Showing posts with label racism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label racism. Show all posts

Sunday, June 3, 2018


Generally, I don't watch horror movies, because the stresses of ordinary life are enough. When I was younger and more resilient, I enjoyed the thrills and chills, but over the years, I stopped. Last week, I watched "Get Out". Either I did not know, or I had forgotten it was a horror movie, but I love that the film slipped through the filter.

Watching the oh-so-liberal white family and their white friends patronizingly check out their daughter's new black boy friend was wickedly funny. Added to the mix were two mysterious black servants, one in the kitchen, and the other on the grounds. I completely missed the clues there.

Because I don't want my post to be a spoiler for a movie I highly recommend, I won't say more. Kudos to director and writer Jordan Peele and to the actors, especially Allison Williams as the white girlfriend. The the film won the Oscar for best screenplay, but I suspect it didn't win best picture because it tells hard truths about racism, truths that many of us don't want to hear. In the fantasy America of today, nothing is ever about race.

Monday, January 15, 2018


Icon of MLK by Tobias Haller

From Martin Luther King's speech at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC, four days before he was assassinated nearly a half century ago. Reposted from eight years ago.

Through our scientific and technological genius, we have made of this world a neighborhood and yet we have not had the ethical commitment to make of it a brotherhood. But somehow, and in some way, we have got to do this. We must all learn to live together as brothers or we will all perish together as fools. We are tied together in the single garment of destiny, caught in an inescapable network of mutuality. And whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. For some strange reason I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. And you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the way God’s universe is made; this is the way it is structured.

The hour has come for everybody, for all institutions of the public sector and the private sector to work to get rid of racism. And now if we are to do it we must honestly admit certain things and get rid of certain myths that have constantly been disseminated all over our nation.

One is the myth of time. It is the notion that only time can solve the problem of racial injustice. And there are those who often sincerely say to the Negro and his allies in the white community, "Why don’t you slow up? Stop pushing things so fast. Only time can solve the problem. And if you will just be nice and patient and continue to pray, in a hundred or two hundred years the problem will work itself out."

There is an answer to that myth. It is that time is neutral. It can be used wither constructively or destructively. And I am sorry to say this morning that I am absolutely convinced that the forces of ill will in our nation, the extreme rightists of our nation—the people on the wrong side—have used time much more effectively than the forces of goodwill. And it may well be that we will have to repent in this generation. Not merely for the vitriolic words and the violent actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence and indifference of the good people who sit around and say, "Wait on time."


There is another thing closely related to racism that I would like to mention as another challenge. We are challenged to rid our nation and the world of poverty. Like a monstrous octopus, poverty spreads its nagging, prehensile tentacles into hamlets and villages all over our world. Two-thirds of the people of the world go to bed hungry tonight. They are ill-housed; they are ill-nourished; they are shabbily clad. I’ve seen it in Latin America; I’ve seen it in Africa; I’ve seen this poverty in Asia. 

Not only do we see poverty abroad, I would remind you that in our own nation there are about forty million people who are poverty-stricken. I have seen them here and there. I have seen them in the ghettos of the North; I have seen them in the rural areas of the South; I have seen them in Appalachia. I have just been in the process of touring many areas of our country and I must confess that in some situations I have literally found myself crying.

And this can happen to America, the richest nation in the world—and nothing’s wrong with that—this is America’s opportunity to help bridge the gulf between the haves and the have-nots. The question is whether America will do it. There is nothing new about poverty. What is new is that we now have the techniques and the resources to get rid of poverty. The real question is whether we have the will.

In a few weeks some of us are coming to Washington to see if the will is still alive or if it is alive in this nation. We are coming to Washington in a Poor People’s Campaign. Yes, we are going to bring the tired, the poor, the huddled masses. We are going to bring those who have known long years of hurt and neglect. We are going to bring those who have come to feel that life is a long and desolate corridor with no exit signs. We are going to bring children and adults and old people, people who have never seen a doctor or a dentist in their lives.

Let me close by saying that we have difficult days ahead in the struggle for justice and peace, but I will not yield to a politic of despair. I’m going to maintain hope as we come to Washington in this campaign. The cards are stacked against us. This time we will really confront a Goliath. God grant that we will be that David of truth set out against the Goliath of injustice, the Goliath of neglect, the Goliath of refusing to deal with the problems, and go on with the determination to make America the truly great America that it is called to be.

Icon by Tobias Haller.

Text of the speech from Stanford University.

Friday, June 19, 2015


Are we now seeing the beginning of the breakdown of civil society in the United States?

Have we ever had a civil society in the US?

Is there greater violence now, or were we always a violent nation?

When is a massacre by a white person a terrorist act, an existential threat that we must fight with all our might?

When will we give attention to the phrase "a well-regulated militia" in the Second Amendment and seriously discuss the meaning of the words? Or does the phrase signify nothing whatsoever?

Not that I expect answers, but I do believe we need to start talking about these matters.

Though I know them to be true, I was saddened by President Obama's words.
We don’t have all the facts, but we do know that, once again, innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun.

Now is the time for mourning and for healing. But let’s be clear:

At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries. It doesn’t happen in other places with this kind of frequency. And it is in our power to do something about it.
It is in our power to do something, but we will talk about the shootings for a while, and then we will do nothing.

The president said further:
The fact that this took place in a black church obviously also raises questions about a dark part of our history. This is not the first time that black churches have been attacked. And we know that hatred across races and faiths pose a particular threat to our democracy and our ideals.
The dark part of our history goes back to the beginning, with the Founding Fathers acceptance of the institution of slavery for the sake of unity.

Saturday, October 27, 2012


Col. Lawrence Wilkerson former chief of staff to Colin Powell is very blunt and candid about racism in the Republican party.
It's no surprise to me that Col Wilkerson states candidly that the Republican Party is "full of racists".  Louisiana is a very red state, and I'd agree with the colonel that the Republican Party here is "full of racists". 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Click on the letter for the larger view.
The town of St. Martinville, Louisiana was handed a rude awakening recently by a part of a class reunion letter that specifically asked for “White graduates only” for a specific event for the 1973 St. Martinville Senior High School class reunion.

Despite the fact that after almost 40 years of holding segregated class reunions for the graduates of St. Martinville High School, it is the class of 1973 that has made the progressive, momentous decision to begin holding integrated class reunions.

This historic change was put forth through a letter announcing the change, and on the surface that sounds like a good thing. But within that very letter, there was a flagrant request for a “White graduates only” after party, and it is that request that has caught the attention of ABC News and other media outlets.

Supposedly, on Sept. 21st there will be a reception held at the high school after the homecoming, football game, and the letter invites all graduates to attend that function. But after the game, one of the classmates is hosting a continuation of the class reunion at their home, and that is where the request for “White graduates only” was made.
Let me get this straight.  At the same time the organizers made their "progressive, momentous decision to begin holding integrated class reunions", they put their racism on display with a very public insult to non-white graduates.  The people who arranged the "White graduates only" party do not even have sufficient self-knowledge or sense of shame to hide their blatant bigotry by - let's see (pondering) - maybe a separate note enclosed in mailings to white people only?  Or else, they just don't care about insulting "those people".  As the dear, departed Molly Ivins would say, "You can't make this stuff up."