Tuesday, March 6, 2007


Sunday, March 04, 2007

First we must agree that racism/white supremacy is the mother's milk of this country. Any thorough reading of history will support that contention.

Next we must agree on definitions...not the popular definition of racism which is now being advanced by "mainstream" media, culture, and political thought that supports the notion that racism is individual acts of "hate","ignorance" and prejudice -- which we all can have -- or even discrimination -- which is a behavior manifesting the prejudice.

No, we must wrap our minds around the accurate definition of racism: racial and cultural prejudice and discrimination, supported intentionally or unintentionally by institutional power and authority, used to the advantage of one race and the disadvantage of other races.

The critical element which differentiates racism from prejudice and discrimination is the use of institutional power and authority to support prejudices and enforce discriminatory behaviors in systemic ways with far-reaching outcomes and effects.

Now, I know that you've heard, as we all have -- mostly from defensive whites and from others of all races who are usually defending whites -- that "African Americans can be racists, too!"

In other societies where they hold far-reaching institutional power and authority that can and does impact and control the lives of other -- yes.

BUT IN AMERIKKKA where they have yet to hold institutional power and authority with far-reaching power that impacts upon the day to day lives of whites living in this country in most or all indicators of life? Uh...no.

Even in those instances where African Americans hold power in existing institutional structures, either in reality (i.e. they are the majority in leadership positions, bear the reins of institutional power, have an organizational culture that is racially reflective, and are not controlled by others of different races holding the funding reins) or as the "organizational face" (i.e. they are the public face of the organization but do not have institutional control of the organization), they still do not have the power or reach to affect the lives of whites either legally, socially, economically, or by any indicator with which we measure power, authority, and control.

By contrast, whites in Amerikkka have historically been and remain over-represented in all institutions -- the White House, Congress, industry, the legal system, etc. -- that have far-reaching power and authority to control the lives of all Americans.

And historically, that power has been used in this society to support white supremacist philosophy and to develop and implement laws, customs, and practices which systematicallyreflect and produce racial inequalities in Amerikkkan society.

Which brings us to institutional racism -- those established laws, customs, and practices which systematically reflect and produce racial inequalities in Amerikkkan society, whether or not the individuals maintaining these practices have racist intentions. Institutional racism is often discrimination without prejudice. Individuals can unintentionally discriminate by applying policies and practices that perpetuate past inequalities. And while their attitudes may be unbiased -- devoid of "hate' or "ignorance" -- their behavior enforces the philosophy as well as the practice of racism.

And -- as we see so many times in every day life, right? -- the advantages created for whites by these systems and structures are often invisible to them, or are considered "rights" available to everyone as opposed to "privileges" awarded to only some individuals and groups.

So, does this mean that African Americans are powerless in the face of racism/white supremacy? NO!

We have a long, vibrant, active, and varied history of resistance to racial and other oppression beginning with the Afrikans forced upon these shores. But unfortunately, this history of Afrikan and African American resistance is not one taught in schools or even often passed down through oral histories in our families.

I know you've heard of the Civil Rights Movement...right? But have you heard of the Moors?

You've heard of The Underground Railroad. But have you heard of the many acts of resistance in plantations across the South?

You've heard propoganda about the Black Panthers Party. But do you know the true story?

And do you know about the active resistance to oppression going on in different communities in your own backyard?

That is the purpose of "Blogging Amerikkka." We will be highlighting and profiling those in the arts community, the social justice community, the poetic community, in grassroots resistance movements, and others.

Whether working from the inside of institutions or on the outside of those social structures, we will be making connections to help you find your place and role -- if you want one.

Just as importantly, a focus of "Blogging Amerikkka" will be deconstructing and analyzing how racism/white supremacy rears its head and impacts upon day-to-day life...popular culture, "mainstream" media, TV, music, personal interactions, etc.

Because often times, we do not see the subtle "brainwashing" which keeps us in chains because we do not have the tools to deconstruct and analyze the racist undercurrent...to pull the hood off the underlying racial assumptions that fuel the exchanges.

Finally, "Blogging Amerikkka" will address the issue of internalized oppression -- the acceptance and incorporation of the negative images of one's own group that are fostered by the dominant group regarding looks, culture, ability, etc. These negative messages -- when absorbed, believed, internalized, and acted upon -- often in ways detrimental to the oppressed group -- represent internalized oppression.

Because don't think I'm going to forget the "issues" that we as oppressed folk bring to the table and the ways in which we collude -- yes, collude, I said it! -- in maintaining systems of oppression because we internalize the false belief that the system is correct AND as a means of survival.

But you know what? I'm also going to talk about ways in which we can heal ourselves and free our minds, hearts, and souls. And in doing so, we can re-build our families and our communities.

So stay with me and follow the flow...

And bring the hip boots, 'cause it's going to get deep up in here...

Moving Forward,


*Thanks to my BARN/WARN network for the definitions!

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