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Showing posts from 2019

1619 project

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If you missed the New York Times‘s 1619 project, which appeared in a special edition of the New York Times Magazine, you should definitely check out the PDF, which is available for free online. Here is a passage from Linda Villarosa’s essay on how physical differences were used to reinforce slavery: Over the centuries, the two most persistent physiological myths — that black people were impervious to pain and had weak lungs that could be strengthened through hard work — wormed their way into scientific consensus, and they remain rooted in modern-day medical education and practice. In the 1787 manual “A Treatise on Tropical Diseases; and on The Climate of the West-Indies,” a British doctor, Benjamin Moseley, claimed that black people could bear surgical operations much more than white people, noting that “what would be the cause of insupportable pain to a white man, a Negro would almost disregard.” To drive home his point, he added, “I have amputated the legs of many Negroes …

California’s Forgotten Confederate History

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California’s proslavery roots run much deeper than one might suspect. When gold was first discovered near Sacramento in 1848, Southern-born argonauts—some of them with slaves in tow—were among the thousands to join the rush. Over the next several years, they transported somewhere between 500 and 1,500 African American bondspeople to California.
Source: California’s Forgotten Confederate History | The New Republic

Harlem Hellfighters

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PHILADELPHIA — Horace Pippin (1888–1946) was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania, less than 25 years after the Civil War ended. He grew up in the village of Goshen, New York, 50 miles northwest of Manhattan, and attended segregated schools. For this reason, the seemingly neutral description of Pippin as a self-taught artist should be seen through the lens of America’s policy of segregation and government-maintained racial discrimination. The chances of Pippin attending a White-run art school were practically nonexistent during his lifetime. He was self-taught out of necessity, as the society in which he lived had shut most of its doors on him.Before Pippin enlisted in the segregated Black and Puerto Rican 369th Infantry Regiment, nicknamed by the Germans the “Harlem Hellfighters,” he worked in a coal yard, as a hotel porter, and as a used-clothing peddler.

READ: Seeing American History Through the Art of a Black WWI Soldier

The Origins of White Supremacists' Fear of Replacement

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In August of 2017, marchers in the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, chanted “They will not replace us!” and “The Jews will not replace us!” The theme links back to Camus, but is a defensive narrative with deep roots in racist rhetoric within European and United States history.
READ: The Origins of White Supremacists' Fear of Replacement

Deconstructing Race-Based Stereotypes at the Halsey Institute

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For her exhibition at the Halsey Institute, Katrina Andry explores the stereotypes that engender gentrification and the negative effects of stereotypes on the lives of Black people and how these stereotypes give rise to biased laws and ideologies in our society.

On view through December 7, 2019, the shows printmaking, collage, and installation beckon viewers to examine their preconceived notions of society.

READ: Katrina Andry and Colin Quashie on View at the Halsey Institute

How academia uses poverty, oppression, and pain

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Today, anything and everything is allowed if a postcolonial/decolonizing seal of approval accompanies it, even if it is devoid of any political urgency.

The effects of networking are another one of the ways decolonizing in this field of Humanities shows itself to be a farce. As far as I understand history, Christopher Columbus was really great at networking. He tangled people like me in chains, making us believe that it was all in the name of knitting a web to connect us all under the spell of kumbaya.
BEST READ: How academia uses poverty, oppression, and pain for intellectual masturbation - RaceBaitr

No, Confederate monuments don't preserve history. They manipulate it!

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No, Confederate monuments don't preserve history. They manipulate it!
Ana Lucia Araujo, August 16, 2019, Newsweek



America said goodbye and good riddance this month to yet another monument glorifying the Confederacy and lying about history on public grounds.

Visitors to Fort Monroe, the historic site where the first Africans arrived on the shores of Virginia in 1619, will no longer see the name of Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy, displayed across its famous archway.

Removing Davis' name is an important rejection of the manipulation of history. The individuals behind the archway sought to fulfill their political agenda by honoring a secessionist government, promoting white supremacy and denying the realities of slavery in the United States. Confederate monuments don't preserve "our history," like some falsely argue. They instrumentalize the past to maintain a nostalgia for a white ethnostate in the public space. And as long as they stand …

Artists in 18 Major US Museums Are 85% White and 87% Male, Study Says

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The U.S. art museum sector is grappling with diversity. While previous work has investigated the demographic diversity of museum staffs and visitors, the diversity of artists in their collections has remained unreported. We conduct the first large-scale study of artist diversity in museums. By scraping the public online catalogs of 18 major U.S. museums, deploying a sample of 10,000 artist records comprising over 9,000 unique artists to crowdsourcing, and analyzing 45,000 responses, we infer artist genders, ethnicities, geographic origins, and birth decades. Our results are threefold. First, we provide estimates of gender and ethnic diversity at each museum, and overall, we find that 85% of artists are white and 87% are men. Second, we identify museums that are outliers, having significantly higher or lower representation of certain demographic groups than the rest of the pool. Third, we find that the relationship between museum collection mission and artist diversity is weak, suggest…

Wealth work is not new—nor are its critiques

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According to Mark Muro, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, an estimated 20 percent of wealth work is done by people who are not citizens, compared with less than 10 percent of all U.S. labor. Foreign-born workers often move to large metros to find jobs before relocating to cheaper towns and suburbs to build a more permanent home. In this way, one can see wealth work as a bridge for foreign-born workers and less skilled Americans to get a foothold in the labor force.

READ: America's Hot New Job Is Being a Rich Person's Servant - The Atlantic

In the News: United States History, Metastatic Racism, Australia’s hidden slave trade history, Bessie Smith

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The Tragic Story Called ‘United States History’Héctor Tobar, Aug. 7, 2019, The New York Times



In the cities and towns of California, Colorado, Arizona and other Western states, there are countless highways of memory leading back to El Paso. That Texas border town on the Rio Grande, site of a horrific mass shooting on Saturday, is the Ellis Island of the American Southwest.

My mother-in-law, now in her 80s, lives in Los Angeles but was born in neighboring Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, and lived in El Paso, too; she can remember a time when residents of the two sister cities flowed back and forth easily on the bridges across the river. And every summer and winter vacation season, thousands of American families drive through El Paso on journeys to see their Mexican relatives.

“It was still pitch black, but a light shined on the American and Mexican flag,” one of my California university students wrote recently, describing a night drive through El Paso and Juárez. “Both stood tall …

King Donald?

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Why are the Trumps obsessed with royalty and status? Nine Burleigh has some fascinating thoughts on the matter over at Newsweek: For Trump, however, this royal dinner was clearly more than the usual state visit, as the New York Times pointed out on Tuesday. While Trump has worked hard to build his life into a glittering, eponymous brand, there has long been a royal-specific yearning in the Trump family. What is less known is that this desire arguably dates back to Trump’s mother, an immigrant maid who came to America almost 100 years ago and bequeathed to her fourth child the notion that all that glitters really is gold. Unlike his mother’s origins, Trump’s obsession with the royals — the human epitome of his old go-to word, “classy” — is hardly a secret. Besides all the gold T’s and his gilded Versailles triplex in Trump Tower, there’s the family crest that Trump essentially stole from the socialite who built Mar-a-Lago, modifying it to remove the word “Integritas” but k…

Rediscovering Stories of Slavery in Connecticut

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A Memorial Project Is Rediscovering Stories of Slavery in Connecticut
Erik Ofgang, July 24, 2019, Connecticut Magazine



Shortly before the Revolutionary War, an enslaved Connecticut man named Jeffrey Brace was beaten unconscious by his new owner, John Burwell of Milford. Burwell struck Brace with his fists, legs and a chair. In a written account years later, Brace recalled that one blow to his head during the beating was so hard it “pealed [sic] up a piece of my scalp about as big as my three fingers.” After waking up, Brace was subjected to two rounds of whipping and made to walk a quarter-mile barefoot in the winter.

Brace’s visceral, difficult-to-read account of the horrors of slavery in Connecticut is the type of story we don’t often hear about Northeastern states, says Dennis Culliton, a recently retired teacher at Adams Middle School in Guilford. In Connecticut, we’re good at “pointing our fingers south and saying how awful those people were,” he says. But when it co…

Nuns Who Bought and Sold Human Beings

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The Nuns Who Bought and Sold Human Beings
Rachel L. Swarns, August 2, 2019, The New York Times

Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School, one of the oldest Roman Catholic girls’ schools in the nation, has long celebrated the vision and generosity of its founders: a determined band of Catholic nuns who championed free education for the poor in the early 1800s.

The sisters, who established an elite academy in Washington, D.C., also ran “a Saturday school, free to any young girl who wished to learn — including slaves, at a time when public schools were almost nonexistent and teaching slaves to read was illegal,” according to an official history posted for several years on the school’s website.

But when a newly hired school archivist and historian started digging in the convent’s records a few years ago, she found no evidence that the nuns had taught enslaved children to read or write. Instead, she found records that documented a darker side of the order’s history.

The Georget…

Slavery by Another Name

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1941: The Year Slavery Finally Ended Slavery by Another Name PBS (2012) Film Review
This shocking documentary reveals how virtual slavery persisted in the South for 80 years after the Civil War and the enactment of the 13th amendment. This involuntary servitude, based on Jim Crow laws and illegal debt slavery, allowed Southern factories, railroads, mines and plantations to use former slaves as a captive workforce. Prior to 1941, the federal government largely turned a blind to these activities, owing to the economic importance of free labor in the industrialization of the South.
When the Civil War ended in 1865, Congress imposed a period of radical Reconstruction on the South. Enforced by federal troops, it ensured that newly freed slaves enjoyed the right to vote and other civil liberties they were guaranteed under the 13th, 14th and 15th amendment.* The 1500 or so black politicians elected to Reconstruction governments established the first free public schools (for white…

Terrorized African-Americans Found Their Champion in Civil War Hero Robert Smalls

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In recent years, a number of important books have chronicled the upheaval that followed the Military Reconstruction Act of 1867. That law, passed by a Congress that Republicans dominated, required the former Confederate states to adopt constitutions that recognized black citizenship, including the rights to vote and to sit on juries.
In response, Confederate veterans founded the Ku Klux Klan, with the former Confederate general Nathan Bedford Forrest as its national leader. Because Klansmen operated in their home counties, they knew which local black activists to target for intimidation or assassination. READ: Terrorized African-Americans Found Their Champion in Civil War Hero Robert Smalls | History | Smithsonian

Violence against Black Politicians after Reconstruction

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During Reconstruction, which lasted until 1877, more than 1,500 black politicians were elected to public office at all levels of government. Reconstruction refers to the period after the Civil War when the federal government sought to extend constitutional protections to black people. Legislation like the Enforcement Acts of 1870 and 1871, for example, attempted to curb intimidation against black voters.
Black politicians ended up representing southern counties where just a few years prior they might have been slaves. With financing needed to rebuild the South, black officeholders were in a position to enact tax policy and expand public goods.
They were also the targets of organized violence perpetrated by white people. Thousands of African Americans died at the hands of organized white people during Reconstruction.
READ: Higher taxes and violence against black politicians post-Civil War

The Browning of America

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Jennifer Richeson on political threat in a browning America America is changing. A majority of infants are, for the first time in US history, nonwhite — and the rest of the population is expected to follow suit in the coming decades. The number of religiously affiliated Americans is at a record low, and the share of foreign-born residents is historically high. Yale psychologist (and MacArthur genius) Jennifer Richeson has done pioneering work on the way perceptions of demographic threat and change affect people’s political opinions, voting behavior, and ideas about themselves. The short answer? The more conscious we are of other groups gaining strength, the more politically conservative we become. What Richeson explains in this conversation is the crucial context of American politics in this era. If all you listen to on this list is this podcast and the Lilliana Mason conversation, you’ll have a better handle on what’s driving the age of Trump.  PODCAST

As blacks fled Jim Crow, tensions rose in north

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Red Summer

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Hundreds of African Americans died in a little known spate of white mob violence a century ago. A look back at the Red Summer attacks and the communities where they occurred.


READ: Red Summer

Blood in the Streets

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In the two years leading up to the riot, bombs were thrown at two dozen homes of black Chicagoans. The police solved none of these crimes. A 6-year-old girl named Garnetta Ellis died in one explosion. And early in the summer of 1919, several attacks on blacks by white mobs were reported on the South Side. “It looks very much like Chicago is trying to rival the South in its race hatred against the Negro,” the renowned black journalist Ida B. Wells wrote in a letter published by the Tribune on July 7, 1919. “Will no action be taken to prevent these lawbreakers until further disaster has occurred?”

Twenty days later, her words would prove prophetic.

Source: In Their Own Words: The 1919 Race Riot

Black Lives: Liberty Maze. Inside America’s homeless epidemic

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A Terrible Thing to Waste: Environmental Racism and Its Assault on the American Mind

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Did you know...
Middle-class African American households with incomes between $50,000 and $60,000 live in neighborhoods that are more polluted than those of very poor white households with incomes below $10,000.When swallowed, a lead-paint chip no larger than a fingernail can send a toddler into a coma -- one-tenth of that amount will lower his IQ.Nearly two of every five African American homes in Baltimore are plagued by lead-based paint. Almost all of the 37,500 Baltimore children who suffered lead poisoning between 2003 and 2015 were African American.(click book cover for more) Featuring extensive scientific research and Washington's sharp, lively reporting, A Terrible Thing to Waste is sure to outrage, transform the conversation, and inspire debate.

White supremacy is alive and well

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In the News

‘Send her back!’: Trump, Ilhan Omar and the complicated history of back to Africa
Michael S. Rosenwald and Cleve R. Wootson Jr., July 20, 2019, The Washington Post



First, President Trump told four female congresswomen of color to “go back” to the “totally broken and crime infested places from which they came,” though all four are U.S. citizens and only one was born outside the United States.

Then, as Trump railed against Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), a naturalized U.S. citizen who was born in Somalia, at a rally in Greenville, N.C., on Wednesday night, the crowd broke into a hostile chant: “Send her back!”

Back to Africa.

On Friday, a pregnant black Georgia state lawmaker said she was confronted by a white man at the grocery who shouted at her to “go back where I came from” because she had too many items to be in the express lane. The tweet by Erica Thomas, a Democrat from Austell, went viral.

The slogan, in one form or another, has been an undercurrent of American …

Their Family Bought Land One Generation After Slavery. The Reels Brothers Spent Eight Years in Jail for Refusing to Leave It.

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Their great-grandfather had bought the land a hundred years earlier, when he was a generation removed from slavery. The property — 65 marshy acres that ran along Silver Dollar Road, from the woods to the river’s sandy shore — was racked by storms. Some called it the bottom, or the end of the world. Melvin and Licurtis’ grandfather Mitchell Reels was a deacon; he farmed watermelons, beets and peas, and raised chickens and hogs. Churches held tent revivals on the waterfront, and kids played in the river, a prime spot for catching red-tailed shrimp and crabs bigger than shoes. During the later years of racial-segregation laws, the land was home to the only beach in the county that welcomed black families. “It’s our own little black country club,” Melvin and Licurtis’ sister Mamie liked to say. In 1970, when Mitchell died, he had one final wish. “Whatever you do,” he told his family on the night that he passed away, “don’t let the white man have the land.”

Source: Their Family Bought Land…

How much justice can you afford?

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Death row, like most poor neighborhoods, has a disproportionate number of minority residents. Those of us who come from poor neighborhoods know that there are mean people there, and plenty of conditions to make good people mean. We also know that the vast majority of poor people survive those conditions without becoming mean.This justifies in the minds of some what they call “putting down the mad dogs,” in spite of the fact that it is much more expensive to kill sociopaths than it is to lock them up without the possibility of parole. These are the choices for dealing with the people who have become too dangerous to live among us. Such people do exist. In my 17 years as a full time judge, I had contact with three of them, out of thousands of criminal defendants, and homicide defendants in numbers close to triple digits.
Sociopaths, you see, are not always poor people. Some of them are even white, as were two of the three I encountered. READ: Born With a Life Sentence - The Good Men Pro…

No One is Above the Law

Exclusive: De Niro, @robreiner, @SophiaBush, @StephenKing, @jvn, and more are cutting through the Trump administration’s lies about the Mueller report pic.twitter.com/VpJhIGBbv0 — NowThis (@nowthisnews) June 20, 2019

Thursday Thought

SUGGESTION TO THE MEDIA:

In 2016, you gave trump $2B in free advertising. You guys are as much to blame for him as Russian hackers and dumb voters.

How about THIS time around you DON'T help Fullofshitticus, and report on DEMs who can run the country properly?#ThursdayThoughts — BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) June 20, 2019

One to One

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An Artist’s Critique of Colonialism in Brazil
Commissioned by the MCA for the exhibition, de Andrade’s “Jogos dirigidos” (Directed games) (2019) plays with the conventions of educational films. The film documents a community with an unusually high prevalence of deafness in the isolated town of Várzea Queimada, in which people communicate through an unofficial form of sign language. De Andrade leaves many of these gestures untranslated, providing glosses of some afterwards, like so many video flashcards. Since only certain phrases are defined, it is difficult to follow the thread of the story, allowing the film’s subjects to hover between intelligibility and incomprehensibility in a way that underscores our shared humanity while acknowledging the very real barriers that divide us. Through “Jogos dirigidos” and its other works, One to One dramatizes exchanges between colonizer and colonized, between the global north and the global south, between the haves and the have-nots — exchanges …

When they See Us

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When They See Us is now streaming on Netflix. The Central Park Five is available to stream on various platforms.

MUST SEE: Ava DuVernay's When They See Us Is a Brutal Look at a 30-Year-Old Injustice

In the News

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How activists used photography to help end slavery
Matthew Fox-Amato, April 24, 2018, The Washington Post



It seems it’s not a protest in the age of social media without a photograph. From the women’s marches to Black Lives Matter protests to sit-ins for a Green New Deal on Capitol Hill, participants have flooded the digital landscape with photos of their activism: demonstrators brandishing signs and packing America’s streets, plazas and corridors of power.

But while social media makes this act of sharing protest imagery seem like a new innovation, it's actually an organizing tool with roots almost two centuries old. Antebellum abolitionists pioneered the use of photography as a tool for social movements, and in the process, they heightened their sense of solidarity and urgency, exacerbating the political crisis over slavery.

Abolitionists understood that building a movement meant making themselves visible. Early photography offered a bracing new tool for them to do so…

Judge Damon J. Keith, Judicial Giant And Civil Rights Icon, Dies At 96

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In his dissenting opinion, Keith included the photographs of 36 civil rights martyrs, and he wrote:"The utter brutality of white supremacy in its efforts to disenfranchise persons of color is the foundation for the tragedy that is the Majority's effort to roll back the progress of history. I will not forget. I cannot forget  — indeed America cannot forget — the pain, suffering, and sorrow of those who died for equal protection and for this precious right to vote." Source: Judge Damon Keith, Civil Rights Champion, Dies At 96 : NPR

Prison Abolitionist Movement

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I suggest everyone learn more about the prison abolitionist movement, and this profile of Ruth Wilson Gilmore is a good place to start: Prison abolition, as a movement, sounds provocative and absolute, but what it is as a practice requires subtler understanding. For Gilmore, who has been active in the movement for more than 30 years, it’s both a long-term goal and a practical policy program, calling for government investment in jobs, education, housing, health care — all the elements that are required for a productive and violence-free life. Abolition means not just the closing of prisons but the presence, instead, of vital systems of support that many communities lack. Instead of asking how, in a future without prisons, we will deal with so-called violent people, abolitionists ask how we resolve inequalities and get people the resources they need long before the hypothetical moment when, as Gilmore puts it, they “mess up.” “Every age has had its hopes,” William Morris wr…

Loot and how to return it

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Many German cultural institutions have long begun to address collections from colonial contexts and can build on the experience gained with completed or ongoing projects. We welcome the fact that the German museums have adopted guidelines and recommendations on the sensitive handling both of cultural objects and of human remains.
... Identifying cultural objects from colonial contexts which were appropriated in a way which is no longer legally and/or ethically justifiable and enabling their return is a moral and ethical obligation and an important political task for our age. Human remains from colonial contexts are to be returned.
8.) Requests for the return of artefacts from colonial contexts are to be processed promptly. At the same time, cultural heritage institutions are called upon to take an independent and proactive approach to identify artefacts in their collections which might be returned, even if there has been no request for return.
9.) In principle, returns shoul…

That’s right, slaveowners got reparations

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When Slaveowners Got Reparations
Tera W. Hunter, April 16, 2019, The New York Times




On April 16, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed a bill emancipating enslaved people in Washington, the end of a long struggle. But to easeslaveowners’ pain, the District of Columbia Emancipation Act paid those loyal to the Union up to $300 for every enslaved person freed.

That’s right, slaveowners got reparations. Enslaved African-Americans got nothing for their generations of stolen bodies, snatched children and expropriated labor other than their mere release from legal bondage.

The compensation clause is not likely to be celebrated today. But as the debate about reparations for slavery intensifies, it is important to remember that slaveowners, far more than enslaved people, were always the primary beneficiaries of public largess.

The act is notable because it was the first time that the federal government authorized abolition of slavery, which hastened its demise in Virginia and Mary…

Knock Down The House | Official Trailer | Netflix

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“Contemptible Collectibles”

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Contemptible Collectibles Posted: 22 Apr 2019 Content Note: This post discusses racist memorabilia in sociological context and provides an image of one collection critical of this memorabilia below the page break.

Why do some people collect racist memorabilia and artifacts? Objects depicting African Americans in derogatory and stereotypical ways are commonly referred to as “black memorabilia” or “black Americana,” although scholar Patricia Turner more aptly names them “contemptible collectibles.”
As documented by David Pilgrim, founder and curator of the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia, these artifacts include everyday objects like toys and games, household items such as cookie jars, and postcards. Although usually associated with the Jim Crow era, many of the items are still produced or reproduced today, and all draw on racial caricatures, such as the “mammy,” “Tom,” “picanniny,” and “brute,” among others.
Not without controversy, “contemptible collectibles” hav…

Real Viking History and the Imagined White Supremacist Past

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In the 19th century, Romantic German nationalism metastasized into the Völkish movement, which was interested in historical narratives that bolstered a white German nation state. The movement rewrote history, drawing on folklore such as that of Brothers Grimm, medieval epics and a dedication to racial white supremacy.

READ: Real Viking History and the Imagined White Supremacist Past | Time
Yesterday we obeyed kings and bent our necks before emperors. But today we kneel only to truth, follow only beauty, and obey only love.
~Kahlil Gibran (1883 –1931), Lebanese American artist, poet, and writer.

sexism is the primal, or first, form of oppression in humanity

Sexism is a form of oppression and domination. As author Octavia Butler put it, "Simple peck-order bullying is only the beginning of the kind of hierarchical behavior that can lead to racism, sexism, ethnocentrism, classism, and all the other 'isms' that cause so much suffering in the world."

READ

Little Man Little Man

White Fragility

Reparations?

02019 and beyond - this topic is coming up and we need more information.