PART 2: White Racism V. Black Prejudice: Language Matters

September 20, 2016

This commentary is part two of a four part series on racism and the over-policing of African-Americans and other people of color.

Racism is not a genetic disorder;
Racism is not a virus.
Racism is not innate.
Racism is learned behavior that is supported by laws and systems.
Racism is the systematic exclusion of one group of people by another group of people from access to strategic resources and the rights of citizenship rooted in the erroneous belief that skin color and “race” ( and today you can add national origins, religion, gender, or sexual orientation) makes us (Blacks, Latinos, Muslims, Asians, Native Americans)inferior.

The power of racism is in its iinstitutionalization, which allows individual prejudice to gain power over others (individuals and groups) through structural power and privilege. Structural power determines who gets access to quality education; who gets hired for jobs; who gets the highest pay—and who doesn’t for doing the exact same job; who gets on-the-job training; who has job descriptions rewritten to fit them; who gets mentored; etc.

Let’s me set the record straight once and for all: Black people are NOT Racist! Why not? We can’t be, because we have no institutionalized power. Black people do not have the wealth and privilege required for racism to exist.
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America Needs A Healing To Reclaim Our Humanity

September 20, 2016

This commentary is part one of a four part series on racism and the over-policing of African-Americans and other people of color.

In mid-July, I was sitting in a truck stop in Jackson, Miss., listening to President Obama’s message to the nation; filled with heart-felt sorrow and pearls of wisdom over the killing of five police officers in Dallas.

Next to me was a table of retired men who congregate to pass the time. They were in their 70s, possibly older. What drew my attention was the reality that as children, prior to the landmark 1954 Brown v. Topeka Board of Education, these Black and white men could never have shared the same table. They would never have dared to eat together, much less pass the time of day together, as equals and without hostility and rancour.

And so I know, things can change in America. This is what I hang onto as I face tomorrow with fury, and as much hope and optimism as I can muster. All are very much needed.
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Justspeak: More Than One Hundred Strong At The Lutie A. Lytle Black Women Law Faculty Writing Workshop

August 1, 2016

IOWA CITY, Iowa – Amazing what you can find in Iowa.
From July 6 – July 12, nearly 120 Black women law faculty from across the nation descended upon Iowa City, Iowa to attend the 10th Annual Commemorative Lutie A. Lytle Black Women Law Faculty Workshop at the University of Iowa College of Law. 
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Original post: 18 July 2016


How You Live Reflects Who You Are

June 30, 2016

"I want my home to reflect to me what’s beautiful and inspiring in the world." Zena Carlota

What we surround ourselves with and what we put into the spaces we live in speaks to who we are, what we are feeling and is a form of interpersonal communications.  Anthropologists believe space speaks and so we study "proxemics," coined by Edward T. Hall in the mid-1960s.  According to wikipedia, Hall believed that "the study of proxemics is valuable in evaluating not only the way people interact with others in daily life, but also "the organization of space in [their] houses and buildings, and ultimately the layout of [their] towns."[4]."  

You heard her sing in an earlier post, now Zena Carlota's takes us on a journey of how she creates a living space that  feeds her soul and nurtures her spirit. When was the last time you really looked at your space? Read more


    History and Imagination Drive Singer Zena Carlota's Afro-Folk Sound

    May 30, 2016
    I would never have imagined that my daughter, Zena Carlota, would grow into the amazing artist and performer that she is today.  It is one thing for me to celebrate her talents--that's what parents do.  But when others recognize the talent, then you feel redeemed by the investments you've made as a parent.  At the end of the day, the talent is all hers.  Learn about how Zena Carlota  uses her heritage as a person of the African Diaspora,  a descendant of enslaved Africans and the mixture of genes and cultures that created "African Americans" to produce her unique "Afro Symphonic Folk" music that draws upon her heritage as a person of African descent in the Americas, a global citizen, and an immensely creative Millennium force.  She creates her own unique music and blends traditional African string instruments (the kora) with  western classic instruments (cello, violin, flute).  

    To Read More & Listen

    Justspeak: The Origins Of A Police Culture Of Bias In Ferguson

    May 30, 2016
    Justspeak: The origins of a police culture of bias in Fergusonhe conclusion reached at the end of the recent federal probe on the Ferguson Police department should come as no surprise: a culture of bias exists in the Ferguson Police department. According to the Wall Street Journal, “…the Justice Department probe concluded…Police in Ferguson routinely violated the civil rights of the city’s Black residents.”

    Such a conclusion also raises further questions about the Grand Jury ruling that exonerated Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown. Before the Justice Department probe and despite conflicting stories by witnesses that now might be attributed to how they were treated or questioned within the prevailing police culture of bias, evidence of this bias was fully apparent in the composition of the majority white police force overseeing the majority Black protesters, and the police’s quickness to act harshly and punitively against all demonstrators for the aggressive acts of a few. It didn’t take rocket science or a federal probe to state the obvious. White policemen have been conditioned by their culture of bias to view Blacks with hostility and in need of punishment. In the context of such an acceptable racially charged belief system, violent acts against Blacks are always justified. The unwarranted death of Michael Brown was just one more notch in the belts of a police department that had little respect for Black life. It is the same department that sent anti-Black emails to each other routinely and without fear of any reprisal.
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