Trump Bullies and Disrespects Black Women

In a country where Donald Trump is the commander-in-chief, many black women are plagued with a problem they had no hand in creating. About 94% of black women chose Hillary Clinton on Election Day last year, rejecting her opponent’s “grab ‘em by the pussy” comments and frequent misogyny as evidence enough that he was ill-prepared for the highest office in the land. Still, he won.

Regularly, now, his role in the White House has been used as a platform of personal attacks, where he’s proven that his disrespect of women isn’t colorblind. It takes on a special form when his targets are also black. Continue reading “Trump Bullies and Disrespects Black Women”

The Story Behind the East St. Louis “Race Riots”

One hundred years ago, black American residents of a small industrial city in Illinois endured three days of violence and horror that have scarcely shown up in the pages of our history books.

The East St. Louis “Race Riots” of 1917 saw the indiscriminate massacre of men, women, and children in a one-sided spate of brutal burnings of people and buildings, lynchings, shootings, and beatings that left an official death toll of 39 black and nine white Americans dead, though historians estimate that more than 100 black people were actually killed.

The conflict started on July 1, 1917, when two white male plain-clothed officers were shot deadby armed black residents in East St. Louis, Illinois, the sister-city to St. Louis, Missouri, which falls just over the state line. The officers were driving in a Ford Model T, which many black residents mistakenly believed carried “white drive-by shooters” who had been terrorizing black people of the neighborhood. Continue reading “The Story Behind the East St. Louis “Race Riots””

Okay Amanda Seales, but your race and gender analysis with no class analysis is inherently anti-Black

Sometimes, we just wish our faves would stop talking. Today was one of those days.

Early on Monday morning, Insecure actress and comedienne Amanda Seales (who I have long applauded for her seeming wokeness on race and gender and who we have also covered for her accomplishments) posted a thread of tweets that left many folks wondering exactly what her intentions were.

In the tweets, Seales commented on the spending habits of people who buy “Jordans and Nike Suits” but are “sleeping on an air mattress” among other things. And, on one side of her economic analysis, she put those people in the “losing” column. Continue reading “Okay Amanda Seales, but your race and gender analysis with no class analysis is inherently anti-Black”

Lynching in the United States, Explained

In many respects, Americans have begun to face the gruesome threads of history that are sewn into the country’s fabric. The mass genocide of indigenous peoples is generally understood to have been cruel, ruthless, murderous, and without humanity. The enslavement of African people and their descendants has been widely accepted as a despicable and vile institution that was leveraged to build the economic and physical infrastructure of the country. As of late, virtually all monuments to the Confederacy have been identified as inherently racist and rooted in the preservation of anti-black sentiment.

But in the United States, there are still horrors that we’ve yet to fully grapple with as we work to confront our racial past and its effects. At the top of that list is lynching, a form of often-racialized terror where an individual or group is put to death — especially by hanging — for a perceived offense, with or without a trial. The act is usually carried out by a mob, and it happened with great frequency throughout U.S. history. Continue reading “Lynching in the United States, Explained”

Why I will no longer use my unpaid labor to discuss race in America with white people

It seems whenever I’m on social media talking with other Black people about issues facing our community, there is always a gaggle of white people surveilling those interactions. I rarely engage them when they interject, address me without my consent, or demand answers to questions that The Google could remedy in moments. Undoubtedly, when I refuse to engage them, they ask: “Are you saying you won’t talk to me about race because I’m white?”

Yes, sometimes I am saying that.

Sometimes, it is also because I — as an autonomous human person — am not required to interact with anyone in any form if I so choose. This is another concept they cannot seem to grasp.

But, this question — which is intentionally obtuse and uncritical — is usually meant to paint me as some bigoted miscreant incapable of real dialogue or unwilling to listen to valuable critique. It also doesn’t get at the fact that most white people are uniquely unqualified to discuss the conditions facing non-white people in the United States.

The reasons why are not too complicated to understand. Continue reading “Why I will no longer use my unpaid labor to discuss race in America with white people”

Women Have Always Been a Part of White Supremacy

When you look back at the images from the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend, you might get the impression that women were largely absent. But that doesn’t mean they haven’t always been present in white supremacist ideas and actions in very important, albeit less memorable, ways.

Let’s get a little background first. Last Friday, hundreds of white nationalists descended on the college town of Charlottesville, Virginia, to protest plans for the removal of a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee. Over the course of two days, the ensuing violence plastered on social media depicted the beating of 20-year-old Deandre Harris with metal bars and the death of 32-year-old Heather Heyer after a driver plowed into a crowd of counterprotesters, injuring at least 19 others in the process. Continue reading “Women Have Always Been a Part of White Supremacy”

Sorry Mika and Joe, not much has changed about President Trump

Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski are not pleased with President Trump.

In an op-ed published in the Washington Post early Friday morning called “Donald Trump is not well,” the engaged “Morning Joe” co-hosts delivered a bevvy of critiques of President Trump’s Twitter assault on Brzezinski on Thursday. Continue reading “Sorry Mika and Joe, not much has changed about President Trump”

It’s even harder to watch ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ when you know Black women’s history

“I love you. Mommy loves you, Charlotte.”

I watched a character named “Ofwarren” speak those words to a rosey-cheeked baby before jumping from a bridge. She was attempting to end her own life. Ofwarren survived the plunge into the cold waters below. Yet, the image of a mother willing to die, and kill her own child, made the scene especially powerful. Continue reading “It’s even harder to watch ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ when you know Black women’s history”

It’s time to stop trying to integrate ‘SNL’

Saturday Night Live is what happens when white people enjoy something that’s anti-Black, systematically bigoted, and generally exclusionary to non-whites. SNL producers thought that throwing in a few Black people who we hoped had home-training would fix it. Because that’s not how white supremacy works. It took me a while to put all that together though.

Continue reading “It’s time to stop trying to integrate ‘SNL’”