Why ‘Taking the High Road’ Won’t Save Us and Maybe a Little Shade Will

By Jasmine Banks

“Taking the high road” is a myth and a distraction from revolution. It wasn’t even two days after the United States of America established Donald Trump as president that calls to “take the high road” started. The calls came from white folks who did and didn’t vote for Trump and Black folks who were seemingly embarrassed that the nation, yet again, held a referendum on Black folks and their humanity and confirmed that they could not vote for our wellbeing.

In fact, the ‘high road’ is covertly coded language that leads Black folks to believe that if they act in a way that others deem respectable, that we can elevate ourselves above our own oppression. Taking the high road applies pressure on the victims of oppression to modify their anger and rage in order to package their experiences and reactions for consumption and judgment. The fact is: how Black folks choose to express themselves should never be a measurement of their worthiness to live lives free of harm and domination.

Black Lives Matter, Taiwan’s ‘228 Incident,’ and the Transnational Struggle For Liberation

By: Chanda Hsu Prescod-Weinstein

Someone was selling cigarettes illegally. The State didn’t need the money, but it did want to be in control of how everyday citizens made money. When the authorities showed up, the enforcers could have let the sale of contraband cigarettes go, but they didn’t. Instead, they used force and the cigarette seller ended up on the ground. Not long after, a man was dead.

On first thought, this sounds like it’s just the story of Eric Garner’s death on July 17, 2014 in New York City, USA.

But Eric Garner’s story resonates across the continents and the decades. The story above could have been describing not his death but instead an incident that occurred decades earlier in another hemisphere, with the death of an unnamed man in a crowd that gathered when the cigarette seller was attacked by police on February 27, 1947 in Taipei, Taiwan.

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

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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.