Coffee Rhetoric: Race and ethnicity in the United States Census
Showing posts with label Race and ethnicity in the United States Census. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Race and ethnicity in the United States Census. Show all posts

July 02, 2014

50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964: The Struggle for Equal Opportunity

Today marks the 50th Anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act (of 1964). Though the law marked many fundamental and necessary changes and is a landmark piece of legislative history in civil rights, let's not forget that there’s still, currently, work that needs to be done to uphold the law.
The Civil Rights Act made it illegal to openly discriminate against people based on their race, religion, skin color, gender, or country of origin; it also threw out erroneous voter registration requirements and desegregated schools, the workforce, and public facilities. 

However, the system continues to struggle to uphold many aspects of the law. How? Let's take inventory...

November 03, 2013

Whitewashed: White Americans Reflect on White Privilege


"...To be white in this culture means to deny the reality of racism; it means to deny the privilege that we have as whites. Most people, who are Whites, don't want to accept that they are privileged, because they are." 
"People don't want to talk about being White because they know that at a deep level, even though some of them may not have talked about it with anybody or every expressed it, they do know that they get a benefit from being White." 
"... To me, it's about privilege. A lot of people get to walk around thinking that we live in a meritocracy, and thinking that their own hard work is the only thing that's responsible for their achievements. I think that it shapes everything." 
"I was taught that you respected Black folk, but not really as human beings, but more like cats, and dogs, and cows; you wouldn't mistreat a cat or a dog in my family, and you wouldn't mistreat a black person. I don't have any trouble admitting that I'm a racist; I think it's absurd to try to fight with that. I grew up in this society I was conditioned by, I think internally in my psyche I have grounded and rooted those attitudes and I see it in me all the time... I mean, I'm always dealing with it. I don't think that make me a bad person ... I just think it means I've been well indoctrinated." 
"... Like Malcolm X said: 'Racism is like a Cadillac; there's a new model every year'. Racism is a dynamic social construction, so it's always changing and it's always mutating. So people that say, 'well there's no racism anymore', they're referring to racism as it existed in 1950 or 1920 or 1910."  
Above is a collection of quotes from Whitewashed: Unmasking the World of Whites, a 2013 documentary by Mark Patrick George. Clocking in at just under 35 minutes this interesting featurette examines white privilege and racism via footage—(collected over the course of several years)—of several white Americans offering insight on what whiteness means to them and the situations that have prompted them to realize how institutional racism works to marginalize others, and work in their favor. 

March 17, 2013

Why "Being White in Philly" is Problematic


Race.  The word alone prompts many to break out in a cold sweat, grit their teeth, immediately grow defensive or quickly change the subject. And while some people like to espouse the tenets of color-blindness and post-racialism (words I've personally grown to despise), I tend to steer clear of anyone who refuses to see my humanity and who brushes off the fact that black people still face inequities in this country. That some people (still) can’t even hold a productive discourse about racial politics or recognize that gender equality movements should be inter-sectional, yet will gleefully skip around singing about how wonderful and post-racial America is, stymies me. (To me) one of the key elements when having a worthwhile discussion about racial politics is listening. There always seems to be an inclination towards denying, tone policing, shaming, gas-lighting, silencing, and ‘othering’. And othering is among the ‘Race Deconstruction Don’ts’ Robert Huber employed when he penned his controversial piece about what it’s like “Being White in Philly” for Philadelphia magazine.


February 23, 2012

Post-Racial America: The Mis-Education of Mainstream Youth...

The featured video is what happens when parents (and so-called responsible adults) fail to educate their children properly and mainstream media perpetuate tired racial tropes and stereotypes...
This is yet another inarticulate and very public rant courtesy of the sad and misinformed; this time in the form of two young high school aged women from Gainsville, Florida; who-- coincidentally enough-- opine that Black people "can't fucking talk right", yet can't discern between the words "intelligible" and "eligible".
Needless to say, these two unintelligible young women aren't eligible representatives of what evolved young minds are supposed to be. And while one of these quacking ducks has enthusiastically pointed out what a very "nice white neighborhood" she lives in, her rant is one of the reasons why platforms like the Un-fair Campaign have cropped up and are needed.

Racism, hate-speech, and class-discrimination -- (some of which comes from Conservative Republican pundits and political hopefuls) -- seem to be at an all time high (especially in the wake of the current political debates). This is why I refuse to subscribe to the post-racial, color-blind propaganda people like to trot out, whenever the issues of race and xenophobia come up.

White privilege and supremacy is still very much alive and kicking. The idea that there's a post-racial society is a farce concocted and heavily pushed by its proponents, because they want to be able to spread hate freely, marginalize people of color and falsely appropriate marginalization as an issue that solely affects them, and teach their ignorance to young people, without having to be held accountable for their actions. I'm curious to know what type of conversations these girls have with their respective families at home and how their parents will set about dealing with their daughters' racist YouTube rant and the subsequent fall-out. On a completely unrelated note, I hate World Star Hip Hop and everything that site represents... That's all.

**Additional Reading







January 25, 2012

Yo Quiero Taco Bell: Translation; East Haven’s Mayor is An Insensitive Bigot


Photo: easthaven.patch.com
Racism and bigotry… This year, political hopefuls and elected officials seem to be wearing the ignorant tags like an expensive, well-tailored suit and my home state of Connecticut offers no exceptions.
After the FBI arrested four East Haven, CT police officers for gross instances of racial profiling and terrorization of Latinos navigating the town; assistant director-in-charge of the NY office of the FBI, Janice Fedarcyk, fittingly described them as a “cancerous cadre that routinely deprived East Haven residents of their civil rights.”  

Rather than co-sign the deserved sentiment and taking an opportunity to speak out against the racial profiling issues that've plagued his town for the past couple of years, East Haven Mayor, Joseph Maturo decided to skip on down to the edge of the plank and plunge head first, into a sea of hot, steaming caca… which splashed and hit the proverbial fan.
When prodded on camera by WPIX reporter Mario Diaz, about what he planned on doing for the Latino community to diffuse the situation, Maturo relaxed his shoulders and stupidly thoughtfully farted out this answer: “I might have tacos when I go home, I’m not quite sure… uhh, I’ve spent two years in Puerto Rico…” to which Diaz promptly snatched his wig and alerted him to the sheer stupidity of his comment. Not taking heed to the reporter’s warning, Maturo started to shift uncomfortably and tried to shake the poo he dove in, off. But alas, it was too late… he was covered in the stuff, but continued


"... uhh, I might have spaghetti tonight being of Italian descent. Uhhh… I’ve had ethnic food and when you asked me what I was doin’ for Latinos tonight I said I may have Latino food in the Latino community and there’s nothing wrong with that… so you can twist and turn it whichever the way the press decides to do!” he said defiantly, as he awkwardly continued to plod his way through the interview.

Joseph Maturo is a man at the helm of an entire town, yet he plunged the knife in deeper and continued to mar its reputation even further (the interview has made national headlines) - instead of acting like a responsible leader capable of formulating carefully constructed sentences about an already tense and delicate situation, not laden with racial stereotypes.  He was presented with the opportunity to reach out to the town’s Latino community while helping endorse a teachable moment, and he arrogantly opted to make things worse by perpetuating stupid racial tropes about a community of people, who've already been marginalized in his town.
Maturo not only trivialized the gravity of the situation, he became verbally combative with Mario Diaz when he should’ve taken the time to recover from his gaffe... even when he was flailing and fumbling to speak articulately about the situation.


Maturo’s foolery has taken the focus off of an important issue that needs addressing. He may want to consider more PR people…

The comment below following a story in the New Haven Register, pretty much sums it up:

“I was struck quite deeply by the Mayor’s words as they showed just that: racism. How can a man in such a position lead a community to healing, reconciliation and a better future when thru his words he reveals what is in his heart. Even the way he said it showed not only arrogance, but a kind of contempt. You’re right it kind of brought to my mind images of the old recordings you see from the 1960’s where the minorities are viewed as subhuman by the authorities.
The treatment of minorities in East Haven has been a badly kept secret in the Hispanic community for a long time… How can I spend my hard earned money in a community where its leaders show contempt for me?Last night I couldn’t sleep because I felt so angry. I kept thinking of how I show that hurt and anger in a positive way. Was thinking of sending Maturo tacos for lunch and encouraging others to do the same.”

**UPDATE:  Reform Immigration for America, a group focused on helping fight racial injustice, delivered 500 tacos to Mayor Joseph Maturo's office. Here're the details.

Additional Reading




  
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