The American people have spoken and after the concession from Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump has become the President elect and our next President of the United States. Like many, even the Angry Negro’s household is battling  “election morning after emotions” including shock, and outrage, as well as managing the despair, (and even adulation) of others. Though we are well through the weekend the debate about what was purchased on Tuesday is still going strong. It is not clear if the buyers are actually feeling remorse, but I guarantee the neighbors are eying the new selection like a new swimming pool in the adjacent back yard. You just know it is going to lead to noise, safety concerns, and potentially drama. In the aftermath of any electoral cycle, we always find ourselves taking stock of what we voted for or what was voted against.

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For the Obama presidency, issues of racial equality, and the ability of Americans of color to take full part in our American identity, was seen as one of the core reasons for his winning office. Additionally the vote against his competitors was a vote against the old systems of doing things and the good ol’ boy network. In turn, in this race, the voting impetus came down to what Donald Trump calls the forgotten Americans: mostly white males who feel that America’s new found racial identity is ignoring them, and the prospect of what would have been our nation’s first Woman President. Now that the election is concluded, the choice between candidates is moot as it has been decided, but the main question for many (including those in the Republican Party) is, ‘Where are we going from here?”

If this was your first election, you will probably never wish to participate in the process ever again. The lead up was long and terrible — no matter who you were supporting.For many of our White counterparts — especially those women supporting Hillary, this was not likely their first encounter with sexism, prejudice or racism, but the election experience and outcome certainly was more similar to what communities of color have historically seen at the polls. If you had not known before, now you know why people of color have long standing trepidation about elections.

As much as I love to say, “I told you so,” the lesson that racism, sexism, prejudice and xenophobia are real elements that impact our political structure and not just concepts in books from the 60s and 70s is a hard lesson. Though I maintain a pragmatic outlook, I was not ready for the appointment of such an openly intolerant figure to our most important national role — even if it will ultimately teach the nation that these issues are indeed real. Make no mistake, the effects of last Tuesday will be significant and ongoing.

The rhetoric surrounding Hillary Clinton’s bid for executive office as well as the current tenor of the Trump campaign toward women is a slap in the face to the Pantsuit Nation and in the same history of communities of color, this betrayal at the polls is enough to put a whole generation of young women off of the political process. The field seems no better for ANY of the brown communities who now hold fear of a leader that has promised deportation, religious testing, increased policing, and to undue many of the civil rights protections held sacrosanct by minority communities.

It’s looking pretty scary out there, and what makes me afraid is not just the wide eyed shock in the eyes of my friends, families and colleagues, but also the despair that I fear will take root in their hearts to closer we get to Inaugural.

Now that the election is complete, all of the career politicos will press to next steps of running the country. We have already been encouraged by Secretary Clinton in her concession speech and POTUS in his remarks from the White  House that it is now time to work for a smooth transition and move ahead with our new leadership.We will be encouraged to focus on the future and leave the rhetoric of the campaign in the past.

Now that the election has ended, the majority of the American people are going to turn their backs on politics and participate in the Thanksgiving Chrismahanuka Super Bowl Holiday Festival for the next few months. Already on Social media there are folks blacking out their Instagram pages and agreeing to close their computers for the next few months.

Maybe you need a break from the festival of punditry.

Maybe you feel like you cannot bear another loss

Maybe you feel like we have lost our way and need to go back to a simpler time.

All of those feelings are valid, and after the long election cycle and the spectacular upset, even I just want to kick of my gators and watch my little girl blow bubbles…

But maybe you missed the name of this blog, and as much as I would like to pull a Pontius Pilate and wash my hands of these events, I just can’t do that. I cannot act as if the culture of intolerance that was created during the campaign and the actions of hate that have been encouraged, can be separated from this “new” leadership. I refuse to let bygones be bygones, nor suffer fools and racists for the greater good.

If like me you also refuse to take this shit on the chin,  then there is another path that we may take together. Instead of putting our heads in the sand we can rage. We can rage and use our despair to fuel our action. Here are the steps we MUST take:

  1. Pull yourself together (get on up)

Get your shit together. There is not any of us that have watched the presidential election – much less been alive in the past 12 years that have not been aware of the post racial world in which we actually live. Did you really think racism was over? Had you been fooled by the discussions of post racial America? The arrival of the President elect is just affirmation of a truth that has been lurking behind the exhilaration of a Black President and an Executive Branch that actively sought to engage diverse communities. This is not to insinuate that our nation is beyond fixing, but a reminder that Freedom is a Lego set without instructions, and the Star Wars Cruiser engines will not be hold in place with our tears.

So first things first – mourn what might have been, If you need to drink, rage or weep. I encourage you to do so. Weep for our friends, weep for your country and the fear that we all harbor of the future. Weep also for the folks who have been so misguided to believe that old strategies of discord can bring a new result of solidarity. Weep for their fear, and misunderstanding, as they have not even made the first steps of moving toward the truth. Take a week if you must, and then wipe your tears, put on your big girl and boy pants suits, because it is time to get to work.

  1. Get Into it.

One of the mistakes that has consistently been made in this country is the belief that certain freedoms are only the business of those who would directly benefit from them. In this line of thinking, President Obama was only for the African American Community as a would have been President Clinton would have been the woman’s president. Though the people who work for justice and rights do not (usually) adhere to this limited idea of support, this opinion certainly exists even in places that are fighting and supporting the rights of marginalized people. We have to throw this idea out, and further promote the ideas that if one wants to work for justice and civil rights, then we do so for everyone – not just for the benefit of a few. We are all connected, and the freedoms that are won by any group of people are an enhancement to the freedom of us all. For those of you who want the source material, “We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” It is for this reason that we must work together, must keep the faith, and must not toleration hatred and injustice toward any person.

Now that we have all had our wakeup call, it is time for the next step: organization. The Trump campaign has engaged a population that has taken direct aim at people of color, the LGBTQIOA Community, immigrants, Muslims, and anyone who has been maligned by the police. In essence he has laid the groundwork for an intersectional rebuttal to his ideas and potential policies. With a unified focus each of these groups can provide a counterpoint to the despicable campaign promises. We as a community must maintain the bravery and the wherewithal to take advantage of this opportunity No issues of freedom or justice belong to one community – freedom must be the business for all of us.

  1. Get Involved

In addition to getting our head right there are some significant steps that we can take right now to ensure that the work to include and elevate marginalized people continues, and that our recently developed freedoms are not dismantled. We must:

  • Watch the Courts – In addition to the appointment of a new Supreme Court Justice, the Court system will also be the battleground for any challenges to laws and legislation that currently support any marginalized communities. The system needs to be watched closely AND with an eye for when support can be offered in the form, of outreach, amicus briefs, and even protest.
  • Engage with Congress – If you are concerned about the Supreme Court and the appointment of Justices,, then there must also be better engagement with Congress. Not only does this include interactions with individual members, but also calling them to task on the sort of legislation and prioritize that are set for the year. If Congress refuses to #dotheirjob, then the common sense action is to convince them with the only currency that readily affects all members of the Legislative body – votes.
  • Ad nauseum – Over the next few weeks all of the powers that be are going to encourage the American people to leave behind the rhetoric of the campaign and move ahead with the business of ruining the country. They will place an emphasis on the American tradition of a peaceful transition of power. Though this is indeed important this does not mean that we need to not talk about the issues that means the most to you as an American. Continue to talk about race, gender, religion freedom, justice, inclusion disability and intersectionality. In fact, make an effort to ensure that these conversations NEVER die out go away, end, or fade. Take these issues to your community centers, local organizations, personal blogs, social media feeds, and the internet. Never be afraid or hesitant to call out issues of racism hate or intolerance, and equally check your own privilege as you check others. Remember that you also don;t have to do everything alone. Your support can take the place in your local town, and be in the form, monetary action, protest action, support of marginalized communities or participation with advocacy organizations. There is plenty of work to go around and all hands and skills are needed. To quote John Stewart, it must be all of our responsibility to maintain the “war on bullshit,” and to mix universes it will take our “constant vigilance.”

constant-vigilance

Lastly there is something that we also must NOT do. We must not allow ourselves to fall toward finger pointing and blaming. I am specifically talking about third party candidates and voters. None of the people voting for Johnson or Stein are to blame for the outcome of Tuesday nor does finger pointing prepare us for he work to come.

To move forward we need to do the opposite of crab in  a barrel syndrome. Instead of pulling winners down, let’s lift each other up even as we climb.

Though this has indeed been a week of shock and awe – with likely more to come. This is no where near the end. Like any event in our lives we as a community are left with a choice. This can be the moment that we accepted our defeat, or as Danielle Moodie-Mills so deftly stated, it can be the last hurrah of the White Supremacy movement in the United States. We can choose to draw the line here. I was reminded by David Johns & Michael Blake in their The Root interview that though we may have faced disappointment, we should not despair. We have been here before. We have faced the hordes of the intolerant moved only by tradition and a fear of a brown future in America. We have seen the press to dehumanize our existence de-legitimize our culture and take liberties with our bodies. We have come over a way that with tears has been watered, but we have also overcome this before, and we will again sing the songs of jubilation, freedom, faith and love for all to not hear, but join us in.  The path to the nation that we wish to have is still in front of us. WE need only take the first steps — and we are OBLIGATED to do so.

Here is some theme music to take us on our way:

The Angry Negro stands in solidarity with all thise who belive in justice, inclusion and tolerance.

This past week has been very exciting for educators, individuals with disabilities and potential and current athletes participating in high school sports. On January 25th the Department of Education issued guidance to America’s schools saying that individuals with disabilities must have equal access to participate in school sports. This was based on an idea that many of us who have participated in any form of school, after school or intramural team know to be a truth about any organized event for youth: Participation in these activities provides more than just a physical outlet. The social interactions, lessons of discipline and thinking as well as networking and social skills are key in the development of all young people regardless of their ability or disability.

Team sports provide an invaluable resource to students, one that has been proven time and again by any group attempting to gain access. There is a history of exclusion from the sports arena for all minority groups in after school sports, and though Title IX exists to prevent gender bias there is still a significant work to be done for equal access to sport by gender. With knowledge of all of this, we are still about to be witness to some of the ugliest behavior from our educational system since its implementation of Plessy v. Ferguson.  Our education systems are about to lie to us.

Anthony Robles, a one legged wrestler competing at the collegiate level

Anthony Robles (born July 20, 1988) is a wrestler who won the 2010-11 NCAA individual wrestling championship in the 125-pound weight class despite being born with only one leg. He is the author of the forthcoming book Unstoppable: From Underdog to Undefeated: How I Became a Champion (Gotham Books), on-sale September 27th 2012

Though many school districts will talk about their inclusive programs and how they already have teams that are inclusive of individuals with disabilities a more vocal section will claim that there is NO WAY that they can involve all of their students with disabilities. They will offer wide-eyed responses to the media and conduct focus groups and interviews and assert that they would love to help, but that the Department of Education does not understand the monetary needs of their district. Others will claim that there is no means of changing the program to include everyone. Others will even say that the mental capacity of the students with disability is simply too substantial to slow down the development of the rest of the teams. This seemingly common sense approach will gain traction on television and radio and the so-called “average American” will not understand why a group of bureaucrats in Washington are fooling with their son’s basketball or football team.

 

They will have made the decision that able-bodied children are better and more worthy of resources and development and time than students with disabilities.

 

Now some of you reading this have already made the decision that I am off the deep end. The Angry Negro is a zealot and instigator that sees racism and marginalization in any issue. If that were indeed the truth, I might forego the rest of this argument and let the issue go, but just for the sake of argument let’s examine the reasons we will be hearing over the next year as to why it is too hard to do what the Department of Education has told schools they are required to do.

The first issue  (which is often the last as well) will be money. The assertion will be that the skills and equipment necessary to manage individuals with disabilities are so extravagant that it is folly to believe that any American school – short of those with specialized facilities training and finding could ever hope to achieve this goal. This argument might hold water except for the fact that the Department of Education is not requiring the significant building or purchase of equipment nor is it requesting that all individuals with disabilities have an open acceptance to school teams. Additionally, this argument seems to insinuate that all teams are funded equally. I am sure there are many high school field hockey teams that wish they had the support of the football boosters but still have to sell candy, raffle tickets and beg their parents for money to support their teams. It seems that if students with disabilities want to play, they will be doing some of this work as well.

The next issue will be safety. The argument will go something like this: we cannot ensure the protection of any individuals with disabilities on the field of play AND due to their complex condition it would be inherently unsafe for them to participate. Now I am sure that there are loads of statistics that we could quote on the safety of high school sports, but the short answer is that sports come with an equal amount of danger for all people – able bodied or not. Rather than exclude an entire group of people would it not be easier to do as we have been doing and consider each athlete as an individual? Since that is what has been done so far for the average athletes lets continue to do that for students with disabilities.

The next line of thinking will be more selfish, but at least it will be honest. Some Parents will say, “I don’t want my child’s opportunities hampered because the team decided to include that kid with a disability. As self serving and despicable an argument this is, it at least finally allows us to address the core issue behind any design to exclude certain people from certain activities like school sports. As we mentioned earlier, sports are a valued part of development and its participants have found success and growth based on this experience. Traditionally individuals with disabilities have been left out of this valued development, but they are not the only group to suffer this discrimination. Every major sport in the history of the United States has an equal history of discrimination. The fact that those bastions of White male privilege were broken were not because of any change in Black, Latino, Asians or women looking to participate, nor were they representative of any specific change in the sport itself. Rather they represented a change in access. Jesse Owens at the Olympics meant that African-Americans had access to the world stage of sport. Jackie Robinson’s integration of baseball meant that African Americans would have access to the pay scale of professional athletes. Anita Lizana’s rise to a World Champion tennis

Anita Lizana de Ellis (November 19, 1915 - August 21, 1994) was a World Number 1 tennis player from Chile. She was the first Latin American, and first Hispanic person, to be ranked World Number 1 tennis player

Anita Lizana de Ellis (November 19, 1915 – August 21, 1994) was a World Number 1 tennis player from Chile. She was the first Latin American, and first Hispanic person, to be ranked World Number 1 tennis player

player meant that Latinos could not be ignored as athletes, and Jeremy Lin even made sure that Asian athletes would be seen as sexy when he posed for the cover of GQ.  This sort of access to sports has always been held back from marginalized societies and the disability community is but another group attempting to pull its way up to mainstream access.

For those people that consider athletes with disabilities a hindrance, we can only remind them of the same fact that supported Asian, Latino, African American, and women athletes who wished to play: They are already doing it. Athletes with disabilities already exist in every sport played by so-called able-bodied athletes (and a few additional sports as well).

Individuals like Oscar Pistorius, Anthony Robels or Jim Abbot began their world-class careers as young people and were lucky to have the opportunity to play. They are not exceptions to the rule of sports, rather, they ARE the rule.

They are individuals who routinely push the limits of their own abilities skills and stamina. There is no argument that holds water about whether or not these individuals have the ability only an argument over if they are allowed to participate.

Jim Abbot graduated from Flint Central High School in Michigan where he was a stand-out pitcher and quarterback before playing College and Major League Baseball

Jim Abbot graduated from Flint Central High School in Michigan where he was a stand-out pitcher and quarterback before playing College and Major League Baseball

One last thing: This argument began with a reference to Plessy v Ferguson – the case that established the “separate but equal” policy that supported segregation in the United States until the Brown V. Board of Education decision 48 years later.  As a country we saw the proof that a separate system is never equal, and yet one of the provisions of the Department of Educations guidance allows for schools to establish separate disability teams if the regular teams cannot be made inclusive or the accommodations would change the essential rules of the game. Now the Department of Education n has done its due diligence and provided a significant amount of guidance and suggestions in making sports accessible. Though they have provided this resource, we must watch for schools that will decide that a special shelf disability teams will be their approach to inclusion. We must not allow there to become an even more extensive sports hierarchy that continues the marginalization and low expectations for athletes with disabilities.

If we allow other people’s fears and prejudices to determine how individuals with disabilities participate in sports we are giving a tacit agreement to the idea that individuals with disabilities are not good enough. They are not good enough to play on teams, not worth the money that those teams cost and certainly not worthy of the development that could lead them to success. It is equally intriguing that denying the presence of athletes with disabilities we are also doing a disservice to the whole field of sport. By limiting the playing field we are taking away the opportunity for these athletes to truly test themselves and determine their mettle. We may as well begin to give head starts, look the other way on penalties and ignore the lessons of good sportsmanship and citizenship that we claim are the hallmark of student competition. Let us give these students a true example of sportsmanship and illustrate the qualities we wish them attain as adults. Let us let everyone have the opportunity to play by the same rules and then determine who is the winner.

 

The Angry Negro is a blind swordsman who has no compunctions about stabbing a bitch.

 

 

It seems that a paradigm shift is finally taking place regarding the broader Black community and its connection to the Gay community. Not that these two groups haven’t been intertwined forever, but maybe now Black folk will find other jobs for our Gay family members other than organist, choir director, and that maiden aunt who has lived with her “roommate” for years.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_wWJ-_4uSY&feature=player_embedded%5D

NAACP endorses gay marriage as ‘civil right’

By Meghashyam Mali – 05/20/12 07:00 AM ET

The NAACP’s board of directors on Saturday passed a resolution expressing support for same-sex marriage equality.

“The mission of the NAACP has always been to ensure the political, social and economic equality of all people,” Roslyn M. Brock, the chairman of the NAACP’s Board of Directors, said in a statement. “We have and will oppose efforts to codify discrimination into law.”

“Civil marriage is a civil right and a matter of civil law. The NAACP’s support for marriage equality is deeply rooted in the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution and equal protection of all people,” added the civil-rights group’s President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous.

 The NAACP had previously criticized measures to ban equal protections for gays and lesbians, opposing both Proposition 8 in California, which would have eliminated same-sex marriage rights and North Carolina’s Amendment 1, which passed in a referendum earlier this month and defined marriage as a union between “man and woman.”

Freedom to Marry praised the NAACP decision. “The NAACP has long been the nation’s conscience and champion for an America where all share equally in the promise of liberty and justice for all,” said Evan Wolfson, president of the pro-gay rights group in a statement. 

Full Post

President Obama and the Fight for LGBT Rights

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tb60nFeJsNc&feature=player_embedded%5D

Colin Powell endorses Gay marriage

The Daily What

Colin Powell jumped on the gay marriage bandwagon today with an endorsement during an interview with Wolf Blitzer:

I have no problem with it, and it was the Congress that imposed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” though it was certainly my position and my recommendation to get us out of an even worse outcome that could have occurred, as you’ll recall. But as I’ve thought about gay marriage, I know a lot of friends who are individually gay but are in partnerships with loved ones, and they are as stable a family as my family is, and they raise children. And so I don’t see any reason not to say that they should be able to get married.

Link

It  has been a rough Black History Month in 2012! We lost Etta James right before we even started getting Black this year and then Don Cornelius and Whitney Houston within weeks of each other.

Now as you can imagine I have all sorts of bile stored up discussing Whitney, Bobby, drug use and the double standards s of the lack Community, but before all of the finger pointing, lip wagging and hate starts flying, let’s just remeber the gift Whitney gave to us.

Whitney Houston SIngs the Star Spangled Banner at the Super Bowl

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jeUINzHK9o%5D

For those of us who were alive in 1991 you will remember that this was the only time you would hear the anthem played on the radio like a pop sonb. We will miss you (and have missed you) and your vocal presence

Don CorneliusAccording to LA Now, “”Soul Train” creator Don Corneliuswas found dead at his Sherman Oaks on home Wednesday morning.

Law enforcement sources said police arrived at Cornelius’ home around 4 a.m. He apparently died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the case was ongoing.”

Click Here for the Full Article

Happy Blues Tuesday!
It would seem that many of us are feeling election fatigue even though we have not even made it through the Republican Primary.

Now is NOT the time to lose faith!

Stay engaged, follow each candidate, write letters, ask questions and if you feel so motivated give your time and money! Do what it takes to be a prepared and informed voter in November!
Just in case my meager words are not enough, here is Gary Clark , Jr, to remind you how candidates will treat you if you don’t call them to task…

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECbgzgvfG4Y%5D

Don’t Owe you a Thing by Gary Clark, Jr.

For anyone not living under a rock (no disrespect to rock-dwellers and Morlocks) you are aware that the Republicans are attempting to choose their nominee to run for president in 2012.  Now that we have narrowed the field to four candidates it is more than obvious that whomever the GOP chooses will fit their mold of the traditional conservative White guy.  In 2008 when Joe Biden was squaring off against Sarah Palin, the Dems took much care to make sure that he came off as a firm leader who was ready for the task at hand – not a brute from Scranton who beats up on Alaskan girls (and BTW he totally nailed it!) That being said it is likely the four Republican candidates are trying to find ways to challenge the President without coming off as intolerant or disrespectful. Considering the minefield that this final confrontation between an old white Guy and a young(er)  Black guy cam be for both parties, America is gearing up for their favorite game  — one which we will play right now – Is it Racist?

Our first contestant is our second favorite Republican candidate Newt Gingrich

In yet another article broken by The Huffington Post, “Newt Gingrich: Latinos, Blacks Don’t Understand ‘Key To Future Wealth,’ But Asians Do” HuffPo refers to a speech penned by the Former Speaker in which (true to title) he states, “”For poor minorities, entrepreneurship in small business is the key to future wealth,” Gingrich wrote by hand in a first draft. “This is understood thoroughly by most of the Asians, partially by Latinos, and to a tragically small degree by much of the American black community.” The text is taken from a draft speech Gingrich was writing in 1997 and is part of a collection of documents that have been recently released. As the article continues, “The hand-written treatise outlined the “five pillars of American civilization”: 1) quality, 2) technological advance, 3) entrepreneurial free enterprise, 4) principles of American civilization, and 5) psychological strength. Over the next five years, the thesis would serve as a speech, a political framework, and a battle cry for Gingrich, who said the pillars would “allow [Americans] to break out of the welfare state dilemma of more taxes or less government.” In the final versions of the speech, the racial references were removed, but HuffPo contends that the original inclusion speaks to Gingrich’s well documented use of racially charged rhetoric.

Has the Huffington Post missed the mark and content to castigate one of the leaders on the right, or…

Is It Racist? (See Answers Below)

The Daily What

(Sometimes I drag the "What" out like Miley Cyrus, and other times I say it loud and Fast Like Li'l Jon

Entry number two comes from one of the Best Blogs on the Internet, the Daily What.

In Say What now of the Day on January 25, 2012 the Daily What reported out on Eat haven Connecticut mayor Joseph Maturo. Upon learning that four of his police officers had been arrested by the FBI for Racial profiling Mayor Maturo was asked what he would do to support the community. Joseph Maturo responded that he “might have tacos when I go home, I’m not quite sure yet.”

In case you are worried this is too easy, here is the video

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=vxB-vy2NC68%5D


(Not sure if I even have to ask) Is it racist?

Our third contestant for Is it Racist comes from Mark Oxner, a Republican congressional candidate from Florida, who has released this as a campaign ad.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBC4-IMbsBM&feature=player_embedded%5D

The spot features president Obama captaining a ship with members of the Occupy movement, liberals and leftists and powered by rowing children

Is It Racist? (See Answers Below)

Our final contestant comes from the Huffington Post and focuses on a Gwinnett County, Georgia School District elementary school in which some math word problems have raised the ire of some of the parents.

“Parents of students at Beaver Ridge Elementary School in Norcross, Ga., are outraged at the school district’s response to the reports of using examples of slavery in math word problems.”

The Huffington Post article includes a link to the original story in the Atlanta Journal Constitution and the following videos from the local media:

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxCpv6ZMyOg%5D

So was the incidents with the math problems a simple mistake or…

Is It Racist? – Answers

Newt Gingrich hates [Rich] Black People – Racist

At first I was thinking that perhaps this is more of a function of Gingrich’s superego and does not really point at a derogatory attitude toward minority populations as much as his general disdain for everyone that is not him. Upon further review, I have to agree that it is almost text-book racism.

Newt GIngrich with his mouth open

“What? I’m just stating political ideologies about citizen engagement -- I never said that Brown people aren’t good citizens?”

Newt basically makes a generalization about all the groups that make up our citizenry in a fairly clear manner. White people understand the key to future wealth, Asians are getting on board and Blacks and Latinos are along for the ride. He made it easy on us by placing the descriptors in racial context so obviously it is racism. Now some of you will throw two points back at me and here they are:

  • “He never included those points on race in his original remarks – they were only in the draft.”

Here is an interesting point about our society. Some of our more outspoken citizens seem to believe that if they base their thoughts on racist ideologies but never mention the word race, or specifically address it then somehow it won’t matter to the public? I don’t normally quote this Bible in the blog but you can’t build your house on shifting sand.” That being said you can’t use evil means to make good and you can’t use racist ideologies to bolster freedom. It NEVER works

  • The next retort will be that Newt was not discussing race but talking about the five pillars of American civilization – his framework to lead the country out of welfare and debt into prosperity, and that discussion of race was only clinical not meant to be disparaging to any race or culture.

That’s all well and good, and I happen to have read many treatises in my day. They always run into trouble when one or more subset groups are discussed as the hurdle or stumbling block, and it is never totally clinical. If you even think to discuss race and wealth in this country and insinuate that they are poor ONLY by a matter of choice, it is only a short path from that point to separate water fountains and internment camps. He may as well have said everyone but White People and Asians are shif’less and lazy.

Connecticut Mayor will have Tacos for Dinner – Super Racist

I love this one. Not only did the mayor say the worst possible thing he could have said in that situation, but the moment the comment was out of his mouth he began to backpedal and try to down play his faux pas. He even went into the typical I respect everyone in the community (though all of the subsets he named were European) and followed it up with the claim of having been discriminated against as well. Honestly, I do not know how the reporter maintained his composure.

Free Cialis on the U.S.S. Obamaboat – Not Racist

Those kids weren’t even rowing in the right direction!

Some people have given Oxner a hard time because of the visual of having Barack Obama Captain a slave ship. In case you missed it among the references to Cialis, Pirates of the Caribbean, and the Occupy Movement, the ship was the U.S. Obamaboat and being powered by rowing children. Though that subtle commentary is not lost on me, the caliber of this ad does not insinuate such a high level of thinking as an allegorical reference to the first Black Captain running slaves.

Oxner has stated that this is but the first in a series of these ads so I will give him a pass on this one. I am sure he will come up with something offensive in his next advertisement.

Cotton Picking math Problems in Georgia – Probably Racist.

The Angry Wife and I actually had a disagreement about this one. I agreed that it was insensitive, and definitely stupid butt not quite at the line for racist while my equally agitated counterpart believes that it is wholesale over the line for racism.

The representative from the school asserts that this usage of slave references, cotton and fruit picking is due to a use of cross curricular training for the students. Cross Curriculum training is a method in which a broad area of learning is offered to students through the use of different areas of study. For example if one were learning about disability history, in civics class the learning would focus on President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Physics and geometry classes may calculate the desired rations for building accessible ramps, and science classes may discuss the genetic changes that lead to certain types of disabilities. Through the use of this method, educators have the opportunity to offer an educational track that often has cultural significance and making that a part of the daily curriculum rather than a “special” class. In many cases, this method is advocated by many minority groups looking to get their voice into the mainstream education discussion, and its usage illustrates that there is a way to include this information without creating a special class or education week. (Though they were certainly the vogue of education in the 40s and 50s it has been acknowledged that the special education section e.g. Black History Month, Hispanic History Month, etc. are not filling the role they intended. Rather than give students an opportunity to delve into a fuller understanding of the cultures in the United States, they often are turned into obligatory exercises in which a culture is examined as a monolithic body with only a handful of leaders or ranges of thought. The inclusive curriculum is a method that allows for broader discussion and understanding as history and culture is discussed across several different classes/curriculum.

For the most part the problem isn’t with the inclusion of Black history, rather the bluntness in which the subject matter was handled. The Angry wife says that the parts that were most offensive were the problems with the Slave named Fredrick — an obvious reference to Frederick Douglass (who indeed was a slave). She believes that Norcross was giving a sort of backhanded deference to Black History Month while still taking the opportunity to be unnecessarily inappropriate. Additionally, as the local news spot says, Norcross elementary is composed primarily of Black and Hispanic students which means that were likely plenty of folks that could have acted as a sounding board and told the administration that this was not such a good idea.

For me it was the reaction to these questions that made me hedge toward a not racist verdict. If there had been a larger parents group represented I think I would have agreed immediately that this was racist. The apologetic administrator did not affect my decision but her desire to fix the problem did. (I guess it also could have been her desire to not be on the local news.) The two parents in the video were the most interesting — especially the one who said he was forced to explain to his child that those words meant and the concepts of slavery. Now perhaps I am being a bit insensitive — or maybe it is my southern upbringing, but I was certainly not sheltered from the concepts of slavery or the realities of the Black situation in this country from inception to the present. These folks live in Georgia for God’s sake and likely have to pass a few plantations on the way to school (I know I did — they were called golf courses.) I find it really hard to believe that as a Black parent you didn’t see this conversation coming. It almost seemed that this was an easier subject to tackle rather than the other areas of prejudice that can affect our kids at school. This seemingly unrealistic attitude from a Black father that our society was somehow post-racial left me with a bad taste in my mouth and caused me to question the intentions of those that put him on the air.

This contention is what makes the Norcross case an excellent example. Based on the information we have it could easily be a misunderstanding sparked by a naiveté, and good intentions or a despicable slap in the face to parents who want their children to learn about their culture and heritage. And isn’t that the inherent lesson in determining if something is racist or not? We do not live in an America with separate washrooms or drinking fountains yet there is a subtle underpinning that tells us certain people tend to do these things and other people do other things. It is inherent in our sports and music culture, youth culture, government, and with every young man the first time he gets pulled over by the police. Though it is fun to make light with snappy gifs and acerbic commentary, we as Americans all have the responsibility to not only play the most American of games, but also look at ourselves and our actions and say, “Is It Racist?”

Some contestants of “Is it Racist will receive the “Is It Racist?” home game brought exclusively through promotional support from Your Momma!

Posted: January 29, 2012 in Politics
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