Prompt: Recently the Black Lives Matter movement, sparked by the 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin, has brought the precarity of Black lives to the forefront of public discourse, particularly as it pertains to policing and the law. Their activism is animated by the acknowledgment of the centrality of the carceral/ criminal justice system to contemporary racial inequalities. Continue reading
According to Eduardo Bonilla-Silva a famous sociologist, there are four major ways in which accusations of racism are dismissed today. The first one is called abstract liberalism. This idea links the other three and is the most important. It is not liberalism as in liberal vs. conservative. It’s using liberal ideas of meritocracy and equality to justify racist social outcomes. For example, people will say that affirmative action is not a good idea because it creates an unequal footing giving people of color an unfair advantage. This opinion blatantly ignores the history of the united states. Throughout every aspect of American history, people of color have been the objects of the unjust enrichment of white lives, most notably, slavery, Jim Crow, purposeful systemic exclusion from government programs including but not only The New Deal. Today we see housing discrimination, hyper-incarceration, job discrimination, unequal segregated schools, unequal pay, to name a few systems of oppression. The abstract liberalist view, in order to function, needs to wholly ignore this American history. Rather decreeing that white on people of color oppression ended with the civil rights movement. This is most certainly not the case. Racism has morphed to fit our times. What is clear is justice rather than equality is needed to end racism.
I question what divides truth from belief. In the undertones of both words at least, I find a distinct difference. When one uses a word like truth, the connotation of discussion is understood. It is supposedly based in fact and lived experiences, and therefore it is given integrity and is far less contestable. Belief, on the other hand, does not carry this weight. Less contestable, one is entitled to their belief(s). It seems to me that this is the difference between being white or being a person of color in this country. Whites have the choice to believe or not to believe in racism. If they do believe in it, then they get to decide how far-reaching it is, where it comes into play not only in their own lives, but in the lives of oppressed people of color.
In my previous blog post, I mentioned a form of implicit bias training called facial recognition training. I chose to study facial recognition training because not only is this method one of the most interesting, but it has been used previously with children of young ages and law enforcement. Pretty neat, huh? Continue reading
The past two weeks have gone by in a whirlwind of text. I’ve delved into Kerouac’s The Subterraneans, and admittedly, I am already suffering from shortness of breath. This is due to Kerouac’s syntax-less free-verse, which runs thick with ego and thin with message; leaving me in a state of mental asphyxiation as I attempt to parse out plot amidst his ceaseless, uninterrupted tides of “suave-sad-boy-saint” soliloquy. Continue reading
Reading & trying to understand 20 pages of Norman Mailer’s garbled prose presented me with a lot to think about. SO, regarding beatniks and hipsters and romantic racism:
Some Background Context
(And Hipsters/Beatniks explained, to some extent)
For post-war white america, the 50’s sired an empowered, unionized, and rapidly expanding middle class, with significant spending power and countless dreams of Norman Rockwell fantasy homes away from the grit of cities. Continue reading
The title of this post–while somewhat ridiculous–pretty much sums up what I’ll be examining for the next few months. This week, I’ve gone about the business of selecting and acquiring some texts that I’ll be analyzing: Kerouac’s The Subterraneans, and an article by Norman Mailer, entitled The White Negro. Does that last one sound revolting? Absolutely; its content is even worse than the title–and that article is almost essential when it comes to dissecting the mess of 40’s-60’s (white) subculture in america. In my opinion, Mailer’s article is a beatnik manifesto. Continue reading