black people are being killed by the police at a rate DOUBLE their population. If you want to see the live up-to-the-minute information, take a look at The Counted. It’s truly eye opening. Every. Eight. Hours.

Still other detractors use the argument that there are black people who disagree with the BLM campaign in principle. Of course there are. Some southern black people supported the right to fly the confederate flag on government grounds, despite the fact that it was seen as hurtful to millions of others. Some don’t feel that the team name “Redskins” is at all offensive, while others find it racist and insensitive. Nothing will ever have the complete support of any group­—we are all individuals with our own ideas and influences and experiences. But that does not mean that we should ever stop trying to do right by our country’s people, and provide all of them with respect and an equitable chance to succeed.

I agree it’s sad that we still have to have these conversations in 2015. But we do. Nothing will ever change if we don’t acknowledge that there is a problem and damn well do something about it. Saying “All Lives Matter,” doesn’t allow black people to ask why they’re being killed more often by police. It doesn’t allow them to ask for change in their communities. It shuts them down, and makes them feel as if their concerns don’t matter. It suggests that we still place less value on their lives than other lives. And it implies that WE DON’T CARE.

 

So to all of you still saying “All Lives Matter,” stop. Just fucking stop.

And listen.

White Rage: Poll Finds that Whites, Republicans Are the Angriest Americans, while Blacks, the Victims of Racism are Least Angry

  
January 4, 2016

By: David Love

White people are angry, and a poll says they are the angriest in America. It looks as if white America, collectively, is crying white tears.
According to a new NBC News/Survey Monkey/Esquire online poll about outrage in the country, 49 percent of Americans are angry. But not all anger is equally distributed. It turns out that 54 percent of whites are angry, followed by Latinos at 43 percent, and African-Americans at 33 percent. Further, while 73 percent of whites said they get angry at least once a day, 66 percent of Latinos and 56 percent of Blacks responded the same way.
And women (53 percent) are angrier than men (44 percent), with 58 percent of white women saying they are angry, as opposed to 44 percent of Black and Brown women.
Another revealing result of this study is that Republicans are angrier than Democrats, as 61 percent—as opposed to 42 percent of Democrats—say they are angrier than a year ago. According to the poll, Republicans cite Congress and consumer fraud as the issues that set them off the most, while Democrats point to the police shooting of unarmed Black men.
In addition, the poll reveals a sentiment in the loss of the so-called “American dream,” with a majority of people finding it hard to get ahead and saying they are worse off. Middle-aged Americans were found to be the most pessimistic. Not surprisingly, the least angry were those earning higher than $150,000, while the angriest earned below $15,000.
It is curious that those who should be the angriest, however, are the least angry. That, of course, would be Black people. After all, Black folks are the ones who are hunted down, the runaway slaves who pose a constant threat of insurrection in the mind of whites. Black people are the scapegoated and the criminalized, the repository for white insecurity, the personification of white fear, angst, resentment and rage. And as the identified enemy, we pay the price for it in a variety of ways.
At present, we are witnessing white anger playing itself out in the rise of the neo-fascist xenophobe Donald Trump. The rage is rearing its ugly head in all of its grandiosity and dysfunction in Burns, Oregon, where an armed white militia has occupied a federal building, and vows to stay there for years, and kill or be killed. Exactly what is going on here?
It appears there is a confluence of events and circumstances, with the first Black president, and a nation that is becoming increasingly Black and Brown, particularly because Black and Brown people are soon to be a majority. Things were not supposed to be this way, as the idealized, homogeneous America of the 1950s when Black folks were invisible, except when cleaning white folks’ homes or hanging from a tree, is gone.

In the mind of the angry white man, sharing the nation with people of a darker hue, with those whose native language is other than English, and who are not Christian is unacceptable.
Meanwhile, when Black people, who have suffered for the centuries they’ve been in America, receive even a modicum of justice, just a taste of what has been denied to us, whites respond with rage and a feeling something was taken away from them. In comes the white tears, the hurt feelings, the insecurity, an unwarranted feeling of white persecution, of being aggrieved for something Black folks supposedly did.
As Damon Young wrote in The Root, this irrational fear among whites that they lose out when Blacks gain anything has had dangerous, violent consequences for Black people throughout history. For example, the Ku Klux Klan was a direct response to the political and economic gains of Black people following in the post-Civil War reconstruction era.
“It [has] white people so upset that this still relatively small percentage of the population had made some incremental progress, and so threatened by that thought, that they created a terrorist organization to quell it,” Young wrote.
Fareed Zakaria made an excellent point in the Washington Post—whites are in self-destructive mode. They are killing themselves, with mortality rates rising, as rates of death for Blacks and Latinos are declining steadily. The main causes of death among whites, are suicide, alcoholism, and drug overdoses, brought on by depression, despair and stress, particularly among uneducated whites.
Moreover, this is not being experienced in other countries. Zakaria attributes this to the fact that people of color “might not expect that their income, standard of living and social status are destined to steadily improve. They don’t have the same confidence that if they work hard, they will surely get ahead.” He added that “after hundreds of years of slavery, segregation and racism, blacks have developed ways to cope with disappointment and the unfairness of life: through family, art, protest speech and, above all, religion.”
As the poll indicates, white people are angry and they direct their anger against the least angry, those victims of white supremacy who should have the most to be angry about. Welcome to America.

Source:

Atlanta Black Star

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