Racism is the new Black
Cross-posted from the Brave New Films Blog.
Lots of things can characterize the state of affairs in this country over the last 2+ years: incompetence, hypocrisy, ignorance, corruption, straight-up evil. But a theme that has been overtly present in a very real way is, you guessed it, racism. Open, unapologetic, racism. Yes, it has become cool again to very visibly differentiate how non-white people are treated in this country ever since Hurricane Katrina. With nooses being hung all over the country like decorations, Black and Latin citizens being treated demonstrably more harshly in court proceedings, peaceful, thinking Black men being singled out and brutalized by Capitol Police, the largely unpublicized torture of a Black women in WV, and countless other evidence, it is clear that the more overt flavor of race hatred has taken the lead over it's covert cousin that was in the driver's seat since the end of Jim Crow.
Tones such as this get set from the top-down. Kanye said that Bush doesn't care about Black folks. He's right, but the scope of the statement is a bit too narrow. Actually, this set of "leaders" doesn't care too much for anyone [that's not rich and white].
- They have made torture pretty much legal, which sends a message that it's cool to treat people inhumanely. Common sense says that if the Government can do it, then citizens can and should do it.
- They have made it cool to ignore the poor, which was the message of Hurricane Katrina's "response," if you can call it that.
- They have made excessive force the rule instead of the hardly-ever-used exception. The militarization of police always leads to extreme behavior within the citizenry.
These three and more could be used to not only characterize the last two years, but they can also characterize life for Black people in this country between Plessy v. Ferguson and Brown v. Board of Education.
America is a country that should be moving forward, not running backwards. A move forward towards peace within our own minds, peace within our own communities, and peace within our own borders is paramount. Having these eliminates the desire for war with anyone. It is up to the responsible electorate to put in place leaders who understand this and will make not only personal pledges against these phenomena, but who will put action behind such sentiments in the form of policy.
One Love. One II.