Showing posts from November, 2014

The Sobering Truth About White's Racial Attitudes

" A people which oppresses another people cannot itself be free. "                   - Karl Marx to the English working class on the Irish question - Let me begin with a very simple premise: most white people know little or nothing about the history of racism or the root causes of racial inequality in American society, have little or no interaction with nonwhites, and believe that people of color, especially black people, have no one to blame but themselves for why they linger behind whites on practically every indicator of social and economic well-being in American society. Part of the reason for this is rooted in the failures of our nation’s educational system. Most white students I encounter in the classroom – the future leaders of this country – have either no understanding or have just a cursory understanding of the history of slavery, Jim Crow segregation, or the civil rights struggles of the past or those that continue today. And, most do not entertain any n

A Letter To My White Progressive Friends The Day After The 2014 Midterm Elections

Dear Progressive White Allies, Your family and friends let America down once more. It wasn't low turnout by black and brown voters in urban communities. It wasn't bad messaging. It wasn't gerrymandered districts. It wasn't the hundreds of millions in dark money spent. It wasn't the manipulation of voting rules and procedures. It wasn't the negative ads turning off voters. It was the voting behavior of your friends and relatives. You know these people. You talk to them daily. You spend holidays with them. You work alongside them. You are next door neighbors to them. You work out at the gym with them. You cringe but mostly look the other way after one of their racist, sexist, and homophobic comments. It's time you talk seriously to them about the future of our country. I remember after the 2000 presidential election being a part of a conversation with mostly white activists and organizers from around the region in January 2001. Leading the discuss