Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Racism, Terrorism, and Self-Reflection

Have you looked inside and confronted what lies within?

Recently, American society has had much over which to pat its back. We have made strides in ridding our public sphere of a symbol of hatred. The Supreme Court ruled in favour of Fair Housing and neutral re-districting. However, this is nowhere near enough.

In this country, black people continue to be discriminated against in terms of employment, housing, and health care access. Higher prices are quoted black people for the same, less expensive services as are accessed by whites. Black people are incarcerated at far higher rates than whites, and for offenses which are much more petty. In fact, black people are executed by the state at rates far higher than their white counterparts.

This is why the Supreme Court ruling in favour of problematic lethal injection drugs is as worrisome as it is: that torturous cocktail will be disproportionately used against black people. In addition, the Supreme Court's ruling against the EPA will allow coal plants to continue spewing pollution into mostly black communities.

We already know that there is a racism problem in America: our collective attention has been gripped by images of a white supremacist having gunned down worshippers at a black church and of the seven or eight black church burnings that have taken place since. Some of us have even heard of the KKK letters that have been sent to three female pastors of black churches. We have all been made painfully aware of the level of police violence against black people.

How many of us, though, are paying attention to these ongoing, less visible, less hyped everyday forms of racism faced by black people? How many of us follow those stories? How many of us respond by calling on our elected officials to change policies? Supporting protests? Taking direct action? How many of us have looked inside for those answers and faced that which we would much rather ignore?

The following photo of Mt Zion AME burning is contained for the purpose of Facebook visibility.

My Note:
People of Color Are Already Getting Hit the Hardest by Climate Change
Stephen Hsieh
22 April 2014
Sixty-eight percent of African-Americans live within thirty miles of a coal-fired power plant, the zone of maximum exposure to pollutants that cause an array of ailments, from heart disease to birth defects. Communities of color breathe in nearly 40 percent more polluted air than whites.

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