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racism, racism at school, students, Donald Trump

What do you do when your child comes home from school and tells you about all the blatant racism she experienced at school that day? Racism is nothing new but I’ve never had it directed so closely at my children. Wait, let me clarify, no one called my daughter a “Beaner”, “Wetback” or “Spic”; none of the common slurs you get when you are a little Mexican kid. No, my daughters, like myself, are very fair skinned and they actually look more Nordic than South American. They have blondish hair and blue eyes. Nothing about them screams, “I am Mexican hear me roar.” But they will tell you, in no uncertain terms, “Yo soy Mexicana, escuchame…..ROAR!!!!”

The thing is when you look Caucasian, people don’t worry about what they say around you. They think that you shouldn’t be offended because when they are insulting your culture and your race, they are not actually insulting “YOU” because to them, you are different (you get a pass) because you look the same as them. Let me tell you what, that’s even worse. Casual racism where you tell me that I shouldn’t be offended because you weren’t referring to “my kind of Mexican” is beyond insulting. People always expect Latinos to be “more Latino” or, in my case, more obviously Latino.

I’ve experienced this kind of attitude my entire life due to my white skin. My mom is Caucasian, so technically I am half European Caucasian (with a twist of Cherokee) but I am also half Mexican. And, as anyone of color will tell you because we know this firsthand, if you are brown or black in any amount, to most Caucasians, you are “other” because you’re not 100% Caucasian so I’ve always just embraced it. I refuse to deny who I am, where I come from or the fact that on my dad’s side, I am first generation Mexican-American. That makes my daughters with their alabaster skin, blue eyes and blonde hair, second generation Mexican-American. We are proud of this, as we should be but then, every once in a while, especially in today’s politically charged, infused with extra hatred and bigotry environment, we are slapped across the face with the feeling of others trying to make us feel small and less than. Yes, even today in 2016.

racism, racism at school, students, Donald Trump

Not to bring Donald Trump into this but honestly, he has broken the dam of the shame of racism that most polite societies had been adhering to. He has come in like a hurricane and ripped all politically correct walls down and made it not only acceptable but in some cases even applaudable to be prejudiced. Racism, xenophobia, and bigotry are running rampant under the guise of national pride and patriotism. I’m here to tell you that it’s not acceptable and never will be. It’s still just as disgusting as it ever was and now that the Trump trickle-down effect has directly involved my children, we have a problem and I’m ready to fight.

Which brings me to a couple recent situations that happened to my daughters at school recently. I’m pretty tolerant. I know that children sometimes regurgitate things they’ve heard at home without knowing what it really means. I also am painfully aware that hatred is taught not born. My girls know this as well and they readily afford their fellow students the benefit of the doubt but when they hear a prejudiced joke or comment made they also readily volunteer the information that they are Mexican and that those particular comments are offensive to them. In my house, we always think to ourselves, what would we allow someone to say to Grandpa Manny? If it would hurt him, it hurts us.

Last Wednesday, my daughter came home from a field trip, that my husband attended with her, and told me that the other kids in our car were telling her and one another that they were “voting for Donald Trump” and “Hillary Clinton wants to kill babies.” They went on to say that they wanted Trump to win so he could build a wall and “keep the Mexicans out!” Before my husband had the chance to say a word, my 9-year-old informed the children, “You know that I’m a girl and I’m Mexican.” (My 9-year-old doesn’t understand why anyone would vote for a racist misogynist, especially other women.) To which the kids answered, “Well, I knew you were a girl but I didn’t know you were MEXICAN!” My daughter’s answer, “Well, now you do.”

I don’t know about you but I find it very disturbing that parents are at home telling their kids that Hillary Clinton wants to kill babies and I’m personally offended that these children want to keep Mexicans out like we are some kind of criminal, lower life forms. It also disturbs me that my children are surrounded by such blatant racist every day.

On Friday, my daughter jumped in the car at pick-up and told me another disturbing tale of fourth-grade racism.

A group of children was talking and said that they hope Trump wins so he can keep the Mexicans out because they (Meaning Mexicans) are part of ISIS and the part of the reason the Twin Towers were attacked. What? Has the world gone mad?

racism, racism at school, students, Donald Trump, Ann Coulter

Take a moment to soak that last statement in. Does it disturb you to your core too? Because the sheer magnitude of the ignorance of that statement frightened me. If these children think Mexicans are terrorists couldn’t that prejudice them against the Latino children at the school? I know there is only a handful of but still. My point is this, the entire discussion was inappropriate and factually incorrect. Mexicans are not Islamic terrorists. All Muslims are not terrorists. And it was Al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden who were responsible for the twin towers and 9/11, not the Mexicans; not a race or a culture but a group of terrorist extremist. Why are these parents teaching their children to hate people who don’t look, act, and talk exactly like they do?

Apparently, these children have confused Mexicans and Islamic terrorists. I know the skin tones can be a little confusing if you are not exposed to a diverse group of people but either way, these children are regurgitating racism and xenophobia; neither of which I feel are appropriate or should be tolerated in life and certainly not at the school.

I’m not normally one to email the school with every single infraction or indiscretion. I am an active parent volunteer at the school and I support their mission, that’s why I enrolled my daughters in the school, but this kind of behavior cannot stand. I had to say something. There has to be a zero-tolerance policy for this sort of behavior. These situations warrant a discussion with the children and they need to know in no uncertain terms that prejudice and hatred are not okay on any level. We need to teach the children tolerance and acceptance of differences, not persecution and prejudice.

This election has given people a false belief that it is their right to be judgmental and a false sense of justification in racial profiling and it’s become uncomfortable on a very personal and basic level. I don’t want my daughters thinking there is something fundamentally wrong with being Latino nor do I want them to feel ashamed or like they are being judged or put in danger simply for being born with Latino blood in their body.

I realize that my daughters look Caucasian and may not experience blatant racism as frequently as some other children who have more obvious Latino features but it is sometimes just as uncomfortable being the whitest Mexican in the room, especially when racist comments are being thrown around and you know all the people that you love most in the world are being denigrated. I don’t want my children feeling ashamed of who they are because other children are being taught racism and hatred at home.

I don’t know about you but I have a pretty thick skin when it comes to myself but if you insult or injure my children, you will have me to contend with and I won’t let it go because it is my job to protect my children. If that means I have to hurt someone’s feeling by pointing out that their bad behavior will not be tolerated, then so be it.

What would you have done if your child was experiencing racism at school?

 

 

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Amy Cooper, George Floyd, Christian Cooper, Ahmed Aubrey, racism

“I’m going to tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life.” Those are the words Amy Cooper wielded as a threat to birder, Christian Cooper, when he insisted that she put her dog back on the leash in a leashed dog park in New York’s Central Park in an area called the Ramble, known for its wildlife and birds that live there. But she didn’t just make an idle threat because she was upset that this man dared to ask her to leash her dog, she literally threatened his life with those words and by calling the police. What threat was she under? Not being able to exercise her white privilege.

I keep hearing that we’re all in this together but I know that’s not true.  We’re all in a boat in the ocean of life but some are yachts and some are 2 popsicle sticks held together by bubblegum and hope. One thing we all know, whether you are black, brown or white, is that being black or brown in America is dangerous every single day, even during a pandemic which you’d think would be the great equalizer.

READ MORE: Michael Brown

Amy Cooper was so angry that this black man had the audacity to request that she live by the same rules as the rest of the world and check her privilege that she threatened his life, because we all know that is exactly what that was. She was like a toddler throwing a tantrum with a semi-automatic weapon. You don’t just randomly call the police on anyone especially not a person of color for no reason. She knew that by making that call she was putting this man’s life in danger and she either didn’t care or cared more about getting her way, than his life.

For those of you who don’t understand this, let me catch you up, if you are not white in America, you do not receive the same rights as those who are white. We have to work twice as hard for half the pay. We have to be respectful and hold our tongues, as the minority, or suffer the consequences. We have to check self-respect, self-dignity and equality every single day of our lives on some level and defer to white America because they remind us every single day that it’s their America and we’re just living in it and our human rights can be revoked at any minute, if we are even afforded them at all.

READ MORE: Criming While White

There are white people of privilege, then there are white people who have no privilege but yet still hold some sliver of privilege because of the very color of their skin. Then, there are the rest of us. The darker your skin, the worse you’re treated by racists because the skin is not something you can hide. You can’t just blend in when your skin is proudly announcing your arrival.

People of color worry because just the act of existing outside of our own homes is dangerous. Actually, even staying inside our own homes doesn’t keep us safe. We’re taught to be quiet, blend in, be respectful, show our hands at all times, and never talk back even when we know we’re right because the price we pay is our life. The majority holds the power and that is why Amy Cooper thought it was ok to cry wolf in the middle of the park with no consideration for Christian Cooper’s life. Racist aren’t sorry for their hatred, they are only sorry when they get caught…sorry that they got caught, still, unapologetic for their fundamental hatred of anyone different than themselves.

READ ALSO: Trayvon Martin

I’ve long held a theory, take it as you will from this white Latina who grew up in a predominantly black neighborhood, some (not all) white people are afraid of black people. As far as I can see, there’s no logical reason for it but I think maybe it’s genetic. As in white people have been treating people of color so shitty for so long that somewhere in their DNA they know they’re wrong for it and that causes a deep-seated fear of retaliation that manifests as preemptive, blind anger. Karma people. If you go around being a monster for centuries, maybe be afraid that one day, God’s going to get you. So, instead of changing the shitty behavior, they go on the defensive and just keep on treating people of color like they are less than. Rather than, treat us all like human beings they double down on the hate and so goes the vicious cycle of white privilege and racism.

As if the Karen in Central Park choking her dog wasn’t enough. We’ve got a whole neighborhood in Brunswick, Georgia (let’s just call a spade a spade) lynching black men in the street. There are so many things wrong with the Ahmed Aubrey situation that I can’t even begin to start to point them out. You have eyes, you are intelligent, I don’t need to be Captain Obvious but something most definitely stinks in suburbia. I’m calling bullshit on the whole thing. This family of racists and their neighborhood buddies went on a hunt in broad daylight and Ahmed Aubrey was the prey of the day.

READ ALSO: When Racism Happens to Your Child

Next, we have the video of George Floyd, a 46-year-old father of 2, killed while Officer Derek Chauvin, pinned a handcuffed Floyd down on the ground. Officer Chauvin’s knee was on Floyd’s neck with the other on his back pinning him down, restricting his intake of breathable air, even while Floyd begged for breath. All while 3 other officers helped to subdue or watched Mr. Floyd take his last breaths and go limp as he died on the pavement below Chauvin’s weight. The police were responding to a call from a grocery market about an alleged counterfeit $20 bill.

In the video, Floyd is seen moaning and struggling, as bystanders urge officers to place him in the police car. “Please,” Floyd pleads. “I can’t breathe,” he continues to moan. An officer keeps insisting he get in the car, while the man repeatedly says he can’t.

READ ALSO: Charleston Shooting

“My stomach hurts. My neck hurts. Everything hurts. … (I need) water or something. Please. Please. I can’t breathe, officer. I cannot breathe. I cannot breathe.”

The police insist that Floyd was resisting arrest. Let me be perfectly clear on this next part, I don’t care if he did actually try to pass a counterfeit $20 bill or not (it’s irrelevant) because no matter what he did or didn’t do, it shouldn’t have cost him his life and if those officers had any respect for this man’s life, they would have relented and taken the knee off the neck. Therein lies the issue. They did not treat this man like a human being because they do not see him as their equal. They saw him as less than they are. This is racism. This is hatred and self-loathing resulting in murder. The four officers were fired Tuesday; on Wednesday, Mayor Jacob Frey called for Chauvin to be criminally charged.

READ ALSO:  Dear America

There were more instances of blatant racism in the news this week and that was just in the past few days. But this was not the first time these things have happened and it won’t be the last. Racism is not new. Social media is. Racists have been out here living their best lives, assaulting and murdering people of color since the beginning of time, but now, we all can see it. Now, we can share it. Now, we can call out for justice and bring these transgressions to the light of day. There is no denying culpability when you’re caught on tape. The world cannot continue to turn a blind eye when the truth is viral.

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The Inconvenient Truth about Patrick Crusius, Guns and Racism in America, el Paso, Texas, gun control, mass shootings

I went to church this morning and I prayed for all of us. After the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas by Patrick Crusius that left 20 murdered in cold blood and dozens injured, I was feeling hopeless and then intense anger. A wave of anger that I haven’t felt since Sandyhook. It’s rage. If you’re indifferent to this violence or you’re not enraged enough to be motivated to act, why? Help me to understand your silence. Why are guns and racism still plaguing our nation? This is the inconvenient truth about Patrick Crusius, guns and racism in America.

At mass, I prayed for the families of all the people murdered this week by mass shooters. Yes, there was one every single day this week. Day after day, I got an alert on my phone and every day, I prayed. I prayed for all of you, to keep you safe. But the time for just praying has passed. We need action to protect our children.

READ ALSO: The Children of Sandyhook

As much as I love my country and my God, he can’t do everything. We’ve got to do our part. This keeps happening because we let it. We value our guns over other people’s lives. We have a million excuses why we should keep our guns, rather than change our behavior and save the lives of innocent people. Change is uncomfortable but isn’t the sacrifice worth it? People are hanging on to their guns like they’re their security blankets. They’re not.

For years, I’ve been clear on my stance on guns. I don’t like them. I hate them. They are dangerous because people are dangerous. People cannot be trusted to behave like responsible adults. They can’t be trusted to respect their fellow humans. People may pull the trigger but bullets from guns are what kill people. Those who allow this to keep happening are culpable. End of story.

READ ALSO: The Collateral Damage of Hate

I grew up with guns. Guns are for hunting and protecting, not killing and maiming the people you don’t like. You’re not allowed to grab your gun, take your sick mind full of hatred and anger and shoot at will. That’s not how this is supposed to work.

The right to bear arms was established at a time when we needed people to take up arms to defend our country against the enemy when we had no regulated or established military. The right to bear arms was not put into law to be used as a scapegoat for every low life lacking self-esteem and hating the world. Every prejudiced person with no friends should not be allowed to amass large quantities of ammunition and guns to shoot innocent people. Yes, innocent people.

READ ALSO: Zero Tolerance for Immigrants is Zero Tolerance for Humanity

Because a person is not like you, does not make them a criminal. Shopping at Walmart is not a criminal act. Attending a music festival should not mean gambling with your life. Going to church should not make you a sitting target and dancing and celebrating at a bar, should not mean that you are relinquishing your right to life. Our military fights abroad to keep us safe and free at home, not so crazed gunman can viciously murder us from within.

The real Inconvenient Truth about Patrick Crusius, Guns and Racism in America

I’ve been clear on my stance for years and I’ve prolifically called for us all to stand up for gun control for our children. I know that guns will never be banned but we need stricter control over who can get those guns, how many they can have at a time, how much ammunition they can buy, how those guns can be modified and where, when and why they can be used. There need to be consequences for breaking those mandates and a psychological evaluation made mandatory for every single person who wants to purchase a gun, of any kind, even a hunting rifle.

I’ve never minced my words but today, I am speechless. I am angry. I am disgusted and prayers are simply not enough. Yes, I too believe that through God all things are possible. I believe in the power of prayer but I also, firmly and absolutely, believe that God helps those who help themselves. We need to help ourselves. We need to take responsibility for our children’s safety by standing up for the right things. I don’t think any parent ever, under any circumstances, would choose a gun over their own child’s life under any conditions.

READ ALSO: Dear America

I am disgusted by all of these acts of domestic terrorism. But last night, when I read Patrick Crusius alleged hate-filled, anti-immigration manifesto, my anger hit a new level. It turned to rage. It spoke of a “Hispanic invasion of Texas.” It detailed a plan to separate America into territories by race. It warned that white people were being replaced by foreigners. Again, maybe this ignorant piece of racist garbage doesn’t know his history but Texas used to belong to Mexico. We were there first.

READ ALSO: What to do when Racism happens to your child

20 people were murdered on a Saturday morning and dozens injured for no other reason than Patrick Crusius was a small-minded, ignorant man, with a hate-filled heart who drove 10 hours to murder Mexicans. And he was able to do it because it’s so easy to get access to guns in the United States. A mother protecting her 2-month old son. Dead. An infant whose parents are left behind to live with the pain of the loss of a child. Dead. 18 more innocent people dead because this monster lives during a time where racism, bigotry and misogyny are not frowned upon but encouraged by our current state of affairs.

Patrick Crusius is only part of the problem. Guns and Racism in America are the disease.

How are we, any of us, but especially people of color supposed to feel safe when the color of our skin, our last names, the religion we follow is enough to make small men not only want to murder us but able to get a gun and do so?

We need good people, those who value all human life, who believe in freedom and equality in our country to stand up against the terrorists within our nation’s borders. Everyone is so focused on keeping the brown people out that you are locking us in with hate-fueled, narrow-minded, homegrown terrorists and giving them guns at will. How are any of us supposed to survive this?

 

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#crimingwhilewhite, racism, Ferguson, white privilege

In an effort to go color blind, the world has missed an opportunity to recognize that brown and black lives matter too. It’s dismissive. Saying that you don’t see color, that you only see people is wonderful in theory but the fact of the matter is that, color does matter, especially to those who are of color. White privilege is real. Racism is real and those of us who are brown and black we feel the effects of casual and systemic racism almost as often and naturally as we breathe. Underneath the color of our skin, we are all human beings. By denying that the experience for those of color is no different than that of white privilege is uncaring and, quite frankly, the most condescending thing of all. The privilege of living your life without being first assumed to be a criminal is something most Americans can take for granted because criming while white often doesn’t have the same consequences as just existing in color. It’s much more dangerous to have black skin in America.

I’m not black. I can’t pretend to know how it must feel to be a black man or woman, especially with the contentious history with white America. I did, however, grow up in a predominantly black neighborhood, I am Latina, I’m a woman and grew up as blue-collar as they come. I’ve had a taste of what it feels like to not be white in America and it doesn’t feel good. In some cases, it is more than being treated as less than, outright hate and blurred systemic racism is terrifying.

The very word minority means being few in numbers, less than the majority. When you are of color, it’s “their” (to borrow a word from my white privileged friends) world and the rest of us are just trying to survive in it. Black kids and brown kids are raised knowing that “criming while white” probably won’t amount to any consequences but being born with melanated skin can get you murdered in the street for doing nothing at all. We accept this and whenever we get any crazy ideas to assert  our equality, someone is always there with their white privilege and systemic racism to laugh in our face and not so gently remind us that we should go back to “our country”. Spoiler alert: this is our country. We have to work twice as hard to just be “equal”.

If you’re reading this and you have never felt less than (believe me, you can be white and feel this way too but there is a certain level of entitlement that comes with having alabaster skin) I am happy for you because it is demeaning. It’s like being caged and silenced. Imagine having to always try to prove yourself as worthy. Imagine praying that people can see past the color of your skin and get to know you the person before putting you in a box because of what you look like. If you do dare to be “equal” to deem yourself worthy of a better life, be prepared to fight the uphill battle of your life. It won’t be easy and you will be tattered and torn by the time you reach the top but it will be worth it.

The thing is you can’t hide the color of your skin. Before you even open your mouth or say a word, the world has already judged you on your skin color. It doesn’t matter who you are, we all have preconceived notions. We can’t help where we came from but we can help where we are going. We can choose to treat people equal. We can choose to judge people on their merits and not on the color of their skin.

The preconceived notions are what continue to kill our children. I hate to say it but I think when people see color, that color is automatically associated with a stereotype. It doesn’t matter what’s real and what’s not because the stereotype is ingrained and naturally believed. The volatile reaction to civil rights for all is born of the fear that we might actually be equal to the people we feel better than. Privilege only exists because one group is allowed to diminish the worth of another.

I grew up in the Chicagoland area and there are many people of different ethnic backgrounds but still, if Latino or black kids are seen in a group, they must be up to no good. They must be gang bangers, carjackers or some kind of other criminals. In these areas, we know our boundaries. We keep to certain neighborhoods, where “we belong”. We know that veering outside of those boundaries could mean trouble for us; like accidentally being shot or harassed by the cops. Never mind the south, we try to stay north of the Mason Dixon line because confederate flags still fly proudly in the south. I don’t know about you but I’ve always seen that as sort of a warning sign. Do not enter. Turn back now. Run. They fly Confederate flags freely, they don’t believe brown or black lives matter in the same way white ones do.

I’m not making this up. I didn’t create this broken system of hatred and systemic racism that refuses to embrace the rallying cry of black lives matter. This is the truth for many of us. How many young people have to die for us to say no more? Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Eric Garner and etc, etcetera. I could go on for days. Just watch the news. White privilege has been around as long as our country has. It started with the Native Americans. We have to choose to change it; to raise our children with bellies full of equality and respect for other human beings. Color should not be a consideration in matters of love and humanity.

The country is outraged and talking about racism today and that is wonderful but in a few weeks, it will fade away and the people of color will be abandoned once again by their current day freedom riders and be once again alone to face the bigots who would just assume shoot them in the face then ask questions. The saddest part of all, there are still people who will argue that the cops were within their rights to shoot these boys dead. There are usually no consequences for these officers. This is criming while white at it’s finest.

Here is where we differ.

I don’t believe that any boy, child, man, woman or girl should be shot dead in the street like an animal. I believe in justice and equality for everyone. I believe that until black lives matter, none of us are free. Until all of us are equal, none of us matter. To put it simply, being black or brown is not a crime and being white doesn’t make you exempt from moral accountability. If you shoot, we bleed, we die…whether you care or not.

Check out the # Criming While White hashtag on Twitter if you don’t believe me. Racial profiling is deadly. Ask yourself, are you white enough to pass “their” skin color test? If not, you might want to pay attention to the state of the world and your part in it. Be better. End systemic racism. Let them know that criming while white has consequences and those who pretend not to see do not get a pass of plausible deniability because they chose to close their eyes. Remind them that brown and black lives matter and we will not stand silently complicit as they get away with murder.

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Charleston Shooting, racism, tolerance, church shooting, South Carolina, Dylann Roof

The Charleston Shooting was not an isolated case. It’s not even the first time RECENTLY that unwarranted violence has happened in Charleston. It was the brutal murdering of 9 innocent African Americans for no other reason than being black. The Charleston Shooting is not just something that happened to the American people. This is something that we allowed to happen by being complacent and silent and doing nothing more than bitching about the ongoing state of civil rights in America for decades. We could have prevented this had we stood up, fearlessly and relentlessly against racism.

Innocent people were shot and killed by a man who thought he was justified in walking into a Charleston, South Carolina church during services and murdering them because he felt that he was entitled to, after all, he didn’t see these people as human. He saw them as “other”. He saw them as less than and because you are on your high horse now…you are still culpable. We all are. We allowed this to happen, yet again.

Dylann Roof is a monster but we allowed the monster to exist. We tolerated his behavior like so many others before him. We allow our fellow human beings to be treated like animals. We don’t stand up until it is in rage when it is staring us back in the face. Then we settle back into our new normal and we move on with our lives. What we need to do is get outraged and never stop being outraged at this blatant racism and hatred and never stop until it is eradicated.

Racism isn’t  just limited to African Americans. What about Latinos? What about women? What about the Jews? What about every single minority in America that has to stay quiet and behave and have condescension and disgust shoved down their throats as they are dared to say anything other than, “Thank you, may I have another?” Because to do anything other than that could result in retaliation. Mutiny. Revolt. Civil war. But we’re getting to a point where something has to change.

Have you been to the south? In the south, the confederate flag flies proudly. People have no qualms about using ethnic slurs out in public, loud and some ignorantly proud. I know this happens everywhere in the United States but in the south it is particularly tolerated. Racism is so hateful to me that I have moved beyond wanting tolerance, I am demanding equality for all human beings.

Caucasians feel as if the minorities are stealing their country, their jobs and their women from them. But I have news for you; America is made up of every single race in the world. There is no “pure” race. There is no superior race because we are all mixed and we are all humans so like it or not, we are all equal in our value as human beings. Are some people better than others? Sure, but that has nothing to do with race, religion or sexual preference and if you think it does, then, my friend, you are not one of the better people.

Jon Stewart said he is sad. The entire country is momentarily wrought with sadness. Me, I’m sad but mostly I’m pissed off. I am fighting mad because I can’t understand how in 2015 this is still happening? How can we look ourselves in the mirror knowing that we are allowing this to happen over and over again, even making excuses for the behavior? How can people still treat other PEOPLE as less than?

What kind of upbringing did Dylann Roof have that made it all right in his head to walk into a house of God and murder innocent, unsuspecting, defenseless people? How do you pull a trigger and snuff out a person’s life for no other reason than the color of their skin? What kind of monster must you be? Look in the mirror, if it takes anything less than the rest of your entire life to get over this…you are part of the problem.

Stop feeling sad and starting feeling mad. Start feeling indignant and lower your tolerance for this kind of bigotry. I feel sick and vulnerable walking around in a world where at any moment someone can shoot someone else dead, rape them, maim them in public, no less, and suffer no real fear of consequence.

Prison is not a deserved consequence because it is too good for this type of murderer. He has already done the damage. He has already destroyed 9 families. That can’t be undone. The prisons are filled with young African American men put there by a society who thinks they belong in cages. I hope they put Dylann Roof in general population and I hope that he gets the justice that he deserves.

Our current racial situation is dire.

 

“Gaping Racial wound that will not heal, yet we pretend that it does not exist!”

 

“I’m confident though by acknowledging it, by staring into that and seeing it for what it is, we still won’t do jack shit!” Jon Stewart

I’m starting to feel like the civil rights victories of the 60’s were nothing but a ruse to pacify the unsettled and uncooperative militants who had the balls to fight for equality. I’m beginning to feel like equality in the United States is a farce.

The problem of race in America is not a new one. Our country is a menagerie of different people from different countries from around the world. The only thing we have in common is that we are all from some place else. We are every shade of the rainbow. In theory, we should be the happiest and most evolved place in the world. Instead, we still hate what we can’t personally identify with. Rather than embrace difference, we try to eradicate it. I say no more.

Please don’t let your outrage at this racist murderer fade. Don’t let the Charleston Massacre be forgotten. Don’t let these innocent men and women have died in vain like so many before them. We’ve been here before, let’s not be here again.

What will you do to help heal the gaping racial wound that exists in America?

How do we prevent another Charleston Shooting?

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racism,Richard Cohen,biracial children, interracial marriage, throat punch thursday

Yesterday, I had an article come across my tread about Richard Cohen, a writer for the Washington Post, who declared…

Today’s GOP is not racist, as Harry Belafonte alleged about the tea party, but it is deeply troubled — about the expansion of government, about immigration, about secularism, about the mainstreaming of what used to be the avant-garde. People with conventional views must repress a gag reflex when considering the mayor-elect of New York — a white man married to a black woman and with two biracial children. (Should I mention that Bill de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, used to be a lesbian?) This family represents the cultural changes that have enveloped parts — but not all — of America. To cultural conservatives, this doesn’t look like their country at all.

If you ask me, Bill de Blasio sounds like a man who sees beyond the surface and does not judge people on what they appear to be but for what they actually are beneath the exterior, superficial appearance. I went to the source and read the entire article, in Richard Cohen’s own words. After carefully reading the piece, I began to second guess whether or not he was actually a racist or if he was just the victim of misunderstanding and salacious headlines. Been there, done that. Then, I read this paragraph…

Iowa not only is a serious obstacle for Christie and other Republican moderates, it also suggests something more ominous: the Dixiecrats of old. Officially the States’ Rights Democratic Party, they were breakaway Democrats whose primary issue was racial segregation. In its cause, they ran their own presidential candidate, Strom Thurmond, and almost cost Harry Truman the 1948 election. They didn’t care. Their objective was not to win — although that would have been nice — but to retain institutional, legal racism. They saw a way of life under attack and they feared its loss.

And just like that all doubts were removed. Because with him making that one little remark, “ although that would have been nice” he confirmed that he, in fact, is opposed to equality and biracial marriage and for legal racism.  He’s a racist.

I am the product of a biracial marriage. My children are the product of a biracial marriage. I am trying to raise my children in the United States; a country that is supposed to be a melting pot of cultures and color, but still, there is racism and the them and us mentality lives on.

Richard Cohen,biracial children, interracial marriage, throat punch thursday, racism

When my mother married my father in Virginia in 1972, 41 years ago, she took my father to meet her Grandfather who had helped raise her. He had not come to their small wedding so she took her groom to meet him. He told her that she might as well have married a n*gger and promptly slammed the door in her face. I cringe every time I even think of him using the n word because it wreaks of so much ignorance and somewhere that asshole’s blood runs through my veins.*Hangs head in shame*

I am sure after he shut the door he threw up in his mouth a little. Too bad he didn’t choke on it. Maybe he did, how would I know? I never met him. This has been our legacy. My mother was devastated and never saw her grandfather again because she didn’t want her children around that. She protected us but to the racists she was even more disgusting than my father because she chose to be with him. She chose someone her grandfather felt was less than her; a poor mountain girl from a divorced family in the south with nothing, at all. He made that assumption based on the color of my father’s skin. He didn’t care that they loved one another or that she was happy. He only cared that it wasn’t what he thought was traditional. My mom, the damn dirty liberal she was. I’d like to think people have evolved since 1972 but I honestly think we are in a state of devolution, if Richard Cohen and the Iowa Tea Party are any indication.

Here’s the problem, aside from the fact that humans are humans and as such we are all created equal, we live in a country where everyone is mixed.  I mean how many of you are English, just English? Hell, I don’t even think most of the people in England are pure English unless they are royalty. I mean if we are going to be literal, if you are not American Indian, you are not native. Guess what, I am 1/16th Cherokee. So, aren’t I more American than someone who came over on the Mayflower?

Apparently, the issue most conservatives have which causes them to vomit in their mouths a little bit is when they see actual colors mixing because you can’t hide that. You can’t hide from the color of your skin, no matter how ashamed or self-loathing the right wing conservatives try to make you feel. It announces itself before you ever enter the room.

Richard Cohen,biracial children, interracial marriage, throat punch thursday, racism

This sort of mentality makes me sick and it makes me afraid for my children. People who see others as less important, somehow less human than themselves, also see those same people as disposable threats. What happens when we are all so mixed up that you can no longer identify people by their colors? Do we feel betrayed or duped because we didn’t know that we were supposed to be throwing up in our own mouths with disgust because two people blindly fell in love with a human and not a color of skin?

Personally, I am looking forward to the day when the entire country is a beautiful shade of café au lait. Life is not black and white; it’s not that simple. Humans are complicated. But there is one thing that is clear, I want better for my daughters. I never want them to have to hang their heads in shame for being Latina. I want them to live in a world where racists are the minority and are the ones hanging their heads in shame for their despicable behaviors. If you are a racist, I pity you because there is a whole group of people that you are cheating yourself from knowing simply based on the color of their skin.

Today, my throat punch goes to Richard Cohen for writing such an offensive piece, the Washington Post for employing such a racist pig and to all those like Mr.Cohen who think people should be separated by color like laundry instead of standing shoulder to shoulder, intermingling and learning from one another. I want better for my girls.

What do you think about Richard Cohen and his take on race and the tea Party?

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explaining racism to a child, grandpa, racism, family, love

Imagine explaining racism to a child when they learned about it for the first time when someone was making fun of their grandfather from another country. Kids are born perfect, accepting and loving. I wish we could just keep them that way forever. But the world comes in and

My daughters are pretty freaking amazing. I know we all think that about our kids but my girls have very big hearts and they are very loving and sweet. Don’t get me wrong, they have their moments when they can be complete terrors but not cleaning their rooms and fighting with one another aside, they are good girls. They both leave me random sticky notes and drawn portraits of the two of us that tell me that they love me and that I am the BEST MOM! Which, let’s be honest is nice to hear every once in a while amid all the heat of the moment, “I hate YOU”s. So, it makes me go full on mama bear if anyone ever hurts them.

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Dear America, election, Donald Trump, parenting, politics, racism, misogyny, bigotry, children, America, American values, xenophobia, America is great

This is an open letter to my dear America. I hope someone is reading and sharing and spreading humanity and kindness faster than the cancer of racism that is devouring the insides of our country. It is destroying us.

I just dropped the girls off at their first day of school and as I pulled away, I started crying. I was completely overwhelmed by a horrible feeling I know all too well. There was a lump in my throat and a knot in my stomach and it wasn’t the typical first day of school mommy blues that we all get but it was definitely not new.

It’s the same feeling that I’ve felt every day that I’ve sent my husband off to work since 9/11. It’s the same terrible, sick feeling that I’ve felt every morning at drop off since Sandy Hook. It’s the same fear I have every single time I’ve gotten on a plane knowing there’s a risk. Not because of heights or claustrophobia but because I know that we live in a world where extremists armed with hatred who think they are doing what’s best for them, are fearless and willing to die for their hate like the racists who descended upon Charlottesville, Virginia this past weekend armed with tiki torches and hearts full of hate.

I spent the past weekend camping in Michigan; one last getaway before the craziness of school scoops us all up and we can’t see past the minutia. We’re about to be swallowed up whole so I wanted a few days of unplugged togetherness, with the people who really matter to me in this world, my children.

Unfortunately, I still needed to be tethered to the real world because of work. I didn’t engage because I wanted to focus on what was right in front of me; what truly matters. I am trying to be present but I see it all happening, this train wreck at 100 miles an hour. Our country is careening out of control and our leader doesn’t know how and doesn’t seem willing to get us back on track.

Dear America,

I kept quiet and let my thoughts settle into coherent actions. But I’m tired of the burden of being a person who always does something. I’m exhausted of telling friends what they already know. I am sick to death of listening while the Internet feigns outrage and shock. I can’t keep giving people who believe themselves to be good, decent Americans permission to keep engaging in the same insanity.

See something. Do nothing. See it on the Internet. Feign outrage. Share a petition on social. Talk to your like-minded friends about the horror and pat yourselves on the back for recognizing that this is, in fact, horrible. 2 days later, forget about it. Forgive the aggressor. Accept the unacceptable as status quo. Move on to the next “cause”. Do nothing.

The time for placing blame has passed, it is now time to take accountability. Complacency is not an option. It never should have been, where human beings were involved. Action is the only acceptable reaction.

We shouldn’t be feigning outrage and shock. We should be genuinely outraged, shocked and pissed off. We should be moved to our feet by our hearts and our minds. We can no longer sit down while the aggressors mow through those of us who dare to stand up for the collective us. America, the home of the brave. 

It’s scary standing up. Those who love you most will tell you to sit down because they are afraid of the danger it brings to do the right thing. Standing up begs to be knocked down but we must get back up. We must endure for if we do not take a stand, we will all be mowed down and our land of the free will not be so free.

Dear America,

I am not blaming you for any choice or vote you cast up until this moment. You know what you did. Your choice is only for you to learn to live with. No one dared believe just how much hatred could breed when given the right growing conditions. But we knew. It has spread across this country like a plague and it is killing all of us.

What I am begging you to do today is to forget about who you voted for or party lines and think about your family, your future and the country that you love so much. The time to dig in has passed. We need to work together as Americans to fix what is broken.

I don’t want to weep when I drop my children off at school because I know that we live in a country currently fueled by hatred. I know there are so many good people in this country. Decent human beings who love their families, their neighbors and their country. The bad apples are in the minority. But they are eating at this country like cancer. Their movement is spreading because it is not being treated. Racism is a cancer that needs to be eradicated.

Dear America,

Stand up. Say something. Do something. Be something. Racism, bigotry, and hatred cannot be tolerated. We need a zero tolerance and we can’t forget. Embrace your outrage. Flame it’s embers and let it fuel you to do the right thing; to stand up to those who would tell us that any human is less than another. Forget what is politically correct and do what is right.

What are you doing? How are you stopping the hate? How are you putting love and kindness into the world? How are you standing up for what is right in the face of what is terrifying?

What action are you taking for your dear America?

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Nina Davuluri, Miss America, Indian-American, Racism in the United States

I was going to write a post about my girls today, instead I am writing about Miss New York, Nina Davuluri, winning Miss America. Why? Because apparently racism is running rampant and it demands to be discussed so that our children know better. People are very ignorant and say awful things when hiding behind a computer. This story affects me and my daughters. We come from a culturally diverse background and this racist bullshit makes me mad! Fighting mad. I want a better world for my daughters to grow up in.

A·mer·i·can

əˈmerikən/

A native or citizen of the United States.

Americans are citizens, or natives, of the United States of America.

Miss New York, Nina Davuluri, 24, won the coveted title of Miss America. For the talent portion of the competition, she performed a classic Indian dance fused with Bollywood moves. Her platform was “Celebrating Diversity Through Cultural Competency.” How ironic that the world has none for her. Twitter immediately blew up with angry hate tweets.

Nina Davuluri, Miss America, Indian-American, Racism in the United States

Ms. Davuluri hopes to become a doctor, like her father, who is an obstetrician. For her question portion of the competition she answered a question about Julie Chen’s plastic surgery and answered with poise and intelligence with a message to be confident in who you are. Love yourself. She just happens to be the first Miss America winner of Indian descent.Does that change how American she is? If you are born in the United States, you are American.Because if we are not and are only the sum of where we descended from than NONE of us are American.

Davuluri is more than just a beautiful woman of Indian descent; she is an American that we should be proud to have represent us. Davuluri, a New York native, was on the dean’s list and earned the Michigan Merit Award and National Honor Society nods while studying at the University of Michigan, where she graduated with a degree in brain behavior and cognitive science. She is passionate about healthy lifestyles after a personal battle with obesity and bulimia in her youth.

When I think of Miss America, I don’t think of “alabaster skin” being the top qualification for being a representative of our country. I think of a beautiful, intelligent, well-rounded young woman of high moral character who my daughters can look up to; a young woman with hopes and dreams, tolerance and compassion born in America.

The color of our skin should not be the litmus test for how American we are. We cannot be measured by the creaminess of our complexion. Exotic eyes and features do not make us love the United States less than our fair-skinned counterparts. In some instances, it may make us love it more because we don’t take for granted how great this country is. For us, this is the realized dream this is the something better and most of us had to work hard to get here.

Miss America, Nina Davuluri, Indian-American,Nina Davuluri, Miss America, Indian-American, Racism in the United States

The United States is a giant melting pot of assimilation. Unless you are Native American, you are not native. We are all foreigners. Let’s get that straight from the start. If you want to split hairs, I am 1/8th Cherokee and even though my father is from Mexico, doesn’t that still make me more American than most? Our country is diverse and many of us are first generation Americans. The skin color of Americans runs every color of the spectrum from milky white to deep chocolate, and we are all Americans. We all deserve human respect and rights.

People taking to twitter to complain that our new Miss America is Indian American is disgusting. The ignorant remarks about her religion and her heritage are racism at its worst. I take offense and I say we should not tolerate the bad behavior of a few racists. Our differences as a people in the United States is what makes us great; this is why so many people want to come to this country because it is symbolic of freedom, tolerance and supposed to be a place free of persecution but that is simply not the case.

Mis America, Nina Davuluri, Miss Kansas, #MissAmerica, Indian-American

As Americans we need to all look in the mirror and ask ourselves is this what we want our America to look like? I want to live in a country of diversity and tolerance. What do you want your America to be?

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Donald Trump, parenting, politics, racism, misogyny, bigotry, children, America, American values, xenophobia, America is great

I wanted to write a lighthearted Saint Patrick’s Day post today but Donald Trump has me terrified. It has nothing to do with being a Republican or a Democrat; it’s him, as a person. I am a Political Scientist by degree, I’m not sure many of you know that about me. Politics are my jam. I know all the ins and outs and I have my affiliations but I’m not asking you to vote the way I vote, I’m just asking that you consider all the facts.

I absolutely believe in the right to free speech and the right for every single person who is a citizen of this country to be able to vote for who they want to lead us, we are the people of “we the people”. It is our country. The President is an elected official. By staying silent and allowing a monster to be elected, because you don’t want to get called for jury duty, makes you part of the problem, not the solution and your (yes, you!) vote counts!

I’m not here to Trump bash, though if you know anything about me, you know I can’t stand his politics. But this is Throat Punch Thursday and I don’t think anyone deserves a bigger punch to the gullet, with a Chuck Norris round house kick more than Mr. Trump. If you support him, we’re probably not friends and aren’t reading this so I won’t worry about you unfriending me but on the off chance you are a Trump supporter, I would love to hear why you think he is the best candidate for you in the comments.

When I think of Trump the businessman, and I know many people think that the United States needs a business savvy person to run the country to fix the economy, I think of the top 1%. He is without a savvy businessman. He has more money than he knows what to do with and I think with that comes a God like feeling. When you don’t need people, I think you begin to lose touch with reality and that is a slippery slope to losing your humanity. It’s almost as if he can’t help it. He’s lived in this Trump bubble of his for so long that the situation the other 99% lives in (paycheck to paycheck) is not even fathomable anymore.

What scares me the most about the thought of Donald Trump winning the presidential election is that he thinks he is above all reproach. He will not be held accountable. He incites hatred and has made racism, misogyny, bigotry and xenophobia acceptable behavior by American people. In the short amount of time since he has began campaigning, people are crawling out from under their rocks and hurling hatred at one another in the most disgusting ways and it’s trickling down to our children.

 

Children hear and see everything. I discuss politics with my daughters. We have dinner together every night and we discuss our days and the news. I don’t believe in keeping my kids in bubbles. I think that kind of gullibility makes them vulnerable and susceptible to other people’s opinions so we discuss. I allow them to form their own opinions by presenting the facts. They know that they don’t have to agree with me but they do need to make informed choices in life.

I’ve worked really hard parenting my children to become good human beings.  I don’t want Donald Trump to ruin our children’s futures with his agenda of hatred. Personally, I think I’ve been doing a pretty good job of parenting and I want my kids to stay on the trajectory they are on as good, decent human beings who see other human beings.

 

#BellaForPresident, Donald Trump, parenting, politics, racism, misogyny, bigotry, children, America, American values, xenophobia, America is great

 

What do you think of Donald Trump and his campaigning antics?

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