One year after Charlottesville rally, Trump says he condemns all racism

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Saturday he condemns “all types of racism and acts of violence,” appealing for unity ahead of the anniversary of a deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.


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Racism, Research and Barriers to Better Health Outcomes for Women

Once again this summer, I had the privilege of moderating sessions during the Spotlight Health Aspen Institute Ideas Festival. There were some surprises in a session titled “Breakthroughs and Challenges in Women’s Health” with importance for all women, and I want to share some of that information with you.

From Left: Linda Villarosa, Dr. Deborah Rhodes, Dr. Paula Johnson and Pat Mitchell.

With two esteemed physicians—Dr. Deborah Rhodes of the Mayo Clinic and Dr. Paula Johnson, who was chief of women’s health at Brigham and Women’s Hospital at Harvard University and is now the president of Wellesley College—and science journalist Linda Villarosa, we began our conversation with the important reminder that improving health care depends in large part on research.

Despite legislation passed over 20 years ago, women, and especially women of color, are still being left out of clinical trials. The health outcomes for women, and especially women of color, reflect this disparity.

Dr. Paula Johnson talked about the disparity between the resources for research on men’s diseases and those specific to women in her 2014 TEDWomen talk—and if you haven’t seen it, I highly encourage you to watch it.

Dr. Johnson explained that every cell in the human body has a sex, which means that men and women are different right down to the cellular level! As a result, there are often significant differences in the ways in which men and women respond to disease or treatment. It’s very important in research trials to differentiate between female and male subjects so we can tease out the differences.

Although we have made progress since the 1990s with more women included in late-phase trials, we’re still not there in phases one and two. This is important, she says, because how do we get to phase three? Phases one and three. In these early stages of research, female cells and female animals still aren’t being used. Why? She says one commonly cited reason is that female animals have an estrous cycle. Well, guess what, she says, so do we. What are we missing by not including female cells earlier in the research process?

One of the barriers to progress that perhaps we don’t think about as much is the problem with well-entrenched power paradigms, profit motives and institutional priorities. What happens when a doctor sees a need and solves it but the status quo is preferred over progress?

Dr. Deborah Rhodes sharing her research with the audience.

Dr. Deborah Rhodes—whose TED talk from TEDWomen 2010 is a must—spoke about the challenges to her attempts to introduce a new diagnostic protocol for women with dense breasts. Dr. Rhodes (who in spirit of full disclosure is my personal physician at the Mayo Clinic) has observed in her practice that about 50 percent of women were potentially missing a cancer diagnosis because traditional mammograms fail in detecting breast cancer in women with dense breasts. Mammograms depend on visually seeing cancer cells and in dense breasts this is more difficult because of the surrounding dense tissue.

As Dr. Rhodes says, in looking at entrenched paradigms in medicine, there is perhaps nothing more entrenched than the mammogram. She worked with physicists to come up with a new way to look for tumors using a tracer that has been safely used in cardiovascular medicine for decades that distinguishes tumor cells regardless of density. Her technique is FDA approved but you’ve probably never heard of it. It speaks to, as she says, “the extraordinary difficulties of upsetting something that is so precious to us as a mammogram.”

Earlier detection using her new test in women with dense breasts whose cancer may be hidden in a mammogram could spare women from toxic treatment—less advanced cancer means less chemotherapy—and, in more advanced cases, saving lives. Despite that, her research has been very, very difficult to fund. She says it’s a daily uphill battle to overturn the status quo. Doctors have invested years and years in learning how to read these difficult mammograms, and billions of dollars are invested in the current technology, resulting in a resistance to new technology and new ways of testing.

One of the more shocking statistics that Dr. Rhodes highlighted in her presentation was the disparity in outcomes for white women and women of color with breast cancer. White women are more likely to get breast cancer than black women, but black women are more likely to die of breast cancer. She says that is true particularly for black women under the age of 50 who are diagnosed with breast cancer. They are 77 percent more likely to die than white women. She points out that despite abundant data that informs us of these disparities, solutions are not being pursued.

Linda Villarosa explaining her process at Spotlight Health.

The same tragic disparity between what we need to know for better health outcomes and what is fully understood as life and death factors was the subject of Linda Villarosa’s recent cover story in the New York Times Magazine: “Why America’s Black Mothers and Babies Are in a Life-Or-Death Crisis.” In her incredible article, she noted that black women were three-to-four times as likely to die in childbirth than white women and black babies die at a rate that is twice that of white babies

Linda was one of the first journalists to put the maternal and infant mortality rates together and to investigate why black women and babies are so at risk, explaining, “a common theme here is that the data exists, but it has been ignored or beaten back.”

And further, she connected a condition identified earlier by Dr. Arline Geronimus called “weathering” that is a significant factor in the health outcomes for women of color. “The effect of racism—living with the near daily episodes of micro-aggressions and discriminations,” she observed, “have an adverse impact on health that needs to be better understood and incorporated into diagnosis and treatment for women of color.”

Shocking, yes, and deeply disturbing—but the good news is that the more we know about our own health and what impacts it adversely, the more proactive we can be as health consumers. As one of the panelists noted to this highly engaged audience at Aspen Institute: “Nothing less than our lives depends on being informed and demanding that our health care institutions and physicians are, too.”

Originally published on Pat Mitchell’s blog. Republished with author permission.

Pat Mitchell is known for her leadership in the media industry as a CEO, producer and curator. She partners with the TED organization to co-curate and host an annual global TEDWomen conference and is the chair of theWomen’s Media Center and Sundance Institute boards, a founding board member of V-Day, a member of the board of the Acumen Fund and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. The first woman president and CEO of PBS, she most recently served as president and CEO of the Paley Center for Media; she is now a senior adviser to the organization. She is also the former president of CNN Productions, where she executive produced hundreds of hours of documentaries and specials, which received 35 Emmy Awards and five Peabody Awards. She was inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame in 2009.

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Brewers All-Star Josh Hader’s Racism Controversy May Be History Repeating Itself

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The real hero in this Josh Hader racist-ass tweets story isn’t the internet snoop who dug up the pure horseshit he wrote when he was seventeen years old and posted it while he was giving up a three-run blast to Mariners shortstop Jean Segura in Tuesday’s MLB All-Star Game (that’s not to say they didn’t do excellent posting, of course—dredging up old racist crap to hold someone accountable is good as hell). No, the hero here is pretty much everyone who has any stake in Josh Hader’s success. Because how the fuck, in 2018, did his girlfriend (who works in PR), his agent, his family, the management of the Brewers, the management of every minor league squad he ever played for, his friends, his lawyer, his teammates, his goddamn dentist, for Christ’s sake, not sit down, grab this idiot by the shoulders, and tell him to scrub everything he posted on the internet before he turned twenty?

I find it pretty hard to believe that Josh Hader is just so decent seeming, a kind and warm presence to everyone he has ever met, constantly giving money to charities and progressive causes, that it never occurred to anyone that he might have done some messed-up posting in his life. No, the only rational conclusion here is that all of these people knew that Hader could be prone to doing something like this when he wore the clothes of a younger man, and they decided, for the good of Josh and for the good of society at large, that letting him get caught and publicly shamed during the climax of his professional life was the only moral option; the only way to allow the universe to force Hader to atone for his youthful racism, homophobia and misogyny.

There is simply no feasible way this oversight could be an oversight at all: this was a deliberate action undertaken by dozens of people designed to drag the hideousness of Hader’s racism into the harsh light of day, hold it on display for all to see, and communicate a lesson to the youth of America who hope to someday play professional sports: it will be found, you will be punished. Clean up your act, check your goddamn privilege and quit being a vile shithead or society will scorn you.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The stunning evidence of Harvard’s racism

Harvard University records unveiled Friday show the school engages in blatant, egregious racism in the name of diversity. The info came out thanks to the lawsuit by Students for Fair Admissions over admission policies that discriminate against Asian-Americans. Perhaps the most damaging revelation was a 2013 internal Harvard study that concluded exactly what the suit…
Opinion | New York Post

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The difference between Roseanne Barr’s overt racism and Samantha Bee’s crude remark

The difference between Roseanne Barr’s overt racism and Samantha Bee’s crude remark


The difference between Roseanne Barr’s overt racism and Samantha Bee’s crude remark

Two days after Roseanne Barr went on a racist Twitter rant that resulted in the cancellation of her sitcom revival on ABC — a rant in which she compared former Obama aide Valerie Jarrett to an ape — comedian Samantha Bee is facing similar blowback from folks on the right. People are likening the insult that Bee aimed at Ivanka Trump — calling her a “feckless c—” during a segment of her TBS show Full Frontal — to Barr’s online comments. Many conservatives who are critical of ABC’s decision to fire Barr immediately demanded the cancellation of Bee’s show, and they weren’t alone. The White House released a scathing statement condemning Bee and calling for Time Warner and TBS to cancel Full Frontal.

Let’s be clear: there is a stark difference between Barr’s overt and reckless racism and Bee’s insensitive and crude remark.

Calling a Black person an ape is not the same thing as being crass towards one of the most privileged women in the world regarding inhumane policies in the White House where she is an “advisor.” Likening the two not only downplays the violent threat inherent in promoting racism, but also helps to normalize obvious bigotry and prejudice.

First, it is important to look at the noteable difference in the language used by Barr and Bee respectively. Barr, who has been known to spew racist and xenophobic rhetoric, shared a tweet that compared Jarrett, a Black woman, to an ape. In doing so, she invoked old and incredibly painful racial rhetoric that has been used to attack Black Americans for centuries. The “ape” slur strips people of their humanity and denies them their civil rights.

Bee, on the other hand, used a word the president himself has used to describe at least three different women, according to The Daily Beast. Though widely considered offensive in the United States, it has a neutral or even positive meaning in countries like Britain, New Zealand, and Australia. Bee’s insult also doesn’t have the same history of violence that ideology likening Black people to animals does — which is perhaps one of the clearest lines of separation between the Barr and Bee’s statements.

The false equivalency being drawn between Barr’s racism and Bee’s crudeness also ignores the difference between the people and groups being attacked.

In Barr’s tweet, a person of privilege — white, wealthy, celebrity — attacked not just one marginalized individual, but an entire marginalized population. By likening Jarett to an ape, she called upon centuries of racism and violence to malign an entire population of people. When Bee made her crass comment, she insulted one of the most powerful, most privileged, and most protected women in the world while attacking her silence around Trump’s immigration policies. Bee also leveled her attack at someone who is, like her, a white woman and a celebrity. The damage caused by each is vastly different: In Barr’s case, she further normalized racist rhetoric, whereas in Bee’s case, she hurt the First Daughter’s feelings — not the feelings of white women everywhere.

Despite these obvious differences, there is still a battle cry on the right demanding Bee’s head, or at least her show, on a silver platter — including the official White House statement calling for Full Frontal‘s cancellation. There are many people making the argument that if Barr can be “censored” for her Twitter comments, Bee should suffer the same consequences. This argument ignores one key fact: Barr was not, in fact, censored.

A private company choosing to fire an employee is not censorship. The White House and the President of the United States demanding a show’s cancellation because it disagrees with its content, however, is.

While there are plenty of people who want to make these separate and very different issues two sides of the same coin, they simply cannot be. Being racist and being crude are not the same thing, and trying to say they are normalizes bigotry. It’s dangerous.

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Racism may affect mental, physical health

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Ambien Claps Back at Roseanne for Blaming Her Racist Tweets on the Drug: ‘Racism Is Not a Known Side Effect’

The makers of popular sleep medication Ambien are speaking out in defense of the product after Roseanne attempted to blame the drug for her racist attack on Valerie Jarett.

A rep for the sleep medication issued a statement, saying:

“People of all races, religions and nationalities work at Sanofi every day to improve the lives of people around the world.While all pharmaceutical treatments have side effects, racism is not a known side effect of any Sanofi medication.”

Sanofi is the pharmaceutical company under which Ambien is sold.

Bloop!

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The Real Housewives of Atlanta Reunion Ends With a Teary Kim Zolciak-Biermann Responding to Racism Claims

The Real Housewives of Atlanta, RHOA, Kim Zolciak-BiermannThe Real Housewives of Atlanta season 10 reunion ended just as it began: dramatic.
In part three of the Bravo show reunion, Kim Zolciak-Biermann faced off with many in the rest of the…

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A Gripping Western Movie Confronting Australian Racism

Samuel Goldwyn Films

There’s a weight to the silence that engulfs Sweet Country; a heaviness that permeates every gorgeous tracking shot across the barren Outback that serves as its setting.

Warwick Thornton’s striking Western (opening April 6) employs no musical score for its bleak tale of violence, vengeance and survival, only the sound of the wind whooshing through trees and brush, and the gentle hum of insects going about their age-old business, ignorant of the larger dramas unfolding around them. That stillness conveys the vast, elemental desolation of this remote corner of the world, and also, the omnipresent absence of anything approaching justice. It’s a void—in every harsh, cruel sense of the term.

Ironic, then, that Thornton’s film is called Sweet Country, since the land presented here—Alice Springs in the Northern Territory, circa 1929—is mostly sweet with the bone-deep sickness of racism. The austere proceedings commence with the sight of a pot of water boiling on a campfire as a skirmish between English-speaking and Aboriginal males is heard in the distance. Thornton then cuts to the image of an older Aboriginal man named Sam Kelly (the charismatically stoic Hamilton Morris) being nudged into nodding “yes” to the question of whether he understands a query. Neither of these two oblique snapshots will make complete contextual sense until some time later, yet they establish the prevailing mood of simmering hostility and persecution that will guide the material, which shortly thereafter shifts its focus to a trio of remote Australian ranches.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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A Decades-Old Murder Investigation Exposes the Ugly Truth About Racism in America

Grasshopper Film

Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun? is, in the words of director Travis Wilkerson, a “white nightmare story.” And indeed, the sensation of watching Wilkerson’s film is not unlike experiencing a nightmare, complete with ghosts and the feeling of being slowly subsumed by an awful, unresolved evil. Though the story is his, it’s also a reflection of America’s past and present, and the parts of American history that are so often glossed over in favor of a cleaner, more wholesome picture.

In 1946, S.E. Branch, Wilkerson’s great-grandfather, murdered Bill Spann. Branch was charged with murder, but nothing came of it. He was never convicted, never jailed. In other words, he got away with it. The reason why: Spann was black.

In the intervening years, the story became a family legend, hidden away and rarely discussed. So why has Wilkerson chosen to unearth it all now? As he explains at the beginning of his film, it had been on his mind in the wake of Trayvon Martin’s murder, as the outcome of the case mirrored what he’d heard about his great-grandfather. Once again, a killer had gotten off scot-free. Placed throughout Wilkerson’s film are interstitials featuring the names of black men and women (among them, Sean Bell and Sandra Bland, each accompanied with the plea to say their name) who were killed with virtually no repercussions. The case of S.E. Branch and Bill Spann isn’t an isolated incident nor is it a product of the times: It’s still happening today.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Short Film “Night” Explores Privilege, Micro-Aggressions and Racism With An Unexpected Plot Twist

 

 

If you’ve ever wanted your white friends to experience life in the shoes of women of color for a day, then Night is a must-see. Premiering on PAPER, Night was selected for the Oscar-qualifying Nashville Film Festival …

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Say What Now? H&M Accused of Racism for Putting a Little Black Boy in a ‘Coolest Monkey in the Jungle’ Hoodie [Photo]

H&M has some major explaining to do.

The clothing retailer has a product page on its website featuring a little Black boy wearing a hoodie that reads’ Coolest Monkey in the Jungle.’

 

As you can imagine, the social media reaction has been brutal.

We’re not sure who made the call to put this particular hoodie on this particular child, but it was a bad one.

We’re also curious as to how this little boy’s parent/guardian allowed this to happen. It’s only a matter of time before H&M issues an apology.

The post Say What Now? H&M Accused of Racism for Putting a Little Black Boy in a ‘Coolest Monkey in the Jungle’ Hoodie [Photo] appeared first on B. Scott – Celebrity Gossip and Entertainment News.

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Review: Mudbound Tells a Purely American Story, With Our Painful History of Racism at the Center

Ensemble casts are the ghost ships of awards season, group feats of skill and subtlety that pass almost unnoticed on the rolling, choppy seas of Oscar hype. All moviegoers, critics included, tend to zoom in on individual performers — it’s natural to find yourself drawn to just one face, one distinctive way of moving or talking. But watching a movie in which all the players are perfectly in concert is its own special pleasure, and that’s the case with Dee Rees’ Mudbound. Each actor here — in a cast that includes Jason Mitchell, Mary J. Blige and Carey Mulligan — is attuned to the specific gifts of the others. Together, they’re a reminder that actors’ key tools are the ability to listen and see, and not just react.

Mudbound — which was adapted from Hillary Jordan’s 2008 novel by Rees and Virgil Williams — is an intimate epic about two American farming families, one black and one white, working the land in the Mississippi Delta in the 1940s. Laura McAllan (Carey Mulligan) is young wife and mother who’s dragged away from Memphis city life by her domineering husband, Henry (Jason Clarke), an engineer who decides he wants to return to his farming roots. On a portion of the McAllans’ spread live the Jacksons, tenant farmers whose ties to the land go back generations; by all rights, they own it, though they have no deed to prove legally that it’s theirs.

So Hap Jackson (Rob Morgan) and his wife, Florence (Blige), just keep working the land, hoping to save enough to someday buy their independence. They’re also raising a family: The oldest is Ronsel (Mitchell), who, stoking his mother’s greatest fears, goes off to war. Stationed in Europe — he’s a member of the 761st Tank Battalion, also known as the Black Panthers, made up largely of black soldiers — Ronsel faces different hardships than the ones he grew up with, but he also finds a new sense of freedom. When he returns home, readjusting to civilian life is hard enough, but dealing with Stateside racism is harder still. He finds a friend and comrade in Henry’s brother, Jamie (Garrett Hedlund), a pilot who has also just returned from the war and is suffering from what we’d now call PTSD, though the men of his era had no convenient name for it.

Mudbound works as a thumbnail picture of midcentury American racism and injustice, and as a reminder of how slowly things really change in this country, as much as we like to think of ourselves as progressive thinkers and lovers of freedom. But you can’t just write ideas on the screen: Your performers have to embody them, and there’s not a minute in Mudbound that doesn’t feel deeply felt and believable. Rees, who previously wrote and directed the 2011 coming-of-age drama Pariah, has shaped the material beautifully: This is just a good story, period, and Rees never loses sight of that. It’s told from the shifting points of view of each of its major characters, but it never feels cluttered or confusing. And the movie’s sense of history is woven tightly into its landscape. At one point Mulligan’s Laura reflects, in voice-over, on the muddy bleakness of her surroundings (“I dreamed in brown”), and Rachel Morrison’s cinematography provides the visual evidence. Morrison makes this world look both enduring and unsettling, the kind of place whose spirit creeps into your bones. Although Mudbound is being released in select theaters, it’s also available on Netflix, and its complex visual beauty works even on the small screen.

And still it’s the faces of Mudbound that really stick with you. Mulligan’s Laura, a deeply unhappy country wife, wears her tired beauty like a kind of fortitude: She’ll get through this life if it kills her. But at least Laura is white. Florence’s life is even harder, and filled with bigger roadblocks. As Blige plays her, she’s a woman who sees everything around her — beauty as well as cruelty—with the utmost clarity, though she never gives in to martyrdom. Morgan is deeply touching as Hap, the patriarch who wants to do everything possible for his family, pushing himself well past his physical limits. Hedlund and Clarke are terrific as brothers linked by blood but seemingly little else. And Mitchell — who was so marvelous as Eazy-E in the 2015 Straight Outta Compton — is superb here, as a young man struggling with what it means to be at home within his own heart, and within his country. Mudbound — tough and bittersweet and, in places, painfully brutal — is all about what it really means to be an American. If you’re doing it right, it doesn’t come easy — and it costs some people more dearly than others.


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One Family’s Trip Through the History of U.S. Racism

Nietzsche wrote that he always trusted thoughts that came while walking; I chose to revise this form of mobility to a road trip this summer to the Deep South with my family.

I am, or shall I say I was, a high school history teacher. Why I became one is a bit of a long story, but I took the advice of a mentor who said: if you want to make a difference in the world, working in a soup kitchen is okay, but you really should teach high school—get them when they’re young. After years of teaching at the college level, I made the move in 2012. My mostly affluent, predominantly white students loved hearing about the civil rights battles of the 1950’s and 1960’s, but had little or no exposure to this grass roots movement—a wellspring of most reform movements in this country. They wanted more, especially a readable account of the civil rights movement. There were always questions and a desire to learn more about the women of the civil rights movement who stood in the shadows of the male triumvirate—Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Medgar Evers.

This spring I had an ah-ha moment: I would write that book. It took me some time to come up with a recipe to bring this history alive, and then I thought on one of my favorite pastimes, the road trip. This one would take me and my son, Augie, home from Beloit College and my 12-year-old daughter, Gemma to the seat of the Old Confederacy.

Gemma and Augie walking over the Edmund Pettus Bridge, Selma, AL.

It made perfect sense. I turn 60 this fall, which coincides with the 60th anniversary of the day when the Little Rock Nine walked up the steps of an all-white high school in Arkansas. Emulating the powerful Civil Rights monument granite table in Montgomery, we would drive in a circle—we would begin at our home base of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and then go to Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma and back again.

Little did I know when we set out on the trip that the scab of racial hatred would be torn off once again this summer over Confederate statues. Uncannily, we found ourselves in southern locales that frighteningly mirror the past with events of the present: We were in Pulaski, TN—the birthplace of the KKK—on Friday, August 12th, the precise evening of the intimidating torchlit parade in Charlottesville. The next day, we were in Memphis, where Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot dead at the Lorraine Motel—and where we heard the news of the subsequent acts of terror in Charlottesville that led to the death of Heather Heyer and the injuries of dozens more.

For our Friday evening trip to Pulaski, TN, we learned that it was another evening, Christmas Eve of 1865, when six Confederate veterans met there to form the Ku Klux Klan. In 1917, a bronze plaque was nailed to the building that read: “Ku Klux Klan organized in this, the law office of Judge Thomas M. Jones, December 24, 1865.” KKK supporters in Pulaski wanted the plaque because they felt that the town had been overlooked in D.W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation, a 1915 film that championed the Klan.

Things stayed that way until 1986. That’s when the KKK started returning to Pulaski every January to parade by the plaque as a way to spite the new Martin Luther King Jr. national holiday. As if it was a sacred relic, KKK members would walk up to the plaque and kiss it. This angered a civil rights hero, Marguerite Massey, who owned the building that held up the plaque. In August 1989, Marguerite unbolted the plaque, flipped it to face the wall, screwed the bolts back in and then welded them in place. The words commemorating the Klan were hidden. All that can be seen is the plaque’s blank back side.

“This,” she said, “was better than simply throwing the plaque away.” It showed that she and Pulaski had turned their backs on the KKK.

Former birthplace of the KKK in Pulaski, TN.

President Trump would not agree with Marguerite’s gesture, but Mayor Mitch Landrieu of New Orleans would be the first to applaud her. President Trump and others see the statue of Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville as a part of our history. The KKK placard in Pulaski, Tennessee is also a part of our history—and men like Trump would likely say it should not have been turned around. But we know that this placard was like a perverse icon, to be kissed and cherished by the KKK instead of seen in solemn mourning for a darker time.

We should not, the president says, “change history.” Instead, we must see it more clearly. We must confront it. And we must overcome it.

This brings me to a more sensible view of history as expressed by Mayor Landrieu of New Orleans: “The Confederacy was on the wrong side of history and humanity. It sought to tear apart our nation and subjugate our fellow Americans to slavery. This is the history we should never forget and one that we should never again put on a pedestal to be revered.”

Indeed, earlier on our trip, when dusk was settling in on New Orleans, Gemma, Augie and I were on a trolley after we visited the William Frantz School, and the facade that remains to remember and honor the heroics of six-year-old Ruby Bridges, who was escorted up those school steps in November 1960 by federal agents through a gauntlet of screaming white mothers. The conductor later that afternoon announced the next stop: “Lee Circle!” We looked toward the setting sun that glowed atop the column; the sun, not statue a of Robert E. Lee, became the pinnacle of the pedestal.

Mayor Landrieu did not change the name of Lee Circle. He did not demolish the site. He kept the name and the column to confront history—but the column pedestal is now an homage to the sun and stars, a literal a shining beacon of racial healing.

After our haunting visit to Pulaski, we went to Memphis. That morning, before the distressing news out of Virginia, Augie, Gemma and I headed for the Lorraine Motel—where Martin Luther King, Jr. drew his final breath before being shot on its balcony on April 4, 1968. Our hope was to revisit that sorrowful day, as we did at the home of Myrlie and Medgar Evers in Jackson, Mississippi, where a bullet from a white KKK member was put into his heart in their driveway on June 12, 1963.

But as we walked up to the Lorraine Motel, we ran into Jacqueline Smith.

Gemma and John standing with Jacqueline Smith in front of the Lorraine Motel/National                                                Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, TN.

For 29 years and 198 days!—through rain and snow, cold and heat, night and day—this unrecognized African-American heroine has staged a one-woman protest against the new owners of the Lorraine Motel—the National Civil Rights Museum and, as she infers, its largely corporate board. She lived at the Lorraine Motel from the time she was a young girl until 1988, when the police forcibly removed her and her belongings to the street to construct the museum. The incident drew national attention. She has since then been camped out all these years in front of the museum with all of her measly worldly possessions, wishing all visitors to boycott a commercialization of the slain civil rights leader.

Jacqueline Smith believes strongly that this enterprise undermines the ideals of Martin Luther King, Jr. Like a mantra, she quotes Dr. King: “Spend the necessary money, to get rid of slums, to eradicate poverty.” As she says to people who pass by, “rather than standing in the museum’s shoe prints of the alleged assassin, James Earl Ray, do something good today for society.”

After showing us photographs of people who have listened to and supported her, including Cindy Lauper and Kevin Durant, Augie looked at his phone to tell us all the news. “A car driven by 20-year-old James Alex Fields, a misguided neo-Nazi sympathizer from Ohio rams through Charlottesville’s counter-protestors, killing Heather D. Heyer and injuring countless others.”

Jacqueline chimed in: “assassination, terrorism—my god, what kind of a country is this that feels like a broken record?”

Given the context of this news that arcs precisely from the founding of the KKK and the 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. to this summer’s torch-lit neo-Nazi parade and the murder of Heather Heyer in Charlottesville, this was a weighty question. All citizens of this democratic nation urgently need to grapple with it—especially given that we have a president who continues to stir the pot of racial animosity.

John J. Ciofalo received his B.A. in History at Colorado University and Ph.D. in Art History and Comparative Literature from The University of Iowa in 1995. He went on to teach at a variety of universities and wrote a book on Goya’s self-portraits that was published by Cambridge University Press. The book won wide acclaim. After teaching for around 15 years at the college level, he took the advice of a mentor who said that if you want to make a difference in the world, you probably want to teach high school students. Since 2012, he has taught history at the high school level. He left his post on the cusp of his 60th birthday to write a necessary book, The Summer of Hate: A Family’s Southern Sojourn to Honor Heroines of the Civil Rights Movement. You can find John on Facebook

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The post One Family’s Trip Through the History of U.S. Racism appeared first on Ms. Magazine Blog.

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‘Rat Film’: The Disturbing Documentary Exposing Racism as a Parasite

“It ain’t never been a rat problem in Baltimore. Always been a people problem,” says Harold Edmond, a member of the city’s Rat Rubout Program, in Rat Film. Theo Anthony’s thrillingly unconventional documentary, however, argues that, for the last century or more, maybe it’s been both – and that the two are inextricably intertwined. It’s a fascinating hypothesis, and one that’s laid out in daring video-essay form by the filmmaker’s feature debut, which stands as one of this year’s most idiosyncratic, and impressive, non-fiction works.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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How To Respond To Your White Friends When Say They Want To Help Combat Racism

With the great amount of outrage against the blatant expressions of white supremacy across the country right now, it’s good to see white people among the protesters. This is nothing new as a number of them have stood alongside Black people in the fight for civil rights in the past. Whether they’ve witnessed the mistreatment […]

The post How To Respond To Your White Friends When Say They Want To Help Combat Racism appeared first on MadameNoire.

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10 books to help you talk to your kids about race and racism

by

Laura Falin

posted in Life

The past few weeks have me — and a lot of other people — thinking about how we talk to our children about race. I even got a note from our school superintendent, saying that the events in Charlottesville have teachers considering how to talk to their students about what happened, what they think about it, and what they should do about it.

I’ll be honest. I feel terribly unqualified to talk about this. But I don’t have a choice. I have four younger people looking to me and their dad to figure out how to navigate the world and not talking about it doesn’t help anyone.

I think one of the best pieces of advice I saw was from this post on Rage Against the Minivan about how to talk to kids about race and racism. She pointed out that parents often want to figure out how to talk to their kids about specific events when really we should be having ongoing conversations about race with our children from a very young age — not just when awful news brings it to our attention.

 

In that spirit, here are some books you can read with your kids to start the conversation on race and racism:

Whoever You Are by Mem Fox — A beautiful book about how although we’re all different, there are also people “just like you, all over the world.” The book celebrates diverse cultures, but points out that we all have the same joys…and loves…and pains.

Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman — “Grace was a girl who loved stories…” so it’s no wonder that, when her class puts on a production of Peter Pan, Grace volunteers for the main role. One student says she can’t because she’s a girl. Another says she can’t because she’s black. When Grace’s mother and grandma hear about her discouraging day, they take her on a very special weekend trip to show her she can be anything she wants to. Beautiful watercolor illustrations and a beautiful message.

A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams — After their home is destroyed in a fire, Rosa, her mother and grandmother save up to buy a comfortable chair for all of them to enjoy. A heart-warming celebration of a loving family.

-The Colors of Us by Karen Katz — When Lena wants to paint a picture of herself, she wants to use brown paint for her skin. But when she and her mother walk through the neighborhood, she notices that brown comes in many different shades, and begins to see the differences and similarities that connect all of us.

-One Green Apple by Eve Bunting — Farah feels alone at school, even around all her classmates. She listens and nods but doesn’t speak…because she doesn’t know the language. But on a field trip to an apple orchard, she discovers that many things make the same noises they did at home. As the class combines all their apples in the cider press they discover that mixing all those different things together makes one delicious drink.

Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt by Deborah Hopkinson — Clara is a seamstress in the Big House, and dreams of a reunion with her Momma who lives on another plantation. Then she hears two slaves talking about the Underground Railroad, and she figures out how to use the cloth in her scrap bag to hide a map of the land — a freedom quilt to guide the way.

The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles — In 1960, six-year old Ruby and her family have recently moved from Mississippi to New Orleans in search of a better life. When a judge orders Ruby to attend first grade at an all-white school, she must face angry mobs of parents who won’t send their children to school with her.

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson — I put this on every book list I possibly can because it is beautiful and insightful and eminently readable. I read it as an adult, but I’d say it’s suitable for anyone from fourth grade up. Woodson write about growing up in South Caroline and New York in the 1960s and 70s. She talks of the remnants of Jim Crow laws, and her growing awareness of the civil rights movement.

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai — I just finished this book, actually. It’s an amazing story of Malala’s family, who treasured all of their children (even their daughter!), and who fought relentlessly for girls’ education in Pakistan. Malala’s story of survival is amazing in itself, but I also really appreciated the insight into what life was like in the Swat Valley of Pakistan, and I think it’s a great way to open young readers’ eyes to how people live very differently around the world. I’d say this is a fifth grade and up book.

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia — A Newberry Honor book about three sisters who travel to Oakland in 1968 to meet the mother who abandoned them. When they arrive from Brooklyn, they find she is nothing like they imagined. While they were hoping to go to Disneyland, their mom sends them to a day camp run by the Black Panthers. The girls learn a lot about their family, their country, and themselves that summer. A Scott O’Dell and Coretta Scott King Award-winner.

For more excellent posts on continuing the conversation with your children about race and racism, I suggest reading these. Also, I love the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Mix It Up at Lunch Day, which will happen the last Tuesday in October.

-BabyCenter: How to Talk to Your Child About Race, Ages 5-8

-Rage Against the Minivan: How to Talk to Kids About Racism

-No Time for Flashcards: Why Children Need Diverse Books and Where to Find Them

-No Time for Flashcards: Teaching Kids to Love Themselves to Love Others-Teaching Empathy

How do you explain racism, and current race-related events to your children?

Photos from iStock

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Trump’s Long History of Racism

UPDATE: Trump gave a press conference Tuesday during which he essentially unsaid all the good things he asserted in his speech Monday. While he claimed he still condemned neo-Nazis and white supremacists, he also said there were "many fine people" protesting

This article originally appeared on www.rollingstone.com: Trump’s Long History of Racism

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‘Racism is evil,’ Trump says, condemning ‘white supremacists’ and hate groups

The president’s remarks came two days after what critics saw as his inadequate response to the violence in Charlottesville.
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Critics say Trump pardon of Arpaio would endorse racism

PHOENIX — President Donald Trump says he may grant a pardon to former Sheriff Joe Arpaio following his recent conviction in federal court, prompting outrage among critics who say the move would amount to an endorsement of racism.

The report was welcome news for the former Phoenix-area sheriff, who lost a re-election bid in November and who was convicted of misdemeanor contempt of court on July 31. But it angered immigrant rights activists and others who say it amounts to support for racism on the same day that Trump disavowed white nationalists whose rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, turned violent this weekend, leaving one woman dead.

MORE: Charlottesville mayor blames Trump for violent weekend

A federal judge ruled in 2013 that Arpaio’s officers racially profiled Latinos. But the sheriff refused to stop his immigration patrols, eventually leading to the criminal contempt of court case that he’s embroiled in. it also contributed to his failed re-election bid last year.

The report was welcome news for the former Phoenix-area sheriff, who lost a re-election bid in November and who was convicted of misdemeanor contempt of court on July 31. But it angered immigrant rights activists and others who say it amounts to support for racism on the same day that Trump disavowed white nationalists whose rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, turned violent this weekend, leaving one woman dead.

Arpaio said Monday that he learned of the president’s comments in the morning and was glad he stood by him.

“I didn’t ask for it, but if he’s going to offer, I will accept, because I’m not guilty. So appreciate his interest in my matter here in Phoenix,” Arpaio said.

Mark Goldman, his attorney, said he was filing two motions on Monday afternoon for a judgment of acquittal and to vacate the verdict for a new trial. The motions are not appeals.

“We’re filing these motions because there was absolutely no evidence in support of the judge’s verdict, the verdict was contrary to the evidence provided in court, and the verdict is a gross miscarriage of justice,” Goldman said.

Trump on Sunday called Arpaio “a great American patriot” and said he hates to see what has happened to him, according to the Fox News report.

On Monday, the president condemned hate groups and said racism is evil in a statement that was much more forceful than he’d made earlier after the weekend clashes in Virginia that left one woman dead after a car plowed into a group of counter-protesters who opposed a rally by white nationalists. The white nationalists were protesting a plan to remove a statute of Confederate Gen Robert E. Lee from a Charlottesville park.

“Those who spread violence in the name of bigotry strike at the very core of America,” he said.

Cecillia Wang, deputy legal director for the ACLU, criticized the idea that Trump could pardon Arpaio, saying the former sheriff had violated court orders that prohibited illegal detention of Latinos.

“Make no mistake: This would be an official presidential endorsement of racism,” Wang said.

The post Critics say Trump pardon of Arpaio would endorse racism appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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Has Racism in the Workplace Increased Since Donald Trump Became President? This Black Executive Notices a Difference

week Credit: ARTPUPPY

Dear Sheree,

I am a 45-year-old, African American, male, who is general counsel for a small firm.

Traveling is a big part of my work, and [while on these business trips], I’ve started to notice a trend that has me concerned. When boarding a flight with unassigned seatings, I always select an aisle seat. A person will usually take the window seat. However, unless the flight is totally sold out, no one wants to sit in the middle seat—next to me. I’ve also noticed a subtle shift in white females who work for me. 

All of this has resulted in me looking at the racial implications on a deeper level. Do I accept all of this as a sign of a greater prevalence of racial disharmony resulting from the Trump presidency?

Michael

 

 

Dear Michael,

There is no mistaking the fact race relations have undergone a dramatic shift in the last few months.  However, this does not mean that personal biases or prejudices had not existed before; the difference is that people are more comfortable with expressing their feelings.

In my experience, when people have the opportunity to choose a seat on a flight, they often try to avoid sitting next to anyone that is traveling with a small or child, as well as sitting in the middle seat. I firmly believe there are more fair-minded, good people than those who are quick to make a snap judgment based on the color of a person’s skin. People of color must see this period as an opportunity to expand our toolsets as well as our relationships, to sustain ourselves in these interesting times.

Also, many individuals have a lot of things going on in their lives that we may not even realize. So, it’s important we must interact with others, while being aware of and sensitive to the fact that everyone is dealing with something.

You mentioned noticing a shift within the white females who work in your department; my question is, when was the last time you made an effort to connect with them?  As the general counsel of your firm, you have the opportunity to create the tone for your company. It’s your responsibility to spark a deeper connection with your staff. It could be via a casual brown-bag lunch experience you organize, where everyone sits together to address their concerns and share ideas once a month.

Here is a quote from my book, Intuition: The Hidden Asset Everyone Should Learn to Use, that may help inspire you:

“Many people mistakenly think that a large budget is needed to implement change in an organization.  In reality, small changes produce subtle shifts that have lasting impact on a group.”

Finally, as minorities, we must be aware of the opportunity to learn during these changing times. Oftentimes, when we take the time to self-examine during a particularly trying period, our learning accelerates, as opposed to times in which everything seems to be running smoothly. I remember growing up when there were a variety of black businesses, which offered services in my neighborhood. In order to become self-sufficient while crossing color boundaries within our industries, we need to get back to building opportunities. Have you noticed that, when people attend sports events, they pull together— regardless of race—and scream and encourage their team to win? We need to join together to make things better.

 

 


 Sheree Franklin, an intuitive life strategist, helps people to find the courage to release their life challenges in order to live in alignment with their true self. Franklin is a practitioner at Holistic Health Practice at One East Superior, in Chicago. Her practice includes one-to-one coaching as well as speaking to organizations. She is also the author of Intuition: The Hidden Asset Everyone Should Learn to Use.

To learn more about Franklin’s book, click here. You can also find out more information about Franklin by visiting her website, www.shereefranklin.comAlso, email Franklin your questions at shereefranklin@icloud.com.  

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Jeff Sessions Cracks Down on Racism Against White People: The Daily Show

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President Trump’s Very Bad Day & Law Enforcement’s Systemic Racism: The Daily Show

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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‘Detroit’ Review: Kathryn Bigelow’s Recreation of Riots, Racism Is Cry of Rage

I'm not sure rave reviews or buzzing awards talk are enough to express the amplitude of what director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal achieve in Detroit, a film about race riots from half a century ago. It's a hardcore masterpiece that digs into our violent past to hold up a dark mirror to the systemic racism that still rages in the here and now. Tragically, this incendiary

This article originally appeared on www.rollingstone.com: ‘Detroit’ Review: Kathryn Bigelow’s Recreation of Riots, Racism Is Cry of Rage

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Nicki Minaj Says ‘Racism’ Is The Reason This Designer Won’t Take Her Call

Giuseppe, what’s good? 

Nicki Minaj put the acclaimed Italian luxury shoe designer Giuseppe Zanotti on blast Friday after the brand’s PR people apparently refused to take Minaj’s call. 

The rapper unleashed a tweetstorm about the incident, and here’s how it went down: 

[Editor’s note: Minaj did wear the sneakers, though it appears she wore them for Glamour in 2011.] 

The 34-year-old entertainer’s problems with Zanotti arose when she found out the designer was making capsule collections with other artists (most recently Zayn Malik and Jennifer Lopez), which would presumably give the collaborator a share of the shoe’s profits. 

Minaj claimed that because she was black, she could only “inspire” Zanotti, but not partner with him: 

Minaj retweeted a fan’s photo of some of the “Nicki” shoes that show up when you search for them in the designer’s collection: 

Toward the end of her Twitter call-out, Minaj said she wouldn’t permit this “racism and disrespect.” She called on her fans to start Tweeting or Instagramming the hashtag #GiuseppeWhatsGood, a reference to her famous line to Miley Cyrus at the MTV Awards. 

Soon enough, her #Giuseppe hashtag was trending on Twitter: 

Minaj again clarified to fans that is wasn’t about the money, “just the disrespect:”  

UPDATE, 3:21 p.m.:  Zanotti appears to have taken the “Nicki” shoes down from his website, which led to another round of tweets from Minaj: 

The Huffington Post reached out to Minaj and Zanotti and will update this post accordingly. 

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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