Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Count me among the 37 percent!

According to Pew Research, only 37 percent of white people think

the shooting of Michael Brown “raises important issues about race that need to be discussed.”

This indifference (at best) among whites makes me want to yell at some folks "what rock are you living under?" But actually, you don't have to live under a rock in this country to have little idea how people not like yourself really live.

It starts in the schools. Although this is the year when white kids ceased to be a majority of school age children (49 percent and falling), nonetheless

In some parts of the country, black children are now more likely to attend nearly all-black schools than they were in the 1960s. Nationwide, the share of blacks attending majority-white schools has been falling. Data also suggest that the average Hispanic student today attends a school that's majority-Hispanic ...

In most areas, housing remains segregated. Whites with choices (meaning those who are not very poor) simply don't live among large numbers of people of color. Black and brown voting usually lags white electoral participation; white incumbent political leaders can often remain in office even if the demographic composition their jurisdiction changes to a majority of people of color.

Then you get this:
New York Times graphic.

Chris Hedges offers incisive observations from an interview with Lawrence Hamm, founder of the Newark community organization, People's Organization for Progress.

... the declining populations of primarily black cities -- Newark, where he has spent most of his life as an organizer, has seen its population drop from 400,000 to about 250,000 in the last few decades -- coupled with the election of black officials and the integration of blacks into police forces mean that the old centers of rebellion are less polarized.

“These [changes] helped to ameliorate the overt racism and will probably prevent a recurrence of open rebellion in these urban areas...” ... “we have suburbs around Newark [much like the St. Louis suburb] Ferguson that were once white and are now black and that replicate the racial power imbalance. And this is where the tinder will be.”And this is where the tinder will be.”

Being the object of unwarranted deadly force by police officers is part of what it means to be black and poor in America. But, as Hamm said, no matter how much blacks raise their voices against indiscriminate police violence “the killings keep coming.”

Black people, even middle class blacks, already know what it is like to live as suspects under alien authorities -- it is the 63 percent of whites who doubt that we need to understand how the structures of white supremacy continue to crush our fellow citizens that need to have a conversation about race.
Protest sign captured from live video stream of Ferguson protests, August 19.
Click to enlarge.

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails