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Truth is in favor of you and me; for the truth of our enemies whom we have been serving here in the U.S.A. for over 400 years (whom we did not know to be our enemies by nature) is the truth that the Black Man must have knowledge of to be able to keep from falling into the deceiving traps that are being laid by our enemies to catch us in their way which is opposed to the way of righteous of whom we are members. ~ The Honorable Elijah Muhammad

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Obama, Trayvon and the Problem That Won’t Be Named: White supremacy and privilege

Barack Obama has been a politician in the United States where, for the past five years, he’s been continually harassed about this citizenship. A convincing rumor originally started by Hillary Clinton’s supporters in 2008, Obama’s dark skin and lineage cast doubt on his ability to campaign for president. Unlike any other candidate, Obama was forced to provide a copy of his birth certificate in order to illustrate his capacity to serve if elected. And unlike any other president, the rumor that the president may have been born in another country persists. That’s because Obama truly is unlike any other president—he’s a black one. And Friday’s remarks remind us that he, too, remembers what it’s like to not only be the nation’s first black president, but also what it’s like to be the black man in an elevator when a white woman clutches her purse.   

Which is why some of Obama’s earnest comments about racial profiling remain at critical odds with his potential decision to tap the New York Police Department’s Ray Kelly to head the Department of Homeland Security. Under Kelly, stop-and-frisk has disproportionately targeted New York’s black and brown residents, the vast majority of whom are neither carrying drugs nor arms. Despite its futile consequences in an era of low crimes rates that are only decreasing, Kelly continues to defend racial profiling under stop-and-frisk. Obama’s powerful words lose meaning when he muses about appointing leaders that perpetuate the type of racism that thousands of people have taken to the streets to protest. -COLORLINES

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There is an understanding, like the instinct that tells birds where and when to migrate, which tells white people that they ought to rule black people. They profit from white supremacy quite literally and it is part of their natural order. It is accepted and it continues like mass psychosis. It isn’t questioned and keeps black people locked up in jail, and unemployed, and every year it kills more than 300 black people at the hands of cops, security guards and Zimmerman-like vigilantes.
Race matters. Hoping, praying and marching alone won’t change the immutable fact that Black life has little value in this country. It won’t change the fact that if Trayvon Martin, the Black teenager, had shot and killed unarmed George Zimmerman, there would not have been any questions and no debate. Trayvon would have been locked up and quickly branded a cold-blooded murderer. It won’t change the fact that there can never be justice under the law when the system itself is unjust—Blacks are stopped more, arrested more, charged more and sentenced to tougher charges than Whites for the same crimes.
peer-reviewed  University of Michigan study involving mock criminal trials found that “white jurors (and by extension white police officers, white judges, white lawyers, etc.) still demonstrate bias in cases where racial issues are not emphasized….” But when race is declared a salient issue, white jurors aren’t negatively influenced by the race of a defendant. In other words, talking about the possibility of prejudice helps individuals inhibit their racial biases.  
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