- In the 2009-2010 school year, 74 percent of African-American students and 80 percent of Latino students attended majority minority schools, where most of their classmates are nonwhite. An outcome of the deeply segregated and racially and economically isolated American education system is severe achievement gaps between students of color and white students.
- Indigenous Peoples, African Americans, and Latinos are disproportionately incarcerated in the United States. Two-thirds of the two million prisoners in the United States are African-American or Latino. The disparities can be linked to improper policing practices like racial profiling. Drug policy and drug sentencing also contribute by disproportionately targeting African Americans and Latinos.
- People of color and Indigenous Peoples are also more likely to live near hazardous waste facilities with nearly half of all people of color in the United States living within less than two miles of a hazardous waste facility.
There’s also the recent HUD-sponsored investigation that found people of color are less likely to be shown housing units by real estate agents and landlords than white people — findings that HUD apparently isn’t prepared to resolve anytime soon, as Seth Freed Wessler and ProPublica’s Nikole Hannah-Jones recently reported on (which won the National Low Income Housing Coalition Media Award for Hannah-Jones).
It should also be added that the Voting Rights Act’s Section Five, which prevents racial disenfranchisement intentional and unintentional in areas with a history of racial discrimination, and also race consideration in affirmative action policy are both in danger of being deleted from the law books by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Sherrilyn A. Ifill, president of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund who is helping defend both of those issues in the Supreme Court, wrote an op-ed in the New York Times today saying, “If there is public discomfort, it is precisely because race still does matter, because it still resonates so powerfully in American life.”
White privilege is even being able to play African gods and have people think this is normal, while black people have to justify being anything more than a chambermaid.
Consider the following: Discussions of Frank Ocean’s “coming out” or Prop 8’s November passage in California routinely discuss homophobia in the “hip hop,” “urban,” and “black” communities, but the uniformity of homophobia among white conservatives, the around the block support for Chik-Fil-A, the Family Research Council’s dubious support for the Ugandan death bill, never elicit a critique of the “white community” and white homophobia. White homophobia doesn’t have a race.
By only emphasizing race in instances of black homophobia, white progressives tacitly imply some hidden aspect of black culture itself that causes homophobia. In actuality, homophobia manifests differently in different spaces, based on the identities, resources, etc. of the people who inhabit them. This cultural meme of reflecting structural problems onto black folk is not unique to homophobia. This same trope displaces misogyny onto, where else, “hip hop culture.” —Are Black People More Homophobic Than White People? (via blackgirlsupremacy)
The notion that the bigot’s opinion is as valid as the humane person’s opinion is absolutely ridiculous to me.
Only when we are as banal, sterile, and anti-creative as we can possibly be about what freedom means can we arrive at that conclusion.
People certainly have the RIGHT to be bigots, but let us not pretend that bigotry is a virtue.
(H/T Kaye Haywood, who put a bug in my ear)
All of this.
We expect our children not to shoot up their classmates while simultaneously holding the expectation that the murder of civilians in the drone wars is necessary for our safety—never realizing that children, as James Baldwin observed so keenly, don’t always do what we say, but NEVER fail to do as we do.
Every bullet fired is a tiny little mirror we don’t have the guts to look into.