Father’s Day

I have some conflicted feelings about father’s day. Every year it reminds me that I didn’t have the relationship I wanted with my father, and that my children do not have a grandfather in their lives. But I also love watching their relationship with their dad grow, and see how hard my husband works at being the best dad he can be.

Today we also got to celebrate my sister-in-law’s birthday today. We stuffed ourselves with delicious food, chased the kids around the house, and picked cucumbers in the garden. And then, after everyone was gone, and the kids were in bed, I opened facebook and was met with such horrible news.

Just after midnight, in London, a man drove a van into the crowds leaving several mosques after late-night prayers. At least one person was killed and several were injured.

This morning in Virginia a group of Muslim teenagers were confronted by a man with a baseball bat. They all ran, but one young woman was taken and killed by him. Her body was found this afternoon.

A woman in Seattle called police to her home after a break in and was shot and killed by them in front of her children. She was 3 months pregnant. The police claim she was armed with a knife, her family denies this.

This all following a rough week after Philando Castile’s murderer was acquitted.

So many lives lost to hate, so many families hurting today. A friend posted on facebook about how much discomfort it takes for people to overcome their apathy and be moved to empathy. It is easy to be filled with our lives – we are all busy, we all have struggles. But things will not improve – black lives won’t matter, muslim men, women, and children won’t be safe – until we all step up and and stand for each other. No one else will do it. Each of us have to.

It’s Wednesday – do you know about the Philly MOVE bombing? I didn’t.

It’s Wednesday and time to hear from someone new.

NPR did a story in 2015 looking back at the 1985 bombing of the MOVE compound in Philadelphia. I had never heard of this, well, it feels like state-sponsored terrorism. A fortified house was bombed, an entire block caught fire, the mayor was saying things like, “any means possible,” and 11 people were killed. 5 of them were children.

Click through to read the whole story, which interviews residents to see what they remember about the horrific events.

Then go ahead and read about the 2016 documentary Do Not Resist. I haven’t seen it yet, but it’s next on my list. Watch it and we’ll discuss it on the blog.

John Darkow, Columbia Daily Tribune

It’s Monday! Let’s talk hair and privilege and policing blackness

There has been another story in the news lately of black young women punished for being black – specifically for wearing their hair in braids.

Race, Racism and the Law has a long but excellent read on the way black bodies are both policed and punished in schools: Detangling the Politics of Racially Conscious Dress Code. Although this happens across society (the military only allowed some hairstyles in 2014), it is especially problematic in schools where these policies reinforce implicit racism in our children. Here’s a snippet:

A trait is “a quality that makes one person or thing different from another.”  When Americans see the name Shaquanda Jackson, and *1262 mentally distinguish her from others by designating her as a “Black person,” her very name becomes a trait associated with Blackness. Acknowledging this relationship is fundamental in understanding trait discrimination. Americans hear a name like Shaquanda Jackson or see a hairstyle like dreadlocks, and mentally code both name and hairstyle as racially Black. Trait discrimination takes this mental recognition a step further, by actively prohibiting speech, names, clothing, hairstyles, etc. that Americans mentally associate with a specific race. Though Black persons are not born with dreadlocks or pre-destined to be named Shaquanda, these traits become avatars of Blackness. Because race is such a real and tangible thing in American culture,  these avatars cannot be separated from their racial significance.

Click through to read the whole thing and learn how these traits that have become synonymous with blackness are part of America’s implicit bias against Black Americans.


Black Lives Matter

Jordan Edwards, Rest in Power

Image description: a young black teenager smiles at the camera. You can see the collar and shoulders of a turquoise shirt, and there is a red background.

From the family:

“Not only have Jordan’s brothers lost their best friend; they witnessed firsthand his violent, senseless, murder,” the statement reads. “Their young lives will forever be altered. No one, let alone young children, should witness such horrific, unexplainable, violence.”

83 Black Americans have been shot and killed by police this year* according The Washington Post’s database.

Trevon Johnson

James E. Lewis

Mark Guirguis

James Owens

Ruben Randolph

Jamal Parks

JR Williams

Davion Henderson

Darrion Barnhill

Jahlire Nicholson

Herbert Johnson

Marquis Thomas

Ronnie Lee Shorter

Christopher Thompkins

Armond Brown

Arties Manning

Kevin Darnell Washington

Deaundre Phillips

Mi’Chance Dunlap-Gittens

Marvin Washington

an unidentified man

Tavis Crane

Michael Russo

Jamake Cason Thomas

Johnnie J. Harris

Nano Adomako

Shelly Porter

Jerome Allen

Cole Wooley

Curtis Jamal Deal

Chad Robertson

Quanice Derrick Hayes

Jocques Scott Clemmons

Carlos Keith Blackman

Darryl L. Fuqua

Alonzo E. Ashely

Willard Eugene Scott

Raynard Burton

Kenneth Lee Bailey

Kadeem Torres

Jimmy Briggs

Jean R. Valescot

Chance David Baker

Keo Crockett

Christopher Carter

Don Clark

Medger Blake

Morgan London Rankins

Timothy Lionel Williams

Lorenzo Antoine Cruz

Earl Riley

Christopher Redding

Epthen Lamont Johnson

Dennis Todd Rogers

Brandon Wiley

Luke O. Stewart

Rashad Daquan Opher

Cordale Quinn Handy

Frederick Ricardo Brown

Jermaine Claybrooks

Patrick Earl Gatson

Rodney James Hess

Desmond Phillips

Alteria Woods

Don Johnson

William Stokes

Eddie Davis

Reno Joseph Owens

Leroy Brown

Christopher Wade

Richard Xavier Summers

Zelalem Eshetu Ewnetu

Olugbalah Ridley

Keith Price

Damarius Butts

William D. Spates

Gavin Williams

Selwyn Aubrey Hall

Burgon Sealy

Avery Richard

Jordan Edwards

James Edward Ray

Black Lives Matter

4 months. 2 were female, 81 male. 5 were under age 18. 11 had known mental illness. 12 are known to have been unarmed. North Carolina and Texas are the worst offenders by state, with 7 killings each.

Black Lives Matter

Black Americans are 2.5 times more likely to be shot and killed by police than White Americans.

Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter

This is What White People Can Do to Support #BlackLivesMatter

Your Guide on How to Support Black People After Incidents of Police Violence


*possibly more. 45 individuals in the database have an unknown race listed.


It’s Wednesday! On model minorities and Asian poverty

From Tropics of Meta, click through for full article

Today I want to share an article regarding the new Power Rangers movie posted on The Nerds of Color. In Power Rangers Brings Asian American Poverty Front and Center, Bao Phi discusses how Asian Americans are generally considered to be the most effluent and least discriminated against minorities, and how that stereotype erases the real experiences of Asian Americans that live at or below poverty levels and live with daily racism. The importance of representation in media is key here, as one of the main characters is a young Chinese American man who is neither rich nor powerful. Continue reading “It’s Wednesday! On model minorities and Asian poverty”

It’s Monday!

Time to check your privilege!

I know very little about the criminal justice system in my privileged world. So today’s readings are going to cover that perspective, inspired by this article I saw in Mic, regarding a new fellowship program for formerly-incarcerated artists.

Netflix is streaming an eye-opening, troubling original documentary film called 13th. In it, the film makers take the viewer through the transition from a post-slavery nation to the disenfranchisement of African Americans (through Jim Crow laws, segregation, and violence), to the criminalization of minor offenses and harsher sentencing practices (especially during the “war on drugs” and the through the targeting and profiling of black men), and leads the viewer to see the mass incarceration in the United States as nothing more than a modern day slavery. Continue reading “It’s Monday!”