jenk: Faye (DariaPensive)
I told him I’d been raised a Pentecostal but mellowed into Methodism as an adult.
Who me?
James Baldwin said being black in America is like walking around with a pebble in your shoe. Sometimes it scarcely registers and sometimes it shifts and becomes uncomfortable and sometimes it can even serve as a kind of Buddhist mindfulness bell, keeping you present, making you pay attention.
It sounds like a good metaphor to me.

Quotes from Kim McLarin, writing for The New York Times.
jenk: Faye (maggie)
Working Mother Magazine addressed how sex and race affect corporate life. It also puts things in terms I can easily understand...I've had the joyful experience of being seen as representing all women, or all fat people, so I can get that being seen as representing all black women would suck.

The P-I carried a story on black men striving to appear benign. All those little split-second decisions that can mean life or death.

Granny talks about "mundane stress" in Louisiana.

And Alas, A Blog comes up with a great description of "Othering and Centering", aka, the problems created not just by vilifying the other, but by assuming that all normal people are ______________ ....
jenk: Faye (jen36)
In response to an observation of growing up in whitebread America - no racism but no other races, either

I grew up in a bit north of Seattle, what is now the city of Shoreline. When I was in school it was about 10% Asian, 1-2% black, and the rest white or mixed (and most of the mixes were white & Asian). The 2000 census reports it was 77% white, 13% Asian, and 2.8% black.

So. Yes, people of other races. But damned few, even in service positions. And those few I met at school were usually 2nd or 3rd-generation Americans being raised by smart, well-educated, frequently well-to-do (at least to my eyes) parents. Then I went to work at Microsoft Redmond, with its large Asian minority (new immigrants as well as nth-generation), almost everyone comes from one side of the IQ bell curve and most are being paid high-tech wages.

  • I expect people of other races to be as smart or smarter than I and to have as much or more money.
  • I do not equate "accent" with "ignorant".
  • I do not equate "brown skin" with "accent".
  • I did not pick up my mother's assumption that people of color are less educated or poor. This baffled her.
  • I did pick up some of mom's BS, largely her discomfort with being emotionally close to people who look different (black, Asian, Latino, noticably richer or poorer).
  • I am aware of racial differences. I wonder if I would be less aware if I had grown up in a more-mixed community.
  • I wonder if my ignorance leads me to racist assumptions.
FWIW, according to the 2000 census info, King County is 75.7% white, 10.8% Asian, and 5.4% black. The rest is mostly mixed, with some Pacific Islander & Native American thrown in. In Redmond it's 79% white, 13% Asian, and 1.5% black.
jenk: Faye (Leia)
"I don't know where they are from. They don't tell you.

"They simply tell you, I am Mr White X and nigger go back and this is what you are like, this is what you are worth."

Asked if he was angered by the letters, Dr Sentamu said: "Particularly when they put human excrement on them. I don't want to have that kind of thing."

- Dr John Sentamu, first black Archbishop of York, speaking with the BBC.

Maybe it's a "civilized" touch that the sniveling cowards writing these letters are too ashamed to sign their names to their work.

If so, it's the only thing "civilized" about them.
jenk: Faye (knowing)
Bruce won a Grammy for Code of Silence. This song wasn't released til 2004, but it was performed live in the summer of 2000 ... at many of the same Madison Square Garden shows that American Skin, inspired by Amadou Diallo's death, was performed and recorded.

While looking this up I ran across an article Dave Marsh wrote at the time for VH1. Marsh is married to Barbara Carr, one of Bruce's co-managers, and has written several books on Bruce. It makes interesting reading now as well as then. A few quotes...
Maybe what we were supposed to be surprised about was that the cops were attacking a respectable white rocker. That's a way of saying that [...] good white folks are supposed to go along with whatever crimes the police commit against black people.

[W]hat "American Skin" actually says about cops has not yet been discussed. The song mentions the cops only once. Its first verse portrays one of them "kneeling over his body in the vestibule/ Praying for his life." I presume the ambiguity is deliberate: Was the cop praying for his victim's life, or his own? That's the question this society needs to answer, and no matter what, it does not have a comfortable answer. That's why the cops and politicians like Giuliani try to silence it.


jenk: Faye (Default)

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