Tag Archives: African American

Stop lying to yourself

Stop-Telling-White-Lies-Step-4By Olivia C. Granja

Welcome to Snapchat nation, where any problem, thought, feeling, or inequality will be forgotten in less than ten seconds.

The  thought  that racism ended with the election of President Barack Obama in 2009, is incorrect and needs to come to an end. Racism is still a huge part of the society and will continue to be if action is not taken. It is not one’s fault that they were raised within a system of lies, but it is now their responsibility to create change.

Only 10 percent of Connecticut’s 169 towns offers affordable housing.

A shockingly low percentage when statistics show African American families are three times more likely to grow up poor.

In today’s society where 30 percent of someone’s paycheck goes toward housing, it is very important that the place were one resides typically is their biggest investment.

Exclusionary zoning affects people of color directly and drastically. Exclusionary zoning is zoning ordinances that keep out certain people from a given community. These ordinances can create white dominant towns and prevent children of color from attending superior schools — thus impacting their educational career as well as social upbringing.

African Americans are five to nine times more likely to be incarcerated than whites and four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana. That totals to 160,000 African Americans being arrested a year in the United States. This incarnation rate does not represent a “War on Drugs” yet represents a war on people of a certain race and economic status. This war is resulting in 1.6 million African Americans with a criminal record, who have lost the opportunity to vote, certain housing options, employment prospects, and education benefits.

Stop scapegoating. People of color cannot be considered “lazy” and “job stealers” at the same time. This is not about white people but about whiteness as a system of thought or behavior. A typical white dropout makes TWICE the net worth than an African American college graduate. Yet, white people are far less likely to see the discrepancies between the races. Implicit bias plays a  role in their inability to see the reality of the facts. Implicit Bias is an attitude or belief that is outside of the conscious awareness or control. There are also certain luxurious that come when one is a part of a dominant group. The main luxury is being oblivious. When one is considered “normal” in society, they often don’t get labeled or think about how they don’t belong.

It is time to stop pretending to be colorblind but instead be color aware. This is not about politics (democratic or republican) but it is about justice for all. These issues are imbedded within the society and great bounds must still be accomplished to see drastic change. One cannot stay still on this moving train or they will have no say in where they end up.

The whiteness system of thought

By Jesmarie Disdiel

wagegapbrokenupbyrace-011Race and wealth and income inequality go hand in hand. People discuss how minorities get the short end of the stick; that they don’t get far because the system has been set up that way. There are also all the stereotypes that follow minorities, for example that African-Americans and Mexicans are lazy, or,they take all the low-wage jobs. We consistently hear that it is poor people that are bringing down the economy, that it is their entire fault. What about white people? Do they have  no fault in how the economy is today?

Tim Wise put it as the “Whiteness System of Thought.” White people, and this is a generalization, are somewhat willfully ignorant to what is going on around them. Many of them believe that it is minorities causing  problems in the economy, but that is not true. The “problem is economy predicated on low wages,”  said Wise at CCSU’s Bridging the Gap: A Dream Deferred event on Dec. 10. Rich companies give low wages to employees who are then forced to rely on SNAP, funded by taxes. It is a never-ending cycle, and it is those (primarily white) CEOs who allow  it to continue.

White people are ignorant to the facts and history that African-Americans know all too well. African-Americans understand the system, while white people may not. The system sets up minorities to fail and for white people to succeed. There is no such thing as actual “privilege.” It is a made-up notion that white people, or the majority of a culture, have more claim to anything than those they deem below them. They believe they deserve better because they “are better”.

However, there exists both true ignorance and willful ignorance, which is choosing to ignore what is going on in the world. All the facts and information can be laid right out in front of someone, but they can still choose to ignore because it is better to ignore the ugly than to acknowledge it. For example, it is a fact that White people commit more crimes a year than African-Americans. The numbers exist. Yet, instead of believing the numbers or doing their own research, White people make the assumption that it is only minorities who commit crimes, and since this is all that is reported in the news, a racial bias and stereotype is created. If more White people were sent to prison and more reports of White crime were released, maybe people would begin to fear White people more than minorities.

It is everyone’s responsibility to self-educate and learn the truth of what is going on in the world. Following and believing in the system and trusting that what they see in the media is true, just creates ignorance. Staying neutral brings you down the same old beaten path, not inspiring any new thought or revelation. No one race is responsible for wealth and income inequality, but a whole government or system can be. That’s truth.