racialjustice

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The rise of hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders is appalling and we all must be in action whether through , , and/or for civil protections.  

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"The drums of Africa still beat in my heart. They will not let me rest while there is a single Negro boy or girl without a chance to prove his worth."

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Originally Posted on December 5, 2018

Misogyny is so ingrained in our minds, that we think any challenge to it is detrimental to our way of life. That is the complete opposite. Feminism isn’t destroying our community. Our upholding of patriarchy is. Racism and misogyny is destroying our community. Mass incarceration is destroying our community. Lack of funding in our neighborhood is destroying our community. Assault and abuse is destroying our community.

This idea that the black community should only focus on racism, not misogyny or homophobia, is not helping us move forward. If we want to liberate the black community, then we have to listen to everyone’s grievances. All of our issues matter, not just straight cis black men. The gaslighting and silencing of Black women has to stop. Our experiences with Misogynoir are valid. We’re not trying to “tear black men down,” because we expect better from them. We also need to put an end to the homophobia and transphobia running through our community. Why are we shunning our own people based on their sexualities and gender expression? We are encouraging discrimination in our own community. How is this acceptable?

Please, kill the idea that mainstream media has an agenda to, “turn black men gay,” and “make black men feminine.” I don’t know if people realize this, but gay black men have always existed. Gay black men have even been apart of fighting for us to have equal rights in this country.  Bayard Rustin and James Baldwin are two examples. When you complain about black men being “feminine,” that is toxic masculinity. Teaching black men that there’s a certain ways to be “real” man, like holding emotions in and being overly aggressive, is not good. You are also helping enforce the stereotype that black men are “aggressive” and “wild”. That stereotype is dangerous. It has been used as a way to justify innocent black men being murdered by police officers.

Black women are also not door mats for Black Liberation. Stop teaching Black women that in order to help our community, we have be silent when we are hurting. Instead of shaming Black women for speaking out against their rapists and abusers, shame the rapists and abusers. Black people are not obligated to protect predators because they are black. Black victims are the ones should be protected. You make us feel unloved in our own community and we have done nothing wrong. The fact that it is common to have known child molesters and rapists in our families, should disturb you. The fact that it’s common for us to put the responsibility on little black girls to “cover up in the house,” and “stop being fast,” should disturb you. Protect black victims. Protect little black girls. Protect little black boys too.

The disrespect black women receive in this community while simultaneously being expected to do all the labor is exhausting. Respectability politics are enforced on black women. Single black mothers are constantly being disrespected. Why are women being disrespected for raising their children, instead of the men who do not take care of them? We pick and choose which black woman is worthy of praise. Black woman who is sexually liberated? Not worthy of respect. Black woman who wears weave? Not worthy of respect. Black woman who is “unattractive.” Not worthy of respect. Do not say you love and appreciate black women, when you pick and choose which ones to show love to and appreciate. It is disheartening seeing black women internalize these misogynistic beliefs, as well. Supporting those views does nothing to help us.

The Black community is also selective when it comes to which Black life matters and which one doesn’t. There is little outrage for the high rate of Black trans women being murdered in the U.S. According to The New York Times, 25 to 28 trans people were killed last year. The majority of the them were trans women of color. Their life expectancy is 35 years old. The only ones who speak about Black female victims of police brutality are other black women. Koryn Gaines and Sandra Bland deserved better than the black men who were justifying their deaths. Black sexual assault and domestic violence victims do not receive the support they deserve, not even from our own community. According to a study done by CDC, Black women had the highest homicide rates from 2003-2014. It was said that more than half of the women killed were murdered by a current or former partner. We show a huge amount of support for black male victims of violence until we find out that the black man is gay. Anthony Wall and Gemmel Moore deserved more attention than they received from us.

Feminism is not destroying the black community. The toxic views that we continue to pass down from generation to generation is destroying it. If we really want to liberate the Black community, we should start by dismantling the sexist and homophobic beliefs that we uphold. If we say that Black lives matter then we need to act like it.


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Originally Posted on November 15, 2018

Misogynoir is the combination of sexism and racism towards Black women. This term was coined by Queer, Feminist scholar, Moya Bailey. I have only recently learned what misogynoir is. But it has been surrounding me my whole life.

I learned about colorism from school and rap music. Boys in my class didn’t hesitate to sit in front of my face and say, “I only like light skinned girls.” Then I would go home, turn on the television and see rap videos where men were surrounded by lighter skinned women. All you would hear in the songs were, “redbone,” this and “yellow bone,” that. I remember being eleven years old, sitting in the car and hearing this line by Lil Wayne on the radio. It went, “Beautiful Black woman, I bet that b*tch look better red,” meaning she’d look better lighter. I felt uncomfortable hearing that line and always avoided listening to the song. I couldn’t help but to feel “ugly,” and “unwanted.” I hardly saw women who looked like me on television, especially as love interests. Darker skinned women were usually portrayed as the “Angry Black woman,” or “the sassy sidekick.” We were incapable of being loved on screen. Television can have an affect on an individual’s psyche. It can also influence society.

If you’re on social media outlets like Twitter and Instagram, you may see the many posts tearing down Black women. From memes about Black women to bullying Black women for their looks, the bashing seems endless. Rarely anyone else comes to our defense, but other Black women. Celebrities can make anti-Black women statements and their career remains unscathed. Like rapper and accused rapist, 6ix9ine who recently commented under a Black couple’s wedding picture that, “He should of chose a white woman.” Instead of being reprimanded, he was given the benefit of the doubt and was said to just be “trolling.” Or another rapper and accused rapist, Kodak Black who explained in an interview why he did not find dark skinned, Black women attractive. He also has a line in one of his songs that says, “I’m already Black. I don’t need no Black b*tch.” Both rappers’ careers are still flourishing despite their dehumanizing comments about Black women.

Sexual assault and domestic violence are swept under the rug when it comes to its Black female victims. Black women were hardly mentioned during the “Me Too,” movement even though it was a Black woman by the name of Tarana Burke who created it. Celebrities like R. Kelly and XXXTentacion are viewed positively in the Black community despite their allegations of abuse and proof that they are abusers. Black girls are being sexually assaulted in our community, but there are many Black people who would rather write them off as “fast,” than hold predators accountable. The hyper sexualization of Black women, including Black girls, has been used to justify sexual assault against us since slavery. Black women are also said to be victims of domestic violence at high rates and yet this is not widely discussed. Not even within our own community. But we make jokes about Chris Brown and Ike Turner’s abuse against Rihanna and Tina Turner.

Misogynoir may be a more recent term to describe the experiences of Black women. But we have been experiencing this for centuries. It plays a part in the hyper sexualization of Black women and the justification of sexual assault against us since slavery. It plays a part in why domestic violence against us is swept under the rug, even in our own community. Misogynoir is why bashing Black women is not seen as a career ender for celebrities. And misogynoir is why little Black girls are growing up believing that their dark skin is ugly.

 

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Originally Posted on October 15, 2017

Kneeling protests have been the topic of discussion for the past few weeks. The NFL has received backlash for players kneeling during the national anthem in protest to police brutality. Unfortunately, people are more outraged about the kneeling than they are about police brutality. Patriotic Americans have taken it as a protest against the American flag and disrespect towards our veterans. Many have called for boycotting the NFL. Players who participated have received death threats. The president has even suggested that they lose their jobs. One of the first NFL players to do it, Colin Kaepernick,  was blackballed because of it. 

Last Sunday, MDPAN went to Ford Field to kneel in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick and the other brave players. We divided into two groups. The inside group protested inside of the stadium, revealing a banner that read “Detroit Kneels with Kaepernick and the Lions” during the national anthem. The outside group protested at one of the nearby gates with signs like “Hold Killer Cops Accountable” and “Take a Knee Against Racial Injustice”. The outside group was met with hostility from Lions fans. One man repeatedly shouted “All Lives Matter” as a way to silence protesters. Another man argued that there was no point of kneeling and that we should be ashamed of ourselves for doing this during the national anthem. Many fans screamed, “Get a Job!” as they walked pass protesters. Some people were even disrespectful towards the veteran who protested with us. What happened to respect for our veterans?

Overall, I think we can say that the protest went pretty well. Although there were plenty of angry Lions fans, no violence occurred. Opposing sides protested at the other end of the stadium, but we never crossed paths. Everything remained peaceful. 

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Originally Posted on September 16, 2017

Tuesday, Little Caesars Arena finally opened their doors to the public. To celebrate, they paid Kid Rock, the self proclaimed "King of Detroit Love" to perform for six nights straight. Kid Rock also has his own restaurant with the arena. Which is pretty odd considering his support of President Trump and the confederate flag. Why is it odd you ask? Well more than 80% of Detroit is black and Detroit's taxpayers involuntarily paid $300 million for the $863 million dollar arena to be built. Many Detroiters criticized Little Caesars Arena's decision to have Kid Rock perform. Many wanted his concerts to be cancelled. But did the arena listen to the taxpayers who paid for most of their arena? No.

On Tuesday evening, hundreds of protesters took to the streets so their voices could be heard. Starting from Grand Circus Park, protesters marched to Little Caesars Arena. Screaming chants like: No justice, no pizza; No hate, No KKK, No Fascist USA; The Anti-Kid Rock protest was met with opposition from the Michigan Militia/Bikers for Trump. Bikers revved their motors as an intimidation tactic and to drown out the words of the protesters. The bikers even had their own Pro Trump and Kid Rock float with quotes like "Drain the Swamp", "Make America Great Again", and ironically, "Unite America". Protesters were also met with jeers and boos from the arena's restaurant goers on a balcony. Concert goers often ran past the crowd shouting words such as "Four more years!", "Kid Rock for America!", and "Get a job!". Kid Rock fans who wore Confederate flags or "MAGA" hats faced ridicule by the crowd. The protest also featured a "Walk of Shame" where protesters made space for concert goers to walk while also heckling them for supporting someone like Kid Rock.

Kid Rock's concert is going on night five. We are expecting his announcement on night six, his last night, to see if he will actually be running for Michigan Senate or not. Hopefully not, but if he does decide to follow Trump's path and run for public office, expect opposition. We also encourage you to boycott Little Caesars Arena who has shown they care more about taxpayer money than the taxpayers themselves.

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2020 has been a for so .  We to what we have, we had an that put front and center and we got rid of #trump.  We at civicdirect #launched a new #site for #activists.  Link in bio. 

Almost a quarter of a million likes and #millions more in number of accounts reached.  Onto #somethingbetter in #2021.

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