Racism

The Virginia Sky Is Falling

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At this point, a live look at Virginia politics would just be the vacuuming fire GIF.

Governor Ralph Northam dressed in blackface at least once. Should he resign, his successor would be Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax. Except he’s being accused of sexual assault. If we take out those two bags of trash, we are left with State Attorney General Mark Herring. Who apparently also appeared in blackface. We at DGB can’t even. We are all out of evens.

Your DGB for today is to tell all three guys they have to go.

See Monday’s Grab for Northam’s contact information.

Justin Fairfax’s is here.

And Mark Herring can be contacted here.

GTFO, Ralph Northam

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Good Monday morning, Grabbers! DGB is back after a month-long hiatus! We promised you fresh hell in the first week of February and we, unfortunately, won’t disappoint today.

In case you were in an underground bunker over the weekend (which we honestly wouldn’t question at this point), it turns out Virginia’s Democratic governor is a racist. Don’t make us type it out, just read about it here.

Your DGB for today is to contact Ralph Northam’s office and demand that he resign.


Rest in Power, Botham Shem Jean

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Your DGB for today is to support the movement and the activists who seek to end police violence against Black and brown folks. While the MAGA crowd was making fools of themselves by burning their own damned shoes to protest Nike, Colin Kaepernick, and human decency, yet another Black man was shot by a police officer for... *checks notes*... sitting in his own apartment. Botham Shem Jean was in his home when off-duty cop Amber Guyger either walked in or forced her way in (the story is ever-changing) and shot Jean once, killing him. And then she was allowed by the Dallas PD to leave the scene of the crime. It took three days to arrest her. None of this is right.

Civil rights attorney Lee Merritt, representing the Jean family, said, “I have to believe based on experience that her decision to use deadly force in the way that she did was influenced by the fact that she was standing in front of a black male and that our society has allowed law enforcement to use deadly force in unnecessary situations against black men with impunity.”

Here are some things you can do to support the movements aimed squarely at the systems that allows these killings to go on and fails to hold police properly accountable:

Support the Black Lives Matter organization:

https://blacklivesmatter.com/

Or  https://thebodyisnotanapology.com/magazine/6-ways-white-folks-can-support-the-black-lives-matter-even-if-you-cant-leave-your-house/

Check out Campaign Zero, which aims to end police violence:

https://www.joincampaignzero.org/

Get informed and involved with MappingPoliceViolence.org  

Become a part of an organization working to end the injustices that hold Black people back: https://colorofchange.org/

If you’re white, see these resources:

https://blog.fracturedatlas.org/resources-for-white-people-to-learn-and-talk-about-race-and-racism-5b207fff4fc7

It’s no longer (if it was EVER) ok to simply be non-racist and non-white supremacist. We have to be actively fighting racism and white supremacy. Make Botham Shem Jean’s death mean something - make a real difference.

Is Your School District Segregated?

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Wait, school segregation - wasn’t that ended in, like, the

1960s? During that black-and-white photo era, nothing we need to worry about now, right? Our modern public schools don’t even SEE color! Well no, actually, that is wrong, wrong, and not even close to the case. In fact, Southern public schools are racially segregated at pretty much the same rate they were in the 1960s and other regions aren’t doing much better. The gerrymandering that has succeeded in keeping the GOP in power, despite dwindling voter ranks, is the very same force being used to keep schools separate and unequal. Alvin Chang at Vox has written an excellent article about the subject and went so far as to provide a handy widget, armed with data from a recent study on the topic, so that you can find out if your own local district is helping or hurting this problem. Your DGB for today is to read the article here: https://www.vox.com/2018/1/8/16822374/school-segregation-gerrymander-map

Studies have shown that all children, both white and minority, benefit from attending a diverse school. Let’s grab that opportunity back for them.

 

 

Nationwide Prison Strike

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Buried in the news of yesterday’s Conviction Christmas In August was the start of the Nationwide Prison Strike.

Here’s a rundown on the history of this strike organization:

https://www.aclu.org/blog/smart-justice/mass-incarceration/nationwide-prison-strike-why-its-happening-and-what-it-means

Your DGB for today is to check out the press release for this event below and follow one of the steps they outline to support exploited prison workers.

 

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Plug The Pipeline

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One of the keystones of systemic racism here in the United States is the School to Prison Pipeline: a descriptor for the way minorities are funneled into prison starting with the way the are treated by their public schools and districts. The Department of Education now has a searchable database that allows you to see just how your own school or district is handling things like gifted and talented (G&T) enrollments and disciplinary situations. Ideally, the percentages will roughly reflect the enrollment data. So for example, if your school or district is 85% white, 5% Black, 5% Latinx and 5% Asian, your G&T and suspension rates will shake out into similar numbers. Sadly, this is often not the case. One DGB staffer noted that although her school of reference contained 4.8% Black students they made up over 9% of the out-of-school-suspensions.

Folks, this is not acceptable. Black and other minority students are regularly punished more often and with greater consequences than white students, yet there is no data that illustrates they are breaking the rules more often.

 

Please read more about this database and how to use the information here: https://www.colorlines.com/articles/heres-how-find-out-how-racist-your-kids-school

 

And look up your school(s) and district(s) here: https://ocrdata.ed.gov/DistrictSchoolSearch

 

Use this information to grab our students out of the prison pipeline.

 

A Big NOPE to Confederate Flag Manufacturing

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Your DGB for today is to shame one of the last makers of confederate flags.

In 2015, after a Charleston, SC church shooting perpetrated by a white supremacist, many major retailers like Amazon and Walmart stopped carrying confederate flags, leaving Huntsville Alabama Flag and Banner to take over the market. What followed in our country was a national debate on the removal of confederate imagery like monuments. As you may have heard, we just passed the one year anniversary of the violent Charlottesville rally over such a monument, after which Alabama Flag and Banner saw a surge in sales of their flags. In every political movement, there are companies who capitalize on sentiment, but this is over the line. If people want confederate flags, they should have to sew them with their own racist fingers. Let this company know that their status as the Last Rebel Flag Maker is not something to be proud of.

http://alabamaflag.com/

sales@alabamaflag.com

(256) 534-1300

Impact of a Bad Cop

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Your DGB for today is to “fight the power.”

Police misconduct is all over the news these days. From racist rants to sexual assault to flat-out murder, there is ample reason for most of us to start to question the level of accountability our law enforcement agencies maintain. But what exactly happens when an officer of the law decides to do something shady and you are caught up in the web of lies?

The L.A. Times has put together this “fun” game wherein you are arrested by a dirty cop and you try to get through the ordeal without being found guilty, losing your job, and/or spending a fortune. Not only is it based on real court records, it is fairly impossible to “win” in a way that the officer receives any kind of punishment. Find and complete the challenge here: http://www.latimes.com/projects/la-me-brady-list-secrecy/

And read the accompanying article here: http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-brady-list-secrecy-court-20180809-htmlstory.html

Grab back and try to beat a bad rap.

 

Stop Weaponizing Your Tears

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Your DGB for today is to do some reading and reflecting on the damaging ways white women use their emotions against People of Color.

The recent event in Starbucks where two Black men were arrested for no reason has prompted a powerful discussion of the ways that white people, particularly women, use emotional manipulation (dubbed acutely White Woman Tears) to terrorize People of Color. The Starbucks travesty isn’t even the most terrible example of this, that same DAY near Detroit a 14 year-old Black boy got lost in an unfamiliar neighborhood and knocked on a door to ask for directions. The white woman homeowner freaked out, subsequently inspiring her husband to grab a gun and shoot at the poor kid, nearly killing him.

These stories have prompted blog posts, Twitter threads and Facebook posts from People of Color relating stories of white women acting like jerks and generally making their lives miserable. This nonsense needs to stop. Please take today to read some pieces on the phenomenon and think about how your own actions and reactions need to change.

This piece from Shay Stewart-Bouley (Black Girl in Maine): http://blackgirlinmaine.com/racial-and-cultural/weapon-of-lass-destruction-the-tears-of-a-white-woman/

This post by Luvvie Ajayi (Awesomely Luvvie): https://www.awesomelyluvvie.com/2018/04/weaponizing-white-women-tears.html

This article by Louisa Leontiades (for the body is not an apology): https://thebodyisnotanapology.com/magazine/dear-white-women-why-we-need-to-stop-crying-when-poc-call-us-out/

 

White Privilege and Standing Up

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Your DGB for today is to familiarize yourself with strategies to de-escalate racist harassment and assault, especially if you have white privilege and can use it to help Black and brown folk.

Last week two Black men were arrested for hanging out at Starbucks. And a Black teenager was shot at for ringing a white person’s doorbell to ask for directions. As if we need more reminders, it is clearly not safe to be Black in this society. And PoC need more than non-racist allies, they need ANTI-racist allies willing to use their white privilege to help on the front lines. In the video taken of the Starbucks incident, you can see white people attempting to intervene with the police on behalf of the two Black men. This is a great use of their white privilege. It didn’t have the desired result in this case, but maybe if they’d had a little more information and training, it would have. Maybe someone could have convinced the Starbucks employee not to engage in racial profiling and call the cops in the first place. So check out the resources to which we’ve linked, and learn how to stand up to racism, rather than just being a bystander.

And one more thing: given the way that Black people’s lives are put at risk in encounters with the police, please think twice before calling the cops on a Black person.

 

Still Looking for that Dream

Your DGB for today is to learn some facts about the state of racism in the U.S. 50 years after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and get involved in the fight against it.

Today marks a dark anniversary for this country, as a half-century ago today Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. Rather than posting out-of-context-quote containing memes of Dr. King to commemorate his passing, we would like you to learn about the state of race relations in today’s America. Spoiler alert: things are not good.

Article about recent findings on the outcomes of Black boys: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/03/19/upshot/race-class-white-and-black-men.html

Article on recent report finding racial inequality remains deeply entrenched since 1968: https://www.americamagazine.org/politics-society/2018/02/27/report-inequality-remains-50-years-after-kerner-report

Article on racism and homelessness: https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2018/03/10/homelessness-like-lots-issues-racism-makes-worse/ylwVQvKFjdbzEOa7aQnCPM/story.html

So what to do? You have many options.

Find and support a progressive Black candidate for office: https://collectivepac.org

Find and support a minority-owned business: http://www.sba8a.com

Support Black Lives Matter: https://blacklivesmatter.com/about/

Join the NAACP: https://donate.naacp.org/page/contribute/adult-membership

Let’s Grab back by honoring the sacrifice Dr. King made and further the fight against racism.

 

Million Hoodies Movement for Justice

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Your DGB for today is to support Million Hoodies.

As wonderful as it has been to have our country listen to the students of the Parkland, Florida school shooting, Black and Brown kids just like them have been screaming about their communities being gunned down and we need to remember their voices.

Hoodies dates back to 2012, when Black teenager Trayvon Martin was murdered because he “looked suspicious.” It’s a social justice movement for youth of color, and we don’t want to infiltrate, dictate, or affect their mission with our lame adulthood or whiteness. We simply want you to donate, shop their store, and text “SUPPORTER” to 508 928 8555.

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You can also contribute by rounding up your change from credit card transactions here: https://www.mychange.com/organizations/404-million-hoodies

Of course, if you are a young person of color, please get more directly involved and see if Million Hoodies has a good local fit for you.

 

 

Oconomowoc School District

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Your DGB for today is to contact Superintendent Roger Rindo and School Board President Donald Wiemer, of the Oconomowoc, WI school district.

Back in January, students were invited to participate in a “privilege aptitude test” activity developed by the National Civil Rights Museum. Some snowflake parents got upset about being told they had an advantage in life, which is apparently a hard pill to swallow when you’ve made so little of yourself despite it. They even called in to a local conservative radio station for an echo chamber session.

The all-white school board decided there will be no further discussion of white privilege in their district, which has 88.9% white enrollment. Wiemer, explained "Our board is fine with discussions about diversity ... but white privilege is a lightning rod for some parents. We have poor people in Oconomowoc who are saying they're not privileged ... and people that say, 'Don, we worked our butts off to have what we have.’”

Superintendent Rindo denied a request by a high school student club focused on equality to organize a "privilege walk," saying in an email that the district has to be "prudent and mindful of the context in which we live and work."

Apparently, the irony of allowing white voices to silence an entire district’s discussion of white privilege is lost on these administrators. Let them know their actions perfectly illustrate the need for such education.

 

Shut Down White Supremacist Candidates

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Your DGB for today is to make note of these white supremacists running for office this year and support the candidate(s) running against them.

The article will be updated as the year goes on, so check back in. The list currently includes:

 

John Abarr is what nonsense looks like in human form. He appears to be running as a Democrat in Montana’s 21st house district after multiple failed political bids as a Republican.

 

Sean Donahue of Pennsylvania was convicted last year of making terrorist threats, although he is somehow not from any of the countries included in any incarnation of Trump’s travel ban.

 

Arthur Jones of Illinois will be the only Republican candidate on the ballot in the third congressional district, despite being a raving lunatic. Other candidates in the race can be found here.

 

Paul Nehlen of Wisconsin is running against Speaker Ryan for his house seat. Shockingly, out of all the Pauls running in this primary, Ryan is the lesser evil. Let that sink in.

 

Although these clowns’ runs are mostly considered long shot campaigns, we should never discount fringe candidates outright based on the unbelievability of their platform/behavior. We all know that can end badly. So badly.

 

Your Black Friend

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Your DGB for today is to check out this animated short about what it feels like to be a white person’s Black friend. If you’re white, perhaps it will make you more sensitive to your friends of color and what they go through on a daily basis. If you’re Black, hopefully it will make you feel seen and heard.

Upworthy both summarizes and expands upon the video here with “Seven Things Black People Want Their Well-Meaning White Friends to Know.” Like the short, it is aimed at white people who feel they are both friends and allies to Black people, but still have blind spots that need addressing. As the article says, “You’re going to have to get uncomfortable.”

Confronting your own racism and privilege is tough, but it’s not nearly as bad as what Your Black Friend puts up with. Tune in and learn how to be a better friend.

 

ESPN

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Your DGB for today is to let ESPN know they are fouling out on racial justice.

For a second, back in September, we thought maybe ESPN would stand by Jemele Hill and on the right side of history after she called Trump a white supremacist. What can we say? Sometimes we at DGB have a misplaced faith in humanity.

Caving under what we can only assume was the pressure of presidential tweets, the network decided to suspend Hill on October 9, citing a “second violation of our social media guidelines” after she suggested a boycott of Dallas Cowboys sponsors.

Today, you’ll let ESPN know that they need to grow a pair and stand by their talent, even if that person is, god forbid, a Black woman with an opinion.

Call ESPN Corporate Offices at (860) 766-2000 and press 1 or send them a message here: http://www.espn.com/espn/customercare/index

 

NFL Policies

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Your DGB for today is to contact the NFL about their upcoming league meetings.

This week in How Black People Are Allowed To Move Their Bodies, Commissioner Roger Goodell sent a memo to his teams, stating that “everyone should stand” during the national anthem and that the NFL will soon present a plan to “move past this controversy” after leaders meet in New York next week. http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/10/11/557072923/nfls-roger-goodell-says-players-should-stand-for-national-anthem

Unless Roger has a magic racial injustice undoer wand, this sounds like a bunch of privileged nonsense to us.

The following day, the league walked back this memo after an unhinged tweet from you-know-who, stating that no policy change is yet in place. For people in the business of strategy, the NFL is pretty crappy at presenting a clear game plan.

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000860248/article/roger-goodell-no-policy-change-on-national-anthem

You can let the league know that protests will stop right around the time equality dawns and to quit trying to play both sides of this issue by tweeting the Commissioner @nflcommish or calling the NFL at (212) 450 2000.

 

No More White Nonsense

Your DGB for today is to start following White Nonsense Roundup on social media, and either help out or make use of them, depending.

White Nonsense Roundup, recently profiled in Huffington Post, is a terrific project that allows People of Color a break from the endless job of explaining white supremacy and racism, and defending their humanity, to white people on social media. PoC can simply send out a bat signal by tagging @nowhitenonsense on Twitter or @whitenonsenseroundup on Facebook, and white volunteers will show up to do the job. White people have a responsibility to be actively anti-racist, and this is one way they can do just that. The volunteers will take the heat, engage in discussion, and dispatch trolls where necessary.

How many days without white nonsense? That’s right - zero. So get out there, white folk, and get to work. And friends of color, please kick back and have a pumpkin spice latte. You’ve more than earned it.

 

Stand (or Kneel) with Colin Kaepernick

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Your DGB for today is to consider boycotting the NFL.

Last year, San Francisco 49’ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, drew attention for choosing to kneel during the National Anthem. His reason was a protest of police brutality in addition to the song being a racist holdover from slavery days. (He’s correct; check out the cringeworthy backstory here.) Kaepernick became a free agent in the spring of 2017 and as of today has still not been signed onto an NFL team. According to FiveThirtyEight, that is the longest time that a player of his abilities has been unemployed, ever. Contrast that with the long and befuddling list of rapists, domestic abusers, animal torturers, and terrible players that DO have NFL jobs. Excuses for his lack of contract are no less confusing and include his vegan diet and his haircut.

This comes with the recent findings regarding brain damage suffered from years of professional football play and facts that point to Black players being particularly at risk.

Folks, it’s time that we demand better treatment of those working so hard to entertain us. The camel’s back is as broken as it needs to be - it’s time to take a stand. Use your valuable viewing eyes to catch up on some Netflix, and use your fan dollars to support Colin Kaepernick (merchandise available here) and other players joining him in protest.

Grab back and demand better for our teams.