These American families were swindled by public policy, white terrorism, and private action. This was done to advantage people who happened to look different from them. And we are only talking about housing here. We are not talking about school segregation. We are not talking about job discrimination. We are not talking about business loan discrimination. We are not talking about the shameful implementation of the G.I. Bill. Or the sharecropping system in the South. This is but one front in the long war.
For young black people growing up in that era, what was the message? America’s promise is that everyone who plays by the rules will have a chance to compete. If you are a black boy, or a black girl, and you watch your parents play by the rules while everyone else cheats, what do you conclude? How do you feel when your parents exhibit middle-class values and your country rewards them with pariah-class treatment? How do you then evaluate your own prospects? How do you see your country? Might you then look around, survey all the double standards and hypocrisy, and find yourself not so proud?"
The Ghetto Is Public Policy(via coloredgirlconsideringrevolution)
1. Kids don’t drop out of school, they’re pushed out because the knowledge is not meaningful.
2. Activism is not about convenience. I cannot be antiracist all day and then go home at 5 o’clock, put my feet up and be a bigot.
3. As a white person you can walk away when you get tired about talking about white privilege. A person of colour cannot walk away.
4. I can speak English. The gift of 200 years of colonialism: you come out of your mother’s womb speaking English.
5. I had an arranged marriage. I arranged it myself.
6. Language is not neutral. Language is political.
7. The Sharia Hysteria: if you want it you’re a Neanderthal, if you don’t want it you are a liberal.
8. Muslims do not have a monopoly on oppressing women.
9. I don’t get offended anymore. If I’m continually insulted I am frozen into inaction.
10. If I am the standard and you are different from me then I have the power.
11. When you get tired of anti-racism and social justice, remember those who cannot walk away. You’ve got to stand with them.
12. I don’t mind being an immigrant. But my children were born here — their imagination of home begins and end in Canada. I can go home to Pakistan but this is home to my children.
13. Pakistan has been colonized for 200 years but the colonizers went home. They left behind their cronies to watch over us.
14. I didn’t know I was being a feminist until I came here a week ago. I thought I was just a woman who liked to fight.
15. We have to fight together. We have been marginalized and oppressed and if we’re not careful we’re going to marginalize and oppress someone else.
16. Everyone wants to save the muslim woman. Some want to put the hijab on me and save me; some want to take hijab off me and save me; some want to bomb us and save me. Just give me a break man! I can save myself! I don’t need Western imperialism to save me or Western feminism riding on the coattails of Western imperialism to save me. I can save myself.
17. Just because we are doing social justice does not mean we are socially just.
18. We [immigrants and refugees] don’t come here to live in poverty. We don’t come for the weather and we don’t come for the food – we bring the food! We come for the democracy.
19. To hurt someone is to sin. To watch someone else get hurt and do nothing is a greater sin.
20. If you are a man you can be a feminist – if you are a man you
must be a feminist because if you’re not, you’re part of the problem.
21. I wish all I had to worry about was [my son’s] baggy pants and who he dates. I have to worry if he’s going to get arrested, if he’s playing basketball, out with his Black and Arab friends. This is part of mothering for black mothers, aboriginal mothers, and now it is true for Muslim mothers."
— Quotes by Uzma Shakir - Muslim woman and feminist. (via yourfriendlycomrade)
You were born
a pillowed thing.
Come dancing out of
your mothers skin like a night of
I imagine, the doctors pulled you
from her with no urgency
another mother lost in the
brass bellow of birth.
I imagine that one hummed
you quiet while another
covered her with taupe.
I think it amazes me
how she died for you.
I think it amazes me
how you speak of her
like every jesus you’ve ever
thought to know.
Four years ago,
someday similar to today
I carried you
20 blocks south of harlem,
walked ten of them with your
blood trailing behind us casually.
My left hand holding severed limb
our friends yelling to keep
you from abandoning
the summer of your voice
before it leaves you behind.
We walked ten blocks
and watched three police
caddies slow storm by us
and not stop.
We walked ten blocks
and thought you’d
died after each one.
We walked ten blocks
and couldn’t figure out
how it was worth it,
your life, a meat hook
in the flesh of a war you had not
started and could not stop.
a machete as long as the walk.
my uniform drenched in
prayer for this gourd
I think you are an impossible octave.
In another life,
Ra buried me in a league
of brothers and somehow,
I made it
back into this world
with just you.
We laugh now,
touch your scar
with ginger and vinegar
of how you can
only feel it vibrate in two fingers.
A few days ago, I was having lunch with a good friend who is Korean-American, and she told me that when she heard about the bombings at the Boston Marathon—the marathon itself being something she knew nothing about and immediately associated with white people—she found that she had a hard time…well, caring. I’m sure that sounds shocking to many people. But it didn’t shock me. Because I was having the same feelings myself.
I really noticed it a few months back, during coverage of the Sandy Hook elementary school shootings. As news outlet after news outlet flashed photograph after photograph of mostly white children across TV screens and computer screens alike, I felt something I hadn’t remembered ever feeling before upon hearing of the brutal murder of children: I felt numb. Not numb in the way that people in shock feel numb. Not numb because of the great weight of what had happened. This was a different kind of numbness.
I couldn’t help but think about Trayvon Martin. He wasn’t an elementary school kid when he was shot and killed by a racist with a gun, but he was just a 17-year-old boy, unarmed, walking down the street with a bag of Skittles. I thought of countless other Black youth who have been murdered by crazed gunmen with badges and police uniforms in the last few years. I also thought about the hundreds of brown children in Iraq and Afghanistan and Pakistan who have been killed by US forces on the ground and by drone strikes. I thought about how many times I didn’t see any of their faces, smiling and innocent, splashed across the TV or the internet for days and weeks on end. I thought about how white people I know weren’t posting links to stories about those children and what had happened to them. That they weren’t writing Facebook statuses about how unbearable those kids’ deaths were. And, seeing pictures of those little blonde children—because the blonde ones are always featured most prominently—I felt numb."
I am incredibly glad that McKenzie wrote about this erosion of empathy because I started feeling numb a long time ago. Aurora, Sandy Hook, Boston — I feel a scary blankness when I talk about all of these events.
I’ve been noticing this within myself, too; this lack of empathy as this happens increasingly these days. I feel a slight tinge of sadness, but that’s it; the loss of life is always sad to me, but honestly, the weight of that sadness is no more than a blink and then I move on. I read more and more about Black and Brown children and people dying, and those people look like me, and that hurts me more and more as “their” deaths affect me less and less. I struggled with this at first but it’s been kind of a relief. In all reality, how many white folks feel bad when we die? Not many, so why should I ache every single time one of them experiences what we do on the daily? I don’t know…
I share the same sentiment. Last week I stayed silent about the Boston Bombing to avoid sounding insensitive. I felt guilty for having these feelings but less guilty now that I see I’m not the only one.
(23/30) Here in The Room of My Life
Inspired by Rachel McKibbens Writing Exercise #93
Here, in the room of my life
The window exhibits an access point.
Though the rain is coming, the poinsettias thimble
against the malt backdrop and stand firm.
Nighttime is my favorite gift, it’s meter long presence
An oak mask for the weary.
I lie still, let the dark wash take me over - decide to pray
That way, my body flat against the open hand of
My blood calling the bell, ringing it forward.
I could die this way, you know?
Napping through the middle of the moment.
Impressed with my own quiet,
Loving the snare of displaced light
Loving the deep blue magic that
“Accidental Racist” is more than just a joke of a song. It’s an example of the ignorance of Americans and the unwillingness to even try to understand racism, let alone do what needs to be done to end it. And it’s more than that, too. It’s propaganda. It’s white supremacists saying, again, this is not our fault, the real problem here is your unwillingness to forget.
9/11? Never forget.
The Holocaust? Never forget.
400 years of rape and murder and enslavement of an entire race, followed by 140-plus years of pretty much the same stuff, much of which is still happening right this very second? Forget. Now, motherfuckers!!! Forget!!"
A few places, ended up at Metropolitan College