Skip to comments.Opinion: Plenty of work to be done regarding racism in US
Posted on 02/10/2014 7:52:30 AM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
Last week, I was one of the many students who crowded the Alumni Memorial Building to hear the amazing Angela Davis speak.
She spoke about our country's history of slavery and slavery's modern incarnation: our nation's prison industrial complex.
"We should seriously question the fact that punishment can be profitable," Davis challenged. She was referring to the multi-billion dollar industry of privatized correctional facilities, one of our economy's fastest growing sectors.
The thing about capitalism is that in the right conditions, a profit can be made from just about anything including the suffering of other people. Why do we pump billions of dollars and millions of citizens through our prisons but neglect the increasingly dysfunctional education and healthcare systems?
After I left the talk, this and many of her other points reverberated within my mind, but one stuck out to me the most.
She criticized the way race is broached as a topic of discourse in the U.S. by comparing it to South Africa.
We all (or at least, we should) know the tumultuous history of South Africa, of Nelson Mandela and his "long walk to freedom." In many respects, the violence and the unrest were much worse than that which occurred in the U.S.
Yet Davis claims that in South Africa, white and black people are better at having critical discussions about this history as well as the current situation than we in the U.S. are. I think she's right.
In the U.S., many people are often criticized myself included for talking about race-related issues. Davis added that many white people in our nation seem to be unable to talk about our country's racial history without feeling guilty in such a way that derails discussion.
We all need to learn how to have this conversation because it is an important one. Slavery and racism are, unfortunately, intricately weaved into our history and society. American capitalism was birthed on unpaid laborers, and it is maintained on the backs of inadequately paid workers.
Our country has engineered the plight of Native Americans, Latinos and Asians and yet, we refuse to talk about it, because for some it is an uncomfortable topic?
Ignoring a disease does not cure it.
And as scared as people are of the disease of racism, they fear much more its public diagnosis. White America is more concerned with being called racists than it is about actually having constructive discussions of what we've inherited from our forefathers.
What did George W. Bush call "one of the most disgusting moments" of his presidency? Hint: It wasn't the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and it wasn't the wars in Afghanistan or Iraq.
It was during a telethon fundraiser for victims of Hurricane Katrina when Kanye West infamously said that the former president "doesn't care about black people."
Let me repeat: President George W. Bush perceived one of his lowest points to be a hip-hop celebrity calling him a racist.
(I'd just like to say, for the record, that there are worse things than being called racist. For example, you could be subjected to racism. But let me go on.)
There are many reasons that we need to be able to discuss race in America. For one, the prison industrial complex that I mentioned earlier disproportionately affects men and women of color. And contrary to popular belief, Trayvon Martin is not the only hate crime that has happened in the last five years.
Socioeconomically, there are still huge gaps in income and wealth that correlate with race and ethnicity. Pseudo-egomaniacal talk-show hosts like Bill O'Reilly exist.
We have work to do people.
Another celebrated murdering professor who should have fried years ago.
Only racists think it is important to always talk about racism.
The amazing Angela Davis, indeed!
Yes. Yes there is.
And we should start by calling a halt to people crying "racism" every time the ball doesn't bounce their way.
That, and implementing a serious crackdown on the knockout "game"
As if a Lesbo, Commie can be “Amazing.”
The very first step to wiping out RACISM in America is to wipe out Liberalism.
Why they never put down slavery currently going on in Africa, China and the rest of the world amazes me. There has not been slavery in the USA in over 100 years - move on to a real problem.
In other words, she shoveled several more tons of crap in to the already-full cesspool that is modern "academia".
Lesbo, commie and accessory to first degree murder.
That is a bald-faced lie. In fact, over the last ten to twenty years, the CONSTANT accusations of racism by a certain race-baiting "activist" culture in this country has, for me, caused the word to lose virtually all of its power and impact.
I don't "fear" being called a "racist" any more than I "fear" being called "white".
Yep, another racist who should be fired.
I doubt if you have been criticized for talking about it.
It's possible you have been criticized for HOW you're talking about it, or WHAT you're saying.
It's possible that he's a REAL egomaniac, you know.
If blacks would stop robbing, murdering, raping, drug dealing, and engaging in other gang related criminal activities, the incarceration numbers would be a lot less disproportionate. fact is though, they have been failed by the Democratic party which they have been tying their fate to for over 40 years now and now we’re all left to clean up the fallout of that deal with the devil. Frankly, my giveashitometer is registering a solid zero.
Totally wrong. O'Reilly is a genuine egomaniac.
George W. Bush...is that the same George W. Bush who is involved in eradicating aids in Africa?
Kanye West is an idiot.
Nobody really wants to talk about racism anymore except racists. Most people have moved on.
Card carrying Communist
using Race to promote
her vision of Marxist UTOPIA.
Liberalism THRIVES on the specter of “racism”, pitting one group against another.
We need to realize they’re baiting us just as much as they are the AA community. They get us by stoking antipathy toward the “parasite class”, all while they stoke hatred of the producer class on the other side.
And I should trust your knowledge about "white America" because...... ?
There's no such thing as "white America".
Booker T. Washington called it, over a hundred years ago...
"I am afraid that there is a certain class of race-problem solvers who don't want the patient to get well, because as long as the disease holds out they have not only an easy means of making a living, but also an easy medium through which to make themselves prominent before the public."
And Ms. Davis has made a very good living by prolonging the disease.
Andrea Richardson is a sophomore in anthropology. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Good point. We’re told all the time that we can’t understand, and more pointedly, can’t “judge”, black culture, attitudes and behavior because we aren’t black.
Wouldn’t that go both ways?
I guess not. Nothing on this issue ever goes both ways.
American capitalism was birthed on unpaid laborers, and it is maintained on the backs of inadequately paid workers.
I didn't need a picture to ID the race of the writer. Those two sentences alone did all the talking I needed. Why doesn't this whiny b**** go to South Africa and live there for 20 + years and then get back with her evidence that the citizens there are any better off without capitalism?
Angela Davis is still in demand as a speaker??? I submit this speaks ill of any university paying her to speak. As we all know, she is an admitted, an open hard-line Communist and anti-American activist from the 60’s, who properly lines the garbage bin of a sad history.
I missed all that fun, being without electricity and all, in Biloxi.
When I first started looking into Barak Hussein Obama, it became very obvious and evident to me that his being “elected” to the Office of the President would be a tremendous disaster for race relations in our country.
I have never been so disappointed in being right about something.
If she doesn't do these things, we'll know that she's just a hypocrite and a race hustler, and someone to be spurned.
Well ... I'll criticize her for talking about racism. "Racism" has been done to death in this country. It's long past time to quit talking about racism and get on with our lives. Talking about racism interferes with doing anything useful or constructive. Clearly, the black and hispanic people who make a living by talking obsessively about "racism" are either unable or unwilling to do anything useful or constructive. They are not rational, or reasonable, and they have no achievable goal. Dialogue with them is impossible and would be useless in any case; the only words I have for them are STFU.
There is another class of coloured people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs.
― Booker T. Washington
That’s quite a plight Asian-Americans suffer.
Its a two way street missy, before you can point to the 300 years of slavery in this country let's understand the 2,000 years of slavery in Africa.
Let's talk about the hundreds of thousands of lives and billions of $$ expended to end slavery.
Let's discuss the Barbary pirates and the raids along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea gathering souls to be sold in the slave markets of N Africa.
But that's just history...
I'm willing to address the inadequacies of the US justice system, it really is atrocious, but the corollary is the crime ridden culture that feeds it.
We can discuss the sins of the "white man" and have ad infinitum, but at some point shouldn't blacks get on w/ their lives, and stop making excuses?
That's as far as I could get.....
That's as far as I got to understand EVERY thing about this article. When this country goes full blown communist, how do these victim class pundits think their world will change?
Do they think laws and their enforcement will disappear? Have they not heard of Pogroms and the lawless targeting of suspect groups in the old USSR? What a bunch of Lotus Eaters.
Mr. Washington certainly was prescient.
I wonder if Ms. Davis even knows who he is?
I got to “the amazing Angela Davis” and stopped reading. No point.
I have given up trying to be decent because our Country ended racism way too long ago and since the 60’s has thrown upwards of one trillion dollars towards helping minorities get ahead. Since Caucasians were a super majority back in the 60’s we showed our willingness to get over it and move on towards a population that did not care about skin color. We could just as easily stomped them out of existence.
The problem is the minorities realized they could extort even more money from us by screaming “racism” rather than buckling down, learning, and working hard. Being lazy and having most everything given you them while using the race card has made them the defacto ruling class, much like some countries in Africa where a minority tribe ruthlessly rules over the majority.
I will not bend any more and I will not play nice around these lazy, corrupt, thieving people.