“My aim is to locate myself in this discussion as a biracial Black man who has both been the victim of racism and has in some instances “passed” for white because of my light skin.”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2016-05-18 21:19Z by Steven

“Along with my personal identity struggles, the historical legacy of racism in the United States for communities of color informs my experiences. My current work responds to the police killings of unarmed Black men, women, and children across America. While this is a constant attack on the Black community, the increased international media attention, public awareness, and public movements are new phenomena. The recent killings of Trayvon Martin and Eric Garner to Tamir Rice and Michael Brown, illustrate that Black victims can range in age from 12 to 50 years old. This raises the question of the value of Black bodies in contemporary America, which is linked to a long history of violence against its Black population through slavery, Jim Crow, and mass incarceration. My aim is to locate myself in this discussion as a biracial Black man who has both been the victim of racism and has in some instances “passed” for white because of my light skin. I see this as the cost of a legacy of racism that is particularly troublesome to me and this conversation must continue.” —Michael Dixon

Tasha Mathew, “Michael Dixon: A Discussion About Race, Representation, and Biracial Identity,” Or Does It Explode, March 14, 2016.

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Talking about Critical Mixed Race Studies in the Wake of Ferguson

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2015-01-21 20:38Z by Steven

Talking about Critical Mixed Race Studies in the Wake of Ferguson

University of Washington Press Blog

Laura Kina, Vincent de Paul Professor of Art, Media, & Design
DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois

In this guest post, Laura Kina, coeditor of War Baby / Love Child: Mixed Race Asian American Art, discusses the emerging discipline of mixed race studies and what it can contribute to ongoing dialogues surrounding race, police brutality, and social justice in the wake of Ferguson.

Since the deaths this past summer of two unarmed black men, Michael Brown Jr. in Ferguson, Missouri and Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York by white police officers, our nation has been embroiled in discussions of police brutality and racial profiling. The social unrest and racial tensions of our current moment are a stark contrast to the congratulatory “post-racial” moment in 2008 with the election of President Barack Obama–the first black “biracial” president. Recent racial tensions also present stark contrast to the celebration of the multiracial “melting pot” that America celebrated following the 2000 US Census, which allowed individuals to self-identify as more than one race for the first time.

Those earlier, problematic readings of race—as something to either get beyond or as something new and worthy of celebration—coupled with the dearth of history and representations of mixed race Asian American lives inspired my coauthor Wei Ming Dariotis and I to publish War Baby/Love Child: Mixed Race Asian American Art (University of Washington Press, 2013). Along with my DePaul colleague Camilla Fojas, we also set out to challenge these myths and establish a scholarly field of Critical Mixed Race Studies

Read the entire article here.

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I Don’t See Race; I Only See Grayish-Brown, Vaguely Humanoid Shapes

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, United States on 2015-01-01 20:07Z by Steven

I Don’t See Race; I Only See Grayish-Brown, Vaguely Humanoid Shapes

The Onion
Issue 50•49, 2014-12-12

Janice Ketchum

I don’t understand why everyone seems to be so angry lately. Everywhere you look, there are marches, protests, riots—and all of it over so-called racism in our great country. I just don’t get it. I really don’t. But maybe that’s because, when I look at my fellow Americans, I don’t see a particular race or color. In fact, all I see is just a series of muted, roughly person-shaped silhouettes.

And this world would be a much better place if everyone else did, too.

If we want to go forward as a country, we have to move beyond race once and for all. It’s 2014! Why is it so hard for people to look past each other’s race, like I do, and see everyone as vaporous, beige-ish forms with limbs? All those blurry, vaguely human-shaped troublemakers shouting in the streets and the translucent bleeding-heart blobs moralizing on TV may feel the need to categorize everyone they see by their skin color, but I don’t give it a second thought. I wouldn’t even know how!

Take, for example, the recent deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, which sparked widespread outrage over “institutional racism.” These protesters are stuck in the past. They haven’t progressed enough to see that we’re all just grayish-brown smudges between approximately 4 and 6 and a half feet tall. They are part of the problem! Whereas they see “black” victims and “white” police, I just see amorphous clouds of the same basic hue, some of which have guns…

Read (with tongue-in-cheek) the entire article here.

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I’m black, British and just moved to New York. After the Eric Garner decision, I can’t breathe

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2014-12-18 21:29Z by Steven

I’m black, British and just moved to New York. After the Eric Garner decision, I can’t breathe

The Guardian
London, United Kingdom

Lanre Bakare, Commissioning Editor
Guardian US, New York, New York

Before I moved to the US, I knew their names: Rodney King. Michael Stewart. Trayvon Martin. Vonderrit Myers Jr. Kajieme Powell. I committed them to memory like Stephen Lawrence and Anthony Walker – young black men killed or violently beaten by police or vigilantes, black people killed in a system designed to hold them back, keep them down and then brazenly deny that was ever the intention.

Watching the aftermath of those deaths from the distance of the UK was one thing: as a black British man I identified with it, yet I never felt it. But being in America, it’s more infuriating, more frightening – and more personal, because now I walk these streets. It’s a reality. Not just something that happens in a country thousands of miles away. I have begun to understand what James Baldwin meant when he wrote: “To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time.”

On Wednesday, when a grand jury here in New York failed to find a reason to even send to trial a white police officer who choked the life out of a black man, I finally got it. As I sat on the subway to my new home in Brooklyn, the image of Eric Garner stumbling after six cops dragged him to the ground – the sound of him wheezing “I can’t breathe” – would not leave me. I got home and watched his widow and his mother talk about the lack of humanity in the man who killed him. I thought about Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing, about Radio Raheem and how it was disgusting that a movie based on another killing – one that took place more than more than 20 years ago – could play out, almost frame for frame, in 2014…

Read the entire article here.

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See How They Love One Another – #BlackLivesMatterSunday

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Religion, Social Justice, United States on 2014-12-14 00:57Z by Steven

See How They Love One Another – #BlackLivesMatterSunday

Grace Sandra: Always Grace. Always Advocate. Always Hope.

Frank Robinson, Retired Pastor and author of Letters To A Mixed Race Son

Around 260 AD the second of two great plagues killed much of the world. It was estimated two thirds of Alexandria died as result. Frightened people immediately began to shove diseased loved ones outside. They were dumped in roadways before they died and the dead were left unburied. Many who fled died of this epidemic, as it was nearly inescapable.

The Christians responded differently. They stayed and cared for the sick. They saw to basic needs of those who suffered. Many of these Christians became ill and lost their own lives, even while heroically nursing the sick, burying the dead and caring for others.

There was such a vivid contrast between pagans, who immediately abandoned their dearest to die alone, and the Christian community, who stayed and fed, nursed and served others to the end. According to Tertullian, the Romans marveled, “See how they love one another!”…

…In response to recent, tragic events in our nation, Bishop Charles Blake, presiding officer of the Church of God in Christ asked his denomination to hold a “Black Lives Matter” awareness and prayer event this Sunday. It is intended to mourn, remember and honor two recently deceased African American men, Michael Brown and Eric Garner, both killed by police. The event also is to remind all of the importance of all African American lives. Pastors and members of COGIC churches are asked to wear black Sunday December 14, 2014 to show solidarity. A special prayer will be given for all men present in the service…

Read the entire article here.

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Mayor Bill De Blasio Speaks On Eric Garner, NYPD, And More On Ebro In The Morning [AUDIO]

Posted in Audio, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2014-12-04 18:55Z by Steven

Mayor Bill De Blasio Speaks On Eric Garner, NYPD, And More On Ebro In The Morning [AUDIO]

HOT 97, WQHT 97.1 FM
New York, New York

Ebro Darden, Co-Host

Peter Rosenberg, Co-Host

Laura Stylez, Co-Host

It’s an emotional time in NYC and across the nation after a grand jury decided to not indict NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo for the chokehold death of Eric Garner.

There were protests all over the city last night when the news was announced; calling for change and justice, especially since this decision only comes weeks after Ferguson [, Missouri] police officer Darren Wilson was given the same ruling.

New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio called into Ebro In The Morning this morning to discuss the Eric Garner decision, the changes he will enforce when it comes to the NYPD, and so much more:

Download the audio here.

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In discussing Garner, de Blasio invokes Dante

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2014-12-04 16:07Z by Steven

In discussing Garner, de Blasio invokes Dante

Capital New York
New York, New York

Sally Goldenberg, City Hall/Politics Reporter

Mayor Bill de Blasio often invoked his bi-racial teenage son, Dante, during an emotional speech on Staten Island Wednesday night, hours after a grand jury there declined to indict an NYPD officer in the death of Eric Garner.

“I spent some time with Ben Garner, Eric’s father, who is in unspeakable pain, and it’s a very hard thing to spend time trying to comfort someone you know is beyond the reach of comfort because of what he’s been through,” de Blasio said. “I can only imagine. I couldn’t help but immediately think what it would mean to me to lose Dante. Life could never be the same thereafter and I could feel how it will never be whole again. Things will never be whole again for Mr. Garner.”

The mayor spoke for nearly 20 minutes inside Mt. Sinai United Christian Church on Staten Island, where he was surrounded by elected officials and members of the clergy. He carefully avoided weighing in on the grand jury decision not to indict officer Daniel Pantaleo and left without taking questions from reporters…

…De Blasio spoke somberly about his own experience discussing policing over the years with his now 17-year-old son.

“This is profoundly personal for me,” the mayor said. “I was at the White House the other day and the president of the United States turned to me, and he met Dante a few months ago, and he said that Dante reminded him of what he looked like as a teenager. He said, ‘I know you see this crisis through a very personal lens.’ I said to him I did, because Chirlane and I have had to talk to Dante for years about the dangers that he may face.”

He called his son a “good young man, [a] law-abiding young man who never would think to do anything wrong.

“Yet, because of a history still that hangs over us, the dangers he may face, we’ve had to literally train him as families have all over this city for decades in how to take special care in any encounter he has with the police officers who are there to protect him.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Michael Brown and the deadly effects of colorism

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2014-11-29 00:37Z by Steven

Michael Brown and the deadly effects of colorism

Newsworks: WHYY News
The Philadelphia Experiment
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Solomon Jones

The outcry triggered by the killings of unarmed men by police officers — from Michael Brown’s shooting death in Ferguson, Mo., to the choking death of Eric Garner in Staten Island, NY — has largely focused on the victims’ skin color.

But little has been said about the fact that the men killed by police are not just African American. They are often dark skinned. That deep, ebony complexion, and all that it symbolizes, is significant, said Dr. Yaba Blay, co-director and assistant teaching professor of Africana Studies at Drexel University.

For dark-skinned black men, Blay said, “The unquestionable state of their blackness invokes fear in others. We haven’t seen racially ambiguous men gunned down by police.”

Complex prejudice

Such violence is just one consequence of what academics call colorism — the prejudging of others based on complexion…

Read the entire article here.

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