How Racism Is Destroying America's Political Discourse

A few years ago I had an internship at the Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition, where one of my chief duties was to spend hours looking through microfilm for newspaper clippings that dramatized the racial climate in Philadelphia throughout the years.

One article that stood out was a poll of Philadelphians that asked, “How would you describe the state of racial equality in America today?” The vast majority of whites (something like 60-70%) answered “Good.”

The year was 1968.

These people had no idea how dire the state of race relations was in America at the time because all they could compare it to was a not-so-distant past marred by lynching, sharecropping and segregation. But today we can see quite clearly that things were bad. Racism was alive and well.

And that’s why race is such a tricky issue in America. Racism grows classier and more refined every day, but it never goes away. How else can we explain the American people tolerating the unprecedented disrespect, racism, obstruction and outright legislative terrorism being perpetrated by the GOP?

The Viral Video, EBT: We Have Failed You, Chapter . . . An Open Letter

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzspsovNvII&feature=youtu.be

Dear Chapter,

Once upon a time when I was a little brown girl and the economy was really bad because of Reganomics, my “employed” and single black mother received food assistance to help feed her two daughters because her minimal wage check could not fully cover rent and the daily luxuries of milk, eggs, meat, beans, and rice. Yes, we were the working class poor. Yes, we were on food stamps. Yes, we needed help. And, yes, we received the EBT though I prefer to call it the Electronic Benefit Transfer because EBT sounds like some viral disease that must be stopped instead of something that has helped to feed many families including a large majority of white families.

To say the least, I found your video deeply troubling. And, not necessarily for the reasons people have listed in your YouTube’s comment section about displaying stereotypical images of black people. Chapter, I found your video troubling because it shows how we as a community of black women have failed to educate you. We have failed to tell you about your history, dearest. We have failed to tell you about National Welfare Rights Organization which was founded in the 1960s and lead by poor Black women who understood the interconnections between food justice, a living wage, racism, and poverty. You see, Chapter, our foremothers, as my grandmother would say, “fought tooth and nail,” to ensure that we would have access to federal assistance because it was our right not only because we were citizens, but because we were human. And, based on our god-given humanity, we deserved the option of being able to seek help when needed.

The Joke IS Black People

Dedicated to Gopher! I support you ma.

Nothing spikes my blood pressure quicker than non-Black people that change their demeanor around Black people. It occurs mostly between womyn; non-Blacks add “u’s” to “girl”, perform the two snaps and around gesture, push their lips out to say “boo boo!”—the list goes on. A little imitation of your culturally different friends has never been a problem, but it’s getting to a point where there is no precedent. Now every sidewalk where Black folks encounter people from different races is a stage. And brown skin marks the humorous people enough to make Blackface unnecessary. You know where I’m going. Minstrel shows seem to not have died out, in fact they are much realer, and they continue to make Black people harder to take seriously.