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Listen Up!!

The prior post consisted of quotes that were decades old. Here, contemporary Black commentators attempt to penetrate the wall of white deafness.  I encourage you to read with a fresh openness:

“….And no, they ain’t in love with your mouth…. What you say out of it they will not heed.  What you scream from it they do not hear.”  Toni Morrison

Businessman holds his hand near his ear and listening

“Racism is so American that when People of Color protest racism, White People think we are protesting America.” John Kane

“Changing form but not essence over four centuries, this history has morphed from slavery to the Black Codes, peonage and lynching, from Jim Crow to convict leasing, to mass incarceration and deadly police practices.” Fania Davis

“The current justice system has become, in effect, a new method of racial control. We haven’t ended racial caste in America, we’ve just redesigned it.” Dr. Michelle Alexander

“You can’t break my leg and then complain that I limp.” Dr. Joy DeGruy

“Colorblindness as an ideology is almost a willful neglect: ‘I’m going to close my eyes to the reality both of diversity and the reality of inequality and injustice.’” Imani Perry

“Black success today tends to reinforce the superficial colorblind notions that people hold: ‘If they’d only try harder, they could be President Obama’ and that simply isn’t the case.” Dr. Michelle Alexander

“They were people turned to fuel for the American machine… You cannot forget how much they took from us and how they transfigured our very bodies into sugar, tobacco, cotton, and gold… to acknowledge these horrors means turning away from the brightly rendered version of your country as it has always declared itself and turning toward something murkier and unknown. It is still too difficult for most Americans to do this. But that is your work. It must be, if only to preserve the sanctity of your mind.” Te-nehesi Coates

“Another study cites the high extent of anxiety, depression, stress, thoughts of suicide, diabetes, and hair loss among black college students competing at predominantly white schools where they feel the burden of not only personal success, but racial success. This phenomenon is referred to as ‘John Henryism’ after the legendary slave-turned-railroad-worker who literally worked himself to death to prove his worth.” Kareem Abdul Jabbar

“Telling black folks to be ‘respectful’ to police to avoid dying is like telling women to dress ‘appropriately’ to avoid rape.” Spike Lee

“Diversity training can ask white people to change their consciousness while leaving their dominance intact…..Diversity training often leads to tokenization – e.g., ‘People of color are the raisins in my oatmeal: it just takes a few to make the dish richer.’” Myra Brown

“The poorest white person wouldn’t want to be me – and I’m rich!!” Chris Rock

“You cannot have a little injustice and call it justice. You cannot have a little inequality and call it equality. There is no nice way to ask for our freedom that will lead to it being granted. Believe me, we’ve tried. Even having to ask is an act of oppression in itself.” Ijeoma Oluo

“I am challenging white people to consider carefully whether failing to speak out or act because of those fears is justified when white silence and inaction mean the oppression and death of black people.” Janee Woods

“This is not the time for a hundred more years of benign gradualism.” Howard Eagle

“I’m long past having ‘conversations about race’….Why are we still attempting such placating, juvenile approaches with adults in 2015?” Aisha Harris

“I’ve often said that it’s not enough to acknowledge your privilege. And, in fact, that acknowledging it is often little more than a chance to pat yourself on the back for being so ‘aware’…. They feel really special about it, really important, really glad that something so significant just happened, and then they just go ahead and do whatever they wanted to do anyway, privilege firmly in place. The truth is that acknowledging your privilege means a whole lot of nothing much if you don’t do anything to actively push back against it.” Mia McKenzie

“Racism should never have happened in the first place, so you don’t get a cookie for reducing it!” Chimamanda Adichie

“If we can take care of the Black/white divisions in this country, we will have created the mindset to resolve all the other divisions.” Dr. Kiah Nyame

Beginning with the next post I’ll resume listing Resources and Action opportunities. For now, I’ll just recommend one recent book as an example of a clear, well-grounded articulation of the messages that are coming our way: Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America by Michael Eric Dyson

3 thoughts on “Listen Up!!”

  1. REAL TEAM HISTORY

    The Rochester City School District’s Racial Equity Advocacy Leadership (REAL) team was established in September 2018.

    Our Coalition ( https://www.facebook.com/tidpc/ ) has been helping to lead and guide the initiative.

    THE TASK IS: Help develop/implement, and oversee a comprehensive Racial Equity Action Plan for the Rochester City School District.

    WHEN & WHERE: THE NEXT MEETING IS TUESDAY, APRIL 30TH @ 6:00 pm — AT ROCHESTER CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT CENTRAL OFFICE BUILDING — 131 WEST BROAD STREET (CORNER OF SOUTH PLYMOUTH AVENUE).

    IT’S OPEN TO EVERYONE. PLEASE JOIN US.

    ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND INFORMATION: The Rochester Board of Education institutionalized REAL during its January 24, 2019 Business Meeting, when the majority voted to “establish the Racial Equity Advocacy Leadership (REAL) team as a permanent body to work with the Superintendent to assist in the development, implementation and monitoring of the District’s Racial Equity Action Plan and to advise the Superintendent on racial equity issues within the school system. The REAL team shall also assist the Superintendent in racial equity strategic planning, annually evaluating the impact of current racial equity initiatives on student achievement and making commitments to address newly identified race-based inequities in order to ensure that racially equitable educational opportunities are being provided to all of the students who attend our schools.”
    EVEN THOUGH SOME ARE TRYING TO DOWNPLAY THIS — IT REALLY IS A BIG, BIG DEAL!!!
    ————————————————————————————————————

    The Rochester Board of Education institutionalized the REAL team during its January 24, 2019 Business Meeting. CHECK OUT THE DEBATE AND VOTE — BEGINNING AT THE “2:54:15” mark in the following video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Ug01Sx4g6U

    Like

  2. Thanks again, Frank. and to add to your book recommendation, Dyson’s book is great and particularly noteworthy is the closing prayer.

    Like

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