Politics, Civil Rights, and Social Justice
Despite mounds of undeniable evidence and tons of analysis explaining white privilege, white people still can’t deal with talking about racism. It is long past time to destroy that sensitivity. We can’t let fellow white folks sit pretty in the ignorant bubble of white supremacy. Ignoring white privilege, whether you will admit it or not, adds to a long history of exploitation and oppression of non-whites.
Oppressive regimes control access to ideas because they know that knowledge is liberating and diversity is powerful. History has not been kind to those who ignore their pasts, which is why we must take threats of authoritarianism seriously.
To expand your world view and open your mind, read more. With Trump’s ban, on pretty much anything you need to read each one of these books before they are banned. Each one challenges harmful societal norms and is worth a read (or two).
Deportation raids are happening en masse across the country. Refugees have been turned away at the border, echoing a shameful past when Holocaust refugees were refused entry to the United States in 1939. The ACLU is defending infamous white supremacist Milo Yiannopoulos, even though Holocaust survivors have said hate speech is a precursor to genocide. Xenophobia and racism are being written into executive orders signed by the United States President. People are afraid that the new administration is laying the groundwork for a second coming of Adolf Hitler.
Jeffress’ presence at the inauguration and his role on Trump’s evangelical advisory board can tell us something about Trump’s plans.
In 2010, Jeffress gave a sermon during which he said, “The deep, dark, dirty secret of Islam: It is a religion that promotes pedophilia — sex with children. This so-called prophet Muhammad raped a 9-year-old girl — had sex with her.” Embracing Robert Jeffress is confirmation that Trump is anti-Islam and pro-discrimination of marginalized members of society. Less than a week into his presidency, Trump has already signed an executive order to deny visas to anyone from seven majority Muslim countries.
The stories we are told throughout our lives, both real and imagined, color the lens through which we interpret the world. The present is legitimized by the stories told about the past, and we are more likely to believe a story that aligns with the ones we’ve always been told. President-elect Donald Trump’s rhetoric works because it isn’t facts that can bring someone around to a new perspective. Only appealing to someone’s moral values can.
Moral values are appealed to through stories — and Trump is a storyteller. Trump is very far removed from the life of the working-class American; he’s a billionaire bred from millionaires. To keep his supporters from seeing how different he is, he appeals to the stigma of poverty with a story about getting rich and making other people rich. He uses storytelling as part of his manipulative M.O.
Stigma is a negative attitude towards people based on one aspect of their experience or identity. To destigmatize something is to remove the barriers of shame and open the door to dialogue. To normalize something is to integrate a behavior or belief into mainstream society and to accept it as a common and unremarkably ordinary part of life. Destigmatizing rape does not normalize rapists; rather, it works to combat victim-shaming. To destigmatize conversations on race in America does not normalize racists; it removes the disgrace and shame associated with discussing race.
Hey, white folks, stop getting offended when someone calls you racist. Instead, try this: shut up, listen and learn. Welcome to the crash course that is here to teach you how to be less of a jerk when you’re called racist.
Impact is different than intent. When someone is calling you out on a prejudicial and problematic comment, it’s because your impact is harmful — no matter what you intended. When it comes to racism, sexism, ableism or any other kind of problematic discourse or behavior, it is time to stop reacting defensively when accused of an “ism.”
Just because someone doesn’t want to be racist doesn’t mean they aren’t. Contributing to white supremacy is racism. Supporting racists is racism. Excusing racism is racism. Not holding racists accountable is racism.
Racism is a system of oppression that permeates all levels of society and shows itself in invisible and in-your-face ways. But those things, those subtle acts or non-acts, are the stepping stones violence walks on. It isn’t always deliberate; it’s subtle, and that stealthy prejudice is where the blatant hate gets its strength. The seeds of covert racist denial are the fertilizer for outright discrimination, brutality, and hatred.
I have not watched the presidential debates. I did not watch the GOP debates before that. I do not watch any of Trump’s speeches. I have heard the criticisms about my choice, that I am choosing to be ignore the reality of current national politics or that I’m being stubborn and ignorant. The thing is, while I don’t watch or listen to Trump, I read the transcripts. It isn’t even just that I despise Trump and don’t want to listen to his hateful rhetoric. I get plenty worked up reading the transcripts. I don’t watch him speak because I can’t.
In August, 62-year-old Kathleen Steele was arrested for the death of her infant child, who was killed by the hands of Steele’s 6-year-old son. Steele left her three children in the car, aged 13 days, 3 years and 6 years. According to reports, Steele left her kids in a parked car with the windows up and the doors locked. While Steele was away, the baby girl began to cry. The 6-year-old told police that the crying made him mad. So he grabbed his sister from her car seat and proceeded to throw her around the vehicle, ultimately killing her.
The common saying that “it’s the thought that counts” is supposed to apply to gift-giving, but it was destined to morph — as all language does — and has been used to justify the continuation of a broken criminal justice system. Not everyone’s thoughts count, though. Intent is determined by the powerful — and benefits the powerful, or those who least threaten the status quo.
White privilege provides a protective buffer of assumptions that is not given to people of color, especially not to black people. To better understand how this functions, think of whiteness as a protective benefit-of-the-doubt shield. To level up the shield, you have to be given more layers of privilege.
With Stanford rapist Brock Turner being released from prison Friday after a laughably short sentence, it’s time to look at privilege. Again.
Americans love to say, “It’s the thought that counts.” It’s such a common saying that white folks use that engrained ideology to justify and defend oppression. Widely publicized news stories paint a picture of the powerful (read: white and those benefiting from white male power structures) being protected because of their (imagined, good) intent — while the disenfranchised (read: people of color) are punished for theirs.
On Wednesday, Leslie Jones, a woman of color and star of the new Ghostbusters film, had her personal accounts hacked with intimate photos posted to her website, along with confidential details of her passport and driver’s license. Jones had only recently taken time off from social media after being bombarded by a mob of racist, sexist, hate-fueled trolls. They were apparently offended by the audacity of the women who dared to walk in the footsteps of the comedians who starred in the original Ghostbusters classic.
I am a progressive feminist, I am voting for Bernie Sanders, and I’m not the only one. Let’s begin with dispelling an important misconception, feminists are not a unified force on all issues. Feminism isn’t a cult or secret society, women don’t get initiated and then promise to always choose the lady over the fella if they’re duking it out. Hillary Clinton does not have my vote, even if Madeleine Albright is tapped into some psychic cosmic force and it turns out to be true that women who don’t help other women have their own suite near Satan, I’m still choosing Sanders over Clinton.
No, John McCormack, anti-Trump protesters in Chicago were not a disgrace to the first amendment. No, both “sides” of the Trump protest in Chicago aren’t “to blame” for clashes. And, no, Facebook friends who will remain unnamed, I don’t have to respect Trump and his “opposing views.”
No one has to respect Trump or his “side” when he is spouting horrifically hate filled rhetoric. We don’t have to respect someone who calls people in poverty too stupid for politics. Someone who threatens to strengthen the already debilitating structural inequality that continually subjugates and marginalizes and murders people of color. Someone who promises to break apart families by deporting millions of immigrants. Someone publicly rejoicing in support of discrimination.
From day one, Donald Trump has made no attempt to hide his totalitarian views, undeniable sexism, and violent racism. There were a reported 19 hate crimes perpetrated against Muslims in the five days following Trump’s December 7th declaration that the United States should halt all Muslim immigration. Unfortunately, that was just the jumping off point for a campaign dripping with venomous racism. Pandering to misdirected fears, his campaign has exposed the ugly underbelly of confused American anger. Influential figures across the spectrum of political alliances have spoken out against him, but it has done little to slow him down. Despite international uproar against his statements that are eerily reminiscent of Hitler’s campaign promises, hordes of supporters still flock to Trump.
Childhood is defined by culturally set boundaries which have changed throughout human history. The acceptable age to work varies depending on the culture, but child slavery is unanimously the worst form of child labor that exists and is unacceptable at any age in any country. There are millions of children trafficked around the world and forced into lives of depravity and despair. Here are 10 of the worst kinds of modern child slavery.