Why We Need to Talk about Light-Skinned Privilege

Jesse Williams’ speech at the BET Awards was an instant classic. It was a quotable, resonating soliloquy that brought attention to many people who have been obscured in past and present movements for black lives, including women, on-the-ground activists, and young people. However, many on Twitter asserted that people were excited about the speech primarily because Williams is a light-skinned, light-eyed black actor. Some tweets claimed that black men of darker skin tones had spoken on these issues in this manner before, and had not received nearly the attention that Williams had received.

Florida cops with ties to the KKK leave department


Two members of the Fruitland Park, Florida police department resigned amid allegations that they were associated with the Ku Klux Klan. 

The allegations were contained in a confidential  FBI report provided to police Chief Terry Isaacs by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and led to the resignation of Deputy Chief David Borst and the dismissal of Officer George Hunnewell. 

Fall Back: Let Me Explain

In case you missed it, last week I did a great job of offending people by not writing a Halloween post about the history of blackface and why it hurts my feelings. Instead, I attempted to compose a more honest set of press releases for any white person of note who gets cited for the offense. I did this for a few reasons. On some level I figured, hell, every major website will have some black person write about why blackface angers and offends some black people, thereby perhaps inspiring some white person lost on the internet to (sadly) mark that off the list of ways for them to have fun. And you know what? It happened. My Twitter and Facebook feeds were full of posts articulating why it’s important to take the spook out of spooky. I just didn’t want to contribute to the subgenre.

Bakari Kitwana: Our Enemy is White Supremacy

When I heard the not guilty verdict announced live, I was attending a national gathering of one hundred 18-30 year-old Black activists in the Chicago area organized by the Black Youth Project. The reaction of the young people in the room to the news that George Zimmerman would not be held accountable by the nation’s criminal justice system will forever be etched on my memory.

Most were shocked. Angry. Outraged. Disappointed. But their tears, outcries and rage were all accompanied with a clear and unflinching determination that this will not be the last word in the battle for justice for Trayvon Martin.

Black Cafe Owner Posts Sign to Ward Off Racists: “f you are allergic to black people, don’t come in.”

After being repeatedly subjected to blatant racism from potential customers, a British black woman posted a sign outside of her restaurant that read:

“Attention! Everyone be aware I am a black woman, and always will be. If you are allergic to black people, don’t come in.

But if you prefer quality wholesome meals in a pleasant and clean environment, come in. I don’t bite.”

North Carolina 4th of July Parade Marred by ‘White History Month’ Float

A Fourth of July parade in a small North Carolina town took a disturbing turn when a “White History Month” float made its way into the parade procession.

After receiving multiple complaints from spectators, the town of Hope Mills explained that the owner of the float misled the parade committee in order to receive a permit.

The committee vows to reassess their procedures for next year’s parade.

From the Huffington Post:

The Fayetteville Observer reported Saturday that Hope Mills, N.C. parade included a float attached to a John Deere tractor, driven by local farmer Donnie Spell. The float included a large wagon filled with watermelons, and featured a sign that read “White History Month. Hug WTE PPL.” A Confederate flag was also attached to the tractor.

Lupe Fiasco to Chicago Grads: “You have graduated from one of the most terrible, substandard school systems in the entire world”

Lupe Fiasco recently spoke to a group of black high school graduates at the Mass Black Male Graduation and Transition to Manhood ceremony in Chicago.

And he didn’t wasted  their time with a flowery speech.

Instead, he called the Chicago Public School systems one of the worst in the world; and implored the young men to focus less on the achievement of graduating, and more on their futures and transition into manhood.

STUDY: People Generally Lack Empathy for Black Pain

A recent study asserts that people generally believe black people feel less pain than whites.

Called the racial empathy gap, it helps to explain the persistence of racial disparities.

In one experiment, researchers showed white participants video clips of needles entering someone’s skin. My measuring their reactions (by how sweaty their hands became), they found that the participants responded more dramatically to whites than blacks.