Tag: systemic racism

Just Us: An American Conversation by Claudia Rankine (2020): Fact-Checking and Footnoting Her Own Pain

This book was hard to read. It is full of raw pain. I so appreciate Rankine’s willingness to expose her vulnerability. I am struck by how hurtful it is for a black woman to live in the culture of the United States. She is brave to expose herself this way. Rankine, a professor at Yale teaching classes on the history of whiteness in the U.S. wonders one day,  “What it would mean to ask random white men how they understood their privilege. . . . I found myself falling into easy banter with all kinds of strangers except white...

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Memorials to the Victims of the Middle Passage

In several interviews after the publication of her 1987 novel, Beloved, Toni Morrison laments the lack of awareness and homage to the victims of the Middle Passage. What is the Middle Passage? Brittanica defines the Middle Passage, as “the forced voyage of enslaved Africans across the Atlantic Ocean to the New World. It was one leg of the triangular trade route that took goods (such as knives, guns, ammunition, cotton cloth, tools, and brass dishes) from Europe to Africa, Africans to work as slaves in the Americas and West Indies, and items, mostly raw materials, produced on the plantations (sugar, rice, tobacco, indigo, rum, and cotton) back to Europe. From about 1518 to the...

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Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights: Calling Out White Supremacist Patriarchy for over 170 Years.

Wanna read a novel that tells the truth? Check out Wuthering Heights (1847). It is so brutal in its exposure of life in the white supremacist patriarchy that it has left readers shaking their heads for close to two centuries. How could this little lady (Emily Brontë 1818-1848) who lived a quiet life in a parsonage on the Yorkshire Moors write such a dark tale? What got into her? What is she trying to say? What would move her to write of such dark happenings and grim hauntings? I guess it’s because she lived in the white supremacist patriarchy...

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A Re-Declaration Of Independence That Includes Everyone This Time

I guess it is true that humans often resist change. Hold on to tired old things that are no longer working. I guess we all feel this within ourselves when we need to change and we cannot make ourselves do it because things are comfortable enough as is or we are “attached.” I guess that could be what is going on with white people in the United States around the most recent request for change from the black community. I guess even having the option to resist change is a form of privilege. If it ain’t broke…well guess what?...

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Systemic Racism and the Monsters it Makes of White People

In her book, They Were Her Property: White Women as Slave Owners in the American South, Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers details through exhaustive research the role white women played in the slave trade of the American South. In this intricately detailed book she displays how white women were empowered by being slave owners, and used this power consciously and intentionally to abuse, exploit and often engage in the commerce of black bodies and lives—separating the enslaved from their loved ones—to leverage their position in society and financially advance themselves. In contrast to previously promoted depictions that white women in the...

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