One thing I learned early on in life was that the police are not hear to protect and serve. They are here to enforce the rigid class system by beating the fuck out of minorities. Yesterday the NYPD asked Twitter users to post cute personal photos with NYPD officers. Instead what they got was a series of pictures of alleged acts of police brutality. Check it the pictures below.
Before that Lemme ask you a “?”
In a national that has spent the last 20- years at least installing an infrastructure to allow for the mass surveillence of not only foreigner leaders and their constituent but also its very own citizens, what do you think will happen when the police are given left over military equipment from the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq? The American Civil Liberties Union had this to say about the militarization of the police:
The police officers on our streets and in our neighborhoods are not soldiers fighting a war. Yet many have been armed with tactics and weapons designed for battle overseas. The result: people – disproportionately those in poor communities and communities of color – have become targets for violent SWAT raids, often because the police suspect they have small amounts of drugs in their homes. Billions of dollars’ worth of military weapons and equipment is available to local police departments through grant programs administered by federal agencies such as the Departments of Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security. Until now, this has gone on with very little public oversight. Too little has been known about how much military equipment law enforcement agencies have, why they have it, and how they are using it.
Occupy wall Street open my eyes because I had never seen Caucasians get fucked up like that by the police. I enjoyed that little bit of credibility I got when other people were like: “Maybe police brutality was a real thing after all.” Enjoy!
There is a storm brewing. I know it is a day or two more removed from the one year anniversary of super storm Sandy, but don’t be frightened I am talking about racial tension. Recently Buzzfeed posted 17 Deplorable Examples of White Privilege and folks are up in arms. Of course not folks I know, but as the greatest American of my generation, all folks are in fact my folks by way of proxy and because of my duty to the Red White and Blue I must do some damage control. here is he link to Buzzfeed post
Let’s talk about privilege– a special advantage, immunity, permission, right, or benefit granted to or enjoyed by an individual, class, or caste. The definition is very straight-forward. Let me give you three examples of privileges:
Proof that White privilege Exists, & Can be Used for good
White privilege does exist, and some people have used it to speak for those who have no voice, to raise social awareness to the many ills infecting the world at this time. There were many white who helped freed blacks escape the south. There were many whites who put their lives on the line for others of a different race. I think before I go any further we should not forget their sacrifices and efforts without which I perhaps or many would not be here able to enjoy what rights I do.
But let’s Keep it Fucking Real
White privilege didn’t vanish about the late 60’s. We should be clear that:
White privilege exists. Let me give you some blatant examples that it exists
Examples of Privilege
EXAMPLE #1: According to statistics,Black Americans receive almost 60% longer prison sentences than white Americans who committed the same crime. This would fall under a special advantage that white offenders have that black offenders do not have.
EXAMPLE #3: You can walk the streets in Blackface in 2013, post pictures of yourself in Blackface on Facebook, Twitter, and say you didn’t think it would be offensive. In other words you can enjoy portraying centuries old stereotype for fun. Worst case scenario you have to issue an apology. That would be considered a permission in my book.
Like with everything in life, in order for any social privilege to exist there must be ‘things’ in place that allow it to continue existing in time. This may mean that many of us (white black yellow, red, blue, green, ultraviolet) can be supporting these privileges without even knowing we are, especially since many of these were written into institutions that were built long before we were born.. This also means that there are many who knowingly support measures to ensure these privileges continue.
So far, I think that I have made a fair case, that white privilege does exist. It has been used historically as a catalyst for much change in this country There are entrenched complex institutional practices that keep it going.
One cannot ignore some statistics, however there is another side to things that needs to be addressed.
The Other Side of the Discussion of Privilege
I believe that when the founders of the country got together and laid down the legal, economic and societal foundations of what would become the United States of America they didn’t consider natives and blacks as people. They didn’t also have the image of a non-wealthy Caucasian in mind.
“The founders of the American republic had pretty much the same view about the rabble. […] they determined that “power must be in the hands of the wealthy of the nation, the more responsible set of men. Those who have sympathy for property owners and their rights”, and of course for slave owners at the time. In general, men who understand that a fundamental task of government is “to protect the minority of the opulent from the majority”. Those are quotes from James Madison, the main framer – this was in the Constitutional Convention, which is much more revealing than the Federalist Papers which people read. The Federalist Papers were basically a propaganda effort to try to get the public to go along with the system. “
This add to the complexity of privilege. I have taken this from Allan G Johnson:
Privilege is not a personal characteristic or possession that makes someone “feel privileged.” It is an unearned advantage attached to a particular social characteristic, in this case being identified as white. Being white doesn’t guarantee anyone happiness or a good life, only a better chance at a good life than someone identified as being of colour.
I think it’s important to realize that in terms of an unearned advantage, not everyone gets to benefit or use that privilege. If you are a poor white person from West Virginia/ Appalachia working in a coal mine getting some lung related disease I doubt you will believe white privilege even exists or you have any benefit from being white. if you are a white student and a black student from your class got the scholarship to the University you wanted to go to I doubt you will feel that there is such a thing as white privilege.
I do believe that there is a class component to privilege. Talking about class in the USA is frowned upon. But there is a very specific role that class plays in the use and administration of privilege. Take a look at this I took from the a Chomsky interview: The unmentionable five-letter word aka class.
Statistics about things like quality of life, infant mortality, life expectancy, etc. are usually broken down by race. It always turns out that blacks have horrible statistics as compared with whites. But an interesting study was done by Vicente Navarro, a professor at Johns Hopkins who works on public health issues. He decided to reanalyze the statistics, separating out the factors of race and class. For example, he looked at white workers and black workers versus white executives and black executives. He discovered that much of the difference between blacks and whites was actually a class difference. If you look at poor white workers and white executives, the gap between them is enormous.
I would like to remind you that racism was a tool to support an economic system. So it shouldn’t be much of a stretch to imagine that there is a class component to the use, administration, and policing of privilege.
There is a lot more to be said this is a very complex issue. However how can we still move forward. That’s what this is all about moving forward. I feel that as long as there are amazing disparities in the distribution of wealth, there will be a group of people that will benefit unfairly and some that will suffer unfairly. The way we practice capitalism in this country reminds me of Cervantes or rather Don Quixote’s Windmills in that depending on the person they could raise you up to heavenly heights or they could hammer you down further into the ground.
I think we have to realize that the language to talk about privilege is a convoluted one. It took me a long time of reading to actually get an idea of what is meant by privilege and I feel there is much for me to learn. However I do feel we have to look at actions – they speak louder than words after all. If we are truly equal before the law there shouldn’t be such disparities in prison sentence terms for the same crime. I think we need to focus on actions like this.
Final Note: I can and will write more about this topic if you would like to. I want to explore the grey areas of it and expose its complexity to the light. However that will depend on your guys. leave a comment or a like. There’s a new article, 7 hours old, that deal with the Pentagon training manual saying that white males have unfair advantages. I feel this is going to stir up a lot of emotion and arguments.
let the shit storm begin
I originally got this from here. I found this to be so similar to my experience as first generation Haitian that I had to post it amidst shit-tons of laughter. It is interesting to when I talk to African or Negros from all over really how much we share despite the diaspora and a host of other historical events. Enjoy
1. Your parents always talk about how they had to walk 5,000 miles to get to school. Barefoot. Across a mountain. With a goat.
One of the most important experiences of being a writer is rejection. I have gotten rejected recently from some pretty good journals but it wasn’t a flat out rejection. Take a look:
Rejection # 1
This is a popular and really good poetry magazine and it would be a dream for me to be published here.
Thank you for your submission!
We enjoyed the voice in your poems; in particular we enjoyed:Charles, however, they are not what we are seeking for inclusion in [name hidden] We very much look forward to reading more from you in the future and encourage you to try us again.
Please feel free to submit again, we only ask that you wait at least three months before re-submitting.
I think it takes a bit of time to get used to rejection letters. After all when one is a writer one has to spend a lot of time honing one’s skills and this happens usually in the ambiance of an action packed workday filled with a ton of responsibilities. I think rejection letter are important because they, for me at least, teach the writer/poet/story-teller:
1. How to become better at selecting the appropriate genre and niche for one’s writing. For me I have spent the last year working on making my verse technically sound and I can see the difference
2. How to write in such a way as to make your work accessible to others,
3 How to proofread and edit your own work, etc
My plan still is the same, it is to publish in as many magazines ad publications as I can. (I have a targeted amount of publications in mind I would like to achieve. Then I will go on to create a chapbook or two and then finally hopefully then publish ad actual collection traditionally.
Every great writer or poet has had to deal with rejection. I felt that the sooner I was able to not take it so personally the sooner I was able to benefit from them and work to improve my craft
if you have noticed, I share a lot my thought and reflections on things happening in the world around me. I do not share equally things that happen interiorly. The sincere expression of human emotion is to me the most transcendental and transformative of things. To express sincere emotion is to place one’s self in a place of vulnerability and for me that is not something I do unless I get to know someone.
Monday August 5th, I turned 32, and I feel like I have lived many lives in one which has its merits I must say. I don’t give a shit that I have some wrinkles and grey hairs. I don’t wanna hold on to my youth. I have some things I want to do with my life before it’s over and be on my way and I find the idea of dying doesnt bother me as much as the idea of physical suffering does.
What really got me this birthday, was the happy bday wishes I got from some of you on Facebook or on twitter in particular my friend Marj from the blog http://justmarj.wordpress.com sent me. Between bouts of epic debauchery and fornication I would get happy bdays messages and it was nice to spread out the love both figuratively and literally that day. My friend Marj dedicated a whole post to my bday which means a lot. This is one of things she said
This friend of mine has been with me here for almost a year now. He’s been like a younger brother to me and I’m sure he considers me like an elder sister. We kind of made a pact in the not so distant past we’re gonna be pals for as long as we can. Well, I’m counting on that. I guess part of the reason why my camaraderie with him has been, so far, my most successful and the longest one is because we do not take each other so seriously. Sometimes we are there for each other, sometimes we’re not, but the connection stays anyway. The exchange between us has always been lighthearted – not much expectation as what usual friends hold. Nonetheless, we respect each other and try to be sensitive towards what either of us might be going through. Also one of the most intelligent WordPress writers I’ve ever met, this dear friend of mine has recently moved to his new home in New Jersey with his long-time lady. I’m happy for them and wish them quite well.
Marj and I chit chat whenever we have the time which is an amazing feat as there is a 12 hour time difference between our respective places. We talk lightheartedly sometime seriously and this has been one of my proudest accomplishments: to talk to someone sincerely. She tells me not to drink so much at times, and I tell her not to work so much and to drink some, and it works. I am always happy to see her online when I do. This is one gift that blogging has brought. I do not like too much attention on me, maybe its my best intimation of piety. Marj has said an awful lot of nice things about me and written a poem.
I don’t know what else to say so here is a video, My connection at best is quite shitty so bear with my blogging pace and getting back to your comments