Blogging Bayport Alameda

May 31, 2017

Not yet

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:01 am

Tonight there are two events scheduled at nearly the same time that may be of interest to overlapping communities.  The first is being held at Ruby Bridges Elementary starting at 6:30 p.m. and is a Know Your Rights workshop.   It will be facilitated by a staff attorney from the International Institute of the Bay Area and the Chief of Police will also be present to explain what Alameda’s Sanctuary City statute means for Alameda citizens.

The second event is part of the Alameda Family Enrichment Series starting at 7:00 p.m. hosted at Edison Elementary.  The event, Imagine a World Without Hate will be facilitated by a staff member of the Anti-Defamation League.  Babysitting is provided, there is a suggested donation of $10.

The second event is rather timely considering the bias related incidents at various school sites in Alameda.  The goal of the event is laudable:

Screen Shot 2017-05-30 at 4.31.09 PM

But naturally, not one evening speaking event will erase “hate” from the world.  What it will take are allies and people willing to stand up for what is right, even at great cost.

On the lines of social justice and learning how to be an ally, the Guardian ran a great piece yesterday, a longer excerpt about race and structural/institutional racism.  Highlights:

Colour-blindness is used to silence talk about structural racism while we continue to fool ourselves with the lie of meritocracy. In 2014, I interviewed the black feminist academic Dr Kimberlé Crenshaw, who elaborated on the politics of colourblindness. “It’s this idea that, to eliminate race, you have to eliminate all discourse, including efforts to acknowledge racial structures and hierarchies and address them,” she said. “It’s those cosmopolitan-thinking, 21st-century, ‘not trying to carry the burdens of the past and you shouldn’t either’ [people].

“There are people who consider themselves left, progressive and very critical, who have convinced themselves that the only way to get beyond race is to stop talking about race. By taking this stance, they align themselves with the post-racial liberals and self-styled colour-blind conservatives.”

Colour-blindness is a childish, stunted analysis of racism. It starts and ends at “discriminating against a person because of the colour of their skin is bad”, without any accounting for the ways structural power works in these exchanges. This definition of racism is often used to silence people of colour when we attempt to articulate the racism we face. When we point this out, we are accused of being racist against white people, and the avoidance of accountability continues.

The reality is that, in material terms, we are nowhere near equal. This state of play is violently unjust. The difference that people of colour are all vaguely aware of from childhood is not benign. It is fraught with racism, racist stereotyping and, for women, racialised misogyny.

It is nigh-on impossible for children of colour to educate ourselves out of racist stereotyping, though if we accumulate enough individual wealth, we can pretend that we are no longer affected by it.

Not seeing race does little to dismantle racist structures or improve the lives of people of colour. In order to do so, we must see race. We must see who benefits from their race, who is affected by negative stereotyping of theirs, and on whom power and privilege is bestowed – not just because of their race, but also their class and gender. Seeing race is essential to changing the system.

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3 Comments »

  1. It’s so appropriate that a discussion on Alameda’s Sanctuary City statute be held in a walled off sanctuary enclave.

    Comment by jack — May 31, 2017 @ 8:30 am

  2. This reminds me of the old poster called the “rules”, which ends if the male ever understands what he rules, the female must change them. All are equal before the law. Period.

    Comment by Ed Hirshberg — May 31, 2017 @ 8:43 am

    • You must be very naive to believe that the law is either fair implicitly or its application. It is not so because you say it is so. Truth and science exist.

      Comment by Retiredteacher — June 4, 2017 @ 2:28 pm


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