Racism and Hillary Clinton

If it wasn’t
for seven years of the blatant resurgence of racism in America then we might
not need Hillary Clinton. Sadly Obama’s presence in the Oval Office allowed
racial meanness to rise to the surface in Washington, DC and outside our nation’s
capital. When we should have felt proud of America on the 50th
Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, when we should have been celebrating, we
were instead seeing the festering remains of racism being exposed in far too many
areas of American society.
The Supreme
Court struck a huge blow when it said that certain southern states were no
longer subject to clearance before they could change their voting laws. The GOP
shamelessly began passing restrictions on voting in those same southern states
where clearance had been used to guarantee racial fairness in voting. They
justified their actions as necessary to circumvent voter fraud, which turned out
to be almost nonexistent. They said they were not being anti-Black, they were just
making it harder for Democrats to vote, but they knew, all the time, how
important the Black vote was to Democrats. They got two licks in for the price
of one.
We have seen
all too many unarmed Black folks shot under suspicious circumstances by policemen.
It begins to seem as if certain individuals join the police force to
deliberately wipe out Black people, a sort of vigilante routine. I don’t know
if there is a group that has planned this or if this is just lone racists
acting on their own and I admit I may be seeing a trend where there is really
only a series of terrible accidents, but we should not have racists on our
police forces and if there is any way to root them out we should do it.
We have
allowed Black folks to languish in poverty in our inner cities – and I don’t
mean languish in a nice way – I mean it in a hopeless way. We have not found
strategies to entice all young African-Americans into the schools and that is
what we need to do. We also need to learn how to make school relevant enough
that they will stay and go “all the way” through. We need to stop concentrating
poor black, brown, and Asian people in our center cities and find ways, perhaps
through real estate options, to intersperse poor Americans in more affluent
neighborhoods where people can afford to help lift them up.
Yes, we have
finally been made aware of how over-zealously and unequally the War on Drugs
was conducted. We have been shocked by the staggering numbers of Americans of
African Descent incarcerated for minor drug offenses and the role unaffordable
cash bails have played in this. This was one of those cases where a program
that folks thought would help solve a problem, exacerbated the problem and
created new ones. I’m not sure it was intended as a “racist” policy, it was
supposed to “scare people straight” in dangerous inner city neighborhoods, but,
in retrospect, we can see that the enforcement of this program affected
Africans-Americans far more than white Americans and either the program and/or
the enforcement of the program was racist in the way it was implemented in the
lives of real people. In this case a flawed answer intended to solve a social
problem has produced terrible consequences and most of these consequences were
visited upon Black people. If may take decades to turn around the effects of
over-incarceration and inappropriately harsh sentencing.
We have also
seen how we have allowed the South to revere the defeated Confederacy and to turn
the white folks in Southern states into martyrs and heroes in a Civil War we
should never have had to fight. We see how this has become another way to keep
racial hatred alive – to remind Black folks of their “shameful” roots in our
nation and to insure they don’t get “uppity”. How any of this shame accrues to
Black folks is impossible to even imagine, unless you grew up in the South I
guess.
Americans of
African Descent have been here longer than most Americans, although not by
choice. If they did not have black or brown skin they would have blended in
long ago. Why can’t we get over this idea that the more pigment one has the
less human one is? We have to all get past this. What will happen if we are
confronted with a truly alien species?
Because the
GOP has shown itself to be especially prone to letting “racial” traits and
their own fears inform their behavior (or misinform it) we cannot elect a
President from among the Republicans. If you consider all of the candidates for
the 2016 election Hillary has shown the best understanding of what America needs
to do to address fairness, equality, and opportunity for Americans of African
Descent. I don’t think Bernie is any more racist than any of us, but I do think
he believes his policies will lift all boats and perhaps doesn’t understand the
unique obstacles Black Americans face.
I think it
might be true that we are nicer when we feel more affluent, when our economy is
humming along; but how long must these Americans, who have been here since our
beginnings, be kept from the freedoms that should be theirs as well as ours.
Clearly this particularly stubborn issue of “racism” did not disappear in more
prosperous times, but there was a more generous spirit and it looked, for a
while, like things might have turned a corner.
If the existence
of all this hate and inequality and separation had not bubbled up from the
depths it had been stuffed into, up into the light of day – that would be a bad
thing. Let’s not try to contain it away from view of white eyes once again. Let’s
try to solve this and heal America once and for all. At the risk of sounding
corny perhaps that is what Hillary means when she talks about making America “whole”.
By Nancy
Brisson

Unsolicited Advice Week – Go to School!

Thanks to South Seattle Ed. for the picture
 
 
 
Go to school. Even if you hate it – even
if you can barely force yourself to go – go. Once you guys leave your single
digit years and enter those tweens and teens you are hard-wired to prefer
social to academic pursuits, but our society is trying to rewire us. Social
needs are to be delayed until your schooling is done.

I suppose experimenting with drugs and sex
is much more interesting than school (for some of you). But, your brain is not
developed enough to handle drugs (unless you need them physically). The damage
can be permanent. You can’t afford to take this risk (alcohol included). And
you are certainly not ready to be a parent, so if you are sexually active be
insistent about using birth control. Your job, in your tweens and teens, in
this increasingly global and competitive world of ours, is to complete your
schooling. Try out careers in your mind, or go online and research them, or get
an internship. Get some idea of you goal, your career goal.

Think of going to school as going to your
job because that’s what it is. I know you are not getting paid to go to school,
but adults are paying for it and it is very expensive. If there are personal obstacles
in your home or community tell someone about them. If you can’t overcome them,
then these obstacles will rob you of your future, forever maybe. If you school
isn’t up to the job of providing a good education, transfer if you can, or
agitate if you can’t (go to school board meetings, write editorials or write to
your politicians, be a squeaky wheel).

Once you finish public school go to
college. Go as cheaply as possible. Don’t end up owing huge college bills. Get
scholarships if possible. Don’t stop with a bachelor’s degree; get a master’s
degree if you can. If you really don’t want college, at least finish high
school, then become an apprentice in a trade or finish a targeted program at a
trade school, learn a skill that is becoming obsolete, but for which there is
still a demand.

The very best thing about an education is
that no one (barring brain damage or disease) can take your education away from
you. You can lose all your money and your possessions, but your education will
kick in and either entertain you or help you start over.

Go to school. It is the last free thing of
positive value that we are offered in this society and it is priceless, even
though you may not consider our schools to be at all perfect. And stop messing
with each other’s egos and minds and bodies so that you can all get the most
out of school. Delaying gratification will pay off – at least it has in the
past.

One more time – go to school!
 
 
 
You might want to check out some my other blog posts with weeklong
themes:
Paranoia Week:
         Gas and Presidents, 3/31/12
          Roller Ball Syndrome, 3/29/12
         March Madness???  3/28/12
         The Doomsday Seed Vault 3/27/12
         Suspense 3/26/12

Hater Week:
·        
Zombies v the American People 4/26/13
·        
Women’s Rights 4/24/13
·        
Culture Shock 4/23/13
·        
Pandora’s Box 4/22/13

The Sweet Spot:
·        
The Sweet Spot 6/24/13
·        
The Sweet Spot 2 6/25/13
·        
Sweet Spot 3 – Senator Wendy Davis 6/26/13
·        
The Sweet Spot 4 – Books 6/27/13
·        
The Sweet Spot 5 – Bravery, Compassion and the
White Album 6/28/13

       ·        
The Sweet Spot 6 – Chocolate Pound Cake 6/29/13