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Opinion: Fighting injustice and racism begins with honest talk – Greenville News

William E. Rogers, Guest columnist Published 12:09 p.m. ET June 1, 2017 | Updated 2:03 p.m. ET June 1, 2017

William Rogers(Photo: Submitted)

Last month, I served on the planning committee for the Shared Knowledge Conference 2017, “A Just Greenville,”presented by Beyond Differences, Inc.; Furman University; and Legacy Charter School.

This was the seventh year of these conferences, the vision of the Rev. Paul Guy of Beyond Differences. Although Rev. Guy is a prominent black activist, the conferences are not about activism. The point is to share knowledge.

The theme in May was justice — for women, for immigrants, for people of color. But you cannot talk sensibly about injustice in Greenville without talking about black and white. And so the conversation kept circling back to racism.

The conference was a remarkable experience for me, a very white person. I hope it was also valuable for the black participants. The conference made me confront several ideas.

— Injustice and racism feed off each other, but they are not the same thing. Racism looks at other races as less than fully human and therefore undeserving of rights and privileges. Injustice sets up social systems, systematically racist, that seem to demonstrate that the underprivileged are in fact undeserving.

But injustice belongs to politics — ways we live together. Racism belongs to psychology — ways we think and feel.

Overcoming injustice means establishing just laws and enforcing them justly. Overcoming racism means cleaning the windows of our own soul, ridding ourselves of the reflexive alienation, disgust, or even physical repulsion that we feel toward the other.

— Neither injustice nor racism can be overcome until both are overcome. The Civil War ended the horrible injustice of slavery. But because racism survived, there was Jim Crow. The Civil Rights Movement removed the legal underpinnings of Jim Crow, but because racism survived, new modes of social and economic oppression were invented. The lesson of history seems to be that racism will find a way.

And of course, racism cuts both ways. White racism inevitably generates black racism.

The tight, toxic circle cannot, it seems, be broken at any one point. We have to work on the whole thing at once.

There are perceived injustices to work on in Greenville: displacement of poor people by gentrification, lack of adequate public transportation, bad behavior of law enforcement officials.

We have accumulated from experience an arsenal of strategies to combat injustice: legal action, political action, economic pressure, non-violent civil disobedience.

But how do we work on our own racism? One of the problems of white privilege is that white people have the privilege of not knowing that they have privilege.

— We need to talk — not just any talk, but talk intentionally structured to address our racism. This, if I understand Rev. Guys vision, is the point of his conferences.

It has never been easy or natural in America for white people and black people to discuss race honestly together. Much talk has been designed mainly to defer action. Understandably, some black activists have become weary of talk.

Structuring effective talk is not easy. But I believe it can be done. I have seen it done, I think, twice: once at the Shared Knowledge Conference; and once earlier, in one of the Courageous Conversations facilitated by the Rev. Ronald A. Smith at the First Christian Church in Greenville.

Rev. Guy and Rev. Smith are both pastors. Talk about race could be structured and institutionalized through secular organizations. But it seems to me that the church is the natural venue for such talk. It seems that there might be opportunities here for partnerships between “black”churches and “white”churches, even if the partnership goes no deeper than this one common purpose.

In a way, then, I suppose that as a theologically liberal Christian I am calling on the churches to fulfill a duty: to deal with racism, black or white, in a way that might terminate in social activism aimed at creating a more just society.

The Shared Knowledge Conferences for 2018 and 2019 will continue to focus on “A Just Greenville.”Watch for them.

William E. Rogers is the Bennette E. Geer Professor of Literature Emeritus at Furman University, where he taught in the English Department for 36 years. He is a member of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Greenville. He can be reached at william.elford.rogers@gmail.com.

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Opinion: Fighting injustice and racism begins with honest talk – Greenville News

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June 3, 2017   Posted in: Black Racism  Comments Closed

Students Questioned About Alleged Harassment Allegations of Anti … – The Cooper Point Journal

By Georgie Hicks

On Sunday May 14 a student called the Evergreen Police on two Black students, after a May 10 post in the The Evergreen State College Class of 2020 Facebook group sparked intense debate and allegations of racism, leading to an offline confrontation among involved students. The two Black students, Jamil and Timeko, were woken up by the campus police and taken to police services to be questioned and remained there from around 11 p.m. til 2 a.m. on May 14-15.

On Sunday May 14 a student called the Evergreen Police on two Black students, after a May 10 post in the The Evergreen State College Class of 2020 Facebook group sparked intense debate and allegations of racism, leading to an offline confrontation among involved students. A student ended up calling the Evergreen Police, leading to two Black students, Timeko Williams Jr and Jamil, who prefers we do not use their last name, being woken up by the police and taken to police services to be questioned, where they remained from around 11 p.m. til 2 a.m. on May 14-15.

The students were under the impression they could face negative repercussions if they left or refused to answer questions. Isiah Montejano, a student who went to the police station, stated that these two Black students were not allowed to leave or use the restroom. Although they legally had the right to leave, it appears this was not made clear to the students being questioned nor the many witnesses and bystanders.

The Facebook post that sparked the incident was a call by Jamil for People of Color (PoC) to sign up for the Evergreen program Mediaworks: Re/Presenting Power and Difference in an attempt to make the class majority Black/Brown. One student, Kai-Av Douvia, took particular issue with the call for PoC in Mediaworks and alleged that it constituted reverse racism, despite the original poster stating that they did not mean white people shouldnt be permitted to take the class. Douvia made a post in response that repeated Jamils words but replaced PoC and black/brown with white. The original post and Douvias follow up incited a near constant flow of debate and controversy on the page from May 10-14, with many Students of Color expressing discomfort with how race was being addressed in comments and on campus, and many white students, as well as some PoC, discussing their discomfort at the way in which the grievances of PoC were being aired.

These online conversations culminated in a confrontation in the Greenery Sunday evening involving Douvia and Williams, leading Douvia to call the Evergreen Police, claiming he felt threatened and unsafe. Marissa Parker, a student who witnessed much of the Sunday night incident told the CPJ that Douvias claim of harassment was false. Williams himself also refutes the claims that the Greenery confrontation was harassment. The witness to the situation continued by saying that in fact Douvia was harassing Williams, yelling at him from outside of his dorm room prior to the confrontation at the Greenery. They explained, Timeko [then] goes to the Greenery and he sees Kai-Av and hes like you know I want to talk to this dude and see where hes coming from and see whats up because all his friends have been bothering us on the internet and irl. He goes up to Kai-Av and is like Hey whats up do you plan on stopping disrespecting my friends do you plan to stop doing that and Kai-Av says no.

Around 6 p.m. on May 14, Douvia and Williams got into an argument, and as one student describes There is more yelling going on because at this point [Douvia had] called the cops who in turn called [Timekos] mom, so hes allowed to be angry. The student elaborated on the context of the situation, saying, Black people are allowed to be angry. Youre harassing them on social media, youre harassing them in real life. However, they clarify, no one came to blows and no was even close [to fighting] but whenever [people] see a tall 63-64 Black man yelling at someone its like, oh theres gonna be an altercation.

Douvia describe the incident and alleged threats made against him saying, I felt threatened and proceeded to go to the police. I reported the first time about the Facebook messages and the second time about the Greenery confrontation.

Another student stated, I dont think I would even consider [the Greenery confrontation] an incident, as it was not a violent encounter under any circumstances.

Following the argument in the Greenery, both Williams and Jamil were brought for questioning, and videos circulating on Facebook show that a swarm of students occupied the Police Services lobby waiting for their release. Many students present were upset with the handling of the situation by police.

Stacy Brown, Evergreens Chief of Police, defended police actions, stating, Our main goal is to ensure safety for all studentsno matter what time of day or night it is. She asserts that students came to the police department, without police escort and told us what happened and their part in the matter, voluntarily, then goes on to say, We determined no crime was committed by any parties involved in the incident and we have concluded our involvement in this matter.

Although Jamil and Williams were not escorted by the police, witnesses report that they were escorted from the dorms to Police Services by Residential Director Hanna Smith. Reports also aledge that while being questioned by police, Williams asked to use the bathroom and was denied permission.

On Monday May 15, around 5 p.m. approximately 100 students gathered in the library to respond to a call to action in regards to the the police treatment and holding of the students. Students involved cited the general distrust and dislike for police services, administration, and the general treatment of PoC on campus as reasons for gathering.

The assembled group walked to the Campus Activities Building where a question forum for a candidate for Vice President and Provost of Equity and Inclusion was being held. The candidate said she wanted to hear from students and the meeting became a discussion about racism, anti-Blackness, and discrimination on campus, as well as the previous nights events.

Douvia, despite recent controversy, attended this gathering, attempting to make a statement about individualism before being asked to leave.

A student who was involved in the earlier online controversy said, We already knew [Douvias] M.O. but we didnt think that we would expose them [Douvia and his friends] for the racist, sexist group that they are.

Douvia responded to the anger about the situation and allegations of anti-Black racism, stating, I, Kai-Av Douvia, am a person of color who does not support racism or sexism of any sort.

Another student had this to say, insistence that you do not support racism does not actually mean that you are not racist or anti-black. Anti-Blackness is an issue even among PoC.

Douvia claims that this incident comes in the midst of a hostile atmosphere toward some on campus saying, I have witnessed students cry due to the blatant disrespect given to them because of physical aspects that they cant change. I have witnessed hate speech towards white students, cis students, straight students, and male students just for being that.

Others involved feel that this reality of our campus environment is quite blatantly the opposite, that, as one student said in a meeting after the incident, there is a lot of anti-Blackness here anti-Blackness is so rampant, it affects every facet of our experience [at Evergreen]

This story is still unfolding, and some facts remain unclear. We felt it was important to report the information that was available to us, but the incident will be further investigated for a follow up article in the next issue of the CPJ.

This story is still unfolding, but we felt it was important to report the information that was available to us. The incident will be further investigated in the next issue of the CPJ. If you have any information involving the events in question, please send us an email at [cooperpointjournal@gmail.com] with the title of this article as the subject.

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The coming storm over anti-Black racism in education – NOW Magazine

Over the past six months, I’ve been working on a research project focused on improving literacy in the Kingston-Galloway-Orton Park (KGO) community of Scarborough.

It’s a community that media would have us believe is a hopeless, impoverished gangland. But the people who live and work here know better.

For the past five years, grassroots organizations like The Reading Partnership and KGO Adult Literacy Program have been working to address learning gaps created by underachieving schools where students’ literacy and numeracy test scores are consistently below the provincial average.

At a May 11 Spotlight On Literacy event in KGO, parents’ anger was palpable.

They shared stories of students struggling to demonstrate basic skills and falling behind. And they spoke about overwhelmed teachers who are seemingly afraid of their children. Yet each year they come together to discuss how improving literacy might help turn things around. The troubling absence of Black males from community learning programs was a common concern at the gathering.

Phylicia Davis, a long-time literacy worker in the neighbourhood, says, “The forum is not only about connecting parents, caregivers, children, youth and adult learners with resources, it’s a call to action in co-creating solutions.”

“The lack of Black educators, curriculum that is not culturally and historically relevant and the way that Black males are treated have all contributed to the lack of enthusiasm for educational attainment,” says Davis.

And it’s not just affecting K-12 schooling.

As someone who’s taught in the college sector for more than a decade, I can attest to the experiences of too many Black students who, after somehow making it to the post-secondary level, find themselves ill-equipped to do well.

I’ve observed how racial disparities play out in education, how they strangle confidence and motivation.

My Black students consistently look to me and my other Black colleagues for support and guidance as they navigate barriers. We do the best we can even though we know it isn’t enough. The damage has been done. We can only watch as they drift out the door. I admit feeling an ugly complicity in it all.

But there’s a storm coming.

If you listen carefully, you’ll hear it. It’s gathering force in the minds and hearts of Black students and their parents in homes, communities, schools and on post-secondary campuses across the province. There’s a collective determination, propelled by unalloyed rage, to end anti-Black racism in our school system. And it’s been a long time coming.

Black students have endured racism in our schools for longer than anyone can remember. Its disastrous impact has been well-documented: massive dropout and alarming school suspension rates, poor academic standing and low success rates at the post-secondary level. It’s a shameful legacy of systemic discrimination and wilful neglect.

The weather vane is spinning.

Last week, Charline Grant, the parent who became the target of former York Region school board trustee Nancy Elgie’s n-word slur, won an apology from the board as part of a human rights complaint documenting unfair treatment of her son. Grant’s case has led to a renewed activism among Black parents that has not been seen since the fight for Africentric schools in the early 2000s.

As part of her settlement, the York Region board has agreed to set up a Human Rights Office to collect equity-related data, establish committees to address issues of anti-Black racism and Islamophobia, and roll out anti-racism training for staff.

On May 1, Black Lives Matter-Toronto (BLM-TO) organized a walkout of Black teachers, prompting Toronto District School Board (TDSB) director John Malloy to publicly commit to mandatory anti-racism training for all board employees. While it’s not possible to determine the actual number of teachers who took part in the protest, the TDSB has been put on notice.

Of course, we have been here before.

The province and its school boards have feigned interest in doing something about anti-Black racism whenever they’ve come under increased scrutiny.

For example, in the wake of the hand-wringing that followed the 1992 Yonge Street “riot,” premier Bob Rae tapped former NDP leader and human rights activist Stephen Lewis to report on the status of Black youth, including their experiences in school.

While Lewis’s report is better known for calling out anti-Black racism in policing, it also lamented what little progress has been made in addressing racism in schools, which he described as “shocking.”

That was 25 years ago.

Similarly, in 2008, premier Dalton McGuinty commissioned Roy McMurtry and Alvin Curling to deliver the Review Of The Roots Of Youth Violence report, which also cited racism in schools as central to dismal social outcomes for Black youth.

McMurtry and Curling zeroed in on the problem of Eurocentric curriculum “and continuing failure of the mainstream curriculum to acknowledge the many historically significant contributions of racialized people.”

That was just under 10 years ago.

The reports reveal an instructive pattern, but Black people have never needed them to inform us of what we already know.

We knew about the school-to-prison pipeline before the term was coined. We knew our kids were disproportionately being funnelled into special education and behavioural programs before studies confirmed it. We knew young Black males were the primary targets of safe school policies that made them pariahs in the classroom.

And we knew that, while white students received the official school curriculum, our kids learned the hidden one that taught them they didn’t belong.

A recent York University report details how Black students continue to be streamed into courses that limit their academic options and potential. Another recent study conducted by the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) found that Black students are also being shut out of arts-based schools across the GTA.

So what will the winds of change blow in this time? How will this particular confluence of Black activism differ from earlier ones?

We will see Black educators called upon to engage in more radical forms of advocacy on behalf of Black students. They will do so, of course, at great risk to their careers. But as others have pointed out, Black life in the face of white supremacy is inherently risky.

The Charline Grants of the world will continue to rally Black parents. They will hold schools to account while seeking deeper levels of involvement on parent councils and school boards. Parents know better than anyone else that the stakes couldn’t be any higher.

And what about Black students themselves? Don’t be surprised if they outright refuse to accept the second-rate education they’ve been handed for decades. The entire school system may have to be brought to a grinding halt and redesigned from the bottom up.

Neil Price is a doctoral student at OISE and author of the Community Assessment of Police Practices (CAPP) report on carding.

news@nowtoronto.com | @nowtoronto

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Mayor calls plan to combat anti-black racism an important first step – Toronto Star

Nene Kwasi Kafele (centre) and Winston Husbands (left) speak with Toronto Mayor John Tory about the city’s draft anti-black racism action plan, released Saturday at city hall. ( Jesse Winter / Toronto Star ) | Order this photo

Black Lives Matter Toronto and other members of the black community say theyre cautiously optimistic about the citys new draft anti-black racism action plan.

That action plan has 21 recommendations for the city including the creation of a black caucus at City Hall, hiring more black people for city jobs and overhauling the discipline process for the Toronto Police Service.

Mayor John Tory unveiled the draft plan Saturday at an open house attended by dozens of people, many of them long-time activists and organizers from Torontos various black communities.

The recommendations alone cannot solve the deep-seated problem of racist beliefs, Tory said, but he said he is confident they are an important first step for the city to take to combating systemic racism across Toronto.

We have an alternative, Tory told reporters. We can just shrug our shoulders or we can say its really unfortunate or we can say Thats not right and do everything we can to eradicate racism in this city.

Among the draft recommendations is a suggestion the city review the decision not to delete years worth of carding data. Tory reiterated the citys position that it cant delete that data because its lawyers insist doing so would be illegal, but his position is that it should be destroyed if possible.

Other recommendations in the plan include an increased focus on education and job opportunities for young black people, particularly young black men with criminal records.

The report also calls for better training of city staff, and viewing many issues through an anti-black racism lens.

The report includes nine recommendations for the province that the city will push for, Tory said, including creating a black childrens aid society and removing barriers for people to apply for criminal record suspensions.

Reaction to the draft action plan ranged from enthusiastic to tepid.

I think this is an important step for the city and the community, said long-time community activist Nene Kwasi Kafele.

But weve been down this road before. Were cautiously optimistic, but we must be mindful of history, he said.

Kafele said while the recommendations are encouraging, there are three areas he would like to see more focus.

First, its important to ensure that alongside actions to improve the outcomes for individual people in the education, employment and criminal justice systems, there needs to be a larger focus on economic development for many of Torontos currently struggling neighbourhoods, he said.

We need to see large-scale economic development, he said, things like black banks, co-ops and other targeted investments.

Second, Kafele wants to see more commitments for community infrastructure, both in terms of bricks-and-mortar facilities like community centres but also in the human infrastructure and people needed to run them.

Third, Kafele said the report which does place an emphasis on improving black leadership across the city needs to ensure those leaders are not treated simply as consultants, but are incorporated into the roots of the strategy itself going forward.

We need people with lived experience involved in the government structure, he said.

The draft action plan is the result of more than 40 community meetings across the city. It also leans on 41 years worth of previous reports that have been written to address systemic anti-black racism.

Rather than turn to the so-called experts to write another report, we turned to the community, Tory said.

Tory said he personally attended four of the community meetings, and listened to community members describe what it feels like to be followed by store employees or stopped by police for no reason.

He said the whole process was sparked by his struggle to understand how to response to Black Lives Matter Torontos encampment at police headquarters last March.

That group did not participate in organizing the community meetings and consultations that went into drafting this report.

Black Lives Matter Torontos Ravyn Wngz said the group didnt participate officially for fear of dominating the conversation.

We wanted to make sure that the community was heard, Wngz said. These are our families (that participated), our friends.

Wngz said she is hopeful the recommendations will bring about long-needed change, but she wants to see a greater focus on implementation.

If these recommendations are a reflection of what hasnt been happening all along, then that should be a really big red flag for the city, she said.

The feedback the city receives from Saturdays workshop will be used to create a set of final recommendations. Tory pledged to champion that final action plan at city council when it comes up for a vote in July. If the action plan passes, the city will begin working on a plan for implementing the recommendations, Tory said.

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More Old Tweets Resurface Revealing Filipina Model Comparing Black People to Dogs – NextShark

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Instagram star Lily Macapinlac has been under fire this week after old tweets dating back to 2013 resurfaced showing her bashing Asian men and loving white boys.

The resurfaced tweets are now going viral and users have flocked to Twitter and Instagram condemningMacapinlac for her actions. The 22-year-old has since issued an apology and turned off commentsfor two of her latest Instagram posts.

Unfortunately, it seems thatMacapinlac cant catch a break another tweet has resurfaced showing Macapinlac comparing Black people to dogs.

Ranier Maningding, a social activistand creator of The Love Life of an Asian Guypage on Facebook, told NextShark:

Lily Macs Twitter exchange comparing Black boys and Black dogs is a case of classic anti-Black racism. The comparison between Black folks and animals is a form of anti-Black dehumanization, and weve been doing this for centuries.

They did this during the 1800s when P.T Barnum and Bailey bought and sold Black slaves to human zoos and conservative politicians often compared Michelle Obama to a gorilla. When people compare Black folks with animals, they imply that Black people are genetically subhuman, and thus, deserve subhuman rights and treatment. This toxic mentality makes it easier to distance yourself from the deaths of Black people because youve already established that theyre just animals, not people.

I dont take these types of jokes lightly, especially when police are out here shooting and murdering innocent Black people as if they were stray dogs. Its also worth noting that Lilys Twitter exchange re: white worship, homophobia, and racism goes hand-in-hand with these anti-Black tweets. White supremacy and anti-Blackness are cut from the same cloth, and it appears that Lily knitted herself a patchwork of all types of bigotry.

Nathan Poekert, a publicist with Day One Agency,tweeted the following in lieu of the controversy.

As the saying goes: The internet is forever.

(Visited 276 times, 276 visits today)

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Black Lives Matter Toronto wants police officers out of GTA schools – CBC.ca

Black Lives Matter Toronto wants to eliminate the School Resource Officer Program, which stations uniformed officers in Toronto-area schools, as part of six changes targeting anti-black racism in the education system.

Officers have been stationed at schools since 2008, which was funded by a federal grant.

The Toronto groupis demanding six specific changes to the primary and secondary education systems in the Greater Toronto Area, including implementing anti-black racism training at all levels of Toronto-area school boards andcreating an advisory board of black parents.

Black Lives Matter Toronto staged a walkout Monday to lay out its demands.

It’s in response to a report last week from a York University professor thatused TDSB data to determine a largenumber of black students are being streamed into applied instead of academic programsand they are suspended at much higher rates.

Black Lives Matter Toronto organized the ‘School Walk Out For Black Lives’ day at the York Woods Library. (Nicole Martin/CBC)

About 20 Toronto teachers also took part, Black Lives Matter Toronto said.

Supply teacher Hawa Sabriye didn’t accept work Monday to join the protest and lead one of the workshops, which are being offered toeducators, parents and students to identify and combat anti-black racism. The workshops were held at York Woods Libraryin Toronto’s Jane and Finch neighbourhood.

“I think going into so many different schools across the city, I’ve noticed many different educators and administrators that have anti-black assumptions for students,” said Sabriye. “This is creating barriers for many black children across the TDSB (Toronto District School Board), but also the Peel District School Board and the York Region District School Board and it’s really impacting, not only their educational futures, but also their family life.”

Sabriye said she joined the protest because shehas a younger brother and cousins in the school system.

“There’s an alarming number of black youth that aren’t making it out of high school and I think the TDSB and other school boards have to acknowledge this and realize it’s a real issue,” she said.

Pascale Diverlus, aBlack Lives Matter Toronto co-founder, said the day of action will offer workshops aimed at ending racism in the classroom.

“It’s about providing programming for educators and for parents, to be able to learn how to recognize anti-black racism within the school system and how to dismantle it,” she said.

“Their intelligence is not being valued, so this day is about calling attention to those things. But also showing it can be done ina way that actually supports black students; in a way that they can thrive and they can actually go to school and learn, which is what they are there to do.”

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Andrew Sullivan and the model minority myth: Columnist unintentionally reminds us that racism is the force that … – Salon

Last Friday Andrew Sullivan published an essay in New York magazine titled Why Do Democrats Feel Sorry for Hillary Clinton? The argument presented therein was not novel, nor was Sullivans essay particularly insightful. The article is highly useful in some ways, however.

It is a reminder that while it may be fashionable to blame Donald Trumps white working class voters for electing a racist incompetent, the bigotry that propelled Trump to the presidency is endemic to the Republican Party and modern conservatism as a whole. This includes its reasonable, serious and supposedly principled voices like Sullivan as well.

After meandering from a blistering attack on Clinton to an observation about Dr. David Dao (the passenger assaulted by police on a United Airlines flight last week after he refused to surrender his seat), Sullivan arrives at his money shot.

Its easy to mock this reductionism, I know, but it reflects something a little deeper. Asian-Americans, like Jews, are indeed a problem for the social-justice brigade. I mean, how on earth have both ethnic groups done so well in such a profoundly racist society? How have bigoted white people allowed these minorities to do so well even to the point of earning more, on average, than whites? Asian-Americans, for example, have been subject to some of the most brutal oppression, racial hatred, and open discrimination over the years. In the late 19th century, as most worked in hard labor, they were subject tolynchingsand violence across the American West and laws that prohibited their employment. They werebannedfrom immigrating to the U.S. in 1924. Japanese-American citizens were forced into internment camps during the Second World War, and subjected to hideous, racist propaganda after Pearl Harbor. Yet, today, Asian-Americans are among the most prosperous, well-educated, and successful ethnic groups in America. What gives? It couldnt possibly be that they maintained solid two-parent family structures, had social networks that looked after one another, placed enormous emphasis on education and hard work, and thereby turned false, negative stereotypes into true, positive ones, could it? It couldnt be that all whites are not racists or that the American dream still lives?

Andrew Sullivan is engaged in a classic example of attention-seeking behavior in which right-wing pundits make piss-poor, specious and under-theorized claims about race in America. As such, and quite unintentionally, he has provided a much-needed teachable moment.

Sullivans errors are many. For one thing, hisclaims provide a textbook example of the way modern racism no longer leverages claims of inherent biological differences regarding intelligence to elevate whites and demean nonwhites (especially black people). Instead, the discourse of modern racism uses arguments about bad culture to do the work of white supremacy.

As was common during the post-civil rights era in the United States, Asian-Americans are made into a foil and wedge group by white conservatives for the purpose of negating and ignoring the historical and present-day impact of white racism specifically on black Americans and people of color more generally. Political scientist Claire Jean Kim described the complexities of this political moment in a 2016 editorial in the Los Angeles Times:

This is a pivotal moment in the political history of Asian America. Currently, some Asian American groups are forging alliances with conservative white politicians to defeat state affirmative action bills and spearhead anti-affirmative action lawsuits against elite universities. Others have moved in the opposite direction, denouncing these Asian-first moves and calling for Asian-black solidarity in the fight against white supremacy.The Achilles heel of the latter position it that it assumes the unity of nonwhite interests, even though Asian Americans are positioned differently from black people in the U.S. racial order.

The current dynamics of race in America, Kim wrote, challenged Asian-Americans to develop a political ethos that calls for confronting racial hierarchy and anti-black racism, even when the self-interest of Asian Americans dictates otherwise.

Sullivans arguments also rely on the discredited model minority myth whereby, as demonstrated by scholars such as Ronald Takaki, Frank Wu and others,the diverse experiences and identities of Asian-Americans as a group are collapsed into a political and social fiction that is used to sustain anti-black racism by blunting any claims that white supremacy remains a powerful social force in American life.

The model minority myth is problematic in other ways as well. Primarily, it ignores how members of Asian-American immigrant groups such as Cambodians and Hmong people have struggledwith poverty, incarceration and other types of social stigmas and marginalization.

The model minority myth also overlooks how immigrants to the United States often possess social and economic capital that groups such as African-Americans do not possess because the latter have been denied such resources by centuries of institutional white supremacy from the nations founding through to the present. Kim addressed this point in the same Los Angeles Times essay:

Asian Americans are not, as they are often labeled, a model minority whose cultural endowments have allowed them to outstrip other less equipped minorities. However, like whites, they do enjoy a priceless set of structural privileges and immunities, as evidenced by high educational and residential integration and intermarriage rates with whites. They have also been immunized, relatively speaking, from the systemic, routine and often lethal violence exercised by the state against the black community not just episodes of individual killing, but the institutionalized violence of residential segregation, educational segregation, job discrimination, policing and mass incarceration. This advanced positioning of Asian Americans relative to black people in the U.S. racial order can be traced all the way back to the mid-19th century.

Perhaps most important, social scientists have shown that it is not that Asian-Americans are a model minority but that racial animus toward them has diminishedover time. Even allowing for that dynamic, one should not overlookthatAsians still face racial discrimination in the American labor market.

In his comments about the model minority myth, Sullivan paraphrases almost the exact language used by social scientists to measure modern racism. This would be funny if the implications of Sullivans claims were otherwise not so serious. He also is either ignorant of or intentionally ignores new research from Demos and the Institute on Assets and Social Policy at Brandeis University that demonstrates that even when blacks and Latinos follow the rules to obtain the American dream by earning college degrees, working full-time, spending less money and maintaining solid two-parent family structures, they still do worse in terms of financial wealth compared withwhite Americans.

Like other conservatives of his ilk, Sullivans observations about Asian-Americans and, by implication, African-Americans are colored by a foundational belief that blacks are aliens in America who are somehow not fit for full citizenship and equal membership in the polity. Moreover, in this narrative black Americans are victims of their own making. Apparently, centuries of white-on-black chattel slavery and then decades of Jim and Jane Crow violence did not exist. The consequences of that plunder and destruction are thus washed away by a fictional, flattened version of American historywith Martin Luther King Jr. magically curing all ills, combined with a belief in the inherent goodwill and benign nature of white America.

This version of the white gaze and the white racial frame also ignores the centuries-long history of the black public sphere, black civil society organizations, black educational institutions and a long black freedom struggle that expanded liberty, freedom and democracy for all marginalized groupsin America including gay white men such as Andrew Sullivan. This version of the white gaze and the white racial frame overlooks the role of the United States government in creating and perpetuating economic, social and political inequality along the color line, to the unearned advantage of white people and the undeserved disadvantage of nonwhites.

Ultimately, Sullivans belief that Asians constitute a model minority while black Americans are comparatively inferior should not come as a surprise. In the past, Sullivan has declared his support for the modern-day eugenicist Charles Murray and the debunked claims made in his racist tome The Bell Curve.Sullivan also believesthat human beings constitute separate races that by implication can be bred into distinct breeds like dogs.

Donald Trumps racist and neofascist presidential campaign was not entirely reliant on the so-called white working class for victory. He won the votes of every group of white voters except college-educated white women. Trump was able to do this by using white racism, bigotry, authoritarianism and nativism to mobilize his base. In all, Trump would not have been successful if conservatism and racism were not effectively the same thing in post-civil rights era America. Right-wingopinion leaders like Sullivan share and defend those values.

Donald Trumps victory over Hillary Clinton is the civic, social and political wastewaterof much more than the white working class. It is the vile output of todays white conservatives as a group. To pretend otherwise is to ignore what really transpired during the 2016 American presidential election and its implications for the present and future health of American democracy.

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Andrew Sullivan and the model minority myth: Columnist unintentionally reminds us that racism is the force that … – Salon

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April 21, 2017   Posted in: Black Racism  Comments Closed

‘Model Minority’ Myth Again Used As A Racial Wedge Between Asians And Blacks – NPR

The perception of universal success among Asian-Americans is being wielded to downplay racism’s role in the persistent struggles of other minority groups, especially black Americans. Chelsea Beck/NPR hide caption

The perception of universal success among Asian-Americans is being wielded to downplay racism’s role in the persistent struggles of other minority groups, especially black Americans.

A piece from New York Magazine’s Andrew Sullivan over the weekend ended with an old, well-worn trope: Asian-Americans, with their “solid two-parent family structures,” are a shining example of how to overcome discrimination. An essay that began by imagining why Democrats feel sorry for Hillary Clinton and then detoured to President Trump’s policies drifted to this troubling ending:

“Today, Asian-Americans are among the most prosperous, well-educated, and successful ethnic groups in America. What gives? It couldn’t possibly be that they maintained solid two-parent family structures, had social networks that looked after one another, placed enormous emphasis on education and hard work, and thereby turned false, negative stereotypes into true, positive ones, could it? It couldn’t be that all whites are not racists or that the American dream still lives?”

Sullivan’s piece, rife with generalizations about a group as vastly diverse as Asian-Americans, rightfully raised hackles. Not only inaccurate, his piece spreads the idea that Asian-Americans as a group are monolithic, even though parsing data by ethnicity reveals a host of disparities; for example, Bhutanese-Americans have far higher rates of poverty than other Asian populations, like Japanese-Americans. And at the root of Sullivan’s pernicious argument is the idea that black failure and Asian success cannot be explained by inequities and racism, and that they are one and the same; this allows a segment of white America to avoid any responsibility for addressing racism or the damage it continues to inflict.

“Sullivan’s comments showcase a classic and tenacious conservative strategy,” Janelle Wong, the director of Asian American Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park, said in an email. This strategy, she said, involves “1) ignoring the role that selective recruitment of highly educated Asian immigrants has played in Asian American success followed by 2) making a flawed comparison between Asian Americans and other groups, particularly Black Americans, to argue that racism, including more than two centuries of black enslavement, can be overcome by hard work and strong family values.”

“It’s like the Energizer Bunny,” said Ellen D. Wu, an Asian-American studies professor at Indiana University and the author of The Color of Success. Much of Wu’s work focuses on dispelling the “model minority” myth, and she’s been tasked repeatedly with publicly refuting arguments like Sullivan’s, which, she said, are incessant. “The thing about the Sullivan piece is that it’s such an old-fashioned rendering. It’s very retro in the kinds of points he made.”

Since the end of World War II, many white people have used Asian-Americans and their perceived collective success as a racial wedge. The effect? Minimizing the role racism plays in the persistent struggles of other racial/ethnic minority groups especially black Americans.

On Twitter, people took Sullivan’s “old-fashioned rendering” to task.

“During World War II, the media created the idea that the Japanese were rising up out of the ashes [after being held in incarceration camps] and proving that they had the right cultural stuff,” said Claire Jean Kim, a professor at the University of California, Irvine. “And it was immediately a reflection on black people: Now why weren’t black people making it, but Asians were?”

These arguments falsely conflate anti-Asian racism with anti-black racism, according to Kim. “Racism that Asian-Americans have experienced is not what black people have experienced,” Kim said. “Sullivan is right that Asians have faced various forms of discrimination, but never the systematic dehumanization that black people have faced during slavery and continue to face today.” Asians have been barred from entering the U.S. and gaining citizenship and have been sent to incarceration camps, Kim pointed out, but all that is different than the segregation, police brutality and discrimination that African-Americans have endured.

Many scholars have argued that some Asians only started to “make it” when the discrimination against them lessened and only when it was politically convenient. Amid worries that the Chinese exclusion laws from the late 1800s would hurt an allyship with China in the war against imperial Japan, the Magnuson Act was signed in 1943, allowing 105 Chinese immigrants into the U.S. each year. As Wu wrote in 2014 in the Los Angeles Times, the Citizens Committee to Repeal Chinese Exclusion “strategically recast Chinese in its promotional materials as ‘law-abiding, peace-loving, courteous people living quietly among us'” instead of the “‘yellow peril’ coolie hordes.” In 1965, the National Immigration Act replaced the national-origins quota system with one that gave preference to immigrants with U.S. family relationships and certain skills.

In 1966, William Petersen, a sociologist at the University of California, Berkeley, helped popularize comparisons between Japanese-Americans and African-Americans. His New York Times story, headlined, “Success Story, Japanese-American Style,” is regarded as one of the most influential pieces written about Asian-Americans. It solidified a prevailing stereotype of Asians as industrious and rule-abiding that would stand in direct contrast to African-Americans, who were still struggling against bigotry, poverty and a history rooted in slavery. In the opening paragraphs, Petersen quickly puts African-Americans and Japanese-Americans at odds:

“Asked which of the country’s ethnic minorities has been subjected to the most discrimination and the worst injustices, very few persons would even think of answering: ‘The Japanese Americans,’ … Yet, if the question refers to persons alive today, that may well be the correct reply. Like the Negroes, the Japanese have been the object of color prejudice …. When new opportunities, even equal opportunities, are opened up, the minority’s reaction to them is likely to be negative either self-defeating apathy or a hatred so all-consuming as to be self-destructive. For the well-meaning programs and countless scholarly studies now focused on the Negro, we barely know how to repair the damage that the slave traders started. The history of Japanese Americans, however, challenges every such generalization about ethnic minorities.”

But as history shows, Asian-Americans were afforded better jobs not simply because of educational attainment, but in part because they were treated better.

“More education will help close racial wage gaps somewhat, but it will not resolve problems of denied opportunity,” reporter Jeff Guo wrote last fall in the Washington Post. “Asian Americans some of them at least have made tremendous progress in the United States. But the greatest thing that ever happened to them wasn’t that they studied hard, or that they benefited from tiger moms or Confucian values. It’s that other Americans started treating them with a little more respect.”

At the heart of arguments of racial advancement is the concept of “racial resentment,” which is different than “racism,” Slate’s Jamelle Bouie recently wrote in his analysis of the Sullivan article. “Racial resentment” refers to a “moral feeling that blacks violate such traditional American values as individualism and self reliance,” as defined by political scientists Donald Kinder and David Sears.

And, Bouie points out, “racial resentment” is simply a tool that people use to absolve themselves from dealing with the complexities of racism:

“In fact, racial resentment reflects a tension between the egalitarian self-image of most white Americans and that anti-black affect. The ‘racist,’ after all, is a figure of stigma. Few people want to be one, even as they’re inclined to believe the measurable disadvantages blacks face are caused by something other than structural racism. Framing blacks as deficient and pathological rather than inferior offers a path out for those caught in that mental maze.”

Petersen’s, and now Sullivan’s, arguments have resurfaced regularly throughout the last century. And they’ll likely keep resurfacing, as long as people keep seeking ways to forgo responsibility for racism and to escape that “mental maze.” As the writer Frank Chin said of Asian-Americans in 1974: “Whites love us because we’re not black.”

Sometimes it’s instructive to look at past rebuttals to tired arguments after all, they hold up much better in the light of history.

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‘Model Minority’ Myth Again Used As A Racial Wedge Between Asians And Blacks – NPR

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American Muslims Take #SacredPledege to Resist Racism – The Chicago Monitor

The Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative (MuslimARC) launched the Sacred Pledge to Resist Racism this week, to encourage people of all backgrounds and faiths to work together in combatting racism in all its forms.

MuslimARCrecognizes the importance of fulfilling our creators mandate to fight oppression through sacred resistance; we pledge to lead the way towards ending racism. Out of our moral obligation to embody the principles of justice and human rights, we commit to protect and preserve the dignity of all, and uplift the most vulnerable in our society, MuslimARC wrote.

Launching the global online campaign, MuslimARCs targets 10,000 people to take the pledge and build an interactive, inclusive environment of resistance based on mutual respect and appreciation.

Signatories who took the pledge committed themselves to fighting racial oppression with open hearts as well seeking knowledge and creating caring and supportive environments.

Pledge signer Ramon Mejia explained the importance of Muslim involvement in an attempt to root racism out of the society.

It is our responsibility, as Muslims, to remove all obstructions from the road of lifes travelers. In our lives, as well as part of a wider community, we must sincerely and directly address these obstructions, like anti-Black racism and racial hierarchy.

Americas Race Problem

With racism remaining a key problem for Muslims, initiative like the sacred peldge came to alleviate marginalization of minority populations through solidarity.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SLPC), there are 917 hate groups operating in the United States with over 100 anti-Muslim, over 400 anti-Black/White Supremacist organizations.

Many American Muslims find themselves targeted because of their race or national origin in addition to their religion.

Racial tensions increased across the country after the 2016 presidential election. There were over 1,000 hate crimes reported to the SPLC immediately following President Trumps inauguration, the most targeted groups being immigrants (315) Blacks (221) and Muslims (112).

The violence continued into 2017. Last month, White supremacist James Jackson murdered Timothy Caughman after traveling from Baltimore and to New York to make a statement by killing a Black man.

Americans continue to search for solutions to racism and hate. Bill Chambers saidthat it is important for everyone to begin to fight racism on a local level.

Islamic Resistance

Muslims across the country and world took the Sacred Pledge to Resist Racism. MuslimARCasked American Muslims to share their reasons for taking the pledge.

Many Muslims cited their dedication to fulfilling Islamic mandates toward fostering social equity and fighting oppression.

I took the pledge because our beloved Nabi sallahu alayhi was salaam, wasnt racist, so why shouldnt we be? Shariah Jameelah

I took the pledge because I believe that living Islam fully means standing up for justice in whatever ways I can and rejecting systems of oppression (dhulm) like White supremacy. Laura Poyneer

I signed the pledge because Allah clearly commands us through the Quran to stand firmly for justice (4:135), which includes standing firmly for racial justice. Lindsay Angelow

Learning Anti-Racism

Noble intentions of ensuring justice and dignity for their fellow humans is a positive part of stemming racism, but it is crucial that people seeking racial equality and equity engage in crucial anti-racism education.

Anti-racism education is important to knowing how racism affects political and social interactions and acquiring the methods to resist it.

People also saidthat they took the Sacred Pledge as part of their efforts in seeking knowledge to be a part of the solution to curb racism.

I took the Sacred Pledge to Resist Racism because I can always learn more, engage more, and work more to end racism within my community. Tannaz Haddadi

I pledge to #resistracism because structural racism is cancer in our society that some deny even exists. I hope that by using Islam as my guide and framework, that one day I can help be a part of the dismantling of racism and racial prejudices. Sabina Khan-Ibarra

I signed as a conscious way to dedicate my commitment to MuslimARCs mission and goals and to join a community of fellow signers who want to achieve the same things. Its just an extra level of awareness. Fatima Price-Khan

MuslimARC continues to collect the names of people making a Sacred Pledge to Resist Racism.

********************************************************************** MuslimARC is an human rights education organization.Theirwork consists of raising awareness and training Muslim communities on issues of racial justice. In order to uproot racism, theyfocus on developing and delivering education on internalized, interpersonal, and institutional racism.While the majority of themembers are currently in the United States, MuslimARCstands in solidarity with oppressed people and incorporates global voices because the Muslimcommunity is cosmopolitan, reflecting transnational identities with local particularities.

This article originally appeared in AboutIslam.

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American Muslims Take #SacredPledege to Resist Racism – The Chicago Monitor

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Opinion: Fighting injustice and racism begins with honest talk – Greenville News

William E. Rogers, Guest columnist Published 12:09 p.m. ET June 1, 2017 | Updated 2:03 p.m. ET June 1, 2017 William Rogers(Photo: Submitted) Last month, I served on the planning committee for the Shared Knowledge Conference 2017, “A Just Greenville,”presented by Beyond Differences, Inc.; Furman University; and Legacy Charter School. This was the seventh year of these conferences, the vision of the Rev. Paul Guy of Beyond Differences. Although Rev. Guy is a prominent black activist, the conferences are not about activism. The point is to share knowledge. The theme in May was justice — for women, for immigrants, for people of color. But you cannot talk sensibly about injustice in Greenville without talking about black and white. And so the conversation kept circling back to racism. The conference was a remarkable experience for me, a very white person. I hope it was also valuable for the black participants. The conference made me confront several ideas. — Injustice and racism feed off each other, but they are not the same thing. Racism looks at other races as less than fully human and therefore undeserving of rights and privileges. Injustice sets up social systems, systematically racist, that seem to demonstrate that the underprivileged are in fact undeserving. But injustice belongs to politics — ways we live together. Racism belongs to psychology — ways we think and feel. Overcoming injustice means establishing just laws and enforcing them justly. Overcoming racism means cleaning the windows of our own soul, ridding ourselves of the reflexive alienation, disgust, or even physical repulsion that we feel toward the other. — Neither injustice nor racism can be overcome until both are overcome. The Civil War ended the horrible injustice of slavery. But because racism survived, there was Jim Crow. The Civil Rights Movement removed the legal underpinnings of Jim Crow, but because racism survived, new modes of social and economic oppression were invented. The lesson of history seems to be that racism will find a way. And of course, racism cuts both ways. White racism inevitably generates black racism. The tight, toxic circle cannot, it seems, be broken at any one point. We have to work on the whole thing at once. There are perceived injustices to work on in Greenville: displacement of poor people by gentrification, lack of adequate public transportation, bad behavior of law enforcement officials. We have accumulated from experience an arsenal of strategies to combat injustice: legal action, political action, economic pressure, non-violent civil disobedience. But how do we work on our own racism? One of the problems of white privilege is that white people have the privilege of not knowing that they have privilege. — We need to talk — not just any talk, but talk intentionally structured to address our racism. This, if I understand Rev. Guys vision, is the point of his conferences. It has never been easy or natural in America for white people and black people to discuss race honestly together. Much talk has been designed mainly to defer action. Understandably, some black activists have become weary of talk. Structuring effective talk is not easy. But I believe it can be done. I have seen it done, I think, twice: once at the Shared Knowledge Conference; and once earlier, in one of the Courageous Conversations facilitated by the Rev. Ronald A. Smith at the First Christian Church in Greenville. Rev. Guy and Rev. Smith are both pastors. Talk about race could be structured and institutionalized through secular organizations. But it seems to me that the church is the natural venue for such talk. It seems that there might be opportunities here for partnerships between “black”churches and “white”churches, even if the partnership goes no deeper than this one common purpose. In a way, then, I suppose that as a theologically liberal Christian I am calling on the churches to fulfill a duty: to deal with racism, black or white, in a way that might terminate in social activism aimed at creating a more just society. The Shared Knowledge Conferences for 2018 and 2019 will continue to focus on “A Just Greenville.”Watch for them. William E. Rogers is the Bennette E. Geer Professor of Literature Emeritus at Furman University, where he taught in the English Department for 36 years. He is a member of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Greenville. He can be reached at william.elford.rogers@gmail.com. Read or Share this story: http://www.greenvilleonline.com/story/opinion/2017/06/01/fighting-injustice-and-racism-begins-honest-talk/361925001/

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Students Questioned About Alleged Harassment Allegations of Anti … – The Cooper Point Journal

By Georgie Hicks On Sunday May 14 a student called the Evergreen Police on two Black students, after a May 10 post in the The Evergreen State College Class of 2020 Facebook group sparked intense debate and allegations of racism, leading to an offline confrontation among involved students. The two Black students, Jamil and Timeko, were woken up by the campus police and taken to police services to be questioned and remained there from around 11 p.m. til 2 a.m. on May 14-15. On Sunday May 14 a student called the Evergreen Police on two Black students, after a May 10 post in the The Evergreen State College Class of 2020 Facebook group sparked intense debate and allegations of racism, leading to an offline confrontation among involved students. A student ended up calling the Evergreen Police, leading to two Black students, Timeko Williams Jr and Jamil, who prefers we do not use their last name, being woken up by the police and taken to police services to be questioned, where they remained from around 11 p.m. til 2 a.m. on May 14-15. The students were under the impression they could face negative repercussions if they left or refused to answer questions. Isiah Montejano, a student who went to the police station, stated that these two Black students were not allowed to leave or use the restroom. Although they legally had the right to leave, it appears this was not made clear to the students being questioned nor the many witnesses and bystanders. The Facebook post that sparked the incident was a call by Jamil for People of Color (PoC) to sign up for the Evergreen program Mediaworks: Re/Presenting Power and Difference in an attempt to make the class majority Black/Brown. One student, Kai-Av Douvia, took particular issue with the call for PoC in Mediaworks and alleged that it constituted reverse racism, despite the original poster stating that they did not mean white people shouldnt be permitted to take the class. Douvia made a post in response that repeated Jamils words but replaced PoC and black/brown with white. The original post and Douvias follow up incited a near constant flow of debate and controversy on the page from May 10-14, with many Students of Color expressing discomfort with how race was being addressed in comments and on campus, and many white students, as well as some PoC, discussing their discomfort at the way in which the grievances of PoC were being aired. These online conversations culminated in a confrontation in the Greenery Sunday evening involving Douvia and Williams, leading Douvia to call the Evergreen Police, claiming he felt threatened and unsafe. Marissa Parker, a student who witnessed much of the Sunday night incident told the CPJ that Douvias claim of harassment was false. Williams himself also refutes the claims that the Greenery confrontation was harassment. The witness to the situation continued by saying that in fact Douvia was harassing Williams, yelling at him from outside of his dorm room prior to the confrontation at the Greenery. They explained, Timeko [then] goes to the Greenery and he sees Kai-Av and hes like you know I want to talk to this dude and see where hes coming from and see whats up because all his friends have been bothering us on the internet and irl. He goes up to Kai-Av and is like Hey whats up do you plan on stopping disrespecting my friends do you plan to stop doing that and Kai-Av says no. Around 6 p.m. on May 14, Douvia and Williams got into an argument, and as one student describes There is more yelling going on because at this point [Douvia had] called the cops who in turn called [Timekos] mom, so hes allowed to be angry. The student elaborated on the context of the situation, saying, Black people are allowed to be angry. Youre harassing them on social media, youre harassing them in real life. However, they clarify, no one came to blows and no was even close [to fighting] but whenever [people] see a tall 63-64 Black man yelling at someone its like, oh theres gonna be an altercation. Douvia describe the incident and alleged threats made against him saying, I felt threatened and proceeded to go to the police. I reported the first time about the Facebook messages and the second time about the Greenery confrontation. Another student stated, I dont think I would even consider [the Greenery confrontation] an incident, as it was not a violent encounter under any circumstances. Following the argument in the Greenery, both Williams and Jamil were brought for questioning, and videos circulating on Facebook show that a swarm of students occupied the Police Services lobby waiting for their release. Many students present were upset with the handling of the situation by police. Stacy Brown, Evergreens Chief of Police, defended police actions, stating, Our main goal is to ensure safety for all studentsno matter what time of day or night it is. She asserts that students came to the police department, without police escort and told us what happened and their part in the matter, voluntarily, then goes on to say, We determined no crime was committed by any parties involved in the incident and we have concluded our involvement in this matter. Although Jamil and Williams were not escorted by the police, witnesses report that they were escorted from the dorms to Police Services by Residential Director Hanna Smith. Reports also aledge that while being questioned by police, Williams asked to use the bathroom and was denied permission. On Monday May 15, around 5 p.m. approximately 100 students gathered in the library to respond to a call to action in regards to the the police treatment and holding of the students. Students involved cited the general distrust and dislike for police services, administration, and the general treatment of PoC on campus as reasons for gathering. The assembled group walked to the Campus Activities Building where a question forum for a candidate for Vice President and Provost of Equity and Inclusion was being held. The candidate said she wanted to hear from students and the meeting became a discussion about racism, anti-Blackness, and discrimination on campus, as well as the previous nights events. Douvia, despite recent controversy, attended this gathering, attempting to make a statement about individualism before being asked to leave. A student who was involved in the earlier online controversy said, We already knew [Douvias] M.O. but we didnt think that we would expose them [Douvia and his friends] for the racist, sexist group that they are. Douvia responded to the anger about the situation and allegations of anti-Black racism, stating, I, Kai-Av Douvia, am a person of color who does not support racism or sexism of any sort. Another student had this to say, insistence that you do not support racism does not actually mean that you are not racist or anti-black. Anti-Blackness is an issue even among PoC. Douvia claims that this incident comes in the midst of a hostile atmosphere toward some on campus saying, I have witnessed students cry due to the blatant disrespect given to them because of physical aspects that they cant change. I have witnessed hate speech towards white students, cis students, straight students, and male students just for being that. Others involved feel that this reality of our campus environment is quite blatantly the opposite, that, as one student said in a meeting after the incident, there is a lot of anti-Blackness here anti-Blackness is so rampant, it affects every facet of our experience [at Evergreen] This story is still unfolding, and some facts remain unclear. We felt it was important to report the information that was available to us, but the incident will be further investigated for a follow up article in the next issue of the CPJ. This story is still unfolding, but we felt it was important to report the information that was available to us. The incident will be further investigated in the next issue of the CPJ. If you have any information involving the events in question, please send us an email at [cooperpointjournal@gmail.com] with the title of this article as the subject.

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The coming storm over anti-Black racism in education – NOW Magazine

Over the past six months, I’ve been working on a research project focused on improving literacy in the Kingston-Galloway-Orton Park (KGO) community of Scarborough. It’s a community that media would have us believe is a hopeless, impoverished gangland. But the people who live and work here know better. For the past five years, grassroots organizations like The Reading Partnership and KGO Adult Literacy Program have been working to address learning gaps created by underachieving schools where students’ literacy and numeracy test scores are consistently below the provincial average. At a May 11 Spotlight On Literacy event in KGO, parents’ anger was palpable. They shared stories of students struggling to demonstrate basic skills and falling behind. And they spoke about overwhelmed teachers who are seemingly afraid of their children. Yet each year they come together to discuss how improving literacy might help turn things around. The troubling absence of Black males from community learning programs was a common concern at the gathering. Phylicia Davis, a long-time literacy worker in the neighbourhood, says, “The forum is not only about connecting parents, caregivers, children, youth and adult learners with resources, it’s a call to action in co-creating solutions.” “The lack of Black educators, curriculum that is not culturally and historically relevant and the way that Black males are treated have all contributed to the lack of enthusiasm for educational attainment,” says Davis. And it’s not just affecting K-12 schooling. As someone who’s taught in the college sector for more than a decade, I can attest to the experiences of too many Black students who, after somehow making it to the post-secondary level, find themselves ill-equipped to do well. I’ve observed how racial disparities play out in education, how they strangle confidence and motivation. My Black students consistently look to me and my other Black colleagues for support and guidance as they navigate barriers. We do the best we can even though we know it isn’t enough. The damage has been done. We can only watch as they drift out the door. I admit feeling an ugly complicity in it all. But there’s a storm coming. If you listen carefully, you’ll hear it. It’s gathering force in the minds and hearts of Black students and their parents in homes, communities, schools and on post-secondary campuses across the province. There’s a collective determination, propelled by unalloyed rage, to end anti-Black racism in our school system. And it’s been a long time coming. Black students have endured racism in our schools for longer than anyone can remember. Its disastrous impact has been well-documented: massive dropout and alarming school suspension rates, poor academic standing and low success rates at the post-secondary level. It’s a shameful legacy of systemic discrimination and wilful neglect. The weather vane is spinning. Last week, Charline Grant, the parent who became the target of former York Region school board trustee Nancy Elgie’s n-word slur, won an apology from the board as part of a human rights complaint documenting unfair treatment of her son. Grant’s case has led to a renewed activism among Black parents that has not been seen since the fight for Africentric schools in the early 2000s. As part of her settlement, the York Region board has agreed to set up a Human Rights Office to collect equity-related data, establish committees to address issues of anti-Black racism and Islamophobia, and roll out anti-racism training for staff. On May 1, Black Lives Matter-Toronto (BLM-TO) organized a walkout of Black teachers, prompting Toronto District School Board (TDSB) director John Malloy to publicly commit to mandatory anti-racism training for all board employees. While it’s not possible to determine the actual number of teachers who took part in the protest, the TDSB has been put on notice. Of course, we have been here before. The province and its school boards have feigned interest in doing something about anti-Black racism whenever they’ve come under increased scrutiny. For example, in the wake of the hand-wringing that followed the 1992 Yonge Street “riot,” premier Bob Rae tapped former NDP leader and human rights activist Stephen Lewis to report on the status of Black youth, including their experiences in school. While Lewis’s report is better known for calling out anti-Black racism in policing, it also lamented what little progress has been made in addressing racism in schools, which he described as “shocking.” That was 25 years ago. Similarly, in 2008, premier Dalton McGuinty commissioned Roy McMurtry and Alvin Curling to deliver the Review Of The Roots Of Youth Violence report, which also cited racism in schools as central to dismal social outcomes for Black youth. McMurtry and Curling zeroed in on the problem of Eurocentric curriculum “and continuing failure of the mainstream curriculum to acknowledge the many historically significant contributions of racialized people.” That was just under 10 years ago. The reports reveal an instructive pattern, but Black people have never needed them to inform us of what we already know. We knew about the school-to-prison pipeline before the term was coined. We knew our kids were disproportionately being funnelled into special education and behavioural programs before studies confirmed it. We knew young Black males were the primary targets of safe school policies that made them pariahs in the classroom. And we knew that, while white students received the official school curriculum, our kids learned the hidden one that taught them they didn’t belong. A recent York University report details how Black students continue to be streamed into courses that limit their academic options and potential. Another recent study conducted by the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) found that Black students are also being shut out of arts-based schools across the GTA. So what will the winds of change blow in this time? How will this particular confluence of Black activism differ from earlier ones? We will see Black educators called upon to engage in more radical forms of advocacy on behalf of Black students. They will do so, of course, at great risk to their careers. But as others have pointed out, Black life in the face of white supremacy is inherently risky. The Charline Grants of the world will continue to rally Black parents. They will hold schools to account while seeking deeper levels of involvement on parent councils and school boards. Parents know better than anyone else that the stakes couldn’t be any higher. And what about Black students themselves? Don’t be surprised if they outright refuse to accept the second-rate education they’ve been handed for decades. The entire school system may have to be brought to a grinding halt and redesigned from the bottom up. Neil Price is a doctoral student at OISE and author of the Community Assessment of Police Practices (CAPP) report on carding. news@nowtoronto.com | @nowtoronto

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May 25, 2017   Posted in: Black Racism  Comments Closed

Mayor calls plan to combat anti-black racism an important first step – Toronto Star

Nene Kwasi Kafele (centre) and Winston Husbands (left) speak with Toronto Mayor John Tory about the city’s draft anti-black racism action plan, released Saturday at city hall. ( Jesse Winter / Toronto Star ) | Order this photo Black Lives Matter Toronto and other members of the black community say theyre cautiously optimistic about the citys new draft anti-black racism action plan. That action plan has 21 recommendations for the city including the creation of a black caucus at City Hall, hiring more black people for city jobs and overhauling the discipline process for the Toronto Police Service. Mayor John Tory unveiled the draft plan Saturday at an open house attended by dozens of people, many of them long-time activists and organizers from Torontos various black communities. The recommendations alone cannot solve the deep-seated problem of racist beliefs, Tory said, but he said he is confident they are an important first step for the city to take to combating systemic racism across Toronto. We have an alternative, Tory told reporters. We can just shrug our shoulders or we can say its really unfortunate or we can say Thats not right and do everything we can to eradicate racism in this city. Among the draft recommendations is a suggestion the city review the decision not to delete years worth of carding data. Tory reiterated the citys position that it cant delete that data because its lawyers insist doing so would be illegal, but his position is that it should be destroyed if possible. Other recommendations in the plan include an increased focus on education and job opportunities for young black people, particularly young black men with criminal records. The report also calls for better training of city staff, and viewing many issues through an anti-black racism lens. The report includes nine recommendations for the province that the city will push for, Tory said, including creating a black childrens aid society and removing barriers for people to apply for criminal record suspensions. Reaction to the draft action plan ranged from enthusiastic to tepid. I think this is an important step for the city and the community, said long-time community activist Nene Kwasi Kafele. But weve been down this road before. Were cautiously optimistic, but we must be mindful of history, he said. Kafele said while the recommendations are encouraging, there are three areas he would like to see more focus. First, its important to ensure that alongside actions to improve the outcomes for individual people in the education, employment and criminal justice systems, there needs to be a larger focus on economic development for many of Torontos currently struggling neighbourhoods, he said. We need to see large-scale economic development, he said, things like black banks, co-ops and other targeted investments. Second, Kafele wants to see more commitments for community infrastructure, both in terms of bricks-and-mortar facilities like community centres but also in the human infrastructure and people needed to run them. Third, Kafele said the report which does place an emphasis on improving black leadership across the city needs to ensure those leaders are not treated simply as consultants, but are incorporated into the roots of the strategy itself going forward. We need people with lived experience involved in the government structure, he said. The draft action plan is the result of more than 40 community meetings across the city. It also leans on 41 years worth of previous reports that have been written to address systemic anti-black racism. Rather than turn to the so-called experts to write another report, we turned to the community, Tory said. Tory said he personally attended four of the community meetings, and listened to community members describe what it feels like to be followed by store employees or stopped by police for no reason. He said the whole process was sparked by his struggle to understand how to response to Black Lives Matter Torontos encampment at police headquarters last March. That group did not participate in organizing the community meetings and consultations that went into drafting this report. Black Lives Matter Torontos Ravyn Wngz said the group didnt participate officially for fear of dominating the conversation. We wanted to make sure that the community was heard, Wngz said. These are our families (that participated), our friends. Wngz said she is hopeful the recommendations will bring about long-needed change, but she wants to see a greater focus on implementation. If these recommendations are a reflection of what hasnt been happening all along, then that should be a really big red flag for the city, she said. The feedback the city receives from Saturdays workshop will be used to create a set of final recommendations. Tory pledged to champion that final action plan at city council when it comes up for a vote in July. If the action plan passes, the city will begin working on a plan for implementing the recommendations, Tory said. The Toronto Star and thestar.com, each property of Toronto Star Newspapers Limited, One Yonge Street, 4th Floor, Toronto, ON, M5E1E6. You can unsubscribe at any time. Please contact us or see our privacy policy for more information.

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May 13, 2017   Posted in: Black Racism  Comments Closed

More Old Tweets Resurface Revealing Filipina Model Comparing Black People to Dogs – NextShark

Share Share Share Email Instagram star Lily Macapinlac has been under fire this week after old tweets dating back to 2013 resurfaced showing her bashing Asian men and loving white boys. The resurfaced tweets are now going viral and users have flocked to Twitter and Instagram condemningMacapinlac for her actions. The 22-year-old has since issued an apology and turned off commentsfor two of her latest Instagram posts. Unfortunately, it seems thatMacapinlac cant catch a break another tweet has resurfaced showing Macapinlac comparing Black people to dogs. Ranier Maningding, a social activistand creator of The Love Life of an Asian Guypage on Facebook, told NextShark: Lily Macs Twitter exchange comparing Black boys and Black dogs is a case of classic anti-Black racism. The comparison between Black folks and animals is a form of anti-Black dehumanization, and weve been doing this for centuries. They did this during the 1800s when P.T Barnum and Bailey bought and sold Black slaves to human zoos and conservative politicians often compared Michelle Obama to a gorilla. When people compare Black folks with animals, they imply that Black people are genetically subhuman, and thus, deserve subhuman rights and treatment. This toxic mentality makes it easier to distance yourself from the deaths of Black people because youve already established that theyre just animals, not people. I dont take these types of jokes lightly, especially when police are out here shooting and murdering innocent Black people as if they were stray dogs. Its also worth noting that Lilys Twitter exchange re: white worship, homophobia, and racism goes hand-in-hand with these anti-Black tweets. White supremacy and anti-Blackness are cut from the same cloth, and it appears that Lily knitted herself a patchwork of all types of bigotry. Nathan Poekert, a publicist with Day One Agency,tweeted the following in lieu of the controversy. As the saying goes: The internet is forever. (Visited 276 times, 276 visits today)

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May 5, 2017   Posted in: Black Racism  Comments Closed

Black Lives Matter Toronto wants police officers out of GTA schools – CBC.ca

Black Lives Matter Toronto wants to eliminate the School Resource Officer Program, which stations uniformed officers in Toronto-area schools, as part of six changes targeting anti-black racism in the education system. Officers have been stationed at schools since 2008, which was funded by a federal grant. The Toronto groupis demanding six specific changes to the primary and secondary education systems in the Greater Toronto Area, including implementing anti-black racism training at all levels of Toronto-area school boards andcreating an advisory board of black parents. Black Lives Matter Toronto staged a walkout Monday to lay out its demands. It’s in response to a report last week from a York University professor thatused TDSB data to determine a largenumber of black students are being streamed into applied instead of academic programsand they are suspended at much higher rates. Black Lives Matter Toronto organized the ‘School Walk Out For Black Lives’ day at the York Woods Library. (Nicole Martin/CBC) About 20 Toronto teachers also took part, Black Lives Matter Toronto said. Supply teacher Hawa Sabriye didn’t accept work Monday to join the protest and lead one of the workshops, which are being offered toeducators, parents and students to identify and combat anti-black racism. The workshops were held at York Woods Libraryin Toronto’s Jane and Finch neighbourhood. “I think going into so many different schools across the city, I’ve noticed many different educators and administrators that have anti-black assumptions for students,” said Sabriye. “This is creating barriers for many black children across the TDSB (Toronto District School Board), but also the Peel District School Board and the York Region District School Board and it’s really impacting, not only their educational futures, but also their family life.” Sabriye said she joined the protest because shehas a younger brother and cousins in the school system. “There’s an alarming number of black youth that aren’t making it out of high school and I think the TDSB and other school boards have to acknowledge this and realize it’s a real issue,” she said. Pascale Diverlus, aBlack Lives Matter Toronto co-founder, said the day of action will offer workshops aimed at ending racism in the classroom. “It’s about providing programming for educators and for parents, to be able to learn how to recognize anti-black racism within the school system and how to dismantle it,” she said. “Their intelligence is not being valued, so this day is about calling attention to those things. But also showing it can be done ina way that actually supports black students; in a way that they can thrive and they can actually go to school and learn, which is what they are there to do.”

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May 1, 2017   Posted in: Black Racism  Comments Closed

Andrew Sullivan and the model minority myth: Columnist unintentionally reminds us that racism is the force that … – Salon

Last Friday Andrew Sullivan published an essay in New York magazine titled Why Do Democrats Feel Sorry for Hillary Clinton? The argument presented therein was not novel, nor was Sullivans essay particularly insightful. The article is highly useful in some ways, however. It is a reminder that while it may be fashionable to blame Donald Trumps white working class voters for electing a racist incompetent, the bigotry that propelled Trump to the presidency is endemic to the Republican Party and modern conservatism as a whole. This includes its reasonable, serious and supposedly principled voices like Sullivan as well. After meandering from a blistering attack on Clinton to an observation about Dr. David Dao (the passenger assaulted by police on a United Airlines flight last week after he refused to surrender his seat), Sullivan arrives at his money shot. Its easy to mock this reductionism, I know, but it reflects something a little deeper. Asian-Americans, like Jews, are indeed a problem for the social-justice brigade. I mean, how on earth have both ethnic groups done so well in such a profoundly racist society? How have bigoted white people allowed these minorities to do so well even to the point of earning more, on average, than whites? Asian-Americans, for example, have been subject to some of the most brutal oppression, racial hatred, and open discrimination over the years. In the late 19th century, as most worked in hard labor, they were subject tolynchingsand violence across the American West and laws that prohibited their employment. They werebannedfrom immigrating to the U.S. in 1924. Japanese-American citizens were forced into internment camps during the Second World War, and subjected to hideous, racist propaganda after Pearl Harbor. Yet, today, Asian-Americans are among the most prosperous, well-educated, and successful ethnic groups in America. What gives? It couldnt possibly be that they maintained solid two-parent family structures, had social networks that looked after one another, placed enormous emphasis on education and hard work, and thereby turned false, negative stereotypes into true, positive ones, could it? It couldnt be that all whites are not racists or that the American dream still lives? Andrew Sullivan is engaged in a classic example of attention-seeking behavior in which right-wing pundits make piss-poor, specious and under-theorized claims about race in America. As such, and quite unintentionally, he has provided a much-needed teachable moment. Sullivans errors are many. For one thing, hisclaims provide a textbook example of the way modern racism no longer leverages claims of inherent biological differences regarding intelligence to elevate whites and demean nonwhites (especially black people). Instead, the discourse of modern racism uses arguments about bad culture to do the work of white supremacy. As was common during the post-civil rights era in the United States, Asian-Americans are made into a foil and wedge group by white conservatives for the purpose of negating and ignoring the historical and present-day impact of white racism specifically on black Americans and people of color more generally. Political scientist Claire Jean Kim described the complexities of this political moment in a 2016 editorial in the Los Angeles Times: This is a pivotal moment in the political history of Asian America. Currently, some Asian American groups are forging alliances with conservative white politicians to defeat state affirmative action bills and spearhead anti-affirmative action lawsuits against elite universities. Others have moved in the opposite direction, denouncing these Asian-first moves and calling for Asian-black solidarity in the fight against white supremacy.The Achilles heel of the latter position it that it assumes the unity of nonwhite interests, even though Asian Americans are positioned differently from black people in the U.S. racial order. The current dynamics of race in America, Kim wrote, challenged Asian-Americans to develop a political ethos that calls for confronting racial hierarchy and anti-black racism, even when the self-interest of Asian Americans dictates otherwise. Sullivans arguments also rely on the discredited model minority myth whereby, as demonstrated by scholars such as Ronald Takaki, Frank Wu and others,the diverse experiences and identities of Asian-Americans as a group are collapsed into a political and social fiction that is used to sustain anti-black racism by blunting any claims that white supremacy remains a powerful social force in American life. The model minority myth is problematic in other ways as well. Primarily, it ignores how members of Asian-American immigrant groups such as Cambodians and Hmong people have struggledwith poverty, incarceration and other types of social stigmas and marginalization. The model minority myth also overlooks how immigrants to the United States often possess social and economic capital that groups such as African-Americans do not possess because the latter have been denied such resources by centuries of institutional white supremacy from the nations founding through to the present. Kim addressed this point in the same Los Angeles Times essay: Asian Americans are not, as they are often labeled, a model minority whose cultural endowments have allowed them to outstrip other less equipped minorities. However, like whites, they do enjoy a priceless set of structural privileges and immunities, as evidenced by high educational and residential integration and intermarriage rates with whites. They have also been immunized, relatively speaking, from the systemic, routine and often lethal violence exercised by the state against the black community not just episodes of individual killing, but the institutionalized violence of residential segregation, educational segregation, job discrimination, policing and mass incarceration. This advanced positioning of Asian Americans relative to black people in the U.S. racial order can be traced all the way back to the mid-19th century. Perhaps most important, social scientists have shown that it is not that Asian-Americans are a model minority but that racial animus toward them has diminishedover time. Even allowing for that dynamic, one should not overlookthatAsians still face racial discrimination in the American labor market. In his comments about the model minority myth, Sullivan paraphrases almost the exact language used by social scientists to measure modern racism. This would be funny if the implications of Sullivans claims were otherwise not so serious. He also is either ignorant of or intentionally ignores new research from Demos and the Institute on Assets and Social Policy at Brandeis University that demonstrates that even when blacks and Latinos follow the rules to obtain the American dream by earning college degrees, working full-time, spending less money and maintaining solid two-parent family structures, they still do worse in terms of financial wealth compared withwhite Americans. Like other conservatives of his ilk, Sullivans observations about Asian-Americans and, by implication, African-Americans are colored by a foundational belief that blacks are aliens in America who are somehow not fit for full citizenship and equal membership in the polity. Moreover, in this narrative black Americans are victims of their own making. Apparently, centuries of white-on-black chattel slavery and then decades of Jim and Jane Crow violence did not exist. The consequences of that plunder and destruction are thus washed away by a fictional, flattened version of American historywith Martin Luther King Jr. magically curing all ills, combined with a belief in the inherent goodwill and benign nature of white America. This version of the white gaze and the white racial frame also ignores the centuries-long history of the black public sphere, black civil society organizations, black educational institutions and a long black freedom struggle that expanded liberty, freedom and democracy for all marginalized groupsin America including gay white men such as Andrew Sullivan. This version of the white gaze and the white racial frame overlooks the role of the United States government in creating and perpetuating economic, social and political inequality along the color line, to the unearned advantage of white people and the undeserved disadvantage of nonwhites. Ultimately, Sullivans belief that Asians constitute a model minority while black Americans are comparatively inferior should not come as a surprise. In the past, Sullivan has declared his support for the modern-day eugenicist Charles Murray and the debunked claims made in his racist tome The Bell Curve.Sullivan also believesthat human beings constitute separate races that by implication can be bred into distinct breeds like dogs. Donald Trumps racist and neofascist presidential campaign was not entirely reliant on the so-called white working class for victory. He won the votes of every group of white voters except college-educated white women. Trump was able to do this by using white racism, bigotry, authoritarianism and nativism to mobilize his base. In all, Trump would not have been successful if conservatism and racism were not effectively the same thing in post-civil rights era America. Right-wingopinion leaders like Sullivan share and defend those values. Donald Trumps victory over Hillary Clinton is the civic, social and political wastewaterof much more than the white working class. It is the vile output of todays white conservatives as a group. To pretend otherwise is to ignore what really transpired during the 2016 American presidential election and its implications for the present and future health of American democracy.

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April 21, 2017   Posted in: Black Racism  Comments Closed

‘Model Minority’ Myth Again Used As A Racial Wedge Between Asians And Blacks – NPR

The perception of universal success among Asian-Americans is being wielded to downplay racism’s role in the persistent struggles of other minority groups, especially black Americans. Chelsea Beck/NPR hide caption The perception of universal success among Asian-Americans is being wielded to downplay racism’s role in the persistent struggles of other minority groups, especially black Americans. A piece from New York Magazine’s Andrew Sullivan over the weekend ended with an old, well-worn trope: Asian-Americans, with their “solid two-parent family structures,” are a shining example of how to overcome discrimination. An essay that began by imagining why Democrats feel sorry for Hillary Clinton and then detoured to President Trump’s policies drifted to this troubling ending: “Today, Asian-Americans are among the most prosperous, well-educated, and successful ethnic groups in America. What gives? It couldn’t possibly be that they maintained solid two-parent family structures, had social networks that looked after one another, placed enormous emphasis on education and hard work, and thereby turned false, negative stereotypes into true, positive ones, could it? It couldn’t be that all whites are not racists or that the American dream still lives?” Sullivan’s piece, rife with generalizations about a group as vastly diverse as Asian-Americans, rightfully raised hackles. Not only inaccurate, his piece spreads the idea that Asian-Americans as a group are monolithic, even though parsing data by ethnicity reveals a host of disparities; for example, Bhutanese-Americans have far higher rates of poverty than other Asian populations, like Japanese-Americans. And at the root of Sullivan’s pernicious argument is the idea that black failure and Asian success cannot be explained by inequities and racism, and that they are one and the same; this allows a segment of white America to avoid any responsibility for addressing racism or the damage it continues to inflict. “Sullivan’s comments showcase a classic and tenacious conservative strategy,” Janelle Wong, the director of Asian American Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park, said in an email. This strategy, she said, involves “1) ignoring the role that selective recruitment of highly educated Asian immigrants has played in Asian American success followed by 2) making a flawed comparison between Asian Americans and other groups, particularly Black Americans, to argue that racism, including more than two centuries of black enslavement, can be overcome by hard work and strong family values.” “It’s like the Energizer Bunny,” said Ellen D. Wu, an Asian-American studies professor at Indiana University and the author of The Color of Success. Much of Wu’s work focuses on dispelling the “model minority” myth, and she’s been tasked repeatedly with publicly refuting arguments like Sullivan’s, which, she said, are incessant. “The thing about the Sullivan piece is that it’s such an old-fashioned rendering. It’s very retro in the kinds of points he made.” Since the end of World War II, many white people have used Asian-Americans and their perceived collective success as a racial wedge. The effect? Minimizing the role racism plays in the persistent struggles of other racial/ethnic minority groups especially black Americans. On Twitter, people took Sullivan’s “old-fashioned rendering” to task. “During World War II, the media created the idea that the Japanese were rising up out of the ashes [after being held in incarceration camps] and proving that they had the right cultural stuff,” said Claire Jean Kim, a professor at the University of California, Irvine. “And it was immediately a reflection on black people: Now why weren’t black people making it, but Asians were?” These arguments falsely conflate anti-Asian racism with anti-black racism, according to Kim. “Racism that Asian-Americans have experienced is not what black people have experienced,” Kim said. “Sullivan is right that Asians have faced various forms of discrimination, but never the systematic dehumanization that black people have faced during slavery and continue to face today.” Asians have been barred from entering the U.S. and gaining citizenship and have been sent to incarceration camps, Kim pointed out, but all that is different than the segregation, police brutality and discrimination that African-Americans have endured. Many scholars have argued that some Asians only started to “make it” when the discrimination against them lessened and only when it was politically convenient. Amid worries that the Chinese exclusion laws from the late 1800s would hurt an allyship with China in the war against imperial Japan, the Magnuson Act was signed in 1943, allowing 105 Chinese immigrants into the U.S. each year. As Wu wrote in 2014 in the Los Angeles Times, the Citizens Committee to Repeal Chinese Exclusion “strategically recast Chinese in its promotional materials as ‘law-abiding, peace-loving, courteous people living quietly among us'” instead of the “‘yellow peril’ coolie hordes.” In 1965, the National Immigration Act replaced the national-origins quota system with one that gave preference to immigrants with U.S. family relationships and certain skills. In 1966, William Petersen, a sociologist at the University of California, Berkeley, helped popularize comparisons between Japanese-Americans and African-Americans. His New York Times story, headlined, “Success Story, Japanese-American Style,” is regarded as one of the most influential pieces written about Asian-Americans. It solidified a prevailing stereotype of Asians as industrious and rule-abiding that would stand in direct contrast to African-Americans, who were still struggling against bigotry, poverty and a history rooted in slavery. In the opening paragraphs, Petersen quickly puts African-Americans and Japanese-Americans at odds: “Asked which of the country’s ethnic minorities has been subjected to the most discrimination and the worst injustices, very few persons would even think of answering: ‘The Japanese Americans,’ … Yet, if the question refers to persons alive today, that may well be the correct reply. Like the Negroes, the Japanese have been the object of color prejudice …. When new opportunities, even equal opportunities, are opened up, the minority’s reaction to them is likely to be negative either self-defeating apathy or a hatred so all-consuming as to be self-destructive. For the well-meaning programs and countless scholarly studies now focused on the Negro, we barely know how to repair the damage that the slave traders started. The history of Japanese Americans, however, challenges every such generalization about ethnic minorities.” But as history shows, Asian-Americans were afforded better jobs not simply because of educational attainment, but in part because they were treated better. “More education will help close racial wage gaps somewhat, but it will not resolve problems of denied opportunity,” reporter Jeff Guo wrote last fall in the Washington Post. “Asian Americans some of them at least have made tremendous progress in the United States. But the greatest thing that ever happened to them wasn’t that they studied hard, or that they benefited from tiger moms or Confucian values. It’s that other Americans started treating them with a little more respect.” At the heart of arguments of racial advancement is the concept of “racial resentment,” which is different than “racism,” Slate’s Jamelle Bouie recently wrote in his analysis of the Sullivan article. “Racial resentment” refers to a “moral feeling that blacks violate such traditional American values as individualism and self reliance,” as defined by political scientists Donald Kinder and David Sears. And, Bouie points out, “racial resentment” is simply a tool that people use to absolve themselves from dealing with the complexities of racism: “In fact, racial resentment reflects a tension between the egalitarian self-image of most white Americans and that anti-black affect. The ‘racist,’ after all, is a figure of stigma. Few people want to be one, even as they’re inclined to believe the measurable disadvantages blacks face are caused by something other than structural racism. Framing blacks as deficient and pathological rather than inferior offers a path out for those caught in that mental maze.” Petersen’s, and now Sullivan’s, arguments have resurfaced regularly throughout the last century. And they’ll likely keep resurfacing, as long as people keep seeking ways to forgo responsibility for racism and to escape that “mental maze.” As the writer Frank Chin said of Asian-Americans in 1974: “Whites love us because we’re not black.” Sometimes it’s instructive to look at past rebuttals to tired arguments after all, they hold up much better in the light of history.

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April 20, 2017   Posted in: Black Racism  Comments Closed

American Muslims Take #SacredPledege to Resist Racism – The Chicago Monitor

The Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative (MuslimARC) launched the Sacred Pledge to Resist Racism this week, to encourage people of all backgrounds and faiths to work together in combatting racism in all its forms. MuslimARCrecognizes the importance of fulfilling our creators mandate to fight oppression through sacred resistance; we pledge to lead the way towards ending racism. Out of our moral obligation to embody the principles of justice and human rights, we commit to protect and preserve the dignity of all, and uplift the most vulnerable in our society, MuslimARC wrote. Launching the global online campaign, MuslimARCs targets 10,000 people to take the pledge and build an interactive, inclusive environment of resistance based on mutual respect and appreciation. Signatories who took the pledge committed themselves to fighting racial oppression with open hearts as well seeking knowledge and creating caring and supportive environments. Pledge signer Ramon Mejia explained the importance of Muslim involvement in an attempt to root racism out of the society. It is our responsibility, as Muslims, to remove all obstructions from the road of lifes travelers. In our lives, as well as part of a wider community, we must sincerely and directly address these obstructions, like anti-Black racism and racial hierarchy. Americas Race Problem With racism remaining a key problem for Muslims, initiative like the sacred peldge came to alleviate marginalization of minority populations through solidarity. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SLPC), there are 917 hate groups operating in the United States with over 100 anti-Muslim, over 400 anti-Black/White Supremacist organizations. Many American Muslims find themselves targeted because of their race or national origin in addition to their religion. Racial tensions increased across the country after the 2016 presidential election. There were over 1,000 hate crimes reported to the SPLC immediately following President Trumps inauguration, the most targeted groups being immigrants (315) Blacks (221) and Muslims (112). The violence continued into 2017. Last month, White supremacist James Jackson murdered Timothy Caughman after traveling from Baltimore and to New York to make a statement by killing a Black man. Americans continue to search for solutions to racism and hate. Bill Chambers saidthat it is important for everyone to begin to fight racism on a local level. Islamic Resistance Muslims across the country and world took the Sacred Pledge to Resist Racism. MuslimARCasked American Muslims to share their reasons for taking the pledge. Many Muslims cited their dedication to fulfilling Islamic mandates toward fostering social equity and fighting oppression. I took the pledge because our beloved Nabi sallahu alayhi was salaam, wasnt racist, so why shouldnt we be? Shariah Jameelah I took the pledge because I believe that living Islam fully means standing up for justice in whatever ways I can and rejecting systems of oppression (dhulm) like White supremacy. Laura Poyneer I signed the pledge because Allah clearly commands us through the Quran to stand firmly for justice (4:135), which includes standing firmly for racial justice. Lindsay Angelow Learning Anti-Racism Noble intentions of ensuring justice and dignity for their fellow humans is a positive part of stemming racism, but it is crucial that people seeking racial equality and equity engage in crucial anti-racism education. Anti-racism education is important to knowing how racism affects political and social interactions and acquiring the methods to resist it. People also saidthat they took the Sacred Pledge as part of their efforts in seeking knowledge to be a part of the solution to curb racism. I took the Sacred Pledge to Resist Racism because I can always learn more, engage more, and work more to end racism within my community. Tannaz Haddadi I pledge to #resistracism because structural racism is cancer in our society that some deny even exists. I hope that by using Islam as my guide and framework, that one day I can help be a part of the dismantling of racism and racial prejudices. Sabina Khan-Ibarra I signed as a conscious way to dedicate my commitment to MuslimARCs mission and goals and to join a community of fellow signers who want to achieve the same things. Its just an extra level of awareness. Fatima Price-Khan MuslimARC continues to collect the names of people making a Sacred Pledge to Resist Racism. ********************************************************************** MuslimARC is an human rights education organization.Theirwork consists of raising awareness and training Muslim communities on issues of racial justice. In order to uproot racism, theyfocus on developing and delivering education on internalized, interpersonal, and institutional racism.While the majority of themembers are currently in the United States, MuslimARCstands in solidarity with oppressed people and incorporates global voices because the Muslimcommunity is cosmopolitan, reflecting transnational identities with local particularities. This article originally appeared in AboutIslam.

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April 12, 2017   Posted in: Black Racism  Comments Closed


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