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“You’re tired of hearing about it? Imagine how exhausting it is to live it!”

But clearly the discussion has to be had.  Click on the photo to enlarge.


Alleged by the ACLU is racial bias against African Americans and Native Americans – Ryan Burns reports.

The claims of assault and sexual assault (“titty-twisting Tuesdays” and and “slap-ass Fridays”) , are very disturbing, as are the claims of disproportionate discipline.

The lawsuit, which names as defendants the members of the Eureka City Schools District Board of Education and the district’s superintendent, among other school officials, charges that blatant racial harassment occurs regularly as white students frequently use racial slurs to refer to Black students and commit violence against Native American and Black students without ever being disciplined by school staff.

Native American and Black students are also disciplined differently and much more harshly than white students. According to school district data from the 2011-2012 school year, Black students were suspended from some Eureka schools at a rate as much as five times higher than their enrollment rate while Native American students were suspended from some schools at a rate three times higher than their enrollment rate. Comparatively, white students are suspended at or about their rate of enrollment in district schools. Additionally, Native American students are pushed out of mainstream schools and into county-run community schools designed for high-risk youth and which do not appropriately prepare students planning to attend college. The Native American population at the Eureka Community School was three times higher than their overall district enrollment rate in 2011-2012, district data shows.

District curriculum also ignores or actively affronts the racial and cultural history of Native American and Black students by utilizing materials that use the word “savage,” “negro,” and “nigger” without examining the offensiveness or historical context of those terms.

I would however, like to know more about the last paragraph there – some specific context.  Are we talking about Mark Twain?  I do think that some adults fail to give children and teenagers credit for being able to sort the historical issues out.  I assume that more information will be forthcoming after the districts try to get the suits dismissed and the depositions begin.

I had heard last spring that this lawsuit was underway, and as a parent of nonwhite children attending the city schools I am very concerned and I will be watching this story closely.  And I will discuss these issues with them tonight.

Addendum:  Lost Coast Outpost is also on the story.

Saying Grace: Paula Deen, Progressives, and Race


By Maria Dixon

Pretty funny performances.

This is the best Onion video I’ve seen in a long time.

As we wait with baited breath to know the skin color of the Boston Marathon Bomber, after the right portion of the media went off half-cocked to pin it on a bisexual Saudi student who was tackled and detained for the crime of running from the blast with too much melanine in his skin, some thoughts from across the web for your consideration.


From Barbara Ehrenreich:

“The wait to find out the identity of the marathon bombing suspect is like a ghoulish version of the presidential election: The left desperately wants a homegrown rightwing terrorist; the right smugly expects a Muslim jihadist. Really, just the guilty person will do.”


From Tim Wise:

“White privilege is knowing that even if the Boston Marathon bomber turns out to be white, his or her identity will not result in white folks generally being singled out for suspicion by law enforcement, or the TSA, or the FBI.
White privilege is knowing that even if the bomber turns out to be white, no one will call for whites to be profiled as terrorists as a result, subjected to special screening, or threatened with deportation.
White privilege is knowing that if the bomber turns out to be white, he or she will be viewed as an exception to an otherwise non-white rule, an aberration, an anomaly, and that he or she will be able to join the ranks of Tim McVeigh and Terry Nichols and Ted Kaczynski and Eric Rudolph and Joe Stack and George Metesky and Byron De La Beckwith and Bobby Frank Cherry and Thomas Blanton and Herman Frank Cash and Robert Chambliss and James von Brunn and Robert Mathews and David Lane and Michael F. Griffin and Paul Hill and… John Salvi and James Kopp and Luke Helder and James David Adkisson and Scott Roeder and Shelley Shannon and Dennis Mahon and Wade Michael Page and Byron Williams and Kevin Harpham and William Krar and Judith Bruey and Edward Feltus and Raymond Kirk Dillard and Adam Lynn Cunningham and Bonnell Hughes and Randall Garrett Cole and James Ray McElroy and Michael Gorbey and Daniel Cowart and Paul Schlesselman and Frederick Thomas and Paul Ross Evans and Matt Goldsby and Jimmy Simmons and Kathy Simmons and Kaye Wiggins and Patricia Hughes and Jeremy Dunahoe and David McMenemy and Bobby Joe Rogers and Francis Grady and Demetrius Van Crocker and Floyd Raymond Looker, among the pantheon of white people who engage in (or have plotted) politically motivated violence meant to terrorize and kill, but whose actions result in the assumption of absolutely nothing about white people generally, or white Christians in particular.”
From the “suspect’s” roommate as he’s being harassed by a Fox News hound.
Fox:  “Do you think your friend did it….?”
Roommate:  “Let me go to school dude!”
On that “Saudi person of interest” – the best summary so far.  Really, his facebook page identifies him as a bisexual who likes the Ellen Degeneres show and still the right was painting him as a potential Islamic extremist.
And from what is unfortunately not:
It does appear that the person likely to be arrested is a “dark skinned man.”  So I guess all is justified.
More later.  This will be the topic of my radio show tomorrow night, 7:00 on KMUD.
Addendum:  This is being spread around represented as Palestinian kids, but Salon identifies them as Iraqi.  Heartwarming in either case.  Photo is borrowed from Salon.

From Kos.

When I recently posted that my son made it to 10 years of age without having heard the word “nigger,” somebody suggested that by raising him in Sohum that I was keeping him in a “bubble.”  Well, according to some out-of-town football players and coaches, the word has been thrown around at some games (and now a complaint has been filed with the California Interscholastic Federation).

The comments section attached to the Time Standard article has been pretty heated.  But this morning I found this comment.

you can say that because you have not had to deal with racism. for the record, for some of us it is very important. p.s. i’ m humboldt born and raised so i know the reality of how disrespectful people can be in ferndale, fortuna, eureka, mckinleyville, arcata and especially southern humboldt.

Apparently not everybody experiences a bubble in Sohum.  Again, I’m grateful for my childrens’ experiences.  But I would like to know what this woman is talking about.

I was raised with KPFA, and every year on MLK’s birthday they would trot out the usual “the-popular-media-gets-King-wrong” themes – airing his more economically radical speeches, his stand against the Vietnam War, etc.  It’s not that I disagree with them, it’s just a theme that’s been repeated so many times in the same way I just kind of roll my eyes when I see them.  Yes, he had radical political positions.  He also took conservative approaches at times, often leaning towards his Andrew Youngs as much as his Stokely Carmichaels for advice.  And his “I Have a Dream” speech might seem almost trite after hearing it 500 times for those of us who weren’t even born when he gave it, but when you look at it and consider the context and the prose, the brilliance of the speech can’t be oversold really.  It was for a larger audience, but its scope was grand and the fact that it’s really the only speech that 95 percent of the public will remember, that takes nothing from its significance.

So I kind of sighed when I ventured over to Daily Kos this morning and read a title post:  Most of you have no idea what Martin Luther King actually did.

Well, I sighed and clicked on the link, and found that it wasn’t your typical lefty deconstruction of the watering down of King as distance lends sterilization of the message.  In fact, the post wasn’t about message.  It was about the actual accomplishment of King and the Civil Rights Movement – what it means to African Americans.   And why they bristle when we on the left, or even some younger African Americans, say that the “dream” was not accomplished.  That progress was temporary or exaggerated.  What is emphasized, even by the left, is the universality of the causes King represented, and the failure to obtain “true equality” or fully economically emancipate the African American communities.  The actual accomplishments are more significant to black people than to white people, and perhaps more to older people than younger.  The post was written by an African American.  This is the heart of the piece.

So anyway, I was having this argument with my father about Martin Luther King and how his message was too conservative compared to Malcolm X’s message.  My father got really angry at me.  It wasn’t that he disliked Malcolm X, but his point was that Malcolm X hadn’t accomplished anything as Dr. King had.  

I was kind of sarcastic and asked something like, so what did Martin Luther King accomplish other than giving his “I have a dream speech.”

Before I tell you what my father told me, I want to digress.  Because at this point in our amnesiac national existence, my question pretty much reflects the national civic religion view of what Dr. King accomplished.  He gave this great speech.  Or some people say, “he marched.”  I was so angry at Mrs. Clinton during the primaries when she said that Dr. King marched, but it was LBJ who delivered the Civil Rights Act.

At this point, I would like to remind everyone exactly what Martin Luther King did, and it wasn’t that he “marched” or gave a great speech.

My father told me with a sort of cold fury, “Dr. King ended the terror of living in the south.”

Please let this sink in and and take my word and the word of my late father on this.  If you are a white person who has always lived in the U.S. and never under a brutal dictatorship, you probably don’t know what my father was talking about.  

But this is what the great Dr. Martin Luther King accomplished.  Not that he marched, nor that he gave speeches.

He ended the terror of living as a black person, especially in the south.

That’s a taste, and it’s something we forget.  Something I wasn’t alive to see or hear about as it unfolded.  But it is not the grand message of a unified race that is the core of what he represented, at least not to the older generation of African Americans.  Read the whole very powerful post, right down to the postscript, which appeals to a little bit of perspective for bloggers:

PS.  I really shouldn’t have to add this but please — don’t ever confuse someone criticizing you or telling you bad things over the internet with what happened to people during the civil rights movement.  Don’t.  Just don’t do it.  Don’t go there.

December 2014
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