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Race & Ethnicity

How Millions of White Americans Have Bought Into a Racist Myth About Black America

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Black-on-black crime is a myth that was decades in the making.


Ebony Slaughter-Johnson, AlterNet

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October 27, 2017 | Days after President Donald Trump mocked professional athletes taking a knee during the national anthem to protest police brutality inflicted upon communities of color, namely former San Francisco 49ers’ Colin Kaepernick who first kneeled in 2016, others followed suit. As national media coverage of the athletes’ protests intensified and the president doubled down on his provocations, which soon gave way to threats, the condemnation came. Outlets like the Washington Times implicitly questioned why did the athletes not turn their attention to a more pressing cause: the danger of “black-on-black crime.”

The Washington Times article is only the latest in a long line of attempts to use the racist trope of black-on-black crime to specifically discredit the Black Lives Matter movement and to invalidate very real concerns about police treatment of black communities across the country. Implicit in those attempts is a suggestion of the inherent criminality of black Americans.

This argument is a lie decades in the making.

Ebony Slaughter-Johnson is a freelance writer and a former research assistant at the Institute for Policy Studies. Her work has appeared in AlterNet, U.S. News and World Report, Equal Voice News, and Common Dreams.

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Related:

John Kelly’s Historical Amnesia About the History of the Civil War  and Slavery Is a Tool of White Supremacy, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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  • Part 1: John Kelly’s Civil War history fail speaks to a much bigger problem
  • Kelly only said what many white Americans believe: Slavery wasn’t that important and the Southern cause was “noble.”
  • Part 2: Historical Amnesia About Slavery Is a Tool of White Supremacy
  • Where we have (mostly) condemned slavery, we as a country have refused to condemn its defenders.

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Help enlighten your fellows. Be sure to pass this on to friends and kin. We must break the system's  ability to lie with impunity.

 

 

AIM Leader Dennis Banks Walks On

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Dennis J. Banks: 1937 – 2017 Dennis Banks addresses the rally at the Lincoln Memorial. Native News Online photo by Weldon Grover.

Banks co-founded the American Indian Movement (AIM) in 1968 in the Minneapolis-St. Paul twin city area. At the tail-end of the Civil Rights Movement, AIM became a powerful force in Indian Country bringing attention to the dismal living conditions and abuse American Indians faced in the United States.

Levi Rickert, Native News Online

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October 30, 2017 | Dennis J. Banks (Ojibwe), whose American Indian name was Nowa Cumig, co-founder of the American Indian Movement (AIM), actor, lecturer and author, has walked on and has begun his journey to the spirit world from complications developed after open heart surgery last week. He was surrunded by family and friends at the time of his death. He passed away at 10:10 p.m. – CDT. Banks was 80 years old.

His family released this statement:

“Our father Dennis J. Banks started his journey to the spirit world at 10:10 pm on October 29, 2017.

Levi Rickert, a tribal citizen of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, is the publisher and editor of Native News Online.

John Kelly’s Historical Amnesia About the History of the Civil War and Slavery Is a Tool of White Supremacy

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Rights%20%26%20Liberties%20Banner_0.jpg

  • Part 1: John Kelly’s Civil War history fail speaks to a much bigger problem
  • Kelly only said what many white Americans believe: Slavery wasn’t that important and the Southern cause was “noble.”
  • Part 2: Historical Amnesia About Slavery Is a Tool of White Supremacy
  • Where we have (mostly) condemned slavery, we as a country have refused to condemn its defenders.

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest 

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Part 1: John Kelly’s Civil War history fail speaks to a much bigger problem

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John Kelly(Credit: AP/Wikimedia/Salon)

Kelly only said what many white Americans believe: Slavery wasn’t that important and the Southern cause was “noble.”

Chauncey DeVega, Salon 

11.01.2017 | If White House chief of staff John Kelly had any self-respect or integrity he would be embarrassed right now. Despite his distinguished service as a Marine Corps general, Kelly apparently jettisoned such values when he went to work for President Donald Trump.

During an interview on Laura Ingraham's new Fox News show on Monday night, Kelly told the host that he viewed Confederate general Robert E. Lee as  “an honorable man. ... He was a man that gave up his country to fight for his state, which 150 years ago was more important than country. It was always loyalty to state first back in those days. Now it’s different today. But the lack of an ability to compromise led to the Civil War, and men and women of good faith on both sides made their stand where their conscience had them make their stand.”

Chauncey DeVega is a politics staff writer for Salon.

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Part 2: Historical Amnesia About Slavery Is a Tool of White Supremacy

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Neo-Nazis and white supremacists encircle counter-protesters at the base of a statue of Thomas Jefferson after marching through the University of Virginia campus with torches. (AP Photos / Shay Horse)

Where we have (mostly) condemned slavery, we as a country have refused to condemn its defenders.

Mychal Denzel Smith, the Nation

August 15, 2017 | n 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed into law the observance of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday as a federal holiday, but I didn’t celebrate it by that name until the year 2000. My family moved to Virginia Beach, Virginia, in 1993, where my father, a lieutenant in the US Navy, was stationed after a three-year deployment to Naples, Italy, which is where I started school. Second grade was my introduction to the American school calendar and the set of holidays that would be welcomed vacations from the classroom. As a seven-year-old, I didn’t think to ask anyone why January 15 marked Lee-Jackson-King Day.

The Commonwealth of Virginia began observing the January 19 birthday of Confederate General Robert E. Lee around 1889, and in 1904 added to this the recognition of General Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson’s birthday (January 21). Up until 1983, it was known as Lee-Jackson Day. That year, in accordance with the new federal law, Virginia began observing Martin Luther King Day, only the Virginia legislature voted to combine it with the nearby Lee-Jackson Day, giving us Lee-Jackson-King Day, which I celebrated for seven years of my life.

http://www.thenation.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/mychaldenzelsmith_small1.jpg Mychal Denzel Smith is the New York Times-bestselling author of Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching and a 2017 NAACP Image Award nominee.

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To many, America’s racial wealth gap remains invisible.

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Image by Terence McCormack via Flickr

  • Economic progress has been agonizingly slow for black Americans — but many whites don’t see it that way
  • Related: The Road to Charlottesville: Reflections on 21st Century U.S. Capitalist Racism

Chauncey DeVega, Salon

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09.21.2017 | In 1992, Andrew Hacker described the state of race relations in America as "separate, hostile, unequal." He could have easily added "delusional" and "confused." 25 years later, such a description remains all too accurate.

New research from Yale University psychologists Jennifer Richeson and Michael Kraus demonstrates how many white and black Americans possess radically different perceptions -- and lived experiences -- on the economy, wealth and income.

Chauncey DeVega is a politics staff writer for Salon.

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Related:

Paul Street | The Road to Charlottesville: Reflections on 21st Century U.S. Capitalist Racism, Paul Street, Counterpunch / Dandelion Salad 

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  • Can reparations, and the demand for a shift to an ecologically sustainable economy and society be introduced under the existing U.S. regime of class rule called capitalism? It must therefore be considered a revolutionary demand and be combined with multi-racial working-class struggle to remove the “One Percent” not just from its wealth but also and above all from its command of the structuring and purpose of “our” (their) political economy. It must be interwoven with the struggle for the broad redistribution of wealth and power and for peoples’ socialism. This is very different from the reactionary, “divisive,” and zero-sum way in which reparations is advanced by its bourgeois champions both white and Black.
  • Related: To Defeat Racism, We All Need to Dismantle Racial Capitalism

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At World Series, a racist taunt fuels a stunning episode of civility.

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Yuli Gurriel rounds the bases ater homering off Yu Darvish in Game 3. (Matt Slocum/Associated Press)

If only, on larger scales, our opportunities for minimizing our divisions could be handled as well as Gurriel and Darvish handled theirs.

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Thomas BoswellWashington (DC) Post

October 28, 2017 | Shocking acts of civility, common sense, accountability and generosity have broken out at the World Series. Please, someone put a stop to this before it spreads.

On Saturday, Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred suspended Yuli Gurriel of the Houston Astros without pay for five games at the beginning of next season for making a racially insensitive gesture and yelling an anti-Asian insult at Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish during Game 3 of the World Series on Friday night. It is not expected that the players’ union will contest the discipline.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-apps/imrs.php?src=http://wp-eng-static.washingtonpost.com/author_images/boswelltm.jpg?ts=1439415340412&w=90&h=90 Thomas Boswell: Columnist, Washington (DC) Post 

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Charlottesville's white awakening: 'We were living in a bubble,' say residents

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Ariana Grande backstage before the concert. Photograph: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

  • On Sunday, Ariana Grande and Pharrell Williams helped the Virginia town recover from last month’s violence – which some white residents admitted had been a serious wake-up call.
  • Related: 5 Things the Mainstream Media Missed About Charlottesville

Lois Beckett in Charlottesville, The Guardian

http://cdn.billmoyers.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/takingaboutrace_606x154b.jpgMonday 25 September 2017 | Inside the University of Virginia’s Scott Stadium, a succession of pop stars were telling local residents that “Love trumps hate” and “You will not dethrone love.” Dave Matthews, Pharrell Williams, Ariana Grande and Justin Timberlake were holding a free concert to help Charlottesville recover from the violent white supremacist and neo-Nazi protests that rocked the town last month.

But as he smoked a cigarette by the stadium concession stands Sunday evening, Jack (who did not want his last name used) wasn’t talking about love. He was talking about his vote. The 25-year-old, who has lived in Charlottesville most of his life, is a conservative in a liberal town. He said he had voted for Donald Trump, hoping that a political outsider would bring change.

https://i.guim.co.uk/img/uploads/2017/10/09/Lois-Beckett,-L.png?w=300&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&s=47097aa032a83ef4a6a94ef70ee90af8 Lois Beckett  is a senior reporter covering gun policy, criminal justice and the conservative movement in the United States.

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5 Things the Mainstream Media Missed About Charlottesville, Shane Burley and Alexander Reed Ross, In These Times

http://inthesetimes.com/images/made/images/cville_850_567.jpg Neo-Nazis and white supremacists scuffled gathered in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12. (Photo by Albin Lohr-Jones/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

  • We can’t ignore the long history of white supremacist violence—and anti-fascist organizing.
  • Related: How To Fight Establishment Propaganda Machines Like NPR  And Win

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Thurgood Marshall: Activist, judge and the story for racial justice in America

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  • The first African American to sit on the highest court is the subject of a film that retells his relentless and epochal quest to achieve racial justice in America.
  • Related: Death by Cop: Black and White Issues

Tom McCarthy, The Guardian

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http://i.huffpost.com/gen/209360/thumbs/s-SCALES-OF-JUSTICE-large.jpg   Sunday 8 October 2017 | By the time the US supreme court banned the death penalty in cases of adult rape, in 1977, Thurgood Marshall had been a justice on the court for 10 years. He wrote a brief concurrence in the case, Coker v Georgia, citing his opposition to the death penalty, which then as now disproportionately targeted African American men.

Marshall’s experience with capital rape cases, and specifically with cases of black men accused of raping white women, was uniquely deep. For while the later decades of his career found Marshall enrobed as the country’s first African American supreme court justice, in his early years he had virtually lived from a suitcase, crossing the country as an activist lawyer known for defending innocent black men from a system of white justice that craved their freedom and their blood.

https://i.guim.co.uk/img/static/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2015/8/31/1441007677105/Tom-McCarthy.jpg?w=140&h=140&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&s=a1909525d2a830a50e056d5e65afcf88 Tom McCarthy joined the Guardian US in 2012. He was previously the news writer on ABC News's Nightline. He has worked at the Daily Star (Beirut) and the Omaha World-Herald.

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Related:

Death by Cop: Black and White Issues, Glen Ford, Black Agenda Report / Truthdig 

  • U.S. police kill more Black women every year than the total of all civilians killed annually by their counterparts in western Europe’s largest countries. These sisters’ male relatives are slaughtered on an epic scale—with the connivance and consent of most of the Congressional Black Caucus, 80 percent of whose members voted to continue the militarization of local police when the issue came up for a vote on the full House floor in June of 2014.
  • Related: After Minneapolis police shooting of Justine Damond, it's time to decide who runs this town.

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