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Kind of Blue

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Gender: Female
Hometown: California
Member since: Fri Aug 29, 2008, 10:47 AM
Number of posts: 8,709

Journal Archives

Harvard Medical Scientists Say Police Killings Should Be Recorded As Public Epidemic

The article reminds me of the clueless wonder's response in JAG's post about Rosa Park http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=post&forum=1187&pid=33757 AND the poster promoting Sanders who couldn't figure out why we're not excited about his economic worldview, when we should be feeling/doing this or that. It turned out the poster is a physician and I just about passed out. Unfortunately I can't find the doctor's thread or cross post.

"Harvard researchers have called on US Public Health Agencies to consider police killings and police deaths public health issues. With that request, researches are also echoing numerous activists who are urging them to begin tracking the number of people killed by police.

The proposal was inspired by a year of continuous protests and public pressure from the #BlackLivesMatter movement, which stemmed from the murder of unarmed Michael Brown on August 9, 2014, and the consistent police murders and protests that have happened since.

They even mention how absurd it is that in the US, we have to rely on a UK newspaper to count the number of people being killed by police. The US public health system already reports numerous notifiable diseases nationally and in real time."


Some Diaspora News

This is a fun one: 40 Incredible Photos from Brazil’s First Natural Hair Empowerment March http://blackgirllonghair.com/2015/11/40-incredible-photos-from-brazils-first-natural-hair-empowerment-march/

"Brazil is a country with the largest black population outside of the African continent. However it has often been the subject of dialogue regarding the strenuous challenges many of it’s black citizens face on a daily basis. When it comes to natural hair, the attitudes toward it are strained. Just this past week, we covered the backlash, talented Afro-Brazilian actress Taís Araújo received after revealing her natural hair.

Organizers Lorena Lacerda, Andrea and Naiara Souza Gouveia say the idea from the march was launched from their Curled and Curled Facebook group and the need for such an event is clear:

“Women suffer from both sides. Racism and sexism. Therefore, we use the concept of empowerment. From the aesthetics, the woman empowers and empowers the community” [translated]

Former Cop, Daniel Holtzclaw, Convicted of 18 Counts for Sexual Assaulting Black Women

"Today, on Daniel Holtzclaw's 29th birthday, he learned that he will be spending the rest of his natural life in prison for sexual assaults he committed while on duty as an Oklahoma City police officer.

Daniel Holtzclaw was found guilty of 18 of the 36 counts. The jury recommended a total of 263 years of prison time for Holtzclaw.

Holtzclaw was found guilty of six counts of sexual battery, three counts of lewd exhibition, four counts of forcible oral sodomy, four counts of rape in the first degree, and one count of rape in the second degree."

Oklahoma City PD's statement

"The Oklahoma City Police Department is pleased with the jury's decision regarding the Daniel Holtzclaw trial. It was a long and difficult trial and deliberation process for all involved. It is obvious the jury took their responsibilities very seriously and considered every piece of evidence presented to them."


Human Nature.

I generally look at DU homepage and move on to the AA group. But this title caught my eye: Again... "In Front Of His Staff" - MLK, Bernie Sanders, And Democratic Socialism... http://www.democraticunderground.com/1251867869

Cursoring down the replies, I saw this "Well all evidence points to the fact that humans are fundamentally built for racism...but how it manisfests is a learned phenomenon due to social factors." Fundamentally built, WOW!

There are 3 things that bother me. One: asking the poster for evidence and getting none for such a bold statement. Two: the poster chose to answer with a PM, still with no evidence. I haven't done much PMing but PMing an answer seems unusual to me. It feels like the poster throws stuff out there publicly but wants to privately block my response, so I choose to share it here. And with a moderator's permission, I will invite poster here.

The third thing that bothers me is these carless assumptions are what leads directly to policy http://ann.sagepub.com/content/661/1/212.abstract https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2015/09/28/born-that-way-scientific-racism-is-creeping-back-into-our-thinking-heres-what-to-watch-out-for/

PM is here http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=inbox&view=2083189 I counter the poster's argument from this line: "I know you will still disagree with me."

Yes and wholeheartedly so. First of all, I’m still waiting for even one iota of biological evidence for racism. Since there's none forthcoming, then I’ll explain to you where your confusion lies. You are conflating the fight or flight response that's a normal reaction in all animals with learned racism. The mechanism for FoF is initiated in our amygdala that triggers a series of responses from heart rate to salivation to tunnel vision to shaking and a lot more. But the organ is an inherent mechanism working to ward off danger and protect ourselves, so we can either run or fight for our lives.

How we categorize people is a social phenomenon shaped by stereotypes. How we react, flight or fight, is influenced by stereotyping. Repeat categorization of people - black, white, Latino, Asian and characteristics associated with each group - is a social phenomenon. Once upon a time, our survival depended upon how quickly we could identify a threat but we're not born automatically believing in these construct. The amygdala is not programmed for racism but is activated when any negative stimuli is in the environment and exposure to negative stimuli is constant learned behavior in our society.

There is so much science on this that I have to stop myself from being surprised that these fallacious and dangerous beliefs are not readily refuted. It seems it's not only republicans who are adverse to science. I've provided some links for you below.

As far as the Tutsis and Hutus, once again, the conflict has very little to do with what you've imagined. This is one of the best quick answers from a longer response. "It is important to remember that what happened during the colonial and post-colonial era was not simply that the Germans and Belgians imposed racial ideas onto Africans who were not really separate 'tribes' or even separate ethnic groups, since they all spoke the same language and held the same religious beliefs. I’ll get to that next. But the point to be made here is that the Rwandans unfortunately had to contend with colonialists at the tail end of a hundred years of political turmoil and war in which farmers were being severely oppressed by the Rwanda chiefs and everybody was scrambling to gain stakes in the new political game created by the colonial administrators.

Colonial scholars created a race hypothesis for Rwanda based on phenotype. Tutsis were thought to be a superior race of Nilotic people who had migrated into the area from the north, conquered supposedly indigenous Hutus, and imposed their superior culture and statecraft on the them. Tutsi were thought to have an aristocratic culture and to be natural rulers. They were thought to be racially different from Hutus. Phenotypically, they were thought to be lighter skinned, higher nosed, and taller."

As far as Nazi Germany, it's quite easy to research the creation of the construct of the Aryan race.

Here are some links for further reading. Let the information sink in to get some clarity.

https://soundcloud.com/inquiringminds/33-david-amodio-the-science-of-prejudice Interview of New York University neuroscientist David Amodio, an expert on the psychology of intergroup bias






Good Gracious, I love Brazilian music!

Just a little sync, though I have no idea if the club and the station are connected, I listen to streaming Sounds of Brazil online. On my bucket list: Carnival! Next life, I'm coming back as a samba dancer and win the title of carnival queen Seriously, I will.

On Edit: I thought you might enjoy this
Posted by Kind of Blue | Sun Dec 6, 2015, 12:14 PM (1 replies)

Calling in Black.

Satirical but really not. I know that I need a mental holiday.

Center for the Study of White American Culture, Inc.

Came across this the other day, http://www.euroamerican.org based in New Jersey. It seems chockful of good information, especially their blog http://www.euroamerican.org/wordpress

"The Center for the Study of White American Culture (CSWAC) was founded in April 1995 by Jeff Hitchcock and Charley Flint, an interracial couple with a lifelong interest in matters of racial justice and equity. The founders continue to serve the organization. Jeff is Executive Director and Charley is President of the Board of Trustees. Shortly after its founding CSWAC incorporated as a nonprofit and applied to the IRS for 501(c)3 status which it obtained and continues to hold.

The founders envisioned an organization that would raise consciousness about the role whiteness and white American culture occupy in the racial structure of United States society. In 1995 this topic was not discussed in mainstream public settings. In 1996 CSWAC organized the National Conference on Whiteness, the first event of its kind ever held. That same year we launched www.euroamerican.org, the first outpost of white-identified anti-racist advocacy on the internet which, even then, had already seen the appearance of several white supremacist sites.

Today conferences on whiteness and white privilege are more common, and the white anti-racist presence on the internet has grown substantially. CSWAC welcomes this growth, and continues to contribute leading ideas and works. In 2010 we published the book Accountability and White Anti-racist Organizing, the first book to delve into this crucial topic for racial justice advocates in depth.

White culture forms the central values of our society, and yet is often treated as invisible, normal, and outside the discussion of race. If, as a nation, we are to develop a truly multiracial society centered on multiracial values, we need to discuss whiteness and white culture along with other racial and cultural groups. White people need to think about how white culture and values can find expression in non-dominant and non-oppressive ways."

Epic shade of the Donald Trump

"The woman who defiantly read a book during Donald Trump‘s rally in Springfield, Ill. on Monday has been identified. Now she’s speaking out about why she attended the campaign stop in the first place, as well as what motivated her to ignore the Republican presidential candidate and read a book instead.

Johari Osayi Idusuyi, a student at Lincoln Land Community College, told local ABC affiliate WCIS she had no interest in Trump. 'But if you have the chance to see a presidential candidate, why not?'

So Idusuyi and a few friends went to the rally and found several seats unaccounted for in the area located just behind the podium. When the group inquired about the vacant seats, volunteers told them they were reserved for VIPs. That’s when they were approached by a campaign worker who offered them the empty chairs immediately behind the stage.

'I think we were chosen for obvious reasons. We are minorities and there weren’t a lot of minorities there,” Idusuyi told Jezebel. 'He also instructed us to sit in the middle, so we kind of already knew what this was.'"



Playwright Reacts to the White Casting of MLK in The Mountaintop


“I remember he had the prettiest skin I had ever seen. Flawless. So chocolate you could see yourself reflected in it,” Carrie Hall, my mother, recounted wistfully. On March 28, 1968, she had caught a glimpse of Martin Luther King Jr. when he came to Memphis, Tenn., to lead a march for sanitation workers. It quickly descended into a police-provoked riot fueled by tear gas and bullets. My mother remembers fleeing for her life to the safety of her home, mere blocks from the Lorraine Motel. Seven days later, King would be murdered at that very motel, a sniper’s bullet piercing his flawless brown skin.

My mother’s brush with history became the bedrock of my play The Mountaintop, a reimagining of King’s last night on earth before his assassination. A conversation between the civil rights leader and a hotel maid named Camae weaves through the night as King wrestles with the weight of his legacy.

Imagine my surprise when, on Oct. 4, 2015, at midnight in London, I received an email from a colleague sending me a link to Kent State University’s amateur production of the play. The actor playing King stood there, hands outstretched, his skin far from chocolate but a creamy buff. At first glance I was like, “Unh-uh, maybe he light-skinned. Don’t punish the brother for being able to pass.” But further Googling told me otherwise.

Director Michael Oatman had indeed double-cast the role of King with a black actor and a white actor for a six-performance run at the university’s Department of Pan-African Studies African Community Theater. Kent State had broken a world record; it was the first Mountaintop production to make King white."


"For his production, under the auspices of the African Community Theatre at Kent State, Michael Oatman who is the company creative director this year, said that he had double cast the role of Dr. King, with a black actor performing for three shows and a white actor performing for three shows. In an interview on the university website, Oatman explained his concept":

"I truly wanted to explore the issue of racial ownership and authenticity. I didn’t want this to be a stunt, but a true exploration of King’s wish that we all be judged by the content of our character and not the color of our skin,” said Oatman about his non-traditional cast. “I wanted the contrast . . . I wanted to see how the words rang differently or indeed the same, coming from two different actors, with two different racial backgrounds.”

We’re not going to see a repeat of this particular case unless Katori Hall says it’s OK. And maybe we’ll see much more specific character descriptions in scripts in the wake of this incident – but hopefully we’ll also see playwrights making clear when they not only allow, but encourage, racially diverse casts, as a signal to directors that diversity and indeed variety is desirable."

From the first article, Ms. Hall says it's not OK.

Kids Who Die, Langston Hughes

A Tribute to the Movement (Narrated by Danny Glover)

This is for the kids who die,
Black and white,
For kids will die certainly.
The old and rich will live on awhile,
As always,
Eating blood and gold,
Letting kids die.

Kids will die in the swamps of Mississippi
Organizing sharecroppers
Kids will die in the streets of Chicago
Organizing workers
Kids will die in the orange groves of California
Telling others to get together
Whites and Filipinos,
Negroes and Mexicans,
All kinds of kids will die
Who don’t believe in lies, and bribes, and contentment
And a lousy peace.

Of course, the wise and the learned
Who pen editorials in the papers,
And the gentlemen with Dr. in front of their names
White and black,
Who make surveys and write books
Will live on weaving words to smother the kids who die,
And the sleazy courts,
And the bribe-reaching police,
And the blood-loving generals,
And the money-loving preachers
Will all raise their hands against the kids who die,
Beating them with laws and clubs and bayonets and bullets
To frighten the people—
For the kids who die are like iron in the blood of the people—
And the old and rich don’t want the people
To taste the iron of the kids who die,
Don’t want the people to get wise to their own power,
To believe an Angelo Herndon, or even get together

Listen, kids who die—
Maybe, now, there will be no monument for you
Except in our hearts
Maybe your bodies’ll be lost in a swamp
Or a prison grave, or the potter’s field,
Or the rivers where you’re drowned like Leibknecht
But the day will come—
You are sure yourselves that it is coming—
When the marching feet of the masses
Will raise for you a living monument of love,
And joy, and laughter,
And black hands and white hands clasped as one,
And a song that reaches the sky—
The song of the life triumphant
Through the kids who die.
Posted by Kind of Blue | Mon Nov 9, 2015, 01:15 PM (0 replies)
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