Saturday, 15 November 2014

Racism or Oversensitivity



In Ferguson

Ferguson, Missouri, was unknown to me living in England before August 9. That's the day Darren Wilson, a white police officer, shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed black teen.
The shooting prompted protests in the suburb of St. Louis, making it a flash point in the debate over race and policing in America.
Sometime this month, a grand jury announcement is expected on whether or not to indict Darren Wilson, the Ferguson, Missouri, police officer who fatally shot unarmed teenager Michael Brown. The community of Ferguson is collectively holding its breath in anticipation of mass protests.

The verdict

Riot police on a vehicle in Ferguson, 24 November
Read about it in the Economist
Obama on Ferguson: U.S. 'has more work to do' on race relations

(Reuters) - President Barack Obama issued an appeal on Monday for restraint by protesters and police after a Missouri grand jury decided not to indict a white police officer in the shooting death of a black teen last August.
In a late-night appearance in the White House briefing room, Obama also urged Americans to understand that much work remained to be done to improve relations between black Americans and law enforcement.

Full article


In the UK 

The UK has it's own issues

Some quotes

 We have made enormous progress in teaching everyone that racism is bad. Where we seem to have dropped the ball… is in teaching people what racism actually IS.
Jon Stewart
Things like racism are institutionalized. You might not know any bigots. You feel like “well I don’t hate black people so I’m not a racist,” but you benefit from racism. Just by the merit, the color of your skin. The opportunities that you have, you’re privileged in ways that you might not even realize because you haven’t been deprived of certain things. We need to talk about these things in order for them to change.
Dave Chappelle
The problem is that white people see racism as conscious hate, when racism is bigger than that. Racism is a complex system of social and political levers and pulleys set up generations ago to continue working on the behalf of whites at other people’s expense, whether whites know/like it or not. Racism is an insidious cultural disease. It is so insidious that it doesn’t care if you are a white person who likes black people; it’s still going to find a way to infect how you deal with people who don’t look like you. Yes, racism looks like hate, but hate is just one manifestation. Privilege is another. Access is another. Ignorance is another. Apathy is another. And so on. So while I agree with people who say no one is born racist, it remains a powerful system that we’re immediately born into. It’s like being born into air: you take it in as soon as you breathe. It’s not a cold that you can get over. There is no anti-racist certification class. It’s a set of socioeconomic traps and cultural values that are fired up every time we interact with the world. It is a thing you have to keep scooping out of the boat of your life to keep from drowning in it. I know it’s hard work, but it’s the price you pay for owning everything.
Scott Woods

Most middle-class whites have no idea what it feels like to be subjected to police who are routinely suspicious, rude, belligerent, and brutal.
Benjamin Spock

A blog by BeccyJoy Minnisotan

To the people of color;
I’m sorry. I’m sorry you’ve had to be so loud to get our attention. I’m sorry that another beautiful boy had to die to make us notice that you are oppressed. I’m sorry that no one is listening. I’m sorry that no one believes your experiences. I’m sorry that this is still happening. I’m sorry for the ignorant, invalidating, and racist comments you’ve had to deal with on top of everything else. I’m sorry that I’ve turned a blind eye to your struggle. I hear you, I believe you, I stand with you for justice. You deserve way better.



What say you?

Can a white person really understand racism?
Is the current situation in the US between law enforcement and Afro-Aamericans a storm in a tea cup?
Are black people being too sensitive?