H/t FOTM’s Dale C. and josephbc69
In a wide-ranging interview with The Telegraph, Morrison — who latest novel God Help The Child was published this month — shared her thoughts on the racial disparities that exist in the American justice system. Morrison explained how she will know when these disparities no longer exist, and why talking about race is a very different thing from talking about racism.
“People keep saying, ‘We need to have a conversation about race,’” Morrison told The Telegraph. Top of Form
“This is the conversation. I want to see a cop shoot a white unarmed teenager in the back,” she said. “And I want to see a white man convicted for raping a black woman. Then when you ask me, ‘Is it over?’, I will say yes.”
Racial identity and culture are topics that serve as the foundation for many of Morrison’s novels. The reality of being a black woman in the United States is something the Pulitzer and Nobel prize-winning author knows all too well.
“Race is the classification of a species. And we are the human race, period,” she said. “But the other thing –- the hostility, the racism — is the money-maker. And it also has some emotional satisfaction for people who need it.”
Morrison echoed the idea that there is the idea that there is no such thing as race on a November episode of the “The Colbert Report.”
“None. There is just a human race — scientifically, anthropologically,” Morrison told Colbert. “Racism is a construct, a social construct… it has a social function, racism.”
A U.S. military veteran was detained, then banned for life from Valdosta State University (VSU) in Valdosta, Georgia, for taking an American flag from a group of black protesters who were defiling the flag by trampling on it.
Adm Floyd reports for The Valdosta Daily Times, April 17, 2015, that Michelle Manhart, an Air Force veteran, was detained by VSU police after she approached a group of protesters on campus who were walking on an American flag and took it from them.
Manhart said, “I got a call from a student who told me that the flag was on the ground, and they were walking on it. I was just going over there to pick up the flag off the ground. I don’t know what their cause is, but I went to pick it up because it doesn’t deserve to be on the ground.”
Manhart was taken into custody by VSU police officers who then returned the flag to the demonstrators.
Manhart told The Valdosta Daily Times that she had resisted arrest after seeing the flag being returned. But the protesters reportedly declined to press charges against Manhart, so the VSU police also declined to press charges against her for resisting arrest. Instead, Manhart was given a criminal trespass warning which effectively bans her from any university activity, including graduation and football games, said Andy Clark, VSU vice president for enrollment, marketing and communications.
The demonstrators declined to identify their group to The Valdosta Daily Times or speak with a reporter about their cause, but one member of the group told a VSU student that putting the American flag on the ground and walking on it was “a symbol of our protest. When a slave understands his situation and understands he doesn’t want to be in slavery, he does not respect or revere anything his slavemaster has put in front of him.”
Dr. William J. McKinney, President
Valdosta State University
1500 N. Patterson St.
Valdosta, GA 31698
Email: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Daily Mail: A teacher in New Jersey who assigned her third-grade class to write ‘get well’ letters to a sick inmate convicted of killing a Philadelphia police officer was suspended Friday, the school superintendent said. Orange School Superintendent Ronald Lee said in a statement that school administrators ‘vehemently deny’ any knowledge of Marilyn Zuniga’s assignment. Preliminary inquiries found that Zuniga did not seek approval from administrators nor were parents notified, Lee said.
The letters were delivered to Mumia Abu-Jamal in prison following his hospitalization last month for what his family said was treatment for complications from diabetes. The former Black Panther is serving life behind bars for the 1981 murder of white Philadelphia police Officer Daniel Faulkner. His conviction was upheld through years of appeals, but he has gained international support for his claim that he is the victim of a racist justice system.
A supporter and history professor at Baruch College, Johanna Fernandez, brought him the letters. She posted on her Facebook page that ‘he chuckled as he read excerpts from these touching letters’. Abu-Jamal was released from a hospital in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, on April 1, and returned to the prison, she said.
The school district was closed for spring break and the superintendent said a full investigation would begin when classes resume on Monday.
Zuniga will remain suspended without pay until the investigation is completed, the superintendent said. Additional action could be taken by the school board once the investigation is finished. An email The Associated Press sent Zuniga seeking comment was not immediately returned.
A second batch of students, from the Philadelphia Student Union, also sent Abu-Jama letters. ‘We shared a touching moment with Mumia in an effort to raise his spirits,’ Fernandez reported. ‘Two teachers delivered letters to us that their students had written to Mumia. It had been a long time since we had seen Mumia smile.’
A picture of some of the letters appeared online, however it is unclear what they actually said. However the fact they were written and then presented to Abu-Jamal has infuriated many.
Richard Costello, political coordinator for the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police, said the letters set a dangerous example. ‘I think it’s both alarming and outrageous that any teacher would use a group of innocent seven-year-olds to promote a twisted agenda glorifying murder, glorifying hatred and glorifying violence,’ Costello told Fox News.
‘He shot (the officer) in the back and then as the officer lay slumped against a wall helpless he leaned over and shot him between the eyes. When he was in the hospital he actually bragged about it.’
Costello said all the teachers involved in the letter writing campaign should be fired. ‘Furthermore all the parents who have children in that school system need to reevaluate that involvement, because these children are now placed in danger by the very people charged with their education,’ Costello said. ‘They are being used as tools in someone’s twisted agenda.’ Costello has previously described Abu-Jamal as ‘the devil’.
Abu-Jamal is thought to have collapsed in prison due to high blood sugar levels. Attorney Bret Grote with the Pittsburgh-based Abolitionist Law Center said last week that his client was placed in the critical care unit of Schuylkill Medical Center in Pottsville, Pennsylvania. Grote says neither he nor Abu-Jamal’s brother, Keith Cook, had been allowed in to see him. ‘We’re concerned, about as concerned as it gets, about Mumia’s health,’ Grote told the Philadelphia Inquirer.
A Pennsylvania Department of Corrections official also declined to provide details. A spokesman for Pottsville’s Schuylkill Medical Center says he had no information about Abu-Jamal. ‘We never discuss an inmate’s medical condition,’ deputy press secretary Susan Bensinger told the Inquirer.
Mumia’s hospitalization was revealed Monday when a group of his friends arrived to the State Correctional Institution at Mahanoy for a visit and were informed by prison staff that he wasn’t there. While Grote and others had permission with the prison to visit Mumia, the hospital had not yet cleared them. Grote said he hoped the matter would be cleared up by Tuesday.
Abu-Jamal is a former Black Panther serving life in prison for the 1981 murder of white Philadelphia police Officer Daniel Faulkner.
Read the rest here.
Daily Caller: A diversity training session for the Army turned into a lecture on “white privilege” Thursday.
The Equal Opportunity briefing, which was presented to approximately 400 soldiers in the 67th Signal Battalion in Fort Gordon, Ga., garnered attention after a photograph of a PowerPoint slide of the presentation was posted on Facebook.
The slide, titled, “the luxury of obliviousness,” states, “[R]ace privilege gives whites little reason to pay a lot of attention to African Americans or to how white privilege affects them.” It adds, quoting, “To be white in American [sic] means not having to think about it.”
The quote appears to be from James Baldwin, as referenced in sociologist Allan G. Johnson’s book, “Privilege, Power, and Difference.” The popular book teaches readers how to examine the implications of their privilege.
Cpt. Lindsay Roman, a spokesperson for the Army, told USA Today the presentation material was not authorized and not part of the standard presentation. The Equal Opportunity instructor, instead, chose to incorporate the topic of white privilege into the presentation.
On Facebook, people expressed outrage over the inclusion of the topic of white privilege. Some individuals even joked that they would file an Equal Opportunity complaint against the Equal Opportunity course, pointing out hypocrisy of singling out white people.
As a result of this situation, Roman said, “To prevent further instances, all unit instructors will receive additional training on the importance of following Army EO training requirements.”
This is not the first time a discussion of white privilege has made its way into Equal Opportunity material. The Equal Opportunity Advisor Student Guide, which was used to train Equal Opportunity instructors during a 3-month course at Patrick Air Force Base, also explicitly discussed the topic of white privilege. The manual was provided through the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute, which is affiliated with the Department of Defense.
According to USA Today, Army officials are currently investigating the matter at Fort Gordon.
My typical morning for the last few years has been to get up, pour a coffee, and turn on FoxNews. Within ten minutes I will have heard a list of one alarming thing after another, sending me into a cycle of searching out the atrocity-du-jour, and blogging about it, trying to sound the alarm as widely as possible.
And what is worse, it sets me off balance, and I spend my day being reactive instead of proactive.
Well, for the last month or two I have chosen a different order to my day, one that puts me back in control, back at the steering wheel instead of the back seat of my day.
I commend it to you:
“The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” – John 6:63
“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” – Psalm 119:105
“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” – Ephesians 5:15-16