Uzodinma Iweala, “Stop Trying to ‘Save’ Africa”
The assumption that there is no real difference among black people is exactly what racism is. Our differences, our right to our individuality, is what makes us human. The point of racism is to rob black people of that right. It would be no different than me assuming that Rachel Weisz must necessarily have something to say about black-Jewish relations, or me assuming that Paisley must know something about barbecue because he’s Southern.
It is no different than the only black kid in class being asked to explain “race” to white people, or asking the same question of the sole black dude in your office. The entire fight is to get white people to respect the fact that Mos Def holding a microphone is not LL Cool J holding a microphone, that Trayvon Martin is not De’Marquise Elkins, that wearing a hoodie and being black does not make you the same as every other person wearing a hoodie and being black."
This week, superstars Beyoncé and Jay-Z celebrated their 5th wedding anniversary with a trip to Cuba or, as the informed refer to it, ‘the island prison.’
While dining, partying, and enjoying the best Havana has to offer, Beyoncé and Jay-Z not only legitimize and support the repressive regime, with both their presence and their cash, but turn a blind eye, cruelly, to the perils and languishing of the Cuban people.
Both stars are proud African-Americans — yet, curiously, chose to vacation in a country notorious for relegating its black population to second-class status, or worse.
… As a Cuban-American myself, I am privy to first-hand accounts of the many I meet who have recently escaped to the United States. Racism, they say, is widespread and expected, and state-posts, government jobs, or positions in the tourism industry are often allocated on the basis of skin color. Take a look at the top office holders in Cuba. See any black faces there? No.
… But why stop Cuba’s racism, and its atrocious human rights record, from getting in the way of a good time? After all, Jay-Z is the ‘artist’ who famously raps: ‘Welcome to Havana, smoking cubanos with Castro in cabanas!’"
AJ DELGADO, writing for Mediaite, “Useful Idiots: Beyoncé And Jay-Z Ignore Cuba’s Racism With Havana Trip” (via inothernews)
BECAUSE THE USA IS PERFECT AND THERE IS NO RACISM ANYWHERE, EVER.
When I heard what you said about the Voting Rights Act being a “racial entitlement,” I was shocked. I thought you must not know what’s happening in this country. After learning more this year from the civil rights group, Advancement Project, I know that just as there were for me, there are barriers to voting for many people – especially people who are black or brown. I also know that the Voting Rights Act is a way to protect the votes of communities that still face these problems. I would like to tell you about the struggles I faced in the last election.
During the early voting period in Florida last October, I went to my polling place early in the morning. The line was already very long, and wait times were as high as six hours. I stood for three hours before I started to get shaky on my feet, but no one could assist me unless I made it to the front of the line. In addition, there were no poll workers available who could help me in my native Kreyòl language, despite North Miami’s large Haitian community. I was told to come back later. I left. But I was determined to vote, so I tried again. On my second visit that night, I was happy when I finally cast my ballot. But I was also upset. In this great nation why should anybody have to stand in line for hours, and make two trips, to vote?
Not everybody persevered as I did. I learned later that hundreds of thousands of voters in Florida gave up and went home without voting, and that Black and Latino voters were more likely to face those shamefully long lines and wait times. One reason was a new law that cut the early voting period. Around the country, other new laws were passed that made voting harder in 2012 – but Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act blocked many of them before the election. Section 5 also helps voters in other ways. In the five counties in Florida that are covered, voting help in Spanish and Kreyòl is required because of their large Latino and Haitian populations.
I was born at a time when women were not allowed to vote in Haiti, nor the United States. After becoming a U.S. citizen, I was so proud to have a voice in this country. That is what inspired me to fight last year. But voting should never require such a fight. We need more make sure that all Americans can have their voices heard – we need the Voting Rights Act. Justice Scalia, the Voting Rights Act is not a racial entitlement. It is an important protection that helps all Americans exercise their right to vote. It was put in place because, sadly, there are people in this country who don’t want everyone to have an equal voice at the ballot box.
Equality and the right to vote are the shining lights of American democracy that drew me to these shores, and that right should not be taken away. In fact, it should be made stronger to help more voters who faced obstacles like I did."
102-year-old DESILINE VICTOR, in a letter sent to Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia; Victor was a guest of President Obama’s during last months State of the Union, during which he addressed voter suppression across the U.S.
“Yes, I am a dick,” Scalia probably didn’t say.
(via The Huffington Post)
At around 1:30am on Saturday, a man broke into my apartment and tried to rape me. He did not succeed; the police caught him almost immediately (literally within minutes); and I am, for the most part, fine. But this did not happen in a vacuum. There is a context. And there are some things I just can’t let go.