Activism

Movimiento Mondays: Posts To Read This Morning 7/6/15

Why is Washington Saying Very Little About Puerto Rico

Whether it is by choice or necessity, the Puerto Rican diaspora is growing at an unprecedented rate.  Migration is fraying the socioeconomic fabric of the island. It is upsetting to all Puerto Ricans, particularly those who grew up in its heyday. But as the diaspora grows so does the island’s power. It is up to Boricuas to choose how to use it.

Read more at Latino Rebels


The Political Discourses of Black Indigeneity, and Why it Matters

As is our custom, we began to debate politics, popular culture, and just straight shit talking. Our conversations ranged from whether Beyonce can be a feminist, to how someone could support racist mascots. Then, we started to debate current happenings in the D (Detroit!). The bulk of our discussion was centered on how hipsters⎯white hipsters⎯are moving into Detroit, and setting up businesses downtown. One of my friends called it gentrification, the other homie chimed in and made a distinction between urban renewal, which is what is happening downtown, and gentrification, which is happening all over the city. I was pretty quiet, after all, I’m a historian, what do I know about contemporary politics?

Read more at Native Appropriations


IMAGES: CHICANO-CON AND THE SAN DIEGO YOU WON’T SEE AT COMIC-CON

While San Diego Comic-Con has become linked with the city’s economy, it’s worth pointing out that one reason other cities probably feel they have a shot at wresting it from San Diego’s grasp is, there’s very little inside the event that actually reflects the city.

Over the weekend, the Chicano-Con exhibit began putting more of the “San Diego” back into this sphere. The event, a pair of two-day art exhibitions inside Barrio Logan, a neighborhood less than a mile from the convention’s high-rent district that formed its identity in the early 1900s with the infusion of refugees from the Mexican Revolution.

Read more at Racialicious


 

In Mexico with Frida Kahlo

Frida is an artist of the post-modern world.  She painted about the parts of us that the homogenizing force of modernism and industry attempted to deny.  She illustrated the belittled world of feelings – the struggle to see ourselves as whole, beautiful, precious, especially because of our differences and imperfections.  She painted the world as herself – in fragments.  In the course of doing so, she turned herself, uni-brow, mustache and all, into an icon of beauty, cultural pride, and the unsinkable, inextinguishable, undefinable stuff of which we are made.

Read more at Race Files

 

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Flags Fly While Black Churches Burn, And Dylann Roof’s Still Not Labeled A Terrorist

Today, the confederate flag still flies over much of the south while black churches burn, and Dylann Roof’s still not labeled a terrorist (domestic, or otherwise). Don’t be fooled though, the south isn’t a backcountry racist anomaly within a post-racial nation. To be sure, the south does have a distinct form of American racism, but a country founded on white hegemony is guaranteed to have characteristics unique to each region; From Trayvon to Tamir, Baltimore to Ferguson, and back again. Yes, this is the contemporary formulation of white supremacy in America, as is Charleston, the confederate flag, the burning churches, and Dylann Roof not being labeled a terrorist.

Removing the flag is important, no one should deny that. Bree Newsome’s actions over the weekend were heroic and,undeniably, another historic moment in which a black woman challenged state sponsored antiblack racism. As some have pointed out, Newsome’s fearlessness was reminiscent of Rosa Parks. But as quickly as it came down, the flag was restored to its original placement just before a crew of confederate flag supporters gathered at its base.

To recap: Newsome was taken into custody. A black state worker was forced to raise the flag. Whites protested in support of the American symbol of southern hatred. And all took place in front of a government building. This is what white supremacy looks like, but it’s certainly not its only form.

The growing pressure to take the flag down, although an important victory in terms of removing a public display of state sponsored racism, is also false generosity.  It doesn’t impact the police brutality felt by black communities, nor does it alleviate the systemic inequalities that maintain white privilege. A true sense of compassion and solidarity to challenge the white supremacist system would be to internalize and act from the perspective that all  #BlackLivesMatter (trans, queer, women, men, and children).Consider this, in the wake of flags still flying 6 black churches needed to burn throughout the south before the FBI or media paid attention.

This is not racial justice. This is white supremacy sacrificing a piece of fabric to ensure the status quo remains unchallenged. This is why Dylann Roof is symptomatic of a structure running, not just in the south, but throughout the very core of America. That’s not to say there is some overt conspiracy at play today,at least not in the same way it was during the foundation of this country. Certainly there are those with blatant white power intentions who enact violence against black communities, such as Roof did, but there are also the ideological elements that reproduce institutional racism, white supremacist outcomes, and dominance. There is always overlap between the two branches, but the latter can be found in the criminal justice, public education, and economic systems–as well as elsewhere.

So ask yourself, when the flags no longer fly does that change anything substantive? Do #BlackLivesTrulyMatter to law enforcement? To the schools? To those “allies” protesting the flag? Or even to the government?

The fact remains that  white supremacy (whether intended or not) still exists while black churches burn, and Dylann Roof is still not a labeled a terrorist.

MIC.COM: “17 Photos Reveal Why LGBTQ People of Color of Are #NotTooProudToFight During Pride Month”

Darnell L. Moore’s  piece on LGBTQ people of color is definitely worth a read:

“If LGBTQ people have reason to be proud today, it is because of the radical responses of the tenacious freedom fighters, black and brown folk among them, who refused to be mistreated and shamed by the state or society. Yet contemporary Pride celebrations often overlook the radical starting place of the queer and trans struggle. These events also tend to be largely organized around white LGBTQ people.

Given this reality, Mic asked LGBTQ people of color to tell us who they are thinking about and fighting for during this Pride season. The hashtag adorning each photo, #NotTooProudToFight, is meant to reframe the common understanding of LGBTQ Pride month from a moment only of celebration to one committed to the fight for racial, gender, social and economic justice.”

12 Quotes From Pedagogy of The Oppressed Rachel Dolezal Should Consider

In addition to the black face,  the appropriation of the narratives, community history, lived experiences, life struggles, and personal victories of black women and bi-/multi-racial individuals, Rachel Dolezal, you need to also own-up to your white privilege gone wild.

I don’t claim to speak for anyone within the racial justice movement, nor do I really need to add to the growing digital-literature on how you’ve damaged movements surrounding black and trans folks lives. I really don’t even need to address how your actions have so blatantly been to join, co-opt, and attempt to center yourself within the racial justice movement in a way that allowed for you to avoid conversations like checking your privilege, playing the white savior, speaking on behalf of and silencing communities, or how you, as a white woman (sans, or especially due to,  black face) reproduced racial inequalities through your taking up space and assuming leadership of the black community.

These have all been discussed at great length, by people within these communities, much smarter than me, who have powerful voices of their own . So there’s not much more for a light-skin Mexican-American (mestizo) to add.

In fact, I’d much rather point you, Rachel, to 12 quotes from Paolo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Maybe this will remind you of the role you play(ed) in oppression, and why you, as a white person in blackface, should step entirely back.

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  1. “The oppressors, who oppress, exploit, and rape by virtue of their power, cannot find in this power the strength to liberate either the oppressed or themselves.”
  2. “The oppressor, who is himself dehumanized because he dehumanizes others, is unable to lead this struggle.”
  3. “Discovering [her-/]himself to be an oppressor may cause considerable anguish, but it does not necessarily lead to solidarity with the oppressed.”
  4. “For the oppressors, what is worthwhile is to have more–always more–even at the cost of the oppressed having less or having nothing. For them, to be is to have.”
  5. “For them, having more is an inalienable right.”
  6. “Our [white] converts… truly desire to transform the unjust order; but because of their background they believe that they must be the executors of the transformation.”
  7. “Attempting to liberate the oppressed without their reflective participation in the act of liberation is to treat them as objects that must be saved from a burning building.”
  8. “The revolutionary’s role is to liberate, and to be liberated, with the people–not to win them over.”
  9. “To simply think about the people, as the dominators do, without any self-giving in that thought, to fail to think with the people, is a sure way to cease being revolutionary leaders.”
  10. “The road to revolution involves openness to the people, not imperviousness to them; it involves communion with the people, not mistrust.”
  11. “As the oppressor minority subordinates and dominates the majority, it must divide it and keep it divided in order to remain in power.”
  12. “The culture of the [white] dominant class hinders the affirmation of [black women/] men as beings of decision.”