Melissa Harris-Perry Explains Blackness and Black Lives Matter

Melissa Harris-Perry delivers the keynote address at the 2016 Justice Summit in San Francisco
Melissa Harris-Perry delivers the keynote address at the 2016 Justice Summit in San Francisco

On Wednesday, San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi hosted his annual Justice Summit, fittingly on the use of force just days after San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr was forced to resign after the third officer-involved shooting in the last six months left 29-year-old Jessica Williams dead after a brief car chase.

The keynote speaker for this year’s event was former MSNBC Commenter Melissa Harris-Perry, herself a professor, and her older sister a deputy public defender in San Francisco.

During her speech, Ms. Harris-Perry chronicled the rebirth of racial incidents, starting in 2005 with the treatment of refugees in the aftermath of the Katrina hurricane that happened to coincide with the election of Barack Obama, the first black president.

However, she would argue that none of the racial tension should come as a surprise to Americans, with the history of the treatment of blacks and other minorities in this country.

For her, she presented two questions:  “Do black lives matter?  And if they matter, what might look different in our country?”  She would argue that, while “race is NOT real,” the concept of “blackness” is constituted by the problems black bodies cause for abstract American ideals.

The traditional definition of blackness is comprised of “those folks who were descendant from those who were enslaved in the American south.”  However, she argued this was too limited.  For example, she noted that this is a definition of blackness that would not include the President of the United States.

She said we need a more inclusive definition but added that “it would have included his body because we understand at all moments of American history, a person born to a student from Kenya would have been enslavable, would have been Jim Crowed.”

She put forward another definition of blackness: “Blackness as constitutive of this identity of being problematic.”

She derived this from a quote from W.E.B. Du Bois: “Between me and the other world there is ever an unasked question: unasked by some through feelings of delicacy; by others through the difficulty of rightly framing it. All, nevertheless, flutter round it…How does it feel to be a problem?”

“There is no set of privileged identities that keep a human being from having problems,” she said, acknowledging that white people have struggles too and they shouldn’t be discarded.  “No amount of whiteness, heterosexuality, maleness, wealth, Cis identity, will keep a human being from experiencing life that also has problems.”  She said, “The human condition is to have problems.”

“Steve Jobs died young, human beings have problems,” Ms. Harris-Perry said.  But Du Bois “doesn’t say people have problems, he says, how does it feel to be a problem?”

The key point, she said, is not that we have problems, that is part of the human condition.  The problem of blackness as W.E.B. Du Bois defines it is, “How does it feel to be a problem?”  For example, “You go to sit down at a lunch counter and you create a problem by entering into that space.”

This definition of blackness has the advantage that it extends beyond what we normally think of as blackness.  “Transbodies are black in a kind of ontologically black way in that they create a problem for gender identity.”  She noted that we can identify genitalia from an early age and predict whether a baby will develop a penis or vagina, and that’s how we engender a baby.  “If we take trans-identity very seriously it creates a problem for us because then we say, what are you having, and I’m like I don’t know, maybe around 12 they’ll let me know.”

She said, “When I say black lives matter, I mean all those bodies that get policed because they are inherently problems.  So when I say black lives – I mean problematic lives.  I mean problems to the state.”

She goes on to say, “What black bodies do is they disrupt and cause problems for our understanding about what the American project is.”

“One of the biggest objections I have this election cycle is the idea that Mr. Trump is somehow doing something to the American ideals,” Melissa Harris-Perry explained.  “That he is somehow disrupting the thing that is America.  That America up until this moment has been all about soaring ideals of togetherness, pluralism, diversity, freedom, meritocracy, goodness, inclusion.  And somehow poor Mr. Trump has come along and just destroyed that.”  She said, “The way that we disrupt that little fairy tale is blackness.”

She said, “Black bodies give lie to the idea that America has always been about these big ideas.  Black bodies, over and over again, challenge the idea about what America is.”

She argued that in some ways America truly is a country founded on freedom and that “I don’t want to suggest completely that it’s not.”  She read from the Declaration of Independence and argued that it is a beautiful sentiment and something to strive for, but the idea that that is what America was in 1776 “is given lie by the black bodies.”

Harris-Perry-1

She made the argument that lynching is largely a function of citizenship rather than slavery.  She told the audience that she wanted them to look at the faces of the lynchers here, “because you can see them.”  The story that we tell is that people came in the night with their faces hidden.

The hardest part of this picture, she said, is the couple who are affectionately holding hands as they pose for the photo.  She described the scene from the trial of the murder of Emmett Till where the wives come out and rest their heads on the shoulders of their husbands.  Till was just 14.  “That action was always the hardest for me to take,” she stated.  “That little act of love, of affection, in the midst of such brutality.”

Emmet Till
Emmett Till

“I just want you to see so that the next time when someone tells you that what America is doing at the Trump rallies is the first time – no sir, no m’am.  Don’t you dare behave as though Mr. Trump is an aberration,” she said.

Harris-Perry-2

This is Elizabeth Eckford.  She said that the reason that Elizabeth Eckford is the only one of the Little Rock Nine “who finds herself in the mob,” is that she was the only one who didn’t have a private phone at home – she was more working class than the rest of the kids.  The other eight decided to meet somewhere else through a phone call.  “She ends up not getting the call,” she said.

Ms. Harris noted, “It’s also important to know that Elizabeth made that skirt herself.”  She said, “Who are we that we follow the girl that made the skirt herself to go to school.  And we screamed at her.”

“Now we want to ask why is there an education gap,” she said.  “This was ten minutes ago…  Elizabeth Eckford isn’t dead.  I know this is black and white, but this wasn’t like multiple generations ago – Elizabeth Eckford is alive right now.”

“This was ten minutes ago,” she said.  “The idea that we’ve had some robust democracy for some long period of time is also simply not true.  This idea that we have this functioning justice system – not true.”

Melissa Harris-Perry then traced a history starting in 2005, after Hurricane Katrina, of incidents impacting blacks.

Harris-Perry-5

She highlighted the incident involving Skip Gates, who had just had a huge fundraiser for Barack Obama in 2009 right after he was inaugurated.  For Melissa Harris Perry, the incident where Gates was arrested in front of his own home after he couldn’t find his keys was a message to black America that things hadn’t changed.

“He thinks the world has changed,” she explained.  “(But) nothing had changed.  This ends up being the whole thing and we sort of miss it because – oh, the President waded in on race and so should he.”  She said, “The whole rest of it is whether or not these black men and these black women who just elected this black man president, changed a damn thing in this country.  Whether or not they are actually citizens.  Whether or not they can actually stand there to the police, ‘oh no you didn’t.’  Or whether or not they are going to have to continue to stand on their knees and crawl and defer.”

She went through a long list of black men and women killed by the police.

Harris-Perry-7

 

Melissa Harris-Perry went back to discuss what matters and noted that you cannot read a story about the civil rights movement without reading about the impact of the Jet Magazine story about Emmett Till.  “The impact of Mamie Till’s decision to open Emmett Till’s casket and let the world see what lynching looked like was world-changing.”  “Not because lynching hadn’t been going on, but because somehow it mattered to us to see it,” she said.

Jet-Mag

She also argued that the brutality in Selma in 1965 against the demonstrators shifted public opinion, helping to make room for the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Harris-Perry-8

She noted just how large the racial gap was.  “Consider that across this period that I’m showing you about these deaths… in December of 2014, among white Americans that going back to 1995, that white Americans are recording the highest confidence in local police on record.  Not only are black folks experiencing this sense of siege and brutality, but their neighbors, yeah we’re feeling okay about this.”

She repeated, “Race is not real in some biological way – it is not about like blood coursing through your body, genetic material making it impossible for us to see one another.  But that experience of being a problem, of actually in your body, constantly challenging the very thing that the state is versus wanting to believe that what your country is is freedom, democracy, meritocracy, creates such an enormous perceptual gap that this experience of encountering this state – of even seeing when we look at this.”

“C.P.D.’s own data gives validity to the widely held belief the police have no regard for the sanctity of life when it comes to people of color.  Stopped without justification, verbally and physically abused, and in some instances arrested, and then detained without counsel — that is what we heard about over and over again.” – Chicago Police Accountability Task Force Report.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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101 Comments

  1. Barack Palin

    What does Trump have to do with black lives matter?

    I was watching a talk show the other day and a black man was going on and on about Trump.  The host of the show then asked the man what has Trump ever said or done to black people?  The man sat there quietly and couldn’t come up with anything.

      1. Barack Palin

        Hey Dave, I’ll comment whenever I like.  We get that you’re stuck in the past and in my opinion like to keep racial tensions alive.  That’s what liberals do.

  2. Tia Will

    BP

    It would appear that Melissa Harris-Perry would be in agreement with you. At no point did she hold Donald Trump responsible for “doing anything to black people”. Indeed, her comment would imply that she believes that he is not the problem with regard to blacks but rather the problem exists within the fabric of our society. This would certainly seem to be the case given that the lynchings and less deadly, but no less violent means of suppression were present within our parents lifetimes, not hundreds of years ago as some like to imply.

    1. South of Davis

      Tia wrote:

      > At no point did she (Melissa Harris-Perry) hold Donald Trump responsible
      > for “doing anything to black people”.

      She (Melissa Harris-Perry) wrote:

      ” That America up until this moment has been all about soaring ideals of togetherness, pluralism, diversity, freedom, meritocracy, goodness, inclusion.  And somehow poor Mr. Trump has come along and just destroyed that.””

      I’m no Trump fan but I don’t think that he has “destroyed” the “soaring ideals of togetherness, pluralism, diversity, freedom, meritocracy, goodness, inclusion” in America.

      1. Barack Palin

        Heck, Obama has done more to destroy “soaring ideals of togetherness, pluralism, diversity, freedom, meritocracy, goodness, inclusion” in America than anyone else.  

        How do you think he got his nickname, the Divider-in-Chief.

        1. Tia Will

          BP

          I believe that you have your cause and effect wrong. Obama did not due the dividing. It was those who saw it as their job to effectively negate the results of his election by blocking every possible initiative that did the dividing.

          I think that he got that nickname by the hateful attitudes of those whose only goal was to see him fail in achieving what the majority of the voters said they wanted when they elected him.

  3. Tia Will

    The reason that we didn’t address the failures earlier was that the economic landscape was such that the kids could eventually escape the “good citizen” factory and launch to a successful economic life.”

    I would suggest that a “successful economic life” is not the highest goal to which one can aspire.

    No, I am not posting on the wrong thread. Frankly posted this statement with regard to the role of education in the economy. I strongly disagree with Frankly that the schools have no place as a “good citizen factory”. I think that the pictures on this thread are a graphic and brutal example of why our schools must have a role in the promotion of good citizenship.

    The question that I would ask is, were the people in the photo of the lynched men exhibiting “good citizenship”. I suspect that all of them were instructed by their parents and their clergy so as to believe that this was acceptable behavior. I would wager that no one in that picture would have found it acceptable for two white men to have been hung by a crowd of blacks. Would any of us agree with that today ? And no, one cannot argue this away with some nonsense about that being the milieu in which they were raised since that is nothing but an argument for moral relativism which I doubt any self respecting conservative or Christian, or many of the rest of us would defend. This is not ancient history. It was within our parents lifetime. If the family will not raise decent human beings and the churches will not raise decent human beings, then surely it is up to governmental institutions including schools to ensure that the same protections and opportunities are extended to all citizens, not just those in power.

    1. South of Davis

      Tia wrote:

      >  If the family will not raise decent human beings and the

      > churches will not raise decent human beings, then surely

      > it is up to governmental institutions including schools to

      > ensure that the same protections and opportunities are

      > extended to all citizens

      We are going from a world where schools taught that blacks don’t deserve to go to college, non religious people were bad and gays were screwed up (that was bad) to a world were schools have a system to make it harder for whites to go to college, religious people are bad and anyone that voted for prop 8 (aka prop “hate”) is a screwed up homophobe (that is just as bad)…

      1. Tia Will

        SOD

        I do not defend the vilification or oppression of any group. Do you believe that any groups should be held down for the benefit of another ?  Does proportionality matter to you ?  To me there is no moral equivalent for a young man being hung to someone losing their job for making slurs that they should know better than to make. Nor is their any equivalency in my eyes between Jim Crow and students ( including my own son) not getting an earned spot due to the color of his skin. Do I like it ? No. Do I believe that it compares in any way to the horrors of slavery and Jim Crow ? Absolutely not. So after I finished licking my wounded pride ( as opposed to my son’s hung or bullet riddled body), I encouraged him to pursue his educational path at Cal State.

  4. The Pugilist

    Barack Palin misses the point when he talks about divider in chief.  What happened is this:

    “He thinks the world has changed,” she explained.  “(But) nothing had changed.  This ends up being the whole thing and we sort of miss it because – oh, the President waded in on race and so should he.”  She said, “The whole rest of it is whether or not these black men and these black women who just elected this black man president, changed a damn thing in this country.  Whether or not they are actually citizens.  Whether or not they can actually stand there to the police, ‘oh no you didn’t.’  Or whether or not they are going to have to continue to stand on their knees and crawl and defer.”

    Obama gets elected, blacks think it’s a new world, suddenly incident continue like Henry Louis Gates which like the Jenna 6 and Katrina, remind them that the nothing has changed and so instead of sitting on the back of bus, as BP seems to want them to do at least figuratively, the black community push back.  We see it a little on Trayvon Martin but a lot on Ferguson and beyond.  That wasn’t Obama’s creation – people were protesting the Jenna 6.

        1. Tia Will

          BP

          “Who is she really ?  Why should her words hold any water ?”

          The Pugilist

          Why does it matter who she is?  Her words resonate for me.  I agree with what she says.”

          Fair questions well answered. The point is not who she is. The point is whether or not their is validity in what she has illustrated with the pictures and whether or not her words resonate as they certainly do for me as well. I do not what former job she held. I do not care how she earns her living now. She is telling a basic truth which is there in pictures for anyone who will to see.

        1. The Pugilist

          Again, I don’t watch TV, but why does it matter?  I read her words, they are well considered and make a lot of sense.  If you disagree with her, fine, state your case and let’s go at it.  Attacking her personally suggests to me that you don’t have a counter-argument.

        2. Frankly

          So, you don’t care about the credentials of the person in front of the room presenting themselves as an expert?   Good, then I will do a presentation on the science of global warming to a group of my denier friends and David will post it.

        3. The Pugilist

          You’re conflating points here.  This is a viewpoint expressed on a subjective matter.  You may disagree with her, but she expresses them well.  Global warming is a technical science that requires technical expertise.  Nevertheless, you could be a layman and present a good theory on global warming based on the data.  We should evaluate it on its merits, not on the basis of who you are.

  5. Frankly

    What we have here is a combination of marketing material for the black victim mentality industry and more race-issue propaganda of the Democrat party.

    It would be easy to ignore if not for the damage caused the very people both institutions claim to represent.

        1. The Pugilist

          I actually think that’s a very good question.  My three would be sentencing/ criminal justice reform, universal health care, a college assistance program that would get disadvantaged kids into college and help them succeed.

        2. Frankly

          Well then, for the sake of these people, I am glad you are not king.  But at least I can understand that your obsession with race, crime and punishment is on the top of your list.

          I see the over-representation of blacks in crime as being a symptom of the main problem of blacks being over-represented in lower income status.  And there are three primary things contributing to it: crappy education, crappy economic opportunity and social disorder.

          Before I would get started on this program to ensure that black lives matter, the first thing I would do is remind everyone that we don’t have as much of a racial problem in this country as we do a languishing and growing underclass that blacks tend to be over-represented in.   Then I would demand that we accept that the current generations of screwed up adults are pretty much lost, and we need to focus on the kids under 12 so that they are the first generation to rise… and break the cycle of misery that their parents are stuck in and that their “saviors” benefit from. We cannot afford to be spending money on the lost souls… we need it for the kids.

          #1 – Related to social disorder.  The first thing I would do is to increase law enforcement personnel in all areas with high levels of violent crime and drug crime.   I would implement a training program for all officers that lowers the chance that deadly force would be used.   I would implement stop-and-frisk.  I would increase the penalties for using a gun for any crime.  Basically, unlike US liberals edited, I would value the lives of people more than I would other people’s hurt feelings.  I would roll out the national guard if necessary.  I would get all the thugs and crooks locked away.  I would build more prisons if necessary. Because without the thugs gone there is little hope to break the cycle of life-mistakes that young people in the community will make.

          #2 – Related to education.  The second thing I would do is to completely reform the education system in areas where there is a lot of poverty.  I would allow copious charter schools and academies to replace poorly performing public schools.   But the entire education system would be retooled to be student needs-based.  If the student needs breakfast, the student gets breakfast.  If the student needs lunch, then the student gets lunch.  If the student needs counseling, the student gets counseling.  If the student needs a safe transportation to and from school, the student gets safe transportation to and from school.  The school should provide jobs for students to work and make spending money.  I would put armed guards in the school.  I would have zero tolerance policies for any physical harm to any student.  I would spend more money for this system, but only without the teacher’s unions controlling it.   The performance measure would be how many graduate and how many go one to be successful in their next step toward a legal economic successful life.

          #3 – I would implement economic policy in these neighborhoods similar to the Marshal plan.  I would provide significant tax incentives (RDA), regulatory relief, low interest loans and free land to business that would locate there and set up shop.  I would create incentives to bring back manufacturing from overseas and put it in these depressed economic areas.  But first I would make sure that it is made a right-to-work zone… no unions.   And along with this I would provide an education stipend inventive for those that work.  I would cut welfare and SNAP benefits as the job opportunities expand.

          The thing about law enforcement in these communities… I can understand the outrage.  It just feels like the cops make is crappier because there is nothing else working to improve the opportunities for the members of the community.  You are leading a miserable life and the authorities come in and you end up even more miserable… it makes sense that you would blame the cops.  But it is not the fault of the cops.  They don’t have the tools to fix what is really broken.  They are only there to deal with the negative symptoms.

          The main reason that the system is broken is decades of failed liberal policies. To fix what is broken we need to stop the insanity of demanding more of the same, and start to truly do the things create opportunity for people to life themselves up from the underclass.

          [moderator] edited for language

        3. The Pugilist

          And I see the over representation of blacks in crime as a continuation of the oppressive system that Melissa so eloquently and articulately highlighted.  If you want to know why people of color disproportionately commit crimes, it has to do with a system of oppression.

          Another of the most powerful images here is the one of the lynching with the people standing, posing, proudly, holding hands in front of dead people.  And that photo isn’t that old.  Neither the Emmett Till photo.  That’s in some of our lifetimes.  They did that to him.

          And the point of the Henry Luis Gates – nothing has changed.

        4. Dave Hart

          At minimum, a national Museum of Slavery and Reconstruction run by the National Park Service located in Washington, D.C. and satellite museums with the same name in all of the states of the Confederacy.  There should be extensions of this museum in all of the non-Confederacy states. These museums would comprehensively cover the history of slavery, so-called reconstruction and lynching in each respective state.  The second thing to do is to finance and require visits by third grade and tenth grade students in all public and private schools to these museums including home schooled children if they are declared as exemptions on tax returns.  One might think of this as a big step in reparations:  acknowledging the reality and horror of the institution that is still affecting modern day U.S. culture and institutions.  That’s two big things that would address the issue seriously and constructively.

        5. Frankly

           If you want to know why people of color disproportionately commit crimes, it has to do with a system of oppression.

          In your biased mind it does.  But then your biased mind is completely wrong on this topic most of the time.

          Your point is really laughable if you think about it… that blacks commit crimes because cops enforce the law.  Albert Camus could write something on that “logic”.

        6. The Pugilist

          Sure if you misstate my position.  I argue that people commit crimes in part because the cops have no regard to the sanctity of life when it comes to people of color.  Have you seen the photo of Ms. Williams car, she was trying to drive away (a futile act) and they shot her.  If you see that video and you are a person of color, why would you have any faith in the rule of law?

        7. Frankly

           I argue that people commit crimes in part because the cops have no regard to the sanctity of life when it comes to people of color.

          I think you have twisted and contorted your otherwise beautiful mind into a useless pretzel on this topic.

          Crime is exploding in many urban area (the Ferguson Effect) just as those of us without the pretzel head knew it would.

          It is really so silly this position of yours and many other on the left of politics that law enforcement foments more crime by being tough on crime.

          I think it is an identity-politics desperation thing… when you see the misery in these communities even as we spend trillions on social welfare and you walk the fact pattern it leads you to anxiety of your left-leaning worldviews unraveling… and so in desperation you look for a scapegoat.   And so you and your medial ilk start to sensationalize cop encounters.

          It is much less likely that law enforcement actions foment more crime than it is that racial victim mentality and media sentimentalization of cop encounters foments more crime.  But really both are de minims to the cause of social decay and lack of economic opportunity.

          The only somewhat pleasing aspect of cops being used as a tool to prop up what is clearly a severe failure of liberal ideology and policy… cop unions have signed their deals with the Democrat devil for fat pay and benefits and now the devil is demanding the payment of souls.

        8. The Pugilist

          I just don’t think you offer any insight on this. Imagine you are a retired and disabled former sgt. African American. You live alone. You’re life alert alarm malfunctions and goes off. Life alert can’t get you to pick up the phone so they call the cops. The cops pound on the door, the guy tells them through the door that there is no emergency and they aren’t needed. So they bust down the door, open fire and kill him. This is a cop. Why would you want to call the police if you’re in peril if there’s a real chance they’ll misinterpret what’s happened and kill you? You repeat victim mentality, but you don’t know what you’re talking about, it’s like you’ve learned one word and keep repeating it over and over again until it has no meaning – if it ever had meaning before.

          Forgot to mention, there is an audio tape of the incident and the officers called him a N-gger.

        9. wdf1

          Frankly:  I think you have twisted and contorted your otherwise beautiful mind into a useless pretzel on this topic.

          Crime is exploding in many urban area (the Ferguson Effect) just as those of us without the pretzel head knew it would.

          Please provide documentation that there is a “Ferguson Effect.”

        10. Frankly

          I just don’t think you offer any insight on this. Imagine you are a retired and disabled former sgt. African American. You live alone. You’re life alert alarm malfunctions and goes off. Life alert can’t get you to pick up the phone so they call the cops. The cops pound on the door, the guy tells them through the door that there is no emergency and they aren’t needed. So they bust down the door, open fire and kill him.

          So then…

          This is cop racism…

          https://www.texasobserver.org/james-whitehead-robert-arnold-shades-gray-orange/

        11. wdf1

          Frankly:  #2 – Related to education.  The second thing I would do is to completely reform the education system in areas where there is a lot of poverty.  I would allow copious charter schools and academies to replace poorly performing public schools.   But the entire education system would be retooled to be student needs-based.  If the student needs breakfast, the student gets breakfast.  If the student needs lunch, then the student gets lunch.  If the student needs counseling, the student gets counseling.  If the student needs a safe transportation to and from school, the student gets safe transportation to and from school.  The school should provide jobs for students to work and make spending money.  I would put armed guards in the school.  I would have zero tolerance policies for any physical harm to any student.  I would spend more money for this system, but only without the teacher’s unions controlling it.   The performance measure would be how many graduate and how many go one to be successful in their next step toward a legal economic successful life.

          Here and there some things I could agree with, but mostly problematic.  A couple of tests to consider.  1) would you be content to send your own kid/grandkid to such a school?  If it were your own grandkid, are you prepared to convince your own child (parent of your grandkid) that such a “reform” school environment is the best?  In these discussions I find that adults have two sets of criteria for a good education.  One is criteria for there own kids as to what kind of school they want, and then a different set of criteria for those “other” kids (usually from families with lower income and education).

          2)  many of these ideas have been tried before or currently.  Can you identify a school district/state where these policies have succeeded over other alternatives in order to make your point?

          For instance,

          The second thing I would do is to completely reform the education system in areas where there is a lot of poverty.  I would allow copious charter schools and academies to replace poorly performing public schools. 

          Mindlessly assuming that charter schools are the answer over everything else makes it likelier that they will fail.  There is a tendency for charter schools to be run as private enterprises, which means that they are not answerable to an elected school board and thus not answerable to taxpaying voters they way that regular public schools are.  As such, that allows charter schools to be more selective about the students they choose.  When you have a community with a lot of poverty, that ends up shutting out a lot of families and leaves them without good choices, and brings back your original problem — bad education situations in communities with a lot of poverty.

    1. Tia Will

      Frankly

      It would be easy to ignore”

      Yes. And that is exactly the point. It is always easy to ignore the kind of brutality demonstrated in these pictures if it is not happening to your group. That was what my mother chose to do. Any news of this sort, and she would purse her lips, shake her head, and turn off the TV. Inequality of treatment is easy to ignore if you are not the actual victim.  Having a “victim mentality” does not mean that you are not more likely to be hung as in my parents day, or shot as we see today.

      The movie Shoah came out about 40 years ago. It was a documentary about the Holocaust. One partial interview has stuck in my mind clearly all of these years. A man whose farm had been adjacent to one of the concentration camps was being interviewed. The question was asked “Was it hard to live here hearing the screams daily ?”  He paused and then said ( paraphrased) “At first, but we got used to it. It is not so hard when it is not your ox that is being gored”.

       

  6. quielo

    She has a very difficult road as the changing demographics of the US affect both her argument and her audience. For people who have arrived in the US in since WW2 the images above have no relevance. Each country has it’s own recent traumas that have more resonance. Vietnamese, Koreans, Central Americans, Mexicans, etc. No plan that does not take into account the aspirations of these groups will fail.

    1. Frankly

      People afflicted with victim mentality cannot let go of the past even as the past is no longer relevant.  And those that profit from those with victim mentality will not let go.

      1. Dave Hart

        Yes, those who forget the past are guaranteed to never make the same mistake twice.  An additional benefit is never having to say you’re sorry.  Nothing to see here, please move along.

        1. Frankly

          Sure Dave.  I’m sick with sorry that my ancestors in the previous century or two were racist bastards.

          Now can we move on?

          Or is your identity so wrapped up in this racial victim narrative that you can’t allow it?

        2. Frankly

          And the put of her speech is that things haven’t changed as much as you want to believe they have.

          And that my friend is evidence of victim mentality.

          Look at the images posted in this article and repeat what you just wrote.

        3. Frankly

          Not even close.

          You are trying to equate a pre-civil rights racial racial lynching with an unfortunate and tragic, but understandable, mistake by law enforcement.    To even come close you are making the claim that the officer that shot Tamir Rice as adult-looking youth reached for the gun in his waistband (that was later determined to be a toy plastic pellet gun with the orange safety tip removed) shot him because he, the cop, had some general problem with blacks flirting with white women… or some other equivalent racial bias/hate.

          The fact that you would try to equate the two is indicative that you have some axe to grind with police in general.  Seems you have some serious negative blue bias.

           

        4. The Pugilist

          You’re analysis is missing too much.

          Emmett Till, 14, 1955, Deep South, his crime was saying “hey baby” to a white woman.  He was killed and dumped in a river.  The perpetrators were acquitted in trial.

          Tamir Rice, 12, 2015, Cleveland, his crime was being a big black kid and having a toy gun in the park.  Shot and killed within 20 seconds of their arrival.  Officers not prosecuted.

          In both cases a young black kid was “a problem” and “a threat” to the system.  In both cases, there were no legal protections.

          For blacks watching this, not as much has changed in 60 years as you want to believe.  Black lives still don’t matter or the sanctity of life for a black person is still not respected.

          You’ll argue differences, but remember Tamir Rice was killed under color of authority while Emmett Till was killed by vigilantes trying to protect their way of life.

          The world has not changed that much.

      2. Tia Will

        SOD

        I do not defend the vilification or oppression of any group. Do you believe that any groups should be held down for the benefit of another ?  Does proportionality matter to you ?  To me there is no moral equivalent for a young man being hung to someone losing their job for making slurs that they should know better than to make. Nor is their any equivalency in my eyes between Jim Crow and students ( including my own son) not getting an earned spot due to the color of his skin. Do I like it ? No. Do I believe that it compares in any way to the horrors of slavery and Jim Crow ? Absolutely not. So after I finished licking my wounded pride ( as opposed to my son’s hung or bullet riddled body), I encouraged him to pursue his educational path at Cal State.

        1. South of Davis

          Tia wrote:

          > I do not defend the vilification or oppression

          > of any group.

          It sounds like you are defending keeping whites with a 3.8 GPA out of a school to make room for people of color with a 3.6 GPA because it is not as bad as lynching.  Why not treat ALL people the same?

  7. Biddlin

    “….  So she is paid by money people controlling the liberal wing of the DNC.”

    Lie!

    On February 26, 2016, Harris-Perry sent an email to co-workers that she would not host her show on MSNBC for the coming weekend, stating: “Our show was taken—without comment or discussion or notice—in the midst of an election season … I will not be used as a tool for [management’s] purposes … I am not a token, mammy, or little brown bobble head.” Her show was scheduled to air as usual on Saturday, but Harris-Perry chose not to return, saying: “I am only willing to return when that return happens under certain terms.” She said she would only return when she could do “substantive, meaningful and autonomous work.” NBC responded that “many of our daytime programs have been temporarily upended by breaking political coverage, including M.H.P.” This public dispute led to discussions between NBC and Harris’ representatives about ending her  leaving MSNBC. NBC announced her departure on Feb. 28 and on April 18 she joined Elle.com as an editor at large.

    “So, you don’t care about the credentials of the person in front of the room presenting themselves as an expert? “

    A PhD. from Duke is a good start.

    “the black victim mentality industry”

    A bullsh*t paranoid delusion… edited

    “People afflicted with victim mentality cannot let go of the past …”

    Like middle-aged white male reactionaries can’t let go of the 2008 presidential election.

    This whine is sour, edited
    [moderator] Please read and adhere to the Vanguard Comment Policy. http://www.davisvanguard.org/about-us/comment-policy/

    1. South of Davis

      Frankly wrote:> she is paid by money people controlling the liberal wing of the DNC.Then Biddlin wrote:> Lie!Do you know who is paying her?  I would not call someone a liar unless I know for a fact she never got a penny from George Soros (or one of the many others funding the left wing of the DNC).

  8. The Pugilist

    Here’s a question for Frankly who believes he should not be held responsible for what happened a century or two ago.

     

    What is the difference between what happened to Emmett Till in 1955 and what happened to Tamir Rice in 2015?

    1. Barack Palin

      So DPugilist, are you really going to go with the narrative that things aren’t different and much better now than they were in 1955?

       

      1. Biddlin

        “are you really going to go with the narrative that things aren’t different and much better now than they were in 1955?”
        Not if you are the one being lynched, literally or figuratively. “Black” self-describes at least 1/4 of the number of civilians killed by police in the USA, so far in 2016.

        http://killedbypolice.net/

        1. Frankly

          According to the FBI Uniform Crime Reports, in the year 2008 black youths, who make up 16% of the youth population, accounted for 52% of juvenile violent crime arrests, including 58.5% of youth arrests for homicide and 67% for robbery.

          Seems by these statistics and your posted “statistics” that the cops are racist against non-blacks.

  9. Tia Will

    Frankly

    When you see these pictures of lynchings and the obvious hatred directed at those of another color not centuries ago, but well within my mother’s lifetime, how can you dismiss this as part of “victim mentality”. This term is supposedly reserved for those who are and were not actually  victimized. Do you not consider the individual’s in these photos to be victims ?  Do you feel that their family members could not be considered true victims of their violent and documented loss of life for no reason other than the color of their skin ? Are you claiming that if you are not the one hung then you have not been victimized ?  Do you feel the same about the family of a fallen police officer ?  No harm done because it was not them, just their father or grandfather ?  Just victim mentality for them too ?

    1. Frankly

      So let me post pictures of Jews dead and mutilated at the hand of the Nazis so that we can claim that Germany law enforcement is still antisemitic.

      It seems your statute of limitations goes to the time where there was photography, so I would have to assume the statement above fits your belief.

      1. Tia Will

        Frankly

        My line goes to where there is still discrimination. Do you believe that we completely wiped out racist attitudes with the baby boomer generation ? Wow ! Aren’t we wonderful ? And, you never addressed my question.

    1. Frankly

      I have to assume then by this comment that you believe that US law enforcement today is not materially different than it was in the 1950s.

      Never mind the point that more than half of Baltimore’s officers are black.

      And Jackson Mississippi is almost 60% black cops.  How does that compare to 1955?

      I think you are stubbornly playing your own story in your head but you cannot accept that it is fiction.

      1. The Pugilist

        No, you’re so locked into your own thinking, you’re missing the common thread that was laid out in the task force report in Chicago – sanctity of life.

        1. Frankly

          If you and your race-obsessed leftist social justice crusader ilk really cared about the sanctity of life, then you would support a plan to increase law enforcement and implement stop and frisk in these high crime areas.  You don’t.  Your emotional reactions over perceptions of power and powerlessness make you unable to rationally filter simple things like body counts… and hence demand reforms that will only increase body counts.  So don’t give me any BS that sanctity of life is your driving call.

  10. tribeUSA

    I read the article once and it didn’t make much sense. I read it a second time; and it still comes across as convoluted gobbledegook. What is the central thesis of this article/argument?

    With regard to the statistics reflecting the low confidence the African American community has with regard to the police–perhaps you should not neglect a feedback effect, wherein most negative interactions between a black suspect and cop are knee-jerk attributed to racism by the media and activists, before much evidence comes in. When it is portrayed that way in countless news articles and numerous spokespeople year after year after year, this may have a wee contribution to the low confidence the black community has in the police.

    1. David Greenwald

      What I saw in her speech – and understand it’s hard to take an hour long speech and hit the main points in an article – is that there has been a consistent theme in this country of devaluing the lives of people of color, particularly what she calls problematic people – blacks. This is not something new, it didn’t start with Obama and the world didn’t change when Obama got into office. I focused more on the thematic portion and the historical portion because it was powerful, but she goes on to discuss a series of incidents in San Francisco, but my hope is to combine that with Jeff Adachi and Ken Williams’ comments on use of force in a separate article.

    2. Tia Will

      tribeUSA

      When it is portrayed that way in countless news articles and numerous spokespeople year after year after year, this may have a wee contribution to the low confidence the black community has in the police.”

      I have an alternative explanation. To cover up the identities of the KKK members involved in lynchings and other forms of terrorism in the Jim Crow south, the participants wore white hoods. A few of the people being terrorized by this group are still alive today, but equally importantly both the terrorizers and their victims ( in fact Frankly, not just in their minds) were the parents of my generation. This is not something from the distant past as some would like to claim. These are the people who taught my generation their values surrounding racial identity.

      Now lets play these two groups forward to today. While it is true that we do not have massive numbers of hooded men terrorizing those least able to defend themselves, we do have laws and regulations that allow them to hide their actions behind secrecy rules under cover of “personnel issues”. I can easily see how this lack of transparency and accountability on the part of those in power might be seen very similarly to our parents versions of hiding behind hoods. While there has always been trust amongst whites for the police, this trust has never been established to the same degree within our black communities. Is the disparity between degrees of trust really such a surprise when within the past 90 years one groups was terrorized anonymously by those in power while the other group was spared this experience ?

      1. tribeUSA

        Tia–you make a good point with regard to the lack of a historical establishment of trust since the Jim Crow days have been over (only about 50 years, so elderly blacks may have been affected by these days in their youth).

        I can think of two ways to address the issue of lack of trust of law enforcement:

        (1) Present meaningful statistics, wherein various categories of use of force are presented not as a percentage of the total US population; but as a percentage of those arrested. On this basis, use of various categories of force against the different racial groups (whites, blacks, hispanics, asians, etc) is much closer.

        (2) Present the above-mentioned statistics in terms of economic status: again, use of force is predominantly against poor people; and as a percentage of arrests is comparable among poor whites, blacks, hispanics, etc.

        By presenting the statistics in this way, black communities can see that use of force does not have so much to do with race as it does with economic status. Then instead of dividing themselves up on the basis of race; poor blacks, whites, hispanics, etc. will have common cause to unite and request reforms on excessive use of force by police. My own hypothesis for the reasons that the data is not presented this way is that the elites would prefer the different races to be pointing fingers at each other and squabbling among themselves; rather than uniting to fight for policy reforms that would help pull them out of poverty. Meanwhile, as the bickering among racial lines continues, a larger and larger % of the nations wealth continues to be consolidated under the control of fewer and fewer of the rich….

         

         

        1. Tia Will

          tribeUSA

          1. “Present meaningful statistics, wherein various categories of use of force are presented not as a percentage of the total US population; but as a percentage of those arrested”

          I believe that both sets of statistics are “meaningful” and would be of value to compare.

          2.”again, use of force is predominantly against poor people”
          This is likely true, but does not exclude the possibility that there is subset differentiation within the group defined as poor so that the white poor receive better treatment than the darker skinned poor. Subset analysis is not all that difficult for statisticians and should be applied.

          3. “By presenting the statistics in this way, black communities can see that use of force does not have so much to do with race as it does with economic status.”

          With this sentence, you are confirming your own bias without what I would consider an objective assessment of all of the evidence. Would you be amenable to changing your position if an objective analysis of all of the data demonstrated that even within the categorization that you favor, dark skinned individuals still are treated less well than those with lighter skin ?

  11. Barack Palin

    I read it a second time; and it still comes across as convoluted gobbledegook.

    I agree with everything you stated.  There’s still a lot of race baiting going on and until the left stops this practice we’ll never be able to move forward.

      1. South of Davis

        David wrote:

        > What do you see as race-baiting by Melissa in this article?

        It is hard to find anything that was NOT “race baiting”

        As a example “She went through a long list of black men and women killed by the police”, but did not mention a SINGLE name from the LONGER list of white men and women killed by the police.

        Just about everyone killed by the police is not well educated, and has had previous run ins with the law.  Sadly the black community has a higher percentage of people that drop out of high school and turn to a life of crime.  I don’t know why (just like I don’t know why few Chinese and Jewish Americans drop out of High School, turn to crime and get shot by the cops).

        I bet the chart on having confidence in the police would look similar if it was not black & white, but high school grads who have never been arrested & high school drop outs that have been arrested.

        1. David Greenwald

          So let’s start with this: “As a example “She went through a long list of black men and women killed by the police”, but did not mention a SINGLE name from the LONGER list of white men and women killed by the police.”

          How is that race-baiting?

          I looked up definitions of race baiting and not surprisingly they vary widely:

          Wiktionary: The act of using racially derisive language, actions, or other forms of communication in order to anger or intimidate or coerce.

          Webster: “the unfair use of statements about race to try to influence the actions or attitudes of a particular group of people.”

          Urban Dictionary: “One who insinuates that racism or bigotry is a dominant factor with regards to an event that either does not involve race or in which diverse cultures are involved are simply a minor element.”

          By any of those definitions, I don’t think giving a long list of black people killed by police would be considered race baiting.

        2. South of Davis

          David asks:

          > How is that race-baiting?

          I’m really trying to help, since it is sad to me that people like David go through life thinking that every white male (who does not have a Bernie and Coexist bumper sticker on his Prius) is a secret member of the KKK.

          > I looked up definitions of race baiting and not surprisingly they vary widely:

          > Wiktionary: The act of using racially derisive language,

          She brought up “lynching” …

          > Webster: “the unfair use of statements about race to try to influence

          > the actions or attitudes of a particular group of people.”

          She wrote “Gates was arrested in front of his own home after he couldn’t find his keys” this is “unfair” to the cops since he was arrested not because he “couldn’t find his keys” he was arrested because because he was “breaking in to a home” (as reported to the cops by a neighbor) and would not show the cops any proof that it was his home.

          > Urban Dictionary: “One who insinuates that racism or bigotry is a dominant

          > factor with regards to an event

          See above, when ANYONE (white or black)  is trying to break in to a home and the neighbors call the cops you will be arrested if you call the cops racist and tell them to F off when they show up.

          > I don’t think giving a long list of black people killed by police would

          > be considered race baiting.

          Most people are surprised to hear that the majority of people killed by cops are white since the media reports the shooting of black people so much more often (they report the shooting of black people by cops like they report the kidnapping of pretty rich white girls and ignore the shooting of white people like they ignore the kidnapping of poor black girls)…

          1. David Greenwald

            “I’m really trying to help, since it is sad to me that people like David go through life thinking that every white male (who does not have a Bernie and Coexist bumper sticker on his Prius) is a secret member of the KKK.”

            Anyway.

            You bring up the Gates issue, would have the neighbors have called the police if Gates were white? Strangely, I don’t think my neighbors would call the police if I were seen trying to get into my own home. In part, that would be because they would recognize me as the dweller. The handling of the incident by the police was also less than appropriate. I can see a legitimate difference of opinion on the interpretation of these events, but to dismiss concerns raised as race baiting is unfounded.

            “Most people are surprised to hear that the majority of people killed by cops are white since the media reports the shooting of black people so much more often (they report the shooting of black people by cops like they report the kidnapping of pretty rich white girls and ignore the shooting of white people like they ignore the kidnapping of poor black girls)…”

            Perhaps, but it’s not race-baiting to point out a selective sample of those incidents. It’s not completely surprising that the majority of the people killed by police are white, since whites are the vast majority of the population in this country. On the other hand, I was reading the PERF Use of Force guidelines yesterday that is starting to emerge, they point out that about two-thirds of killings involving the police, the individual killed had a fire arm. That leaves about one-third more questionable circumstances. The Washington Post who are compiling the most extensive database found that blacks are seven times more likely to be killed while unarmed than whites – so that statistic is part of what is driving the debate and your recounting of the data completely overlooks it.

        3. South of Davis

          David wrote:

          >  I don’t think my neighbors would call the police if I were

          > seen trying to get into my own home

          The reason the neighbors called was because they didn’t know he was breaking in to his “own home”…What if you were coming back from a ski weekend in Tahoe and still had your ski mask on?

          http://thumb7.shutterstock.com/display_pic_with_logo/180313/224936239/stock-photo-burglar-breaking-into-a-house-via-a-door-with-a-crowbar-224936239.jpg

          This story blew up because 1. The media loves “race baiting” and 2. Obama said “police acted stupidly”

          Does anyone think that if a white UCD Law professor got arrested breaking in to his home near Pioneer Park after David called the cops 1. would even make the Enterprise and 2. would get a comment from the President.

          I’ll admit that there is some unfair “racial profiling” (of ALL races) but to say that the cops only talk to “black” people when they get a call about a break in is unfair…

          1. Don Shor

            Does anyone think that if a white UCD Law professor got arrested breaking in to his home near Pioneer Park after David called the cops 1. would even make the Enterprise

            Yes.

          2. David Greenwald

            I never said “only.” These analogies are not particularly helpful because they end up glossing over the specific of Gates encounter with the police and the commonalities with other encounters by people of color.

        4. Topcat

          Sadly the black community has a higher percentage of people that drop out of high school and turn to a life of crime.  I don’t know why….

          Start by looking at the breakdown of the black family and the high number of babies born to impoverished, poorly educated single black girls.

        5. wdf1

          SoD:  Sadly the black community has a higher percentage of people that drop out of high school and turn to a life of crime.  I don’t know why (just like I don’t know why few Chinese and Jewish Americans drop out of High School, turn to crime and get shot by the cops).

          I have seen the same criticism made of Latinos.  I suggest that you are looking at the effects of poverty rather than race.  My kids (2 adopted) and wife are Latino.  There is nothing in their Latino character that leads me to think that they were any more likely to drop out of high school and turn to a life of crime than would anyone else.  At present they are college educated and gainfully employed.

          Any kid, white, Asian, African-American, Latino, who grows up in a lower income community and whose parents don’t have much education is statistically at higher risk of dropping out of high school and turning to a life of crime.

        6. Frankly

          wdf1 – but crime rates by race do not correlate with poverty.  I think there is a cultural component.  Black and Latino urban culture is more prone to violence and crime.

        7. wdf1

          Frankly:  wdf1 – but crime rates by race do not correlate with poverty.  I think there is a cultural component.  Black and Latino urban culture is more prone to violence and crime.

          My adopted kids and wife came from Latino urban culture.  What should I observe in their culture that tells me that they are prone to violence and crime?  If there is merit to your argument, then as a responsible parent and spouse, I would really like to know.  My in-laws are upstanding, as far as I know (i.e., no one in jail, no known conviction or accusation of criminal violence or other crime).  Am I missing something?

          Something tells me that you and Trump might be very simpatico on the issue of Mexicans having cultural proclivities to violence and crime.  You are a somewhat older white male, which is his demographic strength.  It’s possible that older white male American culture is more prone to believe that Black and Latino urban culture is prone to violence and crime, independent of poverty or low education levels, I’m assuming.

        8. wdf1

          Frankly:  I think there is a cultural component.

          I mulled over this since you posted this.   And of course I posted my unthoughtful snarky comment above.  But after seeing this brief but excellent video clarifying Trump’s comments, I think you might be right.  There probably is a cultural component that we should genuinely fear.

        9. Frankly

          Funny stuff wdf1.

          Here is an interesting report that addresses crime and race and communities: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&ved=0ahUKEwicxp_gzYLNAhVY0WMKHS9eAjkQFggnMAE&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwebfiles.uci.edu%2Fckubrin%2FCrime%2520and%2520the%2520Racial%2520Composition%2520of%2520Communities.pdf&usg=AFQjCNHN4zKHH_PPb_GGFijdvYK5gkgw2Q

          In their recent review of the
          neighborhood literature on race and crime,
          Peterson and Krivo (2010) conclude, “Rates of
          crime are higher in local areas where African
          Americans are more heavily concentrated and,
          conversely, lower where African Americans
          are constitute a smaller portion of the residents,
          whether in Atlanta, Baton Rouge, Chicago,
          Cleveland, Columbus, New York, Philadelphia,
          or Seattle”.

          So, if not explained by racial culture, what then?

        10. wdf1

          Frankly:  So, if not explained by racial culture, what then?

          Right away?  Education level.  I have only read through the summary.  I may invest more time reading the rest of it.  Searched on mentions of the word “education” in your article, found one mention of it, almost in passing.

          In reading this article I think you have to discount that education is a controlling factor. Who dropped out and who graduated from HS, who has post-HS education?

          The article also acknowledges various poverty– and economic-dependent conditions.

          But really I think there is another factor that is probably harder to quantify related to the stability of the community, especially a lower income one.  Connected to it is how likely/frequently do city/school employees, even clergy live in the communities that they serve?  I would also include business owners; do owners of local businesses also live in the community?  In communities with more higher instances of police officers, fire fighters, teachers, city staff, clergy also living there, I hypothesize that you would see lower crime rates.  But this is also connected to education level.  All of those community workers have to have more than a HS diploma to work there.

        11. Frankly

          I agree with much of what you write here.  I really don’t think there is a basis of a racial component.  I think there is a secondary racial component.  I think black and Latio urban culture is one based on feeling disenfranchised and anger and then acting out on that anger.  There is not enough opportunity so there is not enough hope, and so then why not break the law to get something?

          The millitary is a great example for a process that works dealing this they type of thing.  Recruits start out getting their sense of individualism eliminated.  They are part of a whole and must behave in a way that conforms with the whole.  And then they are presented incremental opportunity that they have to earn.

          This is why I say that we need more police in these high crime urban areas… And we need to crack down more not less.  But we also need to reform the education system and begin a sort of Marshal Plan to bring in economic opportunity to the communities.

          And yes I think we need an infusion of moral institutions… More churches and non-profits.

          But none that works in a culture of lawlessness.

          Funny thing… I am working on a business plan that would use the word Yolo for obvious reasons.  My 24 year old son advised against it for the reason of a song by a popular black music artist named Drake.   Here are the lyrics.

          https://play.google.com/music/preview/Tqzqhocvgnwqx5bhplisas7ukka?lyrics=1&utm_source=google&utm_medium=search&utm_campaign=lyrics&pcampaignid=kp-lyrics&u=0#

           

  12. Tia Will

    SOD

    Does anyone think that if a white UCD Law professor got arrested breaking in to his home near Pioneer Park after David called the cops 1. would even make the Enterprise”

    Not the Enterprise, but I suspect it might make the Vanguard if it were called to David’s attention.

    Now I have two questions for you.

    1. Do you think that a white homeowner out mowing his lawn would be stopped and questioned by the police ?

    2. Do you think that people of all races are “racially profiled” equally ? Or could it be that it works preferentially in favor of whites. A car with a young black male in it and the same make of car with a young white male in it. I agree that racial profiling affects both. It adversely affects the black youth and favorably affects the white. As recently as 20 years ago, while accompanied by my very swarthy now ex husband, he would draw negative comments about his race, although he was Turkish. My race was never mentioned. If you do not believe that this represents prejudice in our society, how do you explain it ? If you do not believe that darker skinned individuals have more bias demonstrated against them than do whites, I really have to question your objectivity.

  13. Tia Will

    SOD

     Why not treat ALL people the same?”

    I am sure that this is the question that is being asked by all of the dark skinned individuals who are serving prison terms for the same crimes committed by whites who receive a slap on the wrist if any punishment.

    I am sure that this is the question that is being asked by those trapped in dilapidated and dangerous housing because their parents could not purchase housing in better parts of town where equity could have been accrued solely on the basis of their race.

    I am sure hat this is the same question asked by children whose families are torn apart by the incarceration of a parent for a crime that a white person would not have been imprisoned for.

    I know that this is the same question that I asked myself when my husband was being called “nigger” and “wet back” for no other reason than being on the street in the company of a white woman.

    Again, I ask you. Do you not see any difference in order of magnitude between these injustices and which college one gets accepted to ?

     

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