2015-04-08

Monsters Are Not Heroes


I often see people getting defensive when it comes to other people criticizing law enforcement. I somewhat understand that. Their purpose is to serve and protect, and if you believe that is what law enforcement actually does, it can get frustrating to hear people say bad things about the people you feel put their lives on the line to serve ALL the people.
However, for many of us, police aren't really there to serve and protect. They harass, they treat many of us with suspicion, some people are seen as the enemy. I don't necessarily blame law enforcement entirely for this, but I blame the systematic racism that is pervasive in this country. Law enforcement officers are indeed human, and they are flawed. Many of us see them as a representation of the powers that keep the status quo, that keep that systematic racism alive and kicking. This is why we are critical, and when we see stories like Walter Scott and Michael T. Slager, we get concerned, because we know without that tape, this story would have ended differently. People would have told us to wait for all the evidence, and people would have proclaimed we played the race card, ignoring the statistical data that shows us again and again there is inequality in how the law is dealt. People will justify police officers playing judge, jury, and executioner; and expect those who are the primary victims of this type of law enforcement to put up with it and be ok with it.
We're not ok with it. You shouldn't be ok with it either.
You don't want us to talk about the current state of law enforcement and it's problems, you want us to be ok with it; and we can't. If we don't discuss these issues, things will never get resolved. You cannot continue to dismiss case after case of police brutality and murder by treating the victims as monsters and the monsters as heroes.
Acknowledge the law does not always protect and serve everyone, it doesn't mean all law enforcement is horrible, it doesn't negate their jobs, but it does help us acknowledge and hopefully fix the issues that seem to be pervasive all over the country, causing harm and death to too many people.

2015-03-17

Dear White Atheists

Dear white atheists,

You are not the new oppressed. Yes, you face discrimination.  Yes, atheism is still not accepted in many parts of the world, including the United States.  Yes, I think that religion is a hindrance to our society in many ways.  However, you are not all that oppressed.  You are not the new black, gay, women, or transgender. You are not like the jews in Germany during the reign of Hitler.  It’s not that serious, and yes you can be sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, and just in general an asshole.  

Years ago, when I joined the social network no one uses, facebook, I decided to join all types of groups.  Groups for feminists, groups for planning and organizing, groups about cloth diapers, and groups about atheism.   The atheist groups in my mind were going to be filled with enlightened people who are all about truth and the American way.  They were filled with white people, in particular lots of white men.  These groups didn't mention race often, but when they did, it usually transpired like this:


They are discussing this sad story.  However, they are now using this as a platform to discuss reverse racism and how racist black people are.   Ignoring why the Michael Browns and Trayvon Martins of the world are killed and they justify it and allow people to walk free. They ignore that these black kids will end up with severely harsh sentences and they will not have the benefit of the doubt of white America.  They will discuss how white people can’t treat black people like they used to, therefore making them white victims of society, silenced because no one has to put up with their bullshit silently anymore. One person is discussing an incident that occurred at age seven, I’m sure it was an incident that didn't require hospitalization, and I’m pretty sure the people who attacked them in question were not adults. Not dismissing it, but it's not quite the same as you know segregation, slavery, and it's lasting impact.

People like this ignore systematic racism, how racism correlates with inequality in this world, and I’m not a magical negro, so I’m not wasting my time explaining to them how stupid they sound as they lament about the evil negroes intent on being racist towards them and causing them great discomfort.

So I hang out here.   These people are atheists too, but they understand black issues. It’s probably because they’re overwhelmingly black.  It’s open to all people, and there are members of all races, but there is often members who join to show this group is proof of reverse racism.  Because black people having their own space where they don’t have to put up with the racist, simple minded tomfuckery I just displayed is a bad thing.   

So suck it up white atheists.  I’m sorry I’m not here to explain racism to you or how black people are not getting a bunch of free stuff and they we are not oppressing you because you can’t say the n-word.   You can try Google though, I hear it works pretty well.  

Love,

Me

2015-03-06

My Solution To Education For My Children

My blackness is a defining characteristic of me. People often want to pretend they live in a world of color blindness in which they see no race, but that is a blatant lie. I see it every single day. I’m supposed to have an attitude, I’m inherently violent, and I’m on welfare. At least that is the assumption based upon my skin tone. People do it all the time, and I don’t expect any less from a child. Children notice color. Children ask questions. Children of color, in particular seem to pick up on the nuances of race in our society fairly quickly. My five year old knows I’m black, her father’s white, and she’s in between. She asks questions, and as her mother I answer them to the best of my ability. I’m just dreading the day where I have to tell her the truth about her race and how people will see her. It’s the talk all black parents have with their children, it won’t be any different because she’s biracial, as biracial in our country is black. We steady hold fast to the one drop rule, until it’s inconvenient for us. I dread putting my child in school and it terrifies me. I’m actually considering homeschooling. I’ve already picked out her curriculum, I’ve visited a homeschooling co-op or two to get a feel for them, and I’ve even looked at private schools. This video makes me reconsider even private schools, because there isn’t ANY diversity within a private school, and this kid’s experience reflects my own in predominantly white public and private schools I attended as a child. It’s heartbreaking because I know that it isn’t a unique experience for black children of the upwardly mobile in America.



People often wonder why I would consider homeschooling, and it’s simple. My experiences in public and private school tell me that school is inherently a horrible place for children of color, particularly in schools that are predominantly white. There is no recourse. You will be seen as a troublemaker, a know it all, told you are less intelligent, and you will essentially be beaten into submission until your confidence in yourself is eradicated.

Public schools, at least in Texas are very inconsistent in terms of the quality of education. Often times schools in predominantly non white areas tend to not get as great of ratings of their schools in comparison to white areas. Is it matter of intelligence and the Bell Curve theory? Probably not, but people will think that. In reality, it is a matter of tax base. The wealthier your school, the more resources you have. I really don’t have to worry about putting my child in a more economically advantaged school district, I can do that, but I find more than not, that economically advantaged lends to not be very diverse; and when you don’t have much diversity you have the problems I ran into as a kid. So I need a well off school that offers diversity and will shield my child from people who think she is inherently inferior because she is not 100% white. That doesn’t exist in Texas, and I do not want for her to have the same issues I had in school, in which anything lower than a “B” will send her into a fit of rage for fear of being put into special education classes. Not to mention, it’s Texas, even our best schools really aren’t the best schools out there in most cases, not even in the wealthiest of school districts, which is why the best education in Texas tends to be with the elite prep schools and private schools that average at around $30k/year.

Am I sheltering my child by considering homeschooling? Absolutely, and I have no problem stating such. White people have the luxury of their children being sheltered from privilege and racism, why can’t my child have the same? I feel I have to make that happen for her and homeschooling is a big way for me to do that.

I’m not the only one thinking this way.

2015-02-17

Pardon My Dust

Well guess what? I'm back. For real this time. For really real. OK, I might not be back, but I'm going to put forth the effort. Come on back, don't mind the construction, I'm just changing a few things up.