As I watch the news, I’m struck by the subtle ways that prejudice is spread. Nobody notices, but our brains do. So we accept it, coming to believe that what has been hinted at is true.
Two examples: 1) A suspect in an assault is referred to as “a homeless man,” but never “a man who lives on Gregory St. in San Jose.” 2) The person who vandalized is “a Black man,” but you don’t hear that the person was “a White man.”
The result is that our brains think, Of course, because Black men are dangerous and homeless people don’t care about anything or anyone.
It doesn’t seem right to me. It DOES seem like we need to filter what we hear before its implications get lodged in our brains.
Know why February was chosen as Black History Month? Because of the birthdays of two important U.S. historical figures–Abraham Lincoln (issued the Emancipation Proclamation) and Frederick Douglass (African-American abolitionist, orator, and author). Maybe you knew that.
But few people know its background–historians seeking truth and awareness. Here’s a short, 4-paragraph article that explains it in a nutshell and, hopefully, inspires people to celebrate it: African American History Month.
I was struck by the diversity of yesterday’s elective winners.
Hoboken, N.J.’s newly elected mayor is that city’s first Sikh American to serve in that office. A refugee from Liberia is Montana’s first black mayor. A woman is Seattle is the city’s first woman to be mayor since 1926, and New Hampshire’s largest city (Manchester), which has been around for 266 years, finally got around to electing its first female mayor.
In Virginia, it is two people. One is an openly transgender person who is a refugee from Vietnam–the first first Asian-American woman ever elected to their House of Delegates. Minneapolis elected an openly transgender person of color (the first ever elected in the U.S.) to their city council.
I approve of diversity in leadership positions, because I know that the more backgrounds that are represented, the better chance we have to enact just, fair laws.
What I don’t approve of is the fact that, today, the diversity of the election results is news rather than the norm and, therefore not even noticed. When will that finally be?
As a word person, I usually spot language oddities that have underlying bias that often goes unnoticed. Here’s one that I’ve missed, although I don’t understand why. I feel foolish for having let it slide by my radar.
It’s when the media talks about “black-on-black” crime. It’s never “white-on-white” crime. So why mention “black-on-black”?
Daily Kos says it better than I can. Read their short article. It has some interesting figures on inter-rational vs. same-race crimes–like how likely you are to be murdered this year by a black or white person.
Think about who you would believe. First, there’s a person whose TV and newspaper pictures show in various scenes: in a graduation gown, with earphones doing everyday things, and among friends and family. The other is shown alone, no family or friends around him, coming out of a police station or simply facing forward, almost in mug-shot pose except for the lack of numbers across his chest. You see these pictures again and again. Unconsciously, if you’re like most people, you want to side with the everyday guy. Especially if he’s a kid and the other guy is a cop. Add in the details that the kid is Black and the cop works for a police force with a bad record of treatment toward Blacks.
That’s what we’ve been seeing. And that’s the way the media typically presents situations, deciding which side to present in a better light. Then we wonder why people get upset and riot when the media bad-guy doesn’t get what we think he deserves.
I don’t know if Officer Wilson was criminally wrong. Nobody knows for sure. Only the grand jury has seen most of the evidence. And they didn’t clear Wilson of any wrongdoing; they only said there wasn’t enough evidence to bring him to trial. I know only that the media, which has a duty to be unbiased and has failed that duty–is partly to blame for the damage, destruction, and disrupted lives due to the current riots and all other riots they’ve manipulated us into.
I actually ventured out today. Normally Black Friday finds me cowering in bed, head covered against the cruel world. But we’re doing some work on our house and have workmen coming soon, meaning that we needed to purchase a few items sooner rather than later. We’ve run out of time to order and wait for delivery.
Out we went late this morning, fortified by an extra cup of coffee. We drove into the parking lot and had our choice of parking spaces. We walked into the store and there was hardly anyone there. When we had a question, there were lots of friendly, helpful sales people nearby but not in our faces. There was no blood on the floor from the mad rush of shoppers, or people being carted away in straight jackets or police cars after they dropped over the mental/emotional edge while shopping in an overheated crowd. In fact, shopping was easier than on a typical NON-Black Friday, and with Black Friday deals.
Where is this marvelous store, you may ask? Next year, try your local home improvement center (we did Lowes and Home Depot). You’ll find it a satisfying oasis in a tumultuous sales sea.
The average single black or Hispanic woman has about $100 IN NET WORTH.
The Insight Center for Community Economic Development reported that median wealth for black and Hispanic women is a little over $100. That’s much less than one percent of the median wealth for single white women ($41,500).
Other studies confirm the racially-charged economic inequality in our country. For every dollar of NON-HOME wealth owned by white families, people of color have only one cent.
There’s a type of profiling in our society that people upset with the Zimmerman verdict are overlooking. Instead of profiling Trevon Martin as a BLACK person, could Zimmerman have reacted to his YOUTH? A kid, likely with a bit of a youthful, jaunty walk, coming down the street, face partially covered by a hoodie, carrying…something…. As they moved closer together, a KID probably failed to give an adult the desired response (translate that into “respect”). Words exchanged could not have been conversation, because kids and adults don’t speak the same slanguage, and adults, often uncomfortable with that, become defensive to keep themselves from becoming intimidated by a PUNK KID.
I don’t know. I think there was some pre-conceived notion on Zimmerman’s part. Otherwise he wouldn’t have left his car to confront Martin. I have reasonable doubt, though, that it was simply racial. Maybe partially racial, maybe not. But I’d bet that, in that Neighborhood Watchman’s mind, young people were the perpetrators of a recent rash of burglaries; therefore, he saw Martin as a suspect and a threat because he was a KID.