Categories
Dispatches

Dispatch #9 Day 34 Post-Ascendency of White Supremacy & Misogyny

December 12 2016 Dispatch #9 Day 34 Post-Ascendency of White Supremacy & Misogyny (PAWSM)

PLEASE put your attention to this e-mail that I am forwarding from the Spirit of 1848, an APHA Members Interest Group/Caucus.  Spirit of 1848 represents the most progressive APHA members who are fiercely committed to social justice and health equity.    
This information below gives CRITICAL analyses for rejecting the false narrative that Democrats lost the working class and that white people voted for fascism out of economic despair.  White Democratic leaders are now using this false narrative, which covers up the Republican campaign’s winning strategy of appealing to White Supremacy, to consider how they might (1) cooperate with the incoming administration, and (2) place less emphasis on the so-called “identity politics”, i.e., the civil and human rights of everyone who is not a white male.
 
Educate/Arm yourself and your colleagues/comrades/loved ones!! 

 

Subject: [spiritof1848] critical public health: the urgent need to be thoughtful & accurate about linking Trump’s electoral college win, economic distress, and health outcomes — since among voters, Clinton won among low-income and/or people of color

 

   As we all continue to absorb the results of this election and work to figure out how we each, working with others, will fight to protect people’s human rights and well-being, which includes defending the right & need to live sustainably on this planet, it is important to sort out where public health evidence fits into the picture – both as part of accounting for what has transpired and also predicting future harms which we must fight to prevent.

 

   Here I am struck by the contrast between what is increasingly a well-accepted narrative, in the mainstream press and in public health websites/blogs, and the realities of who actually voted for Trump and who has endured the worst of health inequities.

 

   In brief, the mainstream interpretation is that economic distress led a large section of the “white working class” to vote for Trump – with this distress reflected in high rates of deaths from opioids, and possibly halts in reduction of (or actual decreases in) life expectancy.

 

   What this interpretation fails to recognize is that Clinton won among low-income persons and also among people of color – in their overlapping permutations. These are also the groups who have consistently had the worse health outcomes (especially when considered across generations – i.e., after the benefits of any “healthy immigrant” effect have been muted in successive generations for immigrants of color).

 

    It is crucial to distinguish between:

 

(1) the resentment and relative decline of standing among sectors of the white population that are doing relatively worse (either now or with regard to fears for the future), vs.

(2) the on-going social & public health conditions of sectors of the US population who have long experienced racial discrimination and economic deprivation

 

This distinction is essential for understanding what is going on with people’s health, for understanding what is going on politically, and for organizing for social justice & public health going forward.

 

    It is also important to be clear in this time of the continued and urgent need to present valid evidence. The only way to challenge living in a “post-truth” world is to be clear and transparent about evidence, while continuing to be clear about the need for critical analysis of science. The ready example that comes to mind is the contrast between explicit research on the health impacts of racial discrimination, as contrasted to research done under the rubric of scientific racism. The point is not to say all science is valid, but instead to be ruthless in critiques about the assumptions of the science and validity of the evidence, recognizing that science is necessarily at once objective and partisan – whereby the objectivity comes from myriad independent investigators being able to test the scientific claims/hypotheses at issue, but of course, this only works if the scientists are critical about the assumptions that inform the hypothesis (if, as has been the case with scientific racism, the dominant scientists agree that humanity can be divided into racially “superior” vs “inferior” groups, and educational institutions exclude people from the allegedly “inferior” groups, then it logically follows that the types of researchers & research supported will not take a critical stance with regard to the underlying assumptions of scientific racism …)

 

    Below I offer some examples to support the issues I am raising:

 

(a) a new study that uncritically links Trump’s electoral vote to rates of deaths due to alcohol, drugs, and suicide (and which does not stratify results by race/ethnicity);

(b) data on the proportions of the population that voted for Trump in relation to income and race/ethnicity (with a reminder that only 25% of the eligible US electorate voted for Trump, if even that), and

(c) a new essay on the “gaslighting” effect, i.e., the political strategy of repeatedly saying things that are untrue in order to sow confusion and manipulate the electorate, along with the Union of Concerned Scientists letter to Congress & the Trump Administration re the continued need for critical science to inform policy

 

    I hope that members of this listserve will share thoughts about the public health implications of understanding the political moment we are in, and what this means for working for health equity. Please note, however, that any posts which discuss ONLY politics and do not links the political issues raised to public health (i.e., make no explicit links to public health & health equity), will *NOT* be in accord with the stipulations of appropriate postings for the Spirit of 1848 listserve.

 

                           Nancy Krieger

 

EXAMPLE OF NEW ANALYSIS THAT CORRELATES TRUMP VOTES WITH COUNTY RATES OF “DRUG, ALCOHOL, AND SUICIDE RATES” (BUT DOES NOT STRATIFY RESULTS BY RACE/ETHNICITY)

Deaths of Despair and Support for Trump in the 2016 Presidential Election

Shannon M. Monnat

Pennsylvania State University Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education

Trump over performed the most in counties with the highest drug, alcohol and suicide mortality rates. Much of this relationship is accounted for by economic distress and the proportion of working-class residents. However, this relationship should not be interpreted as causal. What these analyses demonstrate is that community-level well-being played an important role in the 2016 election.

EXAMPLE OF ANALYSIS THAT SHOWS DATA ON VOTING RATES BY INCOME AND RACE/ETHNICITY, WHICH COUNTERS SIMPLISTIC ASSERTIONS THAT ECONOMIC DISTRESS LED PEOPLE TO VOTE FOR TRUMP (THE MISSING ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM INVOLVES LONG HISTORIES OF WHITE NATIVISM AND BELIEFS IN WHITE SUPERIORITY)

Excerpt from: Fletcher B Jr, Wing B. Fighting Back Against the White Revolt of 2016. Verso Press, November 2016.

http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/fighting-back-against-white-revolt-2016

 

  1. a) “So, while it is true that Trump received 14 percent more votes from white people with less than a college education than did Romney, and 10 percent fewer from whites with a college degree, Trump voters were not mainly poor and unemployed. As Mike Davis points out in a recent blog post, there was no massive defection of white working-class voters to Trump. In fact, Clinton won the majority of voters earning under $30,000 (53 percent to 41 percent) and voters under $50,000 (51 percent to 42 percent). These figures are critical to keep in mind when commentators describe the Trump victory as a working-class vote. How are they defining “working class”?”

 

  1. b) “According to the national exit poll sponsored by all the main news organizations, blacks, Latinos, Asians, unmarried women, young voters, union households—the core of the Obama Coalition—all voted for Clinton, but in somewhat smaller percentages than they had voted for Obama in 2012. The black Democratic vote fell from 93 percent in 2012 to 88 percent, including only 80 percent of black men. The Democrats’ winning percentage among Latinos fell from 73 percent to 65 percent (although a poll conducted by Latino Decisions* concluded the real number was 79 percent for Clinton.*); Asians from 76 percent for Obama to 65 percent for Clinton (another poll says 75 percent); unmarried women from 67 percent to 62 percent; young voters’ Democratic support declined by 5 percent; and union households fell to 51 percent from 58 percent. The only strongly progressive voter group that increased its vote for Clinton, according to the national exit poll, were lesbians, gays, bisexual and transgender folk. And the hoped for surge of Latino voter participation apparently did not materialize.

 

Trump did not address the concerns of most voters. He addressed the fears of many white voters. Those fears, again documented in various polls, are both economic and racial. The economic fears focus largely on the potential for economic disaster. The great majority of Trump voters were not hammered by the economy. What scares them is that the American Dream is no longer theirs for the taking. They are no longer convinced that their children’s lives will mark an improvement over their own. Linked to this fear is that of the changing racial demographics. In a post-election report by Toronto Globe & Mail columnist Doug Saunders, what is most interesting is the concern among Trump voters about the changing face of the U.S. Immigration, especially in regions where there were previously few, if any, immigrants, became an inflammatory issue. In short, the white middle class and its upward mobility—the traditional white version of the American Dream—are feared lost forever.”

 

NB: for a new historical examination of the role of racism and US white fears of “race suicide” in relation to setting economic & social policy in the US and its role in the dominance of eugenics in the 1st half of the 20th century in social policy, medicine, and public health, see:

 

— Leonard TC. Illiberal Reformers: Race, Eugenics, and American Economics in the Progressive Era. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2016.

http://press.princeton.edu/titles/10572.html

 

“In Illiberal Reformers, Thomas Leonard reexamines the economic progressives whose ideas and reform agenda underwrote the Progressive Era dismantling of laissez-faire and the creation of the regulatory welfare state, which, they believed, would humanize and rationalize industrial capitalism. But not for all. Academic social scientists such as Richard T. Ely, John R. Commons, and Edward A. Ross, together with their reform allies in social work, charity, journalism, and law, played a pivotal role in establishing minimum-wage and maximum-hours laws, workmen’s compensation, antitrust regulation, and other hallmarks of the regulatory welfare state. But even as they offered uplift to some, economic progressives advocated exclusion for others, and did both in the name of progress. Leonard meticulously reconstructs the influence of Darwinism, racial science, and eugenics on scholars and activists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, revealing a reform community deeply ambivalent about America’s poor. Illiberal Reformers shows that the intellectual champions of the regulatory welfare state proposed using it not to help those they portrayed as hereditary inferiors but to exclude them.”

 

EXAMPLE OF NEW ESSAY RE THE “GASLIGHTING” EFFECT (from an unlikely source!) & ALSO THE STATEMENT FROM THE “UNION OF CONCERNED SCIENTISTS”

 

— Duca L. Donald Trump is Gaslighting America. Teen Vogue, December 10, 2016.

 

http://www.teenvogue.com/story/donald-trump-is-gaslighting-america?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GU+Today+USA+-+morning+briefing+2016&utm_term=203790&subid=26883&CMP=ema_a-morning-briefing_b-morning-briefing_c-US_d-1

 

Excerpt: “Trump won the Presidency by gas light. His rise to power has awakened a force of bigotry by condoning and encouraging hatred, but also by normalizing deception. Civil rights are now on trial, though before we can fight to reassert the march toward equality, we must regain control of the truth … At the hands of Trump, facts have become interchangeable with opinions, blinding us into arguing amongst ourselves, as our very reality is called into question.”

 

–Frumhoff P. How the Trump Administration and Congress Should Use Science to Govern. Union of Concerned Scientists, November 30, 2016.

 

http://blog.ucsusa.org/peter-frumhoff/how-the-trump-administration-and-congress-should-use-science-to-govern?_ga=1.255590152.1611902280.1481552474

 

Excerpt: “ The election of Donald Trump raises many questions about the future role of science and evidence in policy making. Many of us are deeply troubled that some transition team members, senior administration officials and people nominated to head up federal agencies have a history of attacking scientists and misrepresenting science. We’re concerned as well that an emboldened Congress may attempt to pass legislation that cuts science out of existing public health and environmental laws, and cut funding for research critical to understand our changing planet – putting at risk the health and well-being of Americans and people around the world.”

 

& “open letter to President-elect Trump and the 115th Congress, urging them to set a high and sturdy bar for integrity, transparency and independence in using science to inform our nation’s policies.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories
Dispatches

Dispatch #8 Day 32 Post-Ascendency of White Supremacy & Misogyny

December 10 2016 Dispatch #8 Day 32 Post-Ascendency of White Supremacy & Misogyny (PAWSM)

Just spent a week in Biloxi MS participating in a Habitat Build. Katrina decimated the Mississippi Gulf Coast in 2005; 11 years later MGC residents continue their struggle to recover. A SHOUT-OUT to Habitat for Humanity Mississippi Gulf Coast — a Fabulous local habitat affiliate making a difference every day for low-income and working class families. Volunteer or Donate, you will be glad you did.   http://www.habitat.org/us-ms/gulfport/mississippi-gulf-coast-inc-hfh

 

So yeah, the White Supremacist and Misogynist President-Select (AKA Pussy-Grabbing President-Select) and his collaborators (i.e., people who collaborate with an enemy occupying force) and quislings (i.e., people who betray their own country by aiding an invading enemy) have been busy dismantling the country’s already fragile moral compass.  

Highlights include:

  • Cyberbullying the Indiana union head who challenged the lies about how the Carrier deal saved jobs (actually 400 instead of 800) as if giving away $7M to a $13B global corporation to save 800 jobs wasn’t disgusting enough.
  • Appointing a hard-line foe of pollution regulation and climate change denier, to head EPA
  • Appointing as Secretary of Labor an anti-labor fast-food-millionaire who opposed to minimum wage
  • Appointing as Secretary of Education a billionaire who favors privatizing the public right to an education through high school

In case you are wondering, do I HAVE to call him the White Supremacist and Misogynist President-Select (AKA Pussy-Grabbing President-Select) EVERY time!?!

YES I DO!! YES I WILL!!

 

Recall how regularly “Crooked Hillary” and “Hillary the Liar” was reported. This election season schooled us in the power of “ad nauseam propaganda technique:” the tireless repetition of an idea, especially a simple slogan, in order that it becomes the truth. (This approach is more effective alongside the propagandist limiting or controlling the media.) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propaganda_techniques

Whereas the Trump campaign ad nauseam strategy was about establishing lies about Hillary as truth, my ad nauseam strategy is about demanding that the truth about what Trump represents is shouted in plain language every day.

Instead, tragically for the country, the Orwellian normalization of the White Supremacist and Misogynist President-Select (AKA Pussy-Grabbing President-Select) and his collaborators and quislings continues at a steady pace. The drumbeat assertions that Democrats lost the working class by “not understanding their economic pain and so hurt/angry Americans voted for the non-politician/outsider” are particularly tragic in that the dog whistle campaign is rewarded. http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/stop-asking-me-empathize-white-working-class

 

In case you are wondering, “Orwellian” is an adjective describing a situation, idea, or societal condition that George Orwell identified as being destructive to the welfare of a free and open society. Orwellian also describes oppressive political ideas and the use of euphemistic political language in public discourse to camouflage morally outrageous ideas and actions. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orwellian

 

OK, here is an example of post-election Normalizing that hides reality, discourages resistance, and encourages quiet acceptance of fascism.

We read constantly the handwringing and troubled reporting that the country is polarized and how can we have less extremism and more civility. What, did the country polarize itself?!?!  

The more informative, accurate and instructive statement about polarization: after 8 years of relentless White Supremacy rhetoric in reaction to a Black President, relentless Republican actions to block every effort to govern, and constant incendiary pubic lies (e.g., Obamacare is worse than slavery, Obama is coming for all your guns, Obama is kowtowing to other countries), yeah, these people whipped up a certain category of white folks. This is NOT rocket science.

Now, as normalizing becomes the status quo, we are supposed to calm down, tone down the rhetoric, and be very concerned about polarization. People/activists concerned about the rights of women, black and brown people, immigrants, Muslims are guilty of identity politics whose harsh insistence on special rights excluded some people and contributed to polarization. We are now encouraged to give the White Supremacist and Misogynist President-Select (AKA Pussy-Grabbing President-Select) a chance to lead – the bully who fanned bigotry. And the White Supremacist and Misogynist President-Select (AKA Pussy-Grabbing President-Select) gets to insist “Hey I didn’t have anything to do with this polarization, don’t blame me.”

SERIOUSLY!? ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME!?!?

Resistance to normalizing requires/depends that we do not back away from using language that inspires action, language that informs and reveals truths, language that doesn’t use lies and fairy tales to support/hide oppression. Language that doesn’t employ some passive expression of reality as if this happened on its own out of thin air.

 

Language is the first step toward disruptive action that will create social change. The language of obfuscation creates acquiescence due to ignorance-driven hopelessness. Normalizing condemns disruptive truth-telling words, especially when spoken by women.

 

“My greatest political asset, which professional politicians fear, is my mouth, out of which come all kinds of things one shouldn’t always discuss for reasons of political expediency.” Shirley Chisholm

 

What kind of trouble are we facing right now as a consequence of normalizing that hides the reality of a degraded humanity, and encourages quiet acceptance of fascism?

Neal Gabler considers this in a recent post where he reflects how Ayn Rand became the guiding spirit of the modern Republican Party.

 

“The transformation and corruption of America’s moral values didn’t happen in the shadows. It happened in plain sight. The Republican Party has been the party of selfishness and the party of punishment for decades now, trashing the basic precepts not only of the Judeo-Christian tradition but also of humanity generally…… as [Gore]Vidal says “That it is right to help someone less fortunate is an idea that has figured in most systems of conduct since the beginning of the race.” It is, one could argue, what makes us human. The opposing idea, Ayn Rand’s idea, that the less fortunate should be left to suffer, is what endangers our humanity now. [he quotes from Vidal again]…“She has a great attraction for simple people who are puzzled by organized society, who object to paying taxes, who hate the ‘welfare state,’ who feel guilt at the thought of the suffering of others but who would like to harden their hearts.”

America is in moral crisis. Many Americans seem far more interested in making sure that those they consider undeserving — basically, the poor — get nothing than in making sure that they themselves get something. A friend recently told me a joke told him by a Hungarian acquaintance, who intended it as an example of Hungarian schadenfreude, but I have modified it because I think it is a harrowing parable for contemporary America and its strange moral turnabout.

This is Trump’s America (emphasis added):

There were three farmers: a German, a Hungarian and an American. Each had a cow. One day, misfortune befell them, and their cows died. Each remonstrated against God, saying God had failed him, and each lost faith. God realized he had to do something to make amends. So he came to Earth and approached the German. “What can I do to restore your faith?” He asked. And the German answered, “God, I lost my cow. Please give me another cow.” And God did so. “What can I do to restore your faith?” He asked the Hungarian. And the Hungarian answered, “God, I lost my cow. Please give me that cow and another to compensate.” And God did so. And finally God came to the American, and He asked, “What can I do to restore your faith?” And the American answered, “God, I lost my cow. Shoot my neighbor’s cow.”

http://web.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/its-ayn-rands-america-now-republicans-have-stripped-country-its-morality

 

Categories
Dispatches

Dispatch #7 Day 22 Post-Ascendency of White Supremacy & Misogyny

November 30 2016 Dispatch #7  Day 22 Post-Ascendency of White Supremacy & Misogyny (PAWSM)

 

OK, if I wrote a dispatch everyday about White Supremacy and Misogyny, my head would burst open and make terrible mess on my computer.

 

BUT, today is a MUST SCREAM-OUT for Resistance to the Democrats in the House and Senate who are busy whitesplaining the election and normalizing White Supremacy.

 

►Wait, what do I mean by WHITESPLAINING?!  Wiktionary says whitesplaining is the act of a Caucasian person condescendingly explaining racism and/or sociopolitical issues related to race to a non-Caucasian audience presuming the listener’s inferior understanding because of their race. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/whitesplaining#English  

 

►This is what I mean by WHITESPLAINING: Actions of usually Caucasian persons condescendingly or ignorantly or misleadingly explaining that white supremacy doesn’t operate/exist to a usually Caucasian audience presuming/cultivating the listeners’ inferior understanding because of their ignorance, deliberate denial, and/or privilege.

 

To wit: Democrats lost the election because Democrats lost the working class voters who are hurting economically and angry. And who is the primary reason for this failure? Why, Nancy Pelosi of course – the next available woman. (As Hillary won the popular vote by 2.35 million – 48.2% of the vote compared with Trump receiving 46.5% — it does become harder to blame her.)

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/29/us/politics/democrats-house-nancy-pelosi/ 

 

REALLY!?!? Don’t you mean WHITE working class voters?! SERIOUSLY!?!? These people have apparently forgotten a few important details about the election. Gee, it has only been three weeks, but I guess this is what happens when Whitesplaining necessary to normalize White Supremacy takes precedence over reality.

Here are numbers that push back against Whitesplaining:

 

Among white voters (who made up 70% of voters), Trump won 58% to Clinton’s 37%. Trump’s margin among whites without a college degree is the largest among any candidate in exit polls since 1980. Two-thirds (67%) of non-college whites backed Trump, compared with just 28% who supported Clinton, resulting in a 39-point advantage for Trump among this group. Due largely to the dramatic movement among whites with no college degree, the gap between college and non-college whites is wider in 2016 than in any past election dating to 1980. Trump won whites with a college degree 49% to 45%. White women voted for Trump by 53% to 43% for Clinton

Clinton won 88% of black voters to Trump’s 8%, and 65% of Hispanic voters to Trump’s 29%. Clinton won 52% of voters with annual incomes below $50,000 to Trump’s 41%. Trump won 49% of voters with annual incomes above $50,000 to 47% to Clinton. Clinton won 53% of voters with annual incomes below $30,000 to Trump’s 41%.

http://www.bbc.com/news/election-us-2016-37922587

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/11/09/behind-trumps-victory-divisions-by-race-gender-education/

Trump won the rural vote by 62% to 34% and the suburban vote by 50% to 45%, while Clinton won the urban vote by 59% to 35%. The difference between rural/suburban and urban votes has everything to do with white flight in response to racial tensions, desegregation and school busing. In the early days of white flight, two federal policies — the construction of the interstate highway system and mortgage guarantees for the new suburbs — pulled whites out of cities. Read and learn about White Supremacy ongoing impact on US social history:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/03/upshot/why-republicans-dont-even-try-to-win-cities-anymore.html

 

Trump’s campaign gleefully and proudly appealed to White Supremacy, Misogyny, Xenophobia, Islamophobia, and Bigotry writ large. And white people voted for him, not just working class white people, but all kinds of white voters.

Whitesplaining the election involves immediately forgetting Trump’s dog whistle strategies for winning votes, strategies even more egregiously despicable than Jessie Helms. (Oops, you Whitesplainers have probably forgotten about Jessie Helms.) Trump never acknowledged his leading role in the birther campaign that intended to denigrate our black president.

Whitesplaining means that the Republicans are once again REWARDED for these despicable tactics. Republicans are REWARDED for eight years of non-stop racism/white supremacy designed not only to block the leadership of a black President, but also to incite white supremacist fears and backlash. These tactics, including government shut-downs, inflammatory rhetoric, and outrageous lies, deeply harmed the country.

Whitesplaining forgets the Supreme Court’s 2013 ruling that invalidated key parts of the Voting Rights Act. Millions of would-be voters didn’t participate because of obstacles designed to discourage them; these likely suppressed enough minority voters to cost Clinton the election.

 

For example, Wisconsin adopted a photo-ID law. In Milwaukee, where a large number of African Americans don’t drive or have licenses, turnout declined in 2016 by 41,000 compared with 2012. (Clinton lost Wisconsin by 20,000 votes.) Turnout was significantly lower than in 2004 and 2008; the drop-off was steepest in the poorest precincts. “No matter how hard one tries to attribute this to lower voter interest in this election, the stark drop must be attributable to impact of the photo-ID rule,” argues Kristen Clarke, head of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-election-really-was-rigged/

We heard Trump’s views on how bad things are, and we heard how upset white people are about the economy. So how did the country actually fare during the 8 years of Obama’s Presidency? According to the US Census Bureau annual “Income and Poverty in the United States: 2015 and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2015, the nation is improving. Less than a decade after one of the worst recessions in modern American history (created under Republican administration), the US Census Bureau reported that household incomes are up, poverty rate is down, and the number of people with health insurance is at 90%, a record high. Huh….how about that….

 

Having a problem with White Supremacy and Whitesplaining?

Read: Deep Denial The Persistence of White Supremacy in United States History and Life by David Billings 2016 This Memoir documents the 400-year racialization of the United States and how people of European descent came to be called “White.” Billings focuses primarily on the deeply embedded notion of White supremacy. Despite the Civil Rights Movement and an African-American president, we remain, in his words, “a nation hard-wired by race.” Billings argues that White supremacy has a well-documented history. It profoundly shapes our laws as well as our collective psyche like a narcotic coursing through the veins of all White people. And yet it is not studied, not discussed, and virtually unknown to most Americans. Why?” http://www.theneworleanstribune.com/main/deep-denial/

WORDS MATTER. WHAT IS SAID MATTERS. hISTORY MATTERS. lies matter.

“We live in a society of an imposed forgetfulness, a society that depends on public amnesia.” Angela Davis

Categories
Dispatches

Dispatch #6 Day 19 Post-Ascendency of White Supremacy & Misogyny

November 27 2016  Dispatch #6 Day 19 Post-Ascendency of White Supremacy & Misogyny (PAWSM)

 

I took a break from out-raging through dispatches and instead tried to manage my out-rage by cleaning. And dammit didn’t I find the November 5, 2008 New York Times and Washington Post saved in a drawer. And recalled with a jolt how amazed, and thrilled and joyous we all were then. Now we have learned the hard way that lots of white people didn’t feel that way then and were incited to feel change as deeply dangerous and the source of all discontent.

So yeah, like so many, I feel completely heartbroken. As much I am out-raged, I am equally heartbroken, stricken to my core. My goal every day is to wield out-rage in the service of Resistance to Normalizing. Charles Blow, New York Times columnist, insists on Resistance.

“It is hard to know specifically how to position yourself in a country that can elect a man with such staggering ineptitude and open animus. It makes you doubt whatever faith you had in the country itself……it is impossible for me to fall in line behind an unrepentant bigot. It will be impossible for me to view this man participating in the pageantry and protocols of the presidency and not be reminded of how he is a demonstrated demagogue who is also a sexist, a racist, a xenophobe and a bully….That is a person who must be placed under unrelenting pressure. Power must be challenged, constantly.” http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/10/opinion/america-elects-a-bigot/
“You don’t get a pat on the back for ratcheting down from rabid after exploiting that very radicalism to your advantage. Unrepentant opportunism belies a staggering lack of character and caring that can’t simply be vanquished from memory. You did real harm to this country and many of its citizens, and I will never — never — forget that….No, Mr. Trump, we will not all just get along. For as long as a threat to the state is the head of state, all citizens of good faith and national fidelity — and certainly this columnist — have an absolute obligation to meet you and your agenda with resistance at every turn.” http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/23/opinion/no-trump-we-cant-just-get-along/

America follows the election and reelection of our first black President with the election of a demagogue who brandished White Supremacy, Misogyny and bigotry for all?! How did this happen?! Actually the Republicans were very clear that their approach to President Obama would be the White Supremacy strategy (a proven winner since Nixon) – fanning the coals of bigotry, fear, and hatred at the image of a black family in the White House. Michael Harriot, editor-in-chief of NegusWhoRead, nails this….his irony-laden tips are damming:

 

“As we prepare to enter the Trumpian era and return to the days when white supremacists openly rejoiced in victory and the White House kitchen had no seasoned salt, the question remains: What is the etiquette for living under a president whose mere presence makes your skin crawl? If President Barack Obama’s legacy leaves America nothing (except affordable health care, stability in the world economy, the lowest crime rate in decades and 16 million jobs), it has taught us how to antagonize the leader of the country with no regard or respect……When looking for ways to oppose a president who stands for the opposite of everything you believe in, look no further than the grand pooh-bahs of hate and hostility; the world champions of conflict; the people holding the patent for the haterade recipe: white people. For the last eight years, they have shown us the way, and now it is our turn to return the favor by using their tactics to thwart the efforts of our tangerine-tinted totalitarian.

http://www.theroot.com/articles/politics/2016/11/tips-from-white-people-on-hating-the-president/

 

‘Identity politics’ is emerging as the latest excuse-oops-explanation for why we fumbled our election. To paraphrase: ‘The inordinate focus on the issues of particular groups, such as black people, women, Hispanics, LGBT people, has unfortunately caused white men to feel excluded. If we could just see all of ourselves as Americans who love our great country and celebrate American values!’SERIOUSLY?! Here is guidance for pushing back at this crap:

 

Identity politics refers to the political interests of women, minorities, and other marginalized groups in American politics. These interests are far ranging and include everything from fighting for equal pay for women to fighting against police brutality in minority communities. Typically, identity politics has been used as a put-down by the alt left. By now, almost everyone has heard the insult: “She was engaging in identity politics, and not focusing on the real issues.” But what are the “real issues” which identity politics “distracts” us from? Generally, those who use identity politics as a deriding term want the left to focus on class instead of issues that pertain to the identities of marginalized people.” https://extranewsfeed.com/stop-calling-it-identity-politics-its-civil-rights/

“In his 1962 essay “Letter From a Region in My Mind,” James Baldwin identified the largest obstacle to progress in this country as the undying belief in American greatness. This is a myth that would have to be abandoned, he argued, if the country were to see itself as it truly is and redress its wrongs. Happily, there is at least one group in America who could see the matter with clear eyes, he wrote: “The American Negro has the great advantage of having never believed that collection of myths to which white Americans cling: that their ancestors were all freedom-loving heroes, that they were born in the greatest country the world has ever seen, or that Americans are invincible in battle and wise in peace. You would think that the election of Donald J. Trump on November 8 would, once and for all, dispel the myth of American greatness. But it continues to undergird our political conversations, including those that address how to move forward from this calamity”   https://newrepublic.com/article/138943/enduring-importance-identity-liberalism/

 

The so-called founding fathers effectively endorsed slavery as engine for America’s economic growth – counting blacks as 3/5 of a person in the Constitution – and denied women the right to vote and citizenship rights. Resistance requires and depends upon rejecting reassuring mythologies, knowing the realities of American history, and calling out institutionalized White Supremacy, Misogyny, and xenophobia.

 

READ: A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn published in 1980.

 

What does resistance look like in action? In the District of Columbia, numerous grass-roots and community-based organization have been fighting for equity, justice and human rights for many years. Their work only becomes more critical with the ascendency of White Supremacy and Misogyny to the White House located here in DC. Here are two:
Organizing Neighborhood Equity (ONE) DC’s approach to community development since 1997 addressed structural causes of poverty and injustice based on deep analysis of race, power, and the economic, political, and social forces in DC neighborhoods. ONE DC’s organizing work centers on popular education, community organizing, and alternative economic development projects. http://www.onedconline.org/ Check out the victories!
Empower DC is a city-wide grassroots organization committed to building the power of low-income communities of color to create long lasting, positive change. For 14 years, community organizing campaigns have worked to save and improve public housing, to ensure all children have access to high-quality neighborhood public schools, and to support the residents of Ivy City as they improve their neighborhood. http://empowerdc.org/ Check out the victories!

 

 

Categories
Dispatches

Dispatch #5 Day 12 Post-Ascendency of White Supremacy & Misogyny

November 20, 2016 Dispatch #5 Day 12 Post-Ascendency of White Supremacy & Misogyny (PAWSM)

 
Resistance to oppression DEMANDS words that communicate ideas clearly and directly based on experience. Every day now we see the mainstream urgency to normalize/explain/mansplain the 2016 US Election/Selection of White Supremacy, Misogyny, Bigotry, Xenophobia and Islamophobia. I.e., white people are so upset about being left out and their anger is only about class/economic pain and a knee-jerk desire for change. Puleeze!!!
Reject use of ‘Trumpism’ — this word is a ruse and means nothing. Use these words instead: White Supremacy, Misogyny, Xenophobia, Islamophobia.  We must be clear about what is going on.  Otherwise we are normalizing and surrendering our resistance. This is how propaganda works, peddling non-meaning and insinuating language-lies to hide/mask what is actually happening. Like talking about ethnic-cleansing instead of raping-women-killing-men-and-boys.

Words construct and communicate analyses that create the life-energy for resistance. Words must describe/name in plain language what we experience as oppressed people. Anything else comprises deadening propaganda and lies.

 

Lying is done with words, and also with silence.”  Adrienne Rich

 

Trump, the White Supremacist Misogynist President-Select, is demanding an apology and calling for a Hamilton boycott in reaction to a respectful public request to the White Supremacist Misogynist Vice-President-Select Pence that he treat all people as human beings.  Yes indeed, in a white supremacist and misogynist regime, this is a dangerous and revolting request.  Pence urged support for Trump by declaring We’ll see Roe vs. Wade consigned to the ash heap of history where it belongs.” Ronald Reagan made this phrasing famous by so consigning Marxism-Leninism and other tyrannies. Should we even try to grasp this Orwellian logic that equates women’s control of their bodies with tyrannies? Pence’s ash heap of history mandates untold numbers of female bodies treated as property whose only value is reproduction.

And while demands for apologies are flying, how about apologies to President Obama attacked and demonized for 8 years about his birthplace and religion, and for secret support of ISIS? How about apologies to President Obama for 8 years of ceaseless Republican opposition fueled by White Supremacy as these Republicans peddled dog whistle lies about the apocalypse befalling the country with a Black Man in the White House.

Just in case normalizing is already numbing your brain, a few recent dog whistles from the White Supremacist Misogynist President-Select about President Obama: In 2011Trump raised a falsehood in an interview with “Good Morning America,” suggesting Obama was trying to conceal his religion by withholding his birth certificate. “Maybe it says he’s a Muslim,” he said. In December 2013, Trump tweets “how amazing, the State Health Director who verified copies of Obama’s “birth certificate” died in plane crash today. All others lived.” On Fox News in June 2016 after Orlando Massacre he says “Look, we’re led by a man that either is not tough, not smart or he’s got something else in mind. He doesn’t get it or he gets it better than anybody understands — it’s one or the other and either one is unacceptable.” A couple days later, Trump tweeted about an article that he said showed he was “right” about the Islamic extremism of America’s commander-in-chief. The article referenced being a fake/false report posted on Breitbart.

How about apologies to candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton for being threatened with physical and sexual violence, being threatened with jail, and for gleefully vicious descriptions such as 2 fat thighs and 2 small breasts, and Trump the Bitch. Trump tweeting in April 2015 “if Hillary can’t satisfy her husband, what makes her think she can satisfy America?” The White Supremacist Misogynist President-Select lying at a rally that she would take away the 2nd Amendment through the Supreme Court and then musing out an invitation.….unless someone with a gun did something. Yeah, well probably unrealistic to expect apologies.

 

After all, being the White Supremacist Misogynist President-Select means never ever having to say sorry.

 

Listening to Tina Turner fiercely sing We Don’t Need Another Hero [aka Thunderdome SONGWRITERS:  BRITTEN, TERRY/LYLE, GRAHAM HAMILTON] felt good today. Give a listen, just saying. Here are the lyrics:
We Don’t Need Another Hero
Out of the ruins Out from the wreckage Can`t make the same mistake this time
We are the children The last generation We are the ones they left behind
And I wonder when we are ever gonna change Living under the fear, till nothing else remains

 

We don`t need another hero We don`t need to know the way home All we want is life beyond Thunderdome

 

Looking for something We can rely on
There`s gotta be something better out there Love and compassion Their day is coming
All else are castles built in the air
And I wonder when we are ever gonna change Living under the fear till nothing else remains

 

All the children say We don`t need another hero We don`t need to know the way home All we want is life beyond Thunderdome

 

So what do we do with our livesWe leave only a mark
Will our story shine like a light Or end in the dark Give it all or nothing

 

 We don`t need another hero
We don`t need to know the way home All we want is life beyond Thunderdome
Categories
Dispatches

Dispatch #4 Day 9 Post-Ascendency of White Supremacy and Misogyny

November 17, 2016 Dispatch #4 Day 9 Post-Ascendency of White Supremacy and Misogyny (PAWSM)

 

Today I MUST turn to Misogyny. It is LONG past time in America to stop giving Misogyny a pass, just as we must stop giving White Supremacy a pass. I want to remind readers of my first dispatch:
I am determined to resist every day the normalization of White Supremacy and Misogyny. We must call out White Supremacy and Misogyny. We must call out excuses and superficial analyses. Yes, we must organize and act instead of mourning. But, without proper analyses, there will be few lasting victories.
As an Out-raging and Outrageous woman, resistance demands that Misogyny be understood as the foundational/original oppression. I am revolting against constancy with which liberals, progressives, activists, whatever you all want to be called, refuse to see the toxic fertilizer that Misogyny offers for all forms of hatred and oppression. Without rejuvenated resistance to Misogyny, White Supremacy and other bigotries in America will thrive.

Misogyny cuts (literally) across race, class, religion, ethnicity. Misogyny works to deaden, disable, depress, destroy all women — leaving all of us deprived of our most potent weapon. Do I need to point out that the majority of white women voted for the proud proponent of rape and sexual abuse? That these women also voted to hand over control of their bodies to men?

It DOES MATTER that Misogyny is called out just as it matters that White Supremacy is called out.

Misogyny — from the Greek misein, to hate and gyne, woman — encompasses contempt, disdain, disgust, and revulsion for women as a whole, rather than for specific women. Misogyny is institutionalized oppression of women to maintain the supremacy/power of men. Like White Supremacy, Misogyny is a system, a web of interlocking, reinforcing institutions: economic, military, legal, educational, religious, and cultural affecting every aspect of life.

Unlike White Supremacy, which is only about 450 years old, Misogyny has been poisoning the earth and creating killing fields for women for thousands of years. Consider this:
Misogyny is by no means limited to modern Western civilizations. It occurs in many kinds of societies and at all levels of human social organization, including Stone Age cultures, and at all times in history. As a sexual dogma or prejudice, misogyny appears to be virtually universal. Without specific political ends, misogyny has no formal ideological position other than to denigrate women.

Studies by anthropologists and historians show that misogyny is, and always has been, widespread. In ancient Europe, the Greeks displayed an ingrained misogyny, often describing woman as one of the plagues inflicted upon man by the gods. Some Attic poets proposed that women were the source of kakon (evil) in the world. The ancient world was indeed populated with nefarious she-demons and sorceresses, such as the sinister Circe, who turned men into pigs, not to mention the Furies and the Harpies, foul-smelling half-human hags who persecuted men and boys. Classical antiquity was full of female monsters: sirens, maenads, nymphs, lamias, and the sea viragoes Scylla and Charybdis who drowned sailors off the coast of Sicily. The snake-haired gargoyle Medusa turned men to stone with a look. One of the earliest Greek poems, “Woman” by Semonides (eighth century BCE), reviled females as being as stubborn as mules, as smelly as pigs, and as perilous to men as the untamed sea.. Many organized religions are highly misogynistic. The Christian Bible, the Muslim Koran, the Hebrew Torah, and the sacred Buddhist and Hindu texts frequently criticize women for various moral defects and condemn woman’s body for the lust it inspires in men. Most religions blame woman for licentiousness and depravity and for committing original sin or its theological equivalent. http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences-and-law/sociology-and-social-reform/sociology-general terms-and-concepts/misogyny

Indeed, death-dealing/brutality-affirming Misogyny allows the flourishing of White Supremacy, fertilizing the political ends of White Supremacy, white nationalism, brutality, bigotry, always the fear and hatred of the other that supports oppression in all forms.

Over the millienia, the basic tool of oppression has involved treating one-half of the world’s human beings as the Other, the less-than-human, the not-as-human. Objectified, sexualized, treated as property, degraded as source of filth, cut-up and mutilated, repository for all male rage, source of everything dangerous, and the (barely) living testimony to the consequences as well as requirements of misogyny. Once this treatment of women is learned/accepted/practiced, how easy it becomes to join with all other atrocities of oppression. Once objectification of another human being is felt and believed as normal, no constraints are too horrible to breach.

Ta-Nehisi Coates spoke truth to White Supremacy in Between the World and Me. “Here is what I would like for you to know: In America, it is traditional to destroy the black body—it is heritage. http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/07/tanehisi-coates-between-the-world-and-me/397619/

Speaking truth to Misogyny, here is what I would like for you to know: In the World, it is traditional to destroy the female body—it is the heritage and the imperative of thousands of years of misogyny.

 I return to paraphrasing the powerful unflinching words of Ta-Nehisi Coates: “…….racism [misogyny] is a visceral experience, [that] it dislodges brains, blocks airways, rips muscle, extracts organs, cracks bones, breaks teeth. You must never look away from this. You must always remember that the sociology, the history, the economics, the graphs, the charts, the regressions all land, with great violence, upon the body. And how should one live in such a body?”   Yes, how indeed? Coates offers no answers for black bodies. Perhaps there are also no answers for women bodies.

Why the constant state of denial, exclusion, and dismissal about misogyny in America?
Why are women made to feel too sensitive and overreacting when we assert misogyny?
Why are women immediately dismissed by same folks who will eagerly endorse the idea of micro-aggressions by race [even as this term insinuates disdain and resentment by White Supremacy America]?
Have millennia of misogyny simply destroyed the living body’s instinct and drive for evolution and survival? Consider this:

Gerda Lerner‘s 1986 history classic, The Creation of Patriarchy, traces the development of the patriarchy to the second millennium B.C.E. in the middle east, putting gender relations at the center of the story of civilization’s history. “And the reason we find it [misogyny] so hard, and we have found it so hard, to understand it and to combat it, is that it was institutionalized before Western civilization really, as we know it, was, so to speak, invented, and the process of creating patriarchy was really well completed by the time that the idea systems of Western civilization were formed.” http://womenshistory.about.com/od/feminism/a/patriarchal.htm

YUP that’s right, Misogyny inhabits every cell and every synapse. Like White Supremacy, Misogyny is about the structure and system, it is NOT about the misogyny of individuals. Every day we accept without resistance that capitalism uses women’s bodies to sell everything from cars to drugs to vacations to clothing to sports. Here a breast, there a thigh, everywhere the pouting mouth and come hither eyes. Come own me, sell me, violate me, sexualize me, trash me, control me, abuse and kill me.  

Right now we women must support each other in our demand that calling out Misogyny be foundational to the strategic analyses that will inform resistance and action. We will NOT apologize for this non-negotiable demand. If you believe that you “get” White Supremacy, then you cannot fail to “get” Misogyny.

 

 

Categories
Dispatches

Dispatch #3 Day 8 Post-Ascendency of White Supremacy & Misogyny

November 16, 2016  Dispatch #3 Day 8 Post-Ascendency of White Supremacy & Misogyny (PAWSM)

 

REALLY?! Having nurtured the horrific monsters of White Supremacy and Misogyny and ridden them to victory, the Republicans now demand that a black man (Obama) and white woman (Clinton) take responsibility for silencing the outrage, grief, and resistance. What a twisted nauseating irony showcasing the ultimate weapon of institutionalized oppression: the well-behaved/well-conditioned oppressed must smooth the way forward and get out of the way.

Tragically, Democrats Warren and Sanders are already normalizing this electoral expression of hate and bigotry, rushing to defend democracy, urging acceptance of this repulsive POTUS-elect.

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2016/11/the_democrats_are_already_screwing_up_the_trump_resistance.html. THANK YOU JAMELLE BOUIE

 

Both Warren and Sanders describe Trump’s effort as a populist campaign with an almost incidental use of racial prejudice. In this version, most Trump voters simply wanted a stronger, fairer economy. The attacks on immigrants, Muslims, and black Americans were regrettable, but not a part of the appeal.

Warren and Sanders are wrong, and in a way that signals a significant misreading of the landscape on the part of the most influential Democrats. The simple truth is that Trump’s use of explicit racism—his deliberate attempt to incite Americans against different groups of nonwhites—was integral to his campaign. It was part and parcel of his “populism” and told a larger story: that either at home or abroad, foreigners and their “globalist” allies were cheating the American worker, defined as a white working-class man with a factory job. To claw back the dominion he once enjoyed—to “make America great again”—Trump promised protectionism and “law and order.” He promised to deport immigrants, register Muslims, and build new infrastructure. This wasn’t “populism”; it was white populism. Writes historian Nell Irvin Painter for the New York Times: “This time the white men in charge will not simply happen to be white; they will be governing as white, as taking America back, back to before multiculturalism.”

To gesture at individual voters and say they aren’t racists—the usual rejoinder to this argument—is to miss the point. White voters backed Trump as a bloc. They ignored his bigotry and elevated his call for a new nationalism, centered on white Americans. Whatever their actual intentions—whether they were partisan Republicans, hardcore Trumpists, or simply disgusted with Hillary Clinton—they voted for white nationalism, full stop.

 

We are resisting what America’s version of democracy has raised to power: rampant cruelty, violent impulses, thirst for revenge, absence of compassion, brutality of bigotry.   White populism is simply an excuse to cover up Democrats rewarding Republicans leading with White Supremacy for 50 years. DON’T GO THERE. Go HERE instead, read and reflect:

http://www.theroot.com/articles/politics/2016/11/white-working-class-narrative-is-nothing-but-a-racist-dogwhistle/.   THANK YOU Kirsten West Savali

Here we are, eight days removed from President-elect, and corrupt businessman, Donald Trump grabbing the Electoral College “by the p–sy” and violating his way into the White House. And predictably, instead of focusing on the wealthy white supremacist, xenophobic and misogynist elements of society that rose from their dirty corners and corner offices to vote for the man, much of the political punditry and chatter continues to focus on the innocent and frightened “white working class….. …….We’re talking about the “white working class” that blankets its working-class status in whiteness to intensify the perception of its victimhood….By all means, let’s discuss this “white working class” that’s full of “rural resentment,” but if we’re going to tell it, we need to make it plain…..Because where I’m from, these degenerates were called overseers and slave patrols. What they are really saying, what they’ve always been saying, is, “Don’t group us with the Negroes just because we’re working class; we’re still white and we are owed all the rights, privileges and power therein.” Yes, they are angry. But they aren’t angry because they’re poor; they’re angry because they are white and poor—and that’s not the American dream. And they will starve and they will waste away and they will die before acknowledging that the world owes them nothing simply because they were born into a world where whiteness is supposed to equal power.

Thank You Katha Pollitt:

The Trump phenomenon was like an Internet comment thread come to life: aggressive, bullying, ignorant, and contemptuous of women. Consider the T-shirts: “Trump That Bitch.” “Proud to Be a Hillary Hater.” “I Wish Hillary Had Married OJ.” “She’s a Cunt/Vote for Trump.” “KFC Hillary Special: 2 Fat Thighs, 2 Small Breasts… Left Wing.” (KFC objected to that one.) As Vox reported, one of the biggest predictors of Trump support was “hostile sexism,” as revealed by the responses to statements like “Most women interpret innocent remarks or acts as being sexist” and “Many women are actually seeking special favors, such as hiring policies that favor women over men, under the guise of asking for equality.” The more you agreed with these statements, the more likely you were to be a Trump supporter. For his supporters, nothing Trump could say was so vile that it couldn’t be repositioned as a gloat: Get your grab-’em-by-the-pussy gear right here! 

https://www.thenation.com/article/an-unabashed-misogynist-is-in-charge-of-our-country-now-what/

Thank You Hadley Freeman:

Grab ’em by the pussy” was the line that was supposed to have ended Donald Trump’s campaign for presidency. Instead it turned out to be one of the most astonishing and successful strategies for the highest office. In a campaign based on racism, misogyny and bullying, Trump proved that boasting about sexually assaulting women, far from ruining a man’s career, can boost it; and white women voted for him in droves. Grab ’em by the pussy, indeed. The first black American president will now be succeeded by a man endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan. This, according to Trump and his supporters, male and female, is what the American dream actually looks like…….. On Tuesday, the Times headlined its editorial about the election “Tough Choice”, as if the decision between a woman who used the wrong email server and a racist, sexist, tax-dodging bully wasn’t, in fact, the easiest choice in the world….Shame on them. The most qualified candidate in a generation was defeated by the least qualified of all time. That is what misogyny looks like, and, like all bigotries, it will end up dragging us all down. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/10/misogyny-us-election-voters

 

The Leadership of Courageous, Outrageous and Out-Raging Women is Desperately Needed Now!!

 

Categories
Dispatches

Dispatch #2 Day 6 Post-Ascendency of White Supremacy & Misogyny

November 14, 2016  Dispatch #2 Day 6 Post-Ascendency of White Supremacy and Misogyny (PAWSM)

 
Today I am particularly outraged that White Supremacy continues to get a pass in the discussions about the election of Trump. Instead of decrying Trump and Trumpism, we need to assert that Trump is just the latest expression of White Supremacy in America. Trump simply fanned the toxic flames of White Supremacy, the poisonous core of America’s emergence. We share with South Africa the distinction of a country founded on White Supremacy.

Ouch!! Surely using White Supremacy represents an exaggeration, posits too negative an assessment, asserts too harsh a judgment on our Country?! Really NO. To quote Joan Rivers, I scream “OH GROW UP!”  It is long-past time for white people to recognize and understand this about America.

James Baldwin wrote: “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”
White Supremacy/Nationalism masquerading as classism is NOT populism. The ascendancy of White Supremacy in the US cannot be minimized as the response of aggrieved people reacting to post-industrial world ruled by global capitalism. Words and language matter because they determine how we think, understand, and feel. This will determine whether strategies to destroy White Supremacy have any chance of success.

Resistance to normalizing begins with a clear understanding that:

“White Supremacy is an historically based, institutionally perpetuated system of exploitation and oppression of continents, nations, and peoples of color by white peoples and nations of the European continent, for the purpose of maintaining and defending a system of wealth, power, and privilege. I. What does it mean to say it is a system? The most common mistake people make when they talk about racism is to think it is a collection of prejudices and individual acts of discrimination. They do not see that it is a system, a web of interlocking, reinforcing institutions: economic, military, legal, educational, religious, and cultural. As a system, racism affects every aspect of life in a country. By not seeing that racism is systemic (part of a system), people often personalize or individualize racist acts. For example, they will reduce racist police behavior to “a few bad apples” who need to be removed, rather than seeing it exists in police departments all over the country and is basic to the society. This mistake has real consequences: refusing to see police brutality as part of a system, and that the system needs to be changed, means that the brutality will continue. The need to recognize racism as being systemic is one reason the term White Supremacy has been more useful than the term racism. They refer to the same problem but: A. The purpose of racism is much clearer when we call it “white supremacy.” Some people think of racism as just a matter of prejudice. “Supremacy” defines a power relationship. B. Race is an unscientific term. Although racism is a social reality, it is based on a term which has no biological or other scientific reality. C. The term racism often leads to dead-end debates about whether a particular remark or action by an individual white person was really racist or not. We will achieve a clearer understanding of racism if we analyze how a certain action relates to the system of White Supremacy. D. The term White Supremacy gives white people a clear choice of supporting or opposing a system, rather than getting bogged down in claims to be anti-racist (or not) in their personal behavior.” Foregoing appears at http://soaw.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=482 .

How I see the trajectory of White Supremacy’s reaction to the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and early 1960s since Nixon’s election: State-sponsored or state-sanctioned assassinations of black leaders. A few examples include Fred Hampton, Medgar Evers, Malcolm X. Introduction of crack cocaine and guns into major black urban centers across the country. Murder of black activists at Attica Prison. Urban planning, especially transportation policies and support for white suburbs destroys urban black middle and working class neighborhoods. Due to differential penalties for drug violations, millions of blacks sent to prison for decades. Deliberate ongoing degradation of black urban neighborhoods results in destruction of black communities and families. Ongoing discovery of toxic waste and environmental poison located where concentrations of black people live. The intentional lead poisoning of black families in Flint Michigan that means permanent damage to children.   Gee whiz, White Supremacy is tough.

http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/10-things-everyone-should-know-about-white-supremacy

Outrage is good, I am directing my RAGE outward and not inward. I am staying at the so-called second stage of GRIEF.   OUTRAGE. No depression. No acceptance. ACTION

You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” ― Maya Angelou

 

 

Categories
Dispatches

Dispatch #1 Day 4 Post-Ascendency of White Supremacy & Misogyny

November 12, 2016 

Dispatch #1  Day 4 Post-Ascendency of White Supremacy & Misogyny (PAWSM)

On Wednesday, Day 1 PAWSM, I participated in a gathering at the Washington Peace Center. About 100 people, mostly young (20s and 30s) and most people of color (POC). The rage, grief, sense of betrayal, disbelief that this is America, shock, and fear scorched me. My own deep grief and piercing outrage, which choked my breath and paralyzed my spirit, had to be leavened by this larger reality. I will personally suffer very little while thousands and millions will suffer a great deal.

 

For me to move forward with personal integrity, I am determined to resist every day the normalization of white supremacy and misogyny (along with their close relatives xenophobia, white nationalism, Islamophobia).  I am sending this e-mail to my colleagues, comrades, sisters and loved one because part of my resistance will be urging others to “see” these dangerous times, to understand how our country is poised on the abyss. I/We cannot turn away. I/We cannot continue with life as usual.

 

Gloria Steinem posted a thoughtful and melancholy editorial in The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/10/after-donald-trump-win-americans-organizing-us-politics?CMP=share_btn_fb    Here is an excerpt:

“The truth has been revealed. The next few years are going to be hell. However, we know from family violence – the paradigm of all violence that isn’t in self-defense – that the most dangerous time is the moment just before or just after escape. This is when a person is most likely to be beaten or killed because she or he is escaping control. I think this country is in a time of danger because most of us are escaping control by some of us. Just as we would never tell a woman, man or child to stay in a violent household, we will never go back to the old hierarchy. Despite ongoing threats, at home and in other countries, including a very racialized and gendered terrorism, we have many leaders who inspire democracy, who model it, and who know we are linked, not ranked. Luckily, real change, like a tree, grows from the bottom up, not the top down. We have Hillary, Barack and Michelle to guide us. We will not mourn, we will organize. Maybe we are about to be free.”

 

Hmmmm….about to be free?! Media, Democrats, Liberals, and their ilk are now busy (1) soft-pedaling white supremacy (i.e., really just racial resentment), (2) dismissing misogyny (i.e., HRC had her problems/couldn’t connect with white working class), and (3) covering over the results of the election where mostly white people voted for a President who unapologetically and gleefully espoused fascism, racism, white supremacy, misogyny, and Islamophobia by offering a class analysis (i.e., white working class angry that they have been screwed).

 

Class analysis alone simply hides white supremacy and misogyny that have long provided the foundation for economic inequities in the US. We must call out white supremacy and misogyny. We must call out excuses and superficial analyses. Yes, we must organize and act instead of mourning. But, without proper analyses, there will be few lasting victories.

 

In the speech Wednesday, Ta-Nehisi Coates called the election of Donald Trump “a mortal threat, not just to black people, not just to the country, but the whole world. “[after Obama’s election in 2008].. ….We had deeply, deeply underestimated ourselves. We had deeply, deeply underestimated our past.”

 

Do you need to get a perspective on white supremacy/nationalism in the US?

Read Ta-Nehisi Coates The Case for Reparations in the Atlantic.

Read this: https://www.thenation.com/article/this-is-what-white-supremacy-looks-like.

Read The Warmth of Other Suns. Read The New Jim Crow.

And consider the one issue that animated white evangelicals to vote for Trump – making sure that the Supreme Court would never free women from having their bodies controlled by others.

 

We cannot accept status quo behavior by our so-called leaders that normalizes the poison/toxicity of Republican leadership that has cultivated power premised on white nationalism and institutionalized racism. Misogyny is the oldest oppression and facilitates racism. Republican leadership starting with Nixon has created a killing field for black people and poor people and women in the US.

 

Here are instructive words from Makani Themba-Nixon (https://highergroundstrategies.net/leadership/):

“I think it’s important to remember that the majority has not spoken. This takeover was only made possible by the systematic suppression, repression, depression and oppression of our communities by rule of law and force. The popular vote was very close. The electoral college is rigged to reify white power under the racist premise of so called states rights. Six million mostly Black and Brown people are stripped of their voting rights for serving time. Black and Brown people routinely face barriers at the polls once they are registered. And organizing infrastructure has been decimated as funders play out their own version of the Hunger Games in our communities.”

“This “victory” was less about animating white anger than suppressing our power. If we don’t understand that then there will be another set of ineffective “strategies” to put more money into “reaching” white people – an idea that, without a broader justice strategy, has failed repeatedly. This is not a democracy. A democracy expects and supports its people to vote. A democracy is one person one vote, not the biased madness that is the electoral college. In a democracy, states have no rights, corporations are not human beings and every human being is treated humanely, with the right to express themselves, to participate in the decisions that affect their lives as long as they do not thwart that right for others.”

“This is not a messaging problem. It is about confronting/replacing the interlocking systems of white supremacy, patriarchy and capital with new, interrelated systems of love, respect and justice. Let’s begin by recognizing that if we don’t change the rules, if we don’t redistribute resources, whatever rhetoric gets developed will only catch in places for moments and slip away.”

 

Alright, the conclusion to my first post. Many wonderful colleagues are leading with solidarity and love. While I don’t believe that solidarity and love are inconsistent with outrage, I will not have my outrage and grief dulled and lulled. White supremacy and misogyny will never show any quarter. As Frederick Douglass noted Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”

 

On the first day of Obama’s first term, Mitch McConnell announced that his only goal was to block everything from the new President. President Obama was not allowed to speak to schoolchildren in Texas about the importance of education. Republicans cultivated and thrived on racist and nationalist lies spread across the country during Obama’s 8 years. And now we are supposed to reward these white men, whose pedigrees reach back to white slaveholders who created and grew this country on the blood of black and brown people, who have led our country to ruin in their bid to keep white power.

 

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! We must object fiercely to complicity with these people. We must demand accountability and reject sugar-coating white supremacy/nationalism and misogyny. We have to pull out the poisonous roots of our country and find equity, reparations, justice, and then peace.