The sign with the question "WHY?!" held by this #AfricanAmerican woman in #Charleston, SC reflects the confusion she and so many other people have around what the media calls a senseless shooting. When the news broke on this story yesterday, many emotions and thoughts arose for me, but confusion was not one of them.
Despite the fact that we live in the year 2015, have a Brown/bi-racial man as our nation's president and African-American/Black people have made significant strides and visibility in education, business, entertainment, judicial and legislative spaces, etc., this country (illegally stolen and formed on the basis of "race,") has never.actually.dealt.with.the.perversion.or. illusion.of.race! Moreover, this entire society is designed and built within a system that unceasingly perpetuates, teaches, programs every citizens' psyches to hold racially stereotypical belief systems and illogical racially motivated fear-based assumptions about every group in this land. RACE....WHAT IS IT?! Race is a social construction, meaning an illusory, manufactured concept developed by a small social group (ie White, heterosexual, #wealthy #men) to a) uplift one visually similar group, while b) socially, institutionally and structurally subjugating visually "distinct" similar groups (ie non-White communities.) This (race) is an inherently broken and fabricated system, originally designed in the 1800s during the period of mass immigration to the U.S. to achieve one common goal: elevate the economic power of "White skinned" groups and marginalize or erase the economic power of people of color. Over time, this lust to oppress communities of color infused itself into structurally racist practices like the CENSUS, where people were forced to identify, not with their ethnicity or culture, but the shade of their skin, which then, due to a wealthy White man's definition of race, immediately casts people of color into extremely narrow, biased, illogical hate-based and ignorant boxes that THEN attach "character traits" to an entire group. This is #RACE...highly illogical, destructive and confusing. #terrorism #Whiteness #fear #HATE #racism
Shifting back to the lust and desire to elevate the economic power of White-skinned groups during the 1800s, that spirit of biased greed has erected racist institutions that serve a dyad purpose: a) substantially increase revenue, ie make billions of dollars in a capitalist political economy by b) infusing #racist propaganda to supportive narrow-minded concepts about both groups of color AND White-skinned groups. The media is by far THE largest system of racial oppression within our society presently. Previously, before the advent of television and film, books and other forms of literature, as well as photographs served as immediate conduits of racist ideology.
#Eugenics, born out of Ancient Greco philosophies by Plato to suggest a selective mating process to yield a superior class, was popularized during the mid to late 1880s by wealthy White men, like Francis Galton and his half cousin, Charles Darwin. Eugenics essentially advocated for the practice of "enhancing the genetic quality of human beings by promoting reproduction among "superior" groups and sterilizing "inferior" groups. Within the practice of Eugenics, biological determinism was a theory they designed promoting notions that individuals of European ancestry were inherently/biologically superior to that of #African, #Asian, #IndigenousAmericans and other non-White groups. The worldwide promotion of these racist theories became popularized with the advent of film and television leading us to the present where "race-based" stereotypes and purposefully miseducated biases shape the minds, thoughts and actions of this nation's citizens. Enter now the atrocities of yesterday: #DylannRoof, a 21 year old "White-man" who felt compelled to shoot in a historically Black/African-American church killing 9 innocent human lives. He is a direct product of the system of an illusion that has taught, molded, built and educated him to truly believe that he should fear African-Americans so much that his only course of action is to kill them! Additionally, he's been programmed by this inherent socially & institutionally racist system that as a "White" man, he has the innate power & dominion to be higher than others. #terrorism
Mis-education of the White Man/Woman:
Given that with the illegal seizure and illegitimate "formation" of this country by "White-men" has allowed them to shape, manipulate and contort self-serving policies and legislation to elevate the economic power, social/political visibility and dehumanization of non-White groups, "White" groups have systematically been taught an ethos of "manifest destiny," "superiority," "God's chosen people," and "ruler of all!" When one is raised in a community or environment that espouses these beliefs, there are both overt and subconscious messages implanted onto the psyche that promotes using self-aggrandizing, fear-based tactics to achieve what you feel is the best for YOU or YOUR GROUP! In essence, this individual is taught to hate anything that is dissimilar from oneself, including skin tone, political ideology, religious beliefs, etc. THIS is the system, the society and the world we reside in.
This form of illogical hatred continues to spill over into every facet of life because it has yet to be erased, DESPITE the successes of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement, DESPITE the achievements of #Latinos, #AfricanAmericans, #Asians and others, DESPITE the innumerable African-Americans in leadership positions; this society REMAINS unflinching in its quest to elevate "White-skinned" people and unapologetically socially denigrate and systemically oppress non-White groups. #DylannRoof's entire existence has been shaped on the basis of #WhiteSupremacy. Therefore, it is no surprise at all, although exceedingly tragic, that he felt "charged" to replicate terrorist and fear-based acts like many of his ancestors and kill 9 innocent Black people who were worshipping in a church! This country was illegally founded on #terrorism (ie the massacre and intentional slaughter of #IndigenousAmericans) and as a result, terrorists live, work and walk among every single day!
The question NOW then becomes, how or will "White America" own up to the realities of their #Whiteness, #racism, #feartactics, #WhitePriviledge or will they continue to reside in the illusion of meritocracy, liberalism, capitalist ideology and racist blinders?! #BlackLivesMatter
In the unceasing, albeit necessary discussion on #race and #Racism, today it was announced that #PBS has decided to "suspend" [translation cancel] the popular show #FindingYourRoots after actor Ben Affleck became "upset" of his ancestral history as slave owners. Instead of using his #power and voice as an actor/director in Hollywood to bring light to the issue by attempting to heal past wounds, he [a wealthy.White.man] decides to exercise his #Whiteness to silence his story AND the entire show! If #BenAffleck truly wanted to transgress beyond the heinous crimes of his ancestors, for which I can think of a million options he could have employed, he could have a) found the descendants of the enslaved and offered spiritual reconciliation, b) apologized on behalf of his ancestors, c) educated his children about their history so they too can become conscious of these issues and/or d) made a film about his history, thereby calling others to action. Instead, he chose to use the old "sweep it under the rug" tactic because as we all know, that ALWAYS works!
But Ben Affleck isn't alone in his #WhitePriviledge. PBS, a historical foundation "committed" to education, research and history is equally guilty in their systemic implementation, support and perpetuation of #Whiteness and the built-in privilege that is deeply connected to it. Now that the information about Ben Affleck and PBS's behaviors have surfaced, the call to action rests within our hands now!
For those of us that understand the atrocities of their actions and demand that issues like this prompt the continuation of inequality, we MUST let both responsible parties know our disgust! Let your actions speak #socialjustice into existence! #IWillNotBeSilenced #IWillBeHeard #patriarchy #media #films #UNLEARN #freeyourmind #oppression #actors #WhiteSupremacy #Change #knowledge #racist
Written by The UNLEARNing Project® Founder and Creator