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.
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