Today SCOTUS just handed out a decision that basically guts the Miranda warnings. If the police informally question you and you remain silent, your silence may now be used to indicate your guilt in court.
Last month, a 19-year-old Native American high school student at J B Pennington High School in Blountsville, Alabama was told he couldn’t wear an eagle feather if he wanted to graduate. When Sky Walkingstick, of the Eastern Band of Cherokee, explained it was a demonstration of his beliefs protected under federal law, he was still told by Assistant Principal Steven Bryson, a former history teacher, and another instructor, William Smitherman, who teaches government, economics and 9th grade history, to remove it.
“I was just starting the graduation ceremony and I had my eagle feather in my cap, it was hanging from the tassel. I was walking towards Mr. Smitherman he saw my eagle feather and stopped me. He started shaking his head no. He said you cannot wear that during the graduation,” said Walkingstick.
“I asked him why not and he said, ‘you just can’t.”
Walkingstick, who has been a men’s traditional dancer since age 5 and a fancy dancer for about a year says the eagle feather is part of his heritage, his religious beliefs and achievements. He said he tried to explain that the wearing of a feather was also protected, but he was shut down.
“I started to get upset and tear up, but I held it in. I put my eagle feather back in my car. When I came back Mr. Smitherman and Mr. Bryson told me again,” said Walkingstick.
Walkingstick was surprised two educators with backgrounds in teaching history and government aren’t aware of the American Indian Religious Freedom Act.
Walkingstick complied during the May 23 graduation ceremony, even though he didn’t want to. “I didn’t want any trouble nor did I want to cause a ruckus… I went ahead with graduation with my feather in my heart and my head held high.”
His mother, Hollye Walkingstick, was frustrated by the situation. “You would think of all people, that history teacher would be more aware. It made me very mad,” she said.
“I asked Mr. Bryson ‘can you tell me why he can’t wear it?’ He said, ‘the main reason is that all of the kids are required to look the same. I told him there was no dress code the kids had to sign and no one was told they had to wear certain things. I told him you would not tell a Christian person to remove their cross or a Jewish person to remove their Star of David. And I can guarantee you that if you had a Muslim child in your school you would not tell her to remove her head covering. You could not do that by law.”
She explained that Sky respected Bryson’s wishes because he is an elder and the assistant principal. “But this is a school, you could turn this into a real teaching opportunity,” Hollye told Bryson.
Hollye said she and the teachers argued that other students—honor students—wore adornments in their tassels. She also said the school accepts funding for having minority students, but doesn’t support their beliefs.
“My daughter asked Mr. Bryson if he understood what the eagle feather meant and he said ‘Oh yeah, I know you all smoke peace pipes and what you smoke in them.’ This is a former history teacher who is now the vice principal and the history teacher was standing right next to him,” Hollye said. “This is unreal to me.”
J.B. Pennington High School principal Brian Kirk said the school has no comment on the issue and referred ICTMN to the Blount County Board of Education Superintendent Jim Carr, who has not returned several calls.
This isn’t the first time a graduating senior has taken flack for wearing an eagle feather at graduation from an Alabama school. Chelsey Ramer, a Poarch Creek Band of Indians student who recently graduated from Escambia Academy in Atmore, Alabama faced a similar situation. She did wear her feather though and nearly had to pay a copy,000 fine for doing so. (Related story: “Poarch Creek Student Not Required to Pay Fine, Receives Diploma”)
THIS IS WHY YOUR FILTHY FAKE WAR BONNET IS NOT OKAY, WHITE PEOPLE.
While you’re playing your racist games, the people whose culture you claim to be “appreciating” ARE PENALIZED FOR PRACTICING IT.
This kid was denied expression of his culture:
while you’re running around looking like a nasty mess:
“And the hippies are jingling, jangling, blowing smoke all over Haight Ashbury, and they were letting their hair grow long. To the male Indian, this was a phenomenon, because for an Indian to grow his hair long was a violation of federal policy of 1906. According to the 1906 policy, food was withheld until compliance—in other words (by terms of this policy), we could be starved to death until we cut our hair.”—
Adam Fortunate Eagle (Red Lake Chippewa), on white privilege and the hippie movement in the Bay
This is why I have absolutely no patience for white men complaining about how their long hair isn’t socially acceptable—Native men were banned from having their hair long on threat of death, and for Native peoples, long hair has cultural significance that goes beyond the typical white dude’s aesthetic interest in growing his hair out. Asian men also forcibly had their hair chopped off (re: Chinese in California, for example), and there’s a long history of stigma against men with afros; for MOC to have their hair grown out is, while an aesthetic choice, also a cultural choice and in many cases can be seen as part of the day-to-day struggle against racism and colonialism. Long hair just does not carry that meaning for white men, and I’ll be damned if I’m gonna sit there and listen to them complain about how marginalized they are because they choose to have long hair because they think it looks cool (and let’s face it: they’re bitching because women don’t wanna date them—which could be for any number of reasons, or they’re whining about other more wealthy and powerful white men not taking them seriously; I don’t give a fuck about any of those struggles).
Not to mention the fact that white men created the very same system of sexist heteropatriarchy which defined long hair as feminine and made it socially unacceptable to the general populace in the first place. You don’t get to systematically destroy and marginalize an entire gender, assign that gender narrow physical characteristics and ideals of beauty, reappropriate and reuse those beauty ideals (usually feeding from racist romanticized colonial ideals of Nature and indigenous peoples anyways), and then complain because people don’t like your choice of hair style, like somehow you, the white dude, could ever be marginalized in any context.
My name is Ynanna Djehuty, also known as Carmen Mojica. I am reaching out to you today to ask for your help on my journey to become a midwife. I have just been accepted to Maternidad La Luz, a midwifery school and birth clinic in El Paso, Texas. I am overjoyed and overwhelmed with excitement as I prepare for my studies to begin in September. I need help securing donations, grants and scholarships for my tuition, books, room and board.
I am an Afro-Dominicana born and raised in the Bronx. I am a certified birth doula and artist. I am a member of the International Center for Traditional Childbearing (ICTC). The focus of my work is the empowerment of women and people of the African Diaspora, specifically discussing the Afro-Latina Identity. I utilize my experience as a birth doula to raise awareness on maternal and infant health for women, highlighting the disparities in the healthcare system in the United States for women of color. Becoming licensed as a midwife is my direct and physical contribution to ensuring future generations are born into peace and calm environments.Midwifery is my calling. I see a huge need for compassionate, woman-centered care for women of the African Diaspora and am stepping up to serve my community. I have been particularly interested in being trained in a bilingual environment so that I may use my native Spanish language to assist women who otherwise would not have access to compassionate midwifery care. Women who are native Spanish speakers often are not truly listened to and in turn are not completely informed during their birth process. My presence in the global community is essential to adding to the number of Spanish-speaking midwives.
As a student, I will be serving a mostly Spanish-speaking population of Mexican and Mexican American women. Attending Maternidad La Luz would allow me to be licensed as a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) by the end of 2014. I have chosen this particular path to midwifery because I am interested in providing birthing women of color with a option of care that is mother-centered. I have dreams of opening up my own birth clinic in the future, and studying at a birth center such as Maternidad La Luz is excellent training for this endeavor. I am currently fundraising on my own via the link I’ve enclosed as well as reaching out to individual people and organizations like you to reach my goal by this September. Your support is a large contribution to reducing the perils women of color are facing currently in the world. Thank you for your time. Be blessed!
One could point out that most black Americans celebrate the same holidays and eat the same food as most white Americans, but that would be quibbling. The fact is that America was founded by Westerners (call them “white people”) who believed they were advancing the ideals and values of centuries of Western civilization. Why were Westerners alone expected to apologize for their own culture and to refrain from criticizing aspects of other cultures or subcultures that struck them as dysfunctional? In truth, among the WPC14 offerings that I sampled, not a single one of those “difficult and critical dialogues” about race, class, and privilege that the conference promised took place. Audience pushback to the speeches and workshop presentations was minimal to nonexistent. During Jody Alyn’s “Great White Male” conspiracy workshop one man did crack, “Somewhere right now conservatives are holding a conference just like this one saying there’s a huge liberal conspiracy.” A workshop by Moore himself titled “N!gga/DJANGO: Why Are These White Folks Laughing in the Dark?” generated a lively challenge to his premise that a racism-pandering corporate entertainment industry—and not black rappers—was responsible for the resurgence of the taboo n-word, used prolifically in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained. That was about it. Otherwise, it was a roomful of Mmmm-hmmms when, say, Robert Jensen called his employer, the University of Texas, a “white-supremacist organization.”
In a later telephone interview I asked Moore why, if the conference was supposed to foster difficult dialogues, there hadn’t been any discussion of the genuine reasons that white people might have for looking down on inner-city black culture: the breakdown of the family, for example, that has led to high crime levels among young men growing up without fathers at home. “That’s the kind of commentary [the WPC attendees] hear every day,” said Moore. “So sometimes they want to be in a place where they can hear the other side—at least that’s what I’m hearing from them. If people are always coming down on you and your culture, and you feel that you can’t even raise the issue of racism, you want to be in a place where you feel safe to raise it.”
-Beyond the Pale, by Charlotte Allen; a piece in which a white woman attends a conference on white privilege.
(Be forewarned, the website this piece is featured on is catered to conservatives - that fact may also explain the dismissive tone of the writer)
“Despite the fact that American black families, on average, have only one seventh the wealth of white families, our calculations show that African-American families are spending (exclusive of scholarships and other aid) about $3 billion a year in tuition, room and board, and books. Surely, for this sum they are entitled to have clear and detailed information about which institutions have successfully integrated their campuses and provide a hospitable educational and social environment for black students.”— from The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, a resource that is "dedicated to the conscientious investigation of the status & prospects for African Americans in higher education"
Art has been an important site of resistance and identity making for trans people of color. We’ve used the medium to share our stories, document our lives and express our humanity. Fortunately for us, we are living in a media moment that thirsts to understand the trans experience.
Why was King so unpopular in 1966? You could read Taylor Branch or Rick Perlstein, and it is Friday, so you might have the time. The short version: In 1965 and 1966, King started working on housing in northern states, starting in Chicago. The 1966 Gallup poll here was taken around the time of the disastrous Marquette Park march, which King credited for the ugliest crowd of counter-protesters he’d ever seen. (We can read some hyperbole into that if we like.) He was starting in on his anti-war activism. He had moved on from the causes of Southern integration and voting rights to the far more volcanic issues of housing and red-lining and economic redistribution — he became, fully, a man of the left.
King’s subsequent political sainthood has very little to do with his post-Nobel Prize activism. It’s left for guys like Cornel West to dig that up; to everyone else, King’s “dream” was some easily-appropriated stuff about color-blindness.
Out of everything we’ve posted and reblogged here, it’s crazy to see how it was the doll test video that blew up.
A lot of the commentary has been wonderful to read, but admittedly it is quite disheartening to see some of the other ill informed commentary. So here is some background info (links embedded) on the origins of the doll test:
It was originally performed with black children in the 1940’s by Kenneth and Mamie Clark
The U.S. military may have recently lifted the ban on women in combat, but Loreta Velazquez, a wealthy Cuban planter’s daughter who immigrated to New Orleans in 1849, secretly fought in the U.S. Civil War 150 years ago — first as a soldier in the Confederate Army, and later as a Union Army spy.
“Whenever I start feeling too arrogant about myself, I always make a trip to America. The immigration guys kick the star out of stardom. They always ask me how tall I am and I always lie and say 5 feet 10 inches. Next time, I am going to get more adventurous. If they ask me ‘what color are you?’ I am going to say white.”—
Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan on being detained at the U.S. Airport—twice. (Once, he was detained while promoting a film called “My Name is Khan” which was ironically about a person with the last name Khan suffering from repeated racial profiling.)
Multiple actors and other prominent individuals in the film industry with the last name “Khan” have been detained when entering the country. Irrfan Khan (The Life of Pi, Slumdog Millionaire, Spider-man) described the three times he was stopped—while on the way to receive honors for his roles in films such as The Namesake—as “humiliating.” Actor Aamir Khan was stopped and stripped searched in 2002. Director Kabir Khan, was reportedly detained at least three times in 2008 while filming in the United States. The New York Times ended up remarking on The Dangers of Fying While Khan
This much is clear:
Despite being an incredibly common surname, in the United States, Khan is a racialized last name and those who carry it suffer from additional, insulting, stigma and scrutiny.
There is no shortage of talented actors of South Asian descent whether from within the United States, from the UK, or Bollywood—and many of them even have the last name of Khan.
With Star Trek Into Darkness the name “Khan” is once again stigmatized as antagonistic, but the actors named Khan, the Khans of the world, and those who look like Khans once again have no voice about how they are represented in American media.
If you’re an award winning actor named Khan, you will still get stopped and humiliated at the airport. When that rare character in American media finally shows up sharing your name, he will be played by a white British man. That actor will wear your name for one movie and sneer and strut to great critical acclaim. You will wear your racialized name, your skin color, and hope you don’t get detained another time.
For the last year I have been developing a feature documentary about the lives of migrant women workers in Canada. I am writing to let you know the fundraising campaign for the documentary MIGRANT DREAMS has just been launched. I hope you take a moment to visit the site and…
The third white privilege that Tim Wise and other so-called white anti-racists enjoy is the privilege of being honored for their anti-racist work as their Black activist counterparts and other activists of color are denounced and derided. Case in point: Several years back I spoke at a school in Massachusetts for their annual Dr. King Day commemoration. As I spoke about King’s legacy and the ongoing struggle for racial justice, I was met with outright hostility from the students gathered in the auditorium. The following year I would be contacted by an Arab faculty member at the school. She would inform me that for that year’s King Day event, the school decided to invite Tim Wise to address the student body. She went on to inform me that Wise was received with profound admiration by the very same students that heckled me the year before. Isolated incident? Chance circumstance? To my knowledge, similar events like this have at occurred on two more occasions since.
On one of the other occasions, I was contacted by a Black student organization that had to petition a reluctant administration to gain the necessary approval to invite me to speak. Just one semester following my presentation they would inform me that Tim Wise had just spoken at their school, where he received the red carpet of administrative respect and welcome. When this occurred at a third school, a Vietnamese student emailed me and rhetorically but sincerely asked, “Isn’t this what Tim Wise is supposed to be against?”. In all three cases, persons and groups that reached out to me expressed a level of frustration at witnessing the hypocrisy of the institutions they were working at or attending.
”—“Word to the Wise: Unpacking the Privilege of Tim Wise” by Ewuare Xola Osayande @ peopleofcolororganize.com
All these blogs are run by PoC. And where made for PoC or specifically for ppl in their own respective communities but they are also good for other PoC to follow. Some of these are really informative. Please read all the blogs “About” and “FAQs”, go through the tags, etc. before sending messages. If I missed any blogs…then I’ll make another list…
Facing racism while trying to buy/adopt a pitbull.
Referencing your blackness in letters of intent/cover letters.
Who was your first black teacher?
Finding self-esteem idols in black America.
Being a black person with mixed feelings about Obama.
Being a black woman in online dating.
As the only Chinese family in town, the Switch sisters have always kept to themselves. But when Mara Switch is framed for murder, her sisters are forced to step into the spotlight and prove her innocence—all without revealing a dark family secret.
The Switch sisters know they’re different. With ink black hair and cat-like eyes, they certainly draw stares in a small town like Ambrose, where everyone else is white and has lived in the same neat houses with the same grassy lawns for generations. Behind their Chinese faces, however, the girls are also witches. The sisters manage to keep their special powers under wraps—that is, until Mara falls in love with the mayor’s only son. Their wedding is the most exciting event in town history, but festivities abruptly end when someone is murdered and Mara is unjustly charged. Her three younger sisters know that she’s innocent. Each with a budding magical talent, the girls must bring their powers together in order to save their sister. Meanwhile, the real murderer is still on the loose…
An immigrant story inside a witch story, THE SWITCH SISTERS is the first novella in a young adult series that follows Mara, Morgan, Marie, and Mina as they grow up, fall in love, and learn to embrace who they are.
“So I shouldn’t be surprised that the Mother’s Day Parade shooting has largely been forgotten. On Sunday, shots were fired into a crowd during a parade in the New Orleans 7th ward. Police said they saw three suspects running from the scene.
This is the largest mass shooting in the United States where the shooters were still at large after the crime was committed. Think about that for a minute. From Columbine to Virginia Tech to Fort Hill to Aurora, all the shooters were either killed or apprehended on site. But the person or people responsible for shooting 19 Americans are still free.”
“Since they usually come from the same type of background as most white Americans, many white therapists likely harbor negative and stereotypical views of African Americans, and thus of their African American patients. These negative stereotypes can affect the health care black Americans receive. In a survey of practicing psychiatrists, Doris Wilkinson found that “cultural conditioning to racial beliefs and attitudes . . . pervades therapeutic contexts in which minority women are clients.”
Racial stereotypes among medical practitioners often stem from hoary societal stereotypes and centuries-old myths, some of which may be linked to scientific racism and its notions of biological “races.” Physicians who accept any of these old stereotypes, even unconsciously, are likely to communicate some negative feelings in their verbal or nonverbal behavior, thereby causing many black patients to withhold the kind of self-disclosure that is necessary for effective psychotherapy. Doing so may cause them to be labeled as “noncompliant,” which is a further stigma provided by the mental health care profession.
Some researchers have found that, for African Americans, psychotherapy with a white caregiver often leads to “unhealthful consequences.” In addition, diagnostic tests themselves are sometimes racially biased and thereby elevate the observed rates of certain types of mental illness for black Americans.
Indeed, most diagnostic measures for mental illness, which are routinely used to assess the mental health of African Americans, have been validated only for whites. A white standard of “normal” is usually taught to, and used by, therapists. Yet, the subcultural norms for what is “normal” and “abnormal” behavior are sometimes different for blacks and whites.”—Joe Feagin and Karyn D. McKinney, The Many Costs of Racism (via wretchedoftheearth)
Everybody’s favorite ABC drama, “Scandal”, is the subject of a must-read piece in the New York Times. In it, the show’s creator, Shonda Rhimes, talks about how she deals with being one of the most powerful writers in television. “What was great for me about ‘Scandal’ was I had earned a lot of political capital with the network,” Rhimes told me Willa Paskin at the Times. “I had done ‘Grey’s,’ I had done ‘Private Practice.’ What were they going to do, fire me? I wasn’t worried about what anybody else thought. This one was for me.”
Rhimes refuses to make an issue of her casting. “I think it’s sad, and weird, and strange that it’s still a thing,” she told me over the phone a few months ago. “It’s 2013. Somebody else needs to get their act together. And, oh, by the way, it works. Ratings-wise, it works.” In addition to its general success, “Scandal” is also rated No. 1 on network TV among African-American viewers.
While race on Rhimes’s shows is omnipresent, it is not often discussed explicitly. This has led to a second-order critique of her shows: that they are colorblind, diverse in a superficial way, with the characters’ races rarely informing their choices or conversations. Rhimes, obviously, disagrees. “When people who aren’t of color create a show and they have one character of color on their show, that character spends all their time talking about the world as ‘I’m a black man blah, blah, blah,’ ” she says. “That’s not how the world works. I’m a black woman every day, and I’m not confused about that. I’m not worried about that. I don’t need to have a discussion with you about how I feel as a black woman, because I don’t feel disempowered as a black woman.”
In November, TVEquals.com released an infographic that showed just how white the Fall 2012 TV line up was. It wasn’t pretty.
You should audition for my friend Max’s show! He is looking for a specifically KOREAN or KOREAN AMERICAN actress to play a Korean American girl in his new play, so none of that “All Asians are interchangeable” crap. Here’s his message from me, which he asked me to pass on to you. Please consider…