A few days ago Buzzfeed released a video titled ’27 Questions Black People Have for Black People’. If you must, watch it below:
It’s three-minutes of unadulterated self-loathing and ignorance — filled with young black people asking insulting and absurd questions for the black community.
But because I’m a glutton for self-punishment — and not much of a social life — I’ve dedicated the past two days to some basic research and googling to answer these nonsensical-ass questions. Here we go. (more…)
Ta-Nehisi Coates has a great piece up today on Bill Cosby and those in the black community who have defended him amidst rape allegations from over 50 women (I’ve written about Bill Cosby in the past here and here). Coates does a marvelous job of drawing the parallels between the language and power that’s habitually employed to harm, silence and dismiss victims of systemic racial violence and that being used by Cosby’s supporters in response to his victims and critics.
It’s also a great piece because it lifts up the idea that ‘victim’ and ‘oppressor’ are not constant titles, but rather shift from issue to issue. And that to demand justice for yourself without demanding it for others — is really nothing more than a demand to join the privileged class.
It is always particularly painful to see those who have been victimized by a habitual looking away to then turn around and do it themselves. But what it illustrates is that the line between victim and victimizer is largely circumstantial. There was always some number of black men who invoked Trayvon Martin’s name simply because he was a black male, simply because it could have been them. “It could be me” is a fine starting place for confronting the evils of the world, but a really poor conclusion. If no broader theory of sympathy and humanism emerges beyond one’s mean particularism, then all we really are left with are tribalism and power.
You can read the whole piece here.
We all know it, we’ve all been there. One moment you’re hanging out with a group of friends or co-workers and the next someone is asking if they can touch your hair or wondering about what country you’re really from. It’s nothing too egregious to set off the full alarms, but it’s not so harmless that it doesn’t sit with you for the rest of the evening (or week, or month). It sticks in you like a needle – -and before you know it, you’ve sat through so many of these casual moments of racism you realize you’ve turned into a human pin-cushion. (more…)
If you haven’t heard, a group of armed angry anti-government militia-men – they call themselves the Citizens for Constitutional Freedom — are currently occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Burn, Oregon. Here at the Civil Word, we try to make sense of it all. (more…)
In response to a Cleveland grand jury decision to not indict two white police officers in the murder of 12 year old Tamir Rice, some on social media have adopted the hashtag #NoJusticeNoLeBron. The hashtag represents a twitter campaign designed to encourage Cleveland Cavalier’s basketball megastar LeBron James to boycott NBA games in an attempt to pressure the Department of Justice “imprison the murderers of Tamir Rice”
Many see this as an action similar to the remarkably successful boycott undertaken by the University of Missouri football team — which resulted in the resignation of the university system President. In reality, the circumstances are vastly different — a boycott runs the risk of doing more harm than good and is ultimately unfair to LeBron James. (more…)