Tag Archives: Current Events

Another Lesson in White Privilege

white privilege

A Facebook page called “The Good, the Chad, & the Ugly” shared this post today. When I saw it I felt compelled to share it with an added comment, to wit: 

Another day. Another lesson about white privilege. Will I ever complete this course? ‪#‎ComplexionfortheProtection

I then felt compelled to share some other thoughts.

When my oldest daughter was in kindergarten, her class would do a little chant/song at the end of the day to identify what they had learned.

The teacher would ask: “What did you learn at school today?”

The children would reply (in unison): “Sharing, counting, coloring,” or whatever they had learned that day.”

The children were eager to learn, eager to share what they had learned, and eager to return the next day to learn some more.

I, too, love to learn. I especially love the fact that I can receive all sorts of lessons and learn how to do all sorts of things from cooking to carpentry, from weaving to woodworking, and from sewing to sanding, all while enjoying the comfort of my own home.

There are some lessons, however, that I no longer need to learn.  White privilege is one of them.

Believe me, I know all I need to know about white privilege.  I can recognize it in all of its forms.  I can even recognize it when it masquerades as something else.  I can recognize it even when it does not recognize itself.

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Tamir Rice’s Death Was Not the Result of “The Perfect Storm”

tamir-riceToday we learned that the police officer who killed Tamir Rice will not be indicted for his murder. When explaining the decision not to indict, Cuyahoga County prosecutor Tim McGinty said,

“Simply put, given this perfect storm of human error, mistakes and miscommunications by all involved that day, the evidence did not indicate criminal conduct by police.”

So…the Perfect Storm caused Tamir’s demise, eh? I’ve been sitting with that, and here’s the conclusion I’ve reached: Continue reading

Transgender Awareness Week

This week is Transgender Awareness Week. I’ve collected a few resources for people who are interested in participating in events and increasing community and individual awareness of trans issues and, specifically, trans PoC issues. Trans PoC are at a disproportionate risk for violence and poverty when compared to white trans people. This year, there has been unprecedented  violence against trans people. There have been at least 21 or 22 (depending on the source) known murders of transgender women. Most of these women were trans women of color.

The video below features several trans women of color who tell their stories in honor of TDoR.

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Ride or Die is Overrated. Yeah, I said it.

adam levine

I was sitting in the car at a red light today, and Locked Away by R. City featuring Adam Levine came on the radio. And all of a sudden, I was furious. FURIOUS. IRATE. INCENSED. You get the picture. Here are the lyrics, just in case you’ve been living under a rock or you hate Adam Levine (who am I kidding…no one hates Adam Levine):

If I got locked away
And we lost it all today
Tell me honestly, would you still love me the same?
If I showed you my flaws
If I couldn’t be strong
Tell me honestly, would you still love me the same?
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Now Is the Time for a New Day for All of Us in Our Interactions With Police

Recently, several young activists and groups of activists have come together to launch a platform called “Campaign ZERO.” (http://www.joincampaignzero.org/#vision). The website states:

“Campaign ZERO was developed with contributions from activists, protesters and researchers across the nation. This data-informed platform presents comprehensive solutions to end police violence in America. It integrates community demands and policy recommendations from research organizations and the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. Together, we will win.”

CampaignZero

The proposals call for new laws and policies at the federal, state, and local levels that fall into three overall categories:  Interventions, Interactions, and Accountability. The proposals focus on 1) eliminating unnecessary interventions by law enforcement officials in our daily lives by doing such things as banning racial profiling and banning quotas for tickets and arrests; 2) establishing certain requirements and guidelines that must be followed by law enforcement officials in their interactions with members of the public by, among other things, limiting the use of force and by making certain tactics, such as “chokeholds” or “hog-ties” illegal; and 3) ensuring that law enforcement officials who do not adhere to those requirements and guidelines are held accountable, by doing such things as establishing “civilian oversight structures” and by requiring the collection of “audio and visual data of police interactions.”

As I was reading the proposals, I could hear the questions that would be raised about whether they are truly needed.  I began to formulate my own responses to those questions by recalling several vignettes involving my personal interactions with law enforcement officials and the lessons I learned from those interactions. Continue reading

Straight Outta Compton: A Film Review

by Mica McGriggs

N.W.A was not the music of my childhood, even though I was living just south in the neighboring Orange County at the height of their career, I remained unaware. I was unaware of their music and unaware of the struggles of inner-city life. I have vague memories from my childhood of conversations at the dinner table or in passing about riots, and violence, but I had no context; my middle class suburban community protected me from experiencing that life. I don’t think I found NWA and other gangster rap until I was a teenager, but I was appalled and hooked! While it didn’t reflect my reality or report on the story of my experience it still felt like home. Compton, where the members of NWA grew up was a microcosm of our society, it represented a failing system, one that we are all caught in. I have been to Compton once in my life, I was five or six and we went to visit my cousins who lived there as kids. I remember having a good day, we played and ate and then I returned to my Orange County suburb with my white mother and grandparents. At that tender age, life seemed the same for them as it was for me, it really wasn’t until I found gangster rap that I began to understand some of what they experienced. Continue reading

Punching Other Moms, Causing Disunity, and Other Ways to Let Your Light So Shine

mom quote

A few weeks ago for Mother’s Day, the kids at church were asked to fill out a little paper all about their mom. My son’s paper proudly proclaimed, “My mom is awesome because she ‘CAN PUNCH OTHER MOMS.’” Tha hell??!! Seriously, son? THAT’s what you want everyone to know about why your mother is awesome??!! (For the record, I do NOT make it a habit to “punch other moms.”) Continue reading