All posts filed under: Examine

on identity, politics, history, society; disrupting the narrative

Excerpt: “Shifting, Chapter 3”

Much of the shifting that Black women do is motivated by a wish, sometimes conscious, sometimes not, to confront, transcend, and hopefully defeat the ugly myths and stereotypes that so many in society continue to hold about them. Many women have developed ways of acting, talking, and dressing that conform to White middle-class norms of behavior and thus may help debunk and unravel discriminatory myths. Many feel pressure not just to meet White cultural codes but to exceed them. A number of women, for instance, talk about how educational achievement is a way of reversing the myths of inferiority. They say that they constantly emphasize their academic and professional achievements in order to be taken seriously by White people. —Shifting: The Double Lives of Black Women in America, pp. 67-68; Charisse Jones & Kumea Shorter-Gooden, PhD Advertisements

The relevance of reading, or why this shouldn’t come as a surprise

In light of the trending “Alternative Facts” presented by the Trump kool-aid drinkers, and the accompanying societal disbelief expressed on social media, I thought this paragraph I was reading for my own studies was particularly relevant: …when people define situations as real, they are real. We shall try to remember throughout our inquiry that material facts in large measure are the product of what people think, feel, and believe. The actual conditions, as they are, indicate from this point of view the great disparities between the whites’ and the Negroes’ aspirations and realizations. –Gunnar Myrdal, from An American Dilemma, Vol. 1: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy Those disparities in aspirations and realizations between white and black people could just as easily be applied to disparities between any privileged group in this country and their relevant subject of oppression. Also: Trying to defend their behavior to others, and primarily to themselves, people will attempt to conceal the conflict between their different valuations of what is desirable and undesirable, right or wrong, by keeping away some valuations from …

Excusing the inexcusable: the perpetual violence of law enforcement officers

It just keeps happening. It’s like watching reruns of that same awful ass episode on TV, except while the storyline stays the same, the central characters change. Same story, different day, different family and community destroyed. Each time it happens it’s like another piece of your heart gets ripped out, another part of your soul gets crushed. You either have to numb yourself, which isn’t an answer, or reopen that wound each time and feel dehumanized all over again. It’s physical and psychological warfare. It’s mental trauma. And it affects all of us, whether we knew the person or not. It’s exhausting waking up to another hashtagged name. Before you can process what happened to one person, you’ve found it’s happened to yet another. Yesterday it was Alton Sterling (say his name). Today Philando Castile (say his name). Each incident more vicious than the last. And the one today, particularly heinous, in that a woman had to live stream her boyfriend’s execution while their four-year old child watched. The worst part of it is the excuses. The mental gymnastics …

Conscious Consumerism

Keep this in mind as you go about shopping the holiday sales: How are you spending your money? Don’t talk to me about high unemployment or institutional racism or housing discrimination. Don’t talk to me about some big corporate giant that is making its execs wealthy off the backs of poor, working people while you spend every dime you earn with those same companies. Don’t want to hear a thing about it until we finally realize that the African-American community has within its purse, pocket and wallet the very means to address many of the problems that plague it…and then do something about it. If you are not a part of the solution, you are a part of the problem. If you will not provide the missing piece of the puzzle, you are contributing to the jumbled mess. Either we will buy our freedom or pay for our own oppression, I say. They want to talk about affirmative action. They want to talk about corporate greed. I want to talk about conscious consumerism. They want to …

Our Humanity Is Worth More Than Their Bottom Line

I hadn’t planned on updating my blog yet. I’ve had something else in the works but wasn’t ready to release it yet. But in the wake of this disgusting, though unsurprising, decision not to indict Darren Wilson, I had to disrupt my plans. We all know the stat…every 28 hours a black person is killed at the hands of police, security, or vigilantes…and apparently, no one is culpable for those deaths except the victims themselves. I mean the media goes to ridiculous lengths to sway public opinion of these black victims by denigrating their characters — “thug,” “no angel,” “possible gang affiliation,” “alleged drug use,”—while excusing their murderers. Hell, white mass-murderers have gotten better biographical sketches than the many unarmed black victims. As we waited these past few days to hear the expected ‘no indictment’ decision, 3 more people* died at the hands of police, none of whom were armed.  In Cleveland, 12-year old Tamir Rice, was shot in the torso outside of a recreation center in the middle of the afternoon after allegedly reaching …