Unpacking Racism: Proximity Does Not Nullify Racism

The University of Oklahoma Sigma Alpha Epsilon racism incident, known as "SAE-OU racist chant incident" occurred on March 7, 2015, when members of the University of Oklahoma (OU) chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) were filmed performing a racially insensitive song that used the word [redacted], referenced lynching, and implied that black students shall be denied admission into the fraternity. After a video of the incident was published, the SAE's OU chapter was closed and two of its members, Levi Pettit and Parker Rice(the latter of whom was the ‘leader’ of the chant in the video), expelled.   - Wikipedia The SAE racist chant incident stands out for reasons not commonly discussed. One is deftly pointed out by Vox race, law, and politics reporter Jenée Desmond-Harris. She writes in her article about the incident that we Americans have managed to avoid confronting the urgent crisis of everyday racism by narrowing the definition of racism to a sliver of acts so blatant tha…

Strange Fruit: International Jazz Day

Strange Fruit
By Abel Meeropol 
Pen Name Lewis Allan

Southern trees bear strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze,
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.

Pastoral scene of the gallant south,
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,
Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh,
Then the sudden smell of burning flesh.

Here is fruit for the crows to pluck,
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,
For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop,
Here is a strange and bitter crop.

I was reflecting on how far expanded and removed International Jazz Day is from the roots of Jazz and its role in Black culture. My mind has been on one song and particularly all the women of color who sang it in protest of acts of violence against our people. Jazz day keeps colliding with my thoughts about the Equal Justice Initiative's  Lynching in America project and the memorial museum dedicated to its victims. Strange Fruit seems to whisper through the entire me…

#DrivingWhileBlack Will "Road Rage" Be the New Lynching?

Yesterday, Chester County Police announced that 18-year-old Bianca Nikol Roberson was shot in the head by a white man driving a pickup truck. Her body was discovered by police on Wednesday. They are calling it a horrific act of road rage. The West Goshem Township Police Department has released a screenshot of the suspect's truck from traffic camera footage. The suspect is still at large.

A fundraising page has been opened to help the family with burial costs:
On Sunday June 17th, Nabra Hassanen was walking home from an IHOP  sahur ( or suhoor if you aren't Turkish) meal after prayers at her local mosque when she was stalked, attacked, abducted and brutally murdered by Darwin Martinez Torres, who was arrested within the hour.  The police have called this crime a horrific act of road rage. The heartbreakingly moving opinion piece Nabra Hassanen and the Los…

White Privilege, Racial Fluidity, Cultural Appropriation and the Rachel Dolezal Problem

Rachel Dolezal is the end product of hundred of years of cultural appropriation that is commonplace in nearly every aspect of our lives. Not only is she being allowed to continue profiting from assuming an entire Black identity (now she's published a book), but she goes further by appropriating an African name and appropriating the term 'trans' and hyphenating our race to justify a lifetime of fetishizing and appropriating our entire culture. Not satisfied, she is now claiming to be an expert on racial fluidity, thus perverting that as well. When racial fluidity is Googled, articles about her are at the top of the search results.

This is the absolute definition of white privilege in action. Dolezal is trying to revive her career by self-identifying as 'trans-black.' Some claim she is an indicator of the world moving to racial fluidity. Nope! My multiracial children might give expression to racial fluidity. Claiming Dolezal represents or has a right to claim exper…

AP Stylebook: On Writing As Activism

Any multi-media attack system perfected by extreme groups for the deconstruction of critical institutions, civil rights movements, and fact-based news includes a massive propaganda war that begins with the perversion of a term or phrase, or the rebranding of extremist ideas with new and unfamiliar terms and phrases meant to normalize radical concepts. The introduction of the term "alt-right" by   American Neo-nazi leadership was one such attempt. That attempt, off to a great start when journalists rushed to interview any pro-Trump supporting faction in the wake of the 2016 election slowed down significantly when the AP Stylebook defined and set firm usage standards of the term, and by doing so, slowed the attempted normalization of white supremacist propaganda machine efforts to push their own political agenda into the language of mainstream media. This literally brought equilibrium back in professional journalistic coverage of white nationalism and reminded everyone that jo…

It Isn't About HRC Losing It Is About Hatred and the KKK Winning

Dear Mr. President,

I heard your speech today. Addressing the nation as one would petulant school children after a particularly brutal schoolyard brawl, you reminded us that we were all on the same team and so we must unite behind the KKK endorsed President-elect. You view our rejection of the President-elect as our not accepting Secretary Clinton losing to Trump. You must know it is not that simple an issue.

I have had the civil liberty of free speech under your Presidency for 8 years now. I will miss my right to disagree with a sitting President without being jailed or threatened with a lawsuit. Let me avail myself of that right one final time.

Respectfully Mr. President, asking me to get behind a man who gleefully accepted the endorsement of the Ku Klux Klan, the group that visited devastating harm upon my father's people and chidingly calling me a sore loser for not doing so to boot, is insensitive and wrong. My repudiation of this man isn't a sore loser's behavior, it…

NMAAHC: On Oprah's Comment That This Museum Will Heal Our People

When the six-month backlog of free visitors passes have ended and all the novelty of having toured the National Museum of African American History and Culture has dimmed, perhaps my family with go there. Maybe by then I'll be able to manage that painful tour.

Oprah Winfrey's uttered narrative identifier of the museum as a source of pride and healing thing for us is something I don't entirely agree with.

I had pride in myself before  the idea of this museum even existed. So the museum as a pride tool doesn't hold true for me at least. I can't and don't speak for every member of our race in our country. Understand that this is me, Afro-Latina first person singular. I was raised by many mentors to internalize that pride in a period of our history when James Brown could be heard any day on the radio singing Say It Loud. I'm Black and I'm Proud, Aretha sang R.E.S.P.E.C.T, and Sidney Poitier delivered an onscreen slap to a bigot heard round the world. I marin…