The Underground Red Road

“The first thing that needs to be said historically about Jim Crow voting laws is that they have never been (to my knowledge) explicitly racist. Even at the height of segregation, no law ever said that black people could not vote for being black. Jim Crow has always been about finding “justifiable” means (albeit fantastically ludicrous and farcical ones) of rigging the voting pool to the advantage of the party in power. In the segregated south, these means included poll taxes (since it costs money to count votes) and civics and literacy tests (since a democracy requires educated citizens). These laws were then enforced selectively so that poor whites did not get tripped up by them. In our present sociopolitical environment, it is no longer possible to systematically disenfranchise an entire race at the level that could be accomplished in the Old South. But what the new voting laws can accomplish is to suppress enough of a percentage of voters to tip the balance in a close election.”

israel:

(forcefully sterilizes ethiopian jews)

america:

(silence)

israel:

(demolishes the homes of palestinians on a huge scale)

america:

(silence)

israel:

(segregates buses so that palestinians have to ride separate buses from israelis)

america:

(silence)

israel:

(forcibly makes it so palestinians cannot visit parts of their own homeland)

america:

(silence)

israel:

(kills and oppresses the palestinian people in the name of a pure jewish homeland)

america:

(silence)

palestinian civilian:

(throws a rock)

america:

OMGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG VIOLENCE!

misguidedivory:

vampirefinch:

Gonna reblog this every time it crosses my dash.

They dont want us to know

misguidedivory:

vampirefinch:

Gonna reblog this every time it crosses my dash.

They dont want us to know

(Source: totallynotablogger, via mahoganysummers)

How to be Black in the Age of Obama, George Zimmerman, and Paula Deen: Notes from Summer, 2013

 

Racism_by_Eibo_Jeddah

Welcome to the impossible future. White people are talking about race. Sometimes, they’ll even talk about racism. Some will say the word “racism” hesitantly, tentatively, as though it’s the name of an exotic food they’re not sure how to pronounce and are even less sure they’d like to taste. But they’ll say it. They’ll talk about it. And if you’re black, chances are they’ll be talking about it to you.  Some tips to note:

Racism will make you angry. You knew this already—you know the heat that claims your ears and forehead when a conversation takes its first racist turns. You have learned by now to recognize the warning signs—to monitor your breathing as soon as someone says “I don’t mean to be racist but…” and prepare for the worst. If you have ever been one of few black people in any situation—in a class, at an office, at a dinner party, in a country—this is a familiar heat. But this summer’s heat feels different. It is unrelenting, self-renewing. It blares from all your life’s screens—your television, your Facebook feed, your email inbox, your iphone. It compromises your health. You feel, by turns, stressed, depressed, powerless, aimless, irate. You notice your heart rate surge and fall. You miss at least one workout. If you smoke, drink, or indulge in comfort food, you find yourself doing so more than usual. If you don’t, you feel a fleeting temptation to start.

Remember: Take care of yourself. And, as you do, scour yourself for internalized anti-blackness. Have you harbored quiet judgment of other black folks for being lazy, obese, indolent, addicted? Think about the anger you feel now. Multiply it by generations. This heat is historic. It’s not that different at all.

- Racism will make you lonely. You may feel like little more than a coffee table or armchair while white folks practice talking about race privilege on you. They will rest phrases like “prejudiced” and “slavery” and “African-American” on you to see if they’ll stick, if they’re using the words right. They will look away, clearing their throats before using terms like “black” or “killed” or “the N word.” Only once those words are out will they look at you for corroboration or critique. In the meantime, you are made to feel like a perfect piece furniture—so functional and compatible with the evening’s decor it’s almost as though you’re not there.

Remember: You are a person. You are not an accessory to anyone’s coming-to-consciousness. Hum your favorite song. Kiss your lover. Say exactly what’s on your mind. Or simply walk away. Do things to remind yourself that you are human. This is, after all, what anti-racism is supposed to be about.

Racism will make you exhausted.  You are being endlessly called on to explain, opine, comfort, congratulate, and absolve. Social gatherings this summer are not really social for you. You are hailed by your co-workers, neighbors, and even the best-meaning white friends as an authority on a judicial system that is scarcely intelligible by legal experts. You are tacitly expected to represent the comprehensive feelings and analysis of The Black Community, a monolith that does not exist. What’s more, you still have to do your paid job dazzlingly, raise your children brilliantly, tend to your partner, pay your bills, remember toothpaste at the grocery store. You are not quite sure where the hours or the energy will come from.

Remember: You are supposed to be free. Theoretically, you can say no. If you are a teacher, remind yourself that you make your living at least in part by helping people better understand race, racism, and the world, and that you are currently off the clock. If you are not a teacher, remind yourself why you made that choice, and decide if, in this moment, pro-bono social work is something you feel moved to do. If it is, have at it. If it’s not, give yourself a break.

Racism will try to make you choose between parts of yourself, and between linked social battles. It will try to convince you that justice for Trayvon Martin means ignoring Rachel Jeantel and Marissa Alexander, that fighting against George Zimmerman’s acquittal means forgetting the rash of anti-queer beatings and murders that have gone unprosecuted this year. It will try to make you think that there is no difference between Zimmerman’s white skin and Paula Deen’s. It will tell you not to think about Guantanamo, or the Voting Rights Act, or activist Eric Lembembe’s murder in Cameroon. It will expect you either to blindly celebrate the miracle of our First Black President or be furious and embarrassed that this violence could happen on his watch. In sum, racism will try to tell you that gender, sexuality, ethnicity, nationality and class do not exist, or do not matter. That the plight of young black American men both subsumes and nullifies the experiences of black women, that neither can exist in queer bodies, that race is indistinguishable from class and that color and ethnicity can be neatly swept under the rug of America’s larger black-and-white concerns. If you are a black woman and/or a black queer person, for example, racism will lie to your face and tell you that you do not exist.

Remember: Read Black and Women of Color Feminism. Audre Lorde, Ntozake Shange, Evelynn Hammonds, June Jordan, Cheryl Clarke, Dionne Brand,  Gloria Anzaldúa, Cathy Cohen, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Patricia Hill Collins, Paula Giddings and many, many others have made their lives about exposing the lie of hierarchical oppression. Read these writers now, read them later, read the works of their intellectual progeny. Recommend them. Give their books as gifts. If you are a teacher, teach them. If you are a writer, put them on your wall andwrite.

Racism will make you understand—yourself, history, the messes of this summer and all the many messes to come.  You will feel like a black Dorothy in rewind, stepping from the relative orderliness of the world you’ve been trying to live in into the wiry, gnarly and highly-pixilated world you always knew lurked just beneath its surface. You will see people’s ugly underfaces, and many of them will surprise you. You will connect the dots between those ugly faces and the faces on television, in the news, spinning down your Facebook feed. You may have thought you understood the catastrophe of race in this country, but this summer brings things to a new level. Now it is 360 degrees around you. Now it fans itself bright and hot at all of your senses. Now it paints the air and stings bone deep.

Remember: Take this understanding to the door of someone understands, too– whose presence makes you less lonely, less angry, less tired, less impelled to choose. Bring yourself to someone who inverts 2013’s post-racist paradigm and offers community, joy, energy, fullness, life.

Do things that make you laugh together. Do things that help you fight together.

Do those things over and over and over again. You’ll need to.

After all, this is America.

daniellemertina:

mixunit:

Thank God We Solved Racism…

This epitomizes why the politics of respectability is so pointless and a ridiculous way to solve racism.
O’Reiley himself claims that if black men dress right, stay in school, and etc that they will be treated with respect. And yet, he blatantly disrespects a Columbia Professor dressed in a suit by reducing him to a cocaine dealer. This is how white people work. They give conditions for you to be treated with humanity, but even when you meet those arbitrary conditions you’re still treated as less than human.
And black people need to become wiser to these tactics. Because then Don Lemon wouldn’t have made the silly statements he made. 

daniellemertina:

mixunit:

Thank God We Solved Racism…

This epitomizes why the politics of respectability is so pointless and a ridiculous way to solve racism.

O’Reiley himself claims that if black men dress right, stay in school, and etc that they will be treated with respect. And yet, he blatantly disrespects a Columbia Professor dressed in a suit by reducing him to a cocaine dealer. This is how white people work. They give conditions for you to be treated with humanity, but even when you meet those arbitrary conditions you’re still treated as less than human.

And black people need to become wiser to these tactics. Because then Don Lemon wouldn’t have made the silly statements he made. 

(via mahoganysummers)

kyssthis16:

atane:

mozambican-beauties:

I agree with Don Lemon 100%. Black Americans (not all, but some) need to fix themselves and STOP blaming slavery for everything that did NOT happen to them.

1.) Go to school

2.) Speak proper English

3.) Stop using the “N” word amongst yourselves

4.) Stop blaming slavery for things that happened a trillion years ago and MOVE the hell on!

5.) Improve your damn FAMILY PLANNING for crying out loud

6.) Stop glorifying the gangster culture and respect yourselves

I have been called “Uncle Tom” several times by ignorant Black Americans but I don’t let that phase me because I have some great African American friends  and acquaintances who are very open-minded and respect themselves.

I will never understand why most African immigrants in America  work very hard to be successful meanwhile a good percentage of African Americans always blame others and lack motivation to work hard.


Oh, and I’m not in the states right now so if you feel the urge to search for me after this post, well, I am chilling in Maputo so catch me if you can.

I’ve seen quite a few of my fellow Africans posting this Don Lemon clip and lecturing black people to get it together. I’m always taken aback by how blissfully unaware some of us are with our respectability politics. Listen, respectability and being proper will not save you when racism comes knocking. Not at all. It is merely a deflection of the real problem. The problem being racism.

Let’s address a few things.

1. The murder of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman is what sparked this “conversation”. I put conversation in quotes because it isn’t really a conversation. It’s talking down to and lecturing black people. It’s no conversation. Trayvon was not murdered because he said “nigga”, wore sagging pants, disrespected himself and had poor family planning. No. He was murdered because Zimmerman saw a black boy in his neighborhood and felt he didn’t belong. Even after being told by the 911 operator not to approach Trayvon, he followed him, got out of his vehicle and confronted him. This is why Trayvon is dead. Can we stop using this murder as a catapult to lecture black people? Apparently not.

2. The issue at hand here is not respectability. Why many of us keep falling for this smokescreen is beyond me. Listen, respectability won’t save you. That’s not the issue at hand here. It is racism. Medgar Evers was a respectable man. He wore suits and was a wonderful orator. Guess what? He got murdered. MLK Jr. was a respectable, well dressed man and a wonderful speaker. Guess what? Didn’t prevent him from getting murdered. Oh, that’s the past you say? Well, Skip Gates is a Harvard professor. Guess what? Being a Harvard professor didn’t stop someone from assuming he was a burglar breaking into his own house. Gates is a grey-haired bespectacled Ivy-league professor who walks with a cane. He was wearing khakis and a polo shirt when they arrested his ass in his own home.

In this clip, Bill O’Reilly says Marc Lamont Hill looks like a drug dealer. Hill is wearing a suit and he’s a professor at Columbia. An Ivy-league professor and academic wearing a suit, and O’Reilly says he looks like a drug dealer. How much more respectable, educated and well spoken can he get? The problem is racism.

3. Furthermore, wearing sagging pants, saying “nigga”, not speaking “proper” English etc is not a license to be treated like dirt. You’re not a better human being because you’re well coiffed and can speak the Queen’s English. Congrats I guess, but being that way won’t address the issue at hand which is racism. My father is a Columbia educated professor, and he’s in his 70s. Guess what? He still gets harassed by the NYPD. They often can’t believe that he owns the Mercedes he drives. My sister is an attorney and workers (whom she hired over the phone!) have questioned her about living in her own house, demanding to speak to the real owners. Maybe she broke in and hung up pictures of herself and her family on the walls. I’m an educated man and can speak the so called proper English with the best of them. Guess what? I still get stopped and frisked here in NYC. Most of the time, I’m wearing button down shirts. I’m in my 30s, so I’m not sagging my pants, but that’s besides the point. It’s not about that. I’ve been stopped and frisked so many times by one officer on Staten Island that he recognized me after a while and got embarrassed. Even he became ashamed after a while.

I usually come home very late because I’m often taking photos at concerts, and late at night is when the NYPD really lets it all hang out. I’ve been disrespected by them so many times, even after I’ve given them ID and complied to everything they’ve asked. Another cop wanted me to dismantle my camera. I told him apart from removing the lens from the camera body, there is nothing else I could do. You know what he did? He threw my camera bag on the floor like it was garbage and told me to get lost. This is the stuff that is happening out here everyday, and it’s not because of anything you or Don Lemon are talking about. Will you lecture me to get my act together and speak proper English?

4. Africans are being killed out here too. Ousmane Zongo was murdered by a cop. Shot in the back. Amadou Diallo was shot at 41 times, with 19 bullets hitting him. Were they shot because they were lazy, called each other niggas, glorified gangster culture and wore sagging pants? This is all our problem.

5. This so called “conversation”, which is really just lecturing black folks is insulting. Only black people get lectured it seems. The day when people like Don Lemon, Bill O’ Reilly and others pushing this respectability nonsense start devoting entire programs to mass incarceration, draconian drug laws that punish blacks harsher than everyone else, stop and frisk, predatory lending, gentrification, redlining and every other kind of institutional racism against blacks (not the topical bullshit like Paula Deen calling someone a nigger), then we will be having a real conversation. However, it’s really easy just to lecture black people. Need I remind you that the catalyst for this so called conversation was about a young black boy being murdered by some trigger happy self appointed neighborhood watchman? Nothing this so called lecturing about what black people should do had anything to do with his murder.

Anyway, I’m in post-racial America, complete with a respectable black president and his respectable black wife. Oh, they still disrespect Barack and Michelle too? I was gonna tell Barack to pull up his pants and to stop saying nigga and tell Michelle to get an education and speak properly. Maybe birthers and the tea party demanded his birth certificate and acted like giant racist asses towards Barack and Michelle because they know Jay Z, a notorious pants sagger in his prime and a liberal user of the word nigga. Barack needs to get educated and do something with his life. Michelle too.

^^^^^Get into this commentary, #doe

(via mahoganysummers)

youngblackandvegan:

"race baiting" is a bull shit term

that white people came up with

in their discomfort about addressing

their white privilege

lickystickypickyshe:

In July 1761 an illegal slave ship foundered near Tromelin, a speck of land 200 miles east of Madagascar. After six months on the island, the surviving gentlemen and sailors assembled a makeshift boat and departed, promising to return for the 60 slaves left on the island. They never did.
The slaves kept a fire going for 15 years while they struggled to survive on an island of barely 0.3 square miles. They fashioned houses from coral and sand, built a communal oven, and subsisted on turtles and seabirds.
“We have found evidence of where they lived and what they ate,” archaeologist Max Guérout told the Independent in 2007. “We have found copper cooking utensils, repaired, over and over again, which must originally have come from the wreck of the ship.”
Many of the castaways simply succumbed. At one point 18 left on a makeshift raft; it’s not known whether they reached land. In 1776 a French sailor was shipwrecked on the island, built a raft, and escaped to Mauritius with three men and three women. When a rescue ship arrived for the last seven castaways, they included a grandmother, her daughter, and an 8-month-old grandchild who had been born on the island.
The governor in Ile de France declared them free, since they had been bought illegally. He adopted the family of three and named the boy Jacques Moise. His surname is a French form of Moses — a baby rescued from water.

lickystickypickyshe:

In July 1761 an illegal slave ship foundered near Tromelin, a speck of land 200 miles east of Madagascar. After six months on the island, the surviving gentlemen and sailors assembled a makeshift boat and departed, promising to return for the 60 slaves left on the island. They never did.

The slaves kept a fire going for 15 years while they struggled to survive on an island of barely 0.3 square miles. They fashioned houses from coral and sand, built a communal oven, and subsisted on turtles and seabirds.

“We have found evidence of where they lived and what they ate,” archaeologist Max Guérout told the Independent in 2007. “We have found copper cooking utensils, repaired, over and over again, which must originally have come from the wreck of the ship.”

Many of the castaways simply succumbed. At one point 18 left on a makeshift raft; it’s not known whether they reached land. In 1776 a French sailor was shipwrecked on the island, built a raft, and escaped to Mauritius with three men and three women. When a rescue ship arrived for the last seven castaways, they included a grandmother, her daughter, and an 8-month-old grandchild who had been born on the island.

The governor in Ile de France declared them free, since they had been bought illegally. He adopted the family of three and named the boy Jacques Moise. His surname is a French form of Moses — a baby rescued from water.

(via mahoganysummers)

rematiration:

the-mtn:

fyeahcracker:

Sign the petition to open a civil rights case against George Zimmerman
Sign the petition to open a civil rights case against George Zimmerman
Sign the petition to open a civil rights case against George Zimmerman
Sign the petition to open a civil rights case against George Zimmerman
Sign the petition to open a civil rights case against George Zimmerman
Sign the petition to open a civil rights case against George Zimmerman

I will reblog this a million times.

^^