I want to share this article by Salma Haidrani on The Establishment today: The Wellness Movement has a Race Problem. Just read the whole thing. When she says “Cook like me, look like me” I had to stop reading. Just think about what that means when the people we aspire to look like are all white.
Let’s hear from someone new today. Please click through to read the article On the Bodies of My People by Tyson Amir. This is a beautiful memoir of a man reconciling his faith, his culture, and how he is treated and should be treated.
I proudly come from that tradition of Islam being mixed with a fight for the freedom and liberation of Black people and all oppressed peoples.
This fight began once the first men and women were stolen from their homeland and placed aboard Portuguese ships to be carried across the Atlantic Ocean. The reality is their fight didn’t end with them; their fight has been passed down to every generation of their offspring.
My generation is attempting to practice Islam and fast Ramadan in the age of mass incarceration, school to prison pipeline, the war on drugs, the era of every 28 hours a Black person being killed by law enforcement or security personnel.
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 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.
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.
Jordan Edwards, Rest in Power
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.
James E. Lewis
Ronnie Lee Shorter
Kevin Darnell Washington
an unidentified man
Jamake Cason Thomas
Johnnie J. Harris
Curtis Jamal Deal
Quanice Derrick Hayes
Jocques Scott Clemmons
Carlos Keith Blackman
Darryl L. Fuqua
Alonzo E. Ashely
Willard Eugene Scott
Kenneth Lee Bailey
Jean R. Valescot
Chance David Baker
Morgan London Rankins
Timothy Lionel Williams
Lorenzo Antoine Cruz
Epthen Lamont Johnson
Dennis Todd Rogers
Luke O. Stewart
Rashad Daquan Opher
Cordale Quinn Handy
Frederick Ricardo Brown
Patrick Earl Gatson
Rodney James Hess
Reno Joseph Owens
Richard Xavier Summers
Zelalem Eshetu Ewnetu
William D. Spates
Selwyn Aubrey Hall
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
*possibly more. 45 individuals in the database have an unknown race listed.
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”
Let’s widen our online reading!
Well, no reading today, just listening. Please click through and listen to this beautiful poem by Kwyn Townsend Riley about being a black woman at a predominately white institute.
“There’s no justice. Just us.”