Part 3 of 4 | See Previous Post
Kim: I’m just so proud of my people - especially my complexion and darker - standing up and taking ownership of Blackness. I'm not cowering to these privileged norms they’re trying to impose on us. Identity's a two-way street. You can't just blindly assert yourself in this world and demand acceptance. You earn it. We all had to.
Kim: So I just saw on Facebook that "Black Lives Matter" was an answer on Jeopardy. A lot of people took that as some momentous symbol of progress.
Matt: Yeah, that sort of reminds me of one of the tactics used against organizers years ago. The powers that be would put one person on a pedestal - give then an inflated sense of self - and in turn, others involved were made to feel inferior.
A young Black man was executed by at least six SFPD officers in the Bayview neighborhood of San Francisco on 12/02/15.
Esther Kibreab: Maybe the goal's love and understanding. And I know that's, it's a little too - but love and understanding. Love has always been my goal. But I don't know if that's too hippie -
Kim: And see I go back to the analogy of people of color and white people being in this abusive inescapable relationship. We're born into this narrative where [people of color] are the abused party - there's nothing we did to deserve this. And there's nothing I can do to get me out of this relationship. And just because we're trapped and I can't get out doesn't make me want to meet my attacker with love. All I want for them to do is to take accountability for what they've done and what they're going to continue to do. I'm not telling any white people they're not racist.
Esther Kibreab: No, I don't want to tell them that either!
Part I of 2 | See Later Post
People of color are mostly transracial. If not by our actions, then by how we're perceived. There are those who denounce their identities. Some people are inspired to assume the identities of others. Race isn't always concrete. And within some groups, especially the African-American community, acceptance is a constant negotiation.
Among Black people, skin color does not guarantee that people will perceive you as Black. For example, mixed-Black people and Africans often fail to recognize how often Black people reject them. For African-Americans, skin color and origin don't equate to race as much as culture. Despite their seemingly Black appearances, both Africans and mixed-Black people often fail to acknowledge their further proximity to actual Blackness (versus perceived). And in North America, especially during the Black Lives Matter movement, that mindset undermines the Black lives taken by police (and other forces) specifically because of their ancestral and cultural relationships to slavery within this country. This pattern has diluted the Black identities that deserve our utmost attention; and there are ways to align with Blackness without marginalizing those most affected by its consequences.
Communities of color fault white people for being colorblind, but we commit the same mistake by Black-washing entire groups as well - especially when Black people have their own unique culture and identity that deserves the same sacredness as other groups are afforded.
From: Sonja Sorensen
Re: Thomas Sorensen
I enjoyed talking with you this evening. :)
In the heat of the conversation, I feel like I was caught up in talking. I want you to know that you're justified in whatever opinions you hold, but I didn't want to confirm anything you felt regarding my family, specifically my uncle and his family.
I personally disagree with many things he does and says, however I don't believe him to be intolerant as much as ignorant. I don't presume to know what your encounters or feelings are, I just don't want to mislead you or say things that may or may not be true. I felt like I was not clear with all the information I may have provided.
While I did say that some of his friends were involved with skin heads, I don't know all the actual values he holds for himself, and I don't believe him to be completely intolerant, as I said. I know very little about his personal life, and although he says distasteful things, I have also seem him act differently than he speaks, like others in my family.
Part 2 of 4 | See Previous Post
Zakiya: I am Black. I am Black at work. I am Black in the grocery stores. I am Black when a police officer pulls me over. I am Black when I walk down the street. I am Black when I apply to schools. I am Black when I feel insecure - or not pretty enough around white people. I am Black when I second guess myself. I am Black when I see bullshit like this post. Regardless of your opinion of my Blackness, there are ways to approach the subject rather than regarding yourself as the owner of my identity. White people have already stolen my identity - I live in [that] everyday. That's my struggle. But you, as a Black queer woman of color, will not sit on your culprit when [I am not] your enemy. I am not your damn enemy. When I said define Black, define African, I am not saying that as some pasty white person working at my father's hedgefund who is denial of their significant birthrights. You as a Black woman should be ashamed. I am aware of my privileges, woman. Yes, I am a light-skinned woman with long, curly hair. Yes, my father is from Liberia. Yes, my mother is white. But that doesn't make me no less Black to the oppressors of this world...
Even though things are getting seemingly better, if you want a reminder that this is Oakland - leave your bike outside unlocked.
Oakland is for fighters, we're all fighters. Even our bad reputations, we had to earn that. People come here and expect things to be just given to them. But come to Oakland willing to do the work to understand where you are.
The roots of our prejudice run very deep. To begin with, we can now agree that the evils of slavery were never truly addressed or repaid. An estimated 620,000 soldiers lost their lives fighting a war that was fought on the basis of eliminating the slave economy, and African Americans were indeed declared free, but other than having a formal legal declaration, they were largely abandoned to their fate amongst a deeply divided and bigoted nation.
In the South, African Americans faced Jim Crow and segregation, as well as political terror from the Ku Klux Klan, which was largely tolerated by the authorities. In the North, African American's were hypocritically welcomed to the land of their more progressive neighbors, while outright being denied FHA loans by the US Government and shunted into neighborhoods with inferior housing, infested with loan sharks, among other discriminatory practices.