Reflections on Race and Discrimination

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Black History Month – Reflections on Race and Discrimination

What is black?

IDNK. I do not know except that black is more than a color and a race. Black is more like a brand–a blacklisted brand!

For many, blacklists are impassable roadblocks, varying in fortitude at different points in life. For a black person–blacklisted at birth–the seizure of one’s future at any roadblock makes moving forward a defeating and torturous road of interminable and fatal roadblocks.

Where have we been since the days of Martin Luther King, Jr.? We are still blacklisted at birth, living in fear of roadblocks that now house the future generations of blacks in jail cells.

Black is knowing there is little chance of justice due to the color of one’s skin. “As Malcolm X said, if you’re black and you live south of the Canadian border, you live in the South. {Relatives} first awoke me to the systematic prejudice against black people in American society.

Sadly it is not much different in the country I moved to,” said a relative of mine

Black history month brought home the morphing of stereotypes into mechanisms and systems of bondage, so invisibly visible–structurally institutionalized. These dead elephants’ stench erode our senses and passions.

One such system of bondage aims to reduce the black youth population. It is called Stand Your Ground. This law assumes young black children are thugs, threats, and weapons. The mere sight of a young black teenager is grounds for armed white men to murder, out of fear. Can someone explain what fear, when the dead victim was unarmed?

Why do heavily armed, grown white men fear unarmed black children? Those questions are never discussed; instead, rationalizations for—or, rather, the legalization of—injustices against racial and vulnerable groups are cheered with patriotic rhetoric, greedily gobbled by the masses and the media, without thought.

No one wants to talk about it. No one thinks racism or discrimination exist. No one sees the effects or understands the impact. Yet, there are other groups who face similar discrimination. We have to unite to fight discrimination.

Discrimination

Discrimination is not just pigment–it is gender, it is language, it is religion, it is body type, it is mental illness, it is disability.

Chris Messina
Chris Messina
CEO at Body1, Inc.

No group is hit as hard by it {Chronic Discrimination Syndrome} as the developmentally disabled. They have a very small, usually disregarded and disrespected, voice and negligible political power. They are every bit as human as you and I. Contrary to what many intellectual elites believe, IQ ≠ Worth. That’s why dignity advocacy is a core focus of the Foundation I serve as a volunteer director for. Stimulating piece!

– Chris Messina; CEO at Body1, Inc.

********

David W Kelley, DO
David W Kelley, D.O.
Critical Care Physician at St Joseph’s Hospital Health Center

The dichotomy in care delivery between whites & non-whites is perplexing, maddening and saddens me. Unfortunately, there seems to be some sort of deep engraining &, for the life of me, I am vexed on how to enlighten others to gain traction for progress, says Dr. David Kelley.

I know with 100% certainty, on a personal level, that progress can be made. As a “white person” [I really do not like that label, but, of course, I am not fond of attaching labels to anyone over things like skin color] who was raised in the Deep South, I grew up steeped in a culture that is, at its best, benign to non-whites and, all too frequently, oppressive & punitive. My parents were and are quite intolerant & prejudiced against non-white/non-heterosexual/irreligious people and tend to follow the “Fox News” party line. When I was a young kid, I spewed the same sort of vitriol my parents did…it was all I knew…until I began to mature, to appreciate a much larger world than my own small one & to think independently/critically. Over time, beginning in Jr HS, I began to realize that skin color has zero to do with the integrity of the person and began to seriously question the lessons I had learned about people from my parents & family. That small start – self-initiated learning prompted by objective observation and interacting with many fellow students of a broad spectrum of ethnicities – blossomed [in my opinion] into an open-minded, tolerant love for diversity. Diversity is a strength that should be nurtured & cherished. there is such immense value & power in approaching issues from multiple perspectives that it vexes me why it is not just patently obvious to everyone why intolerance, racism & bigotry is a cancer eroding the vibrance of our society.

Whenever I try to enlighten others, I am blown off as being a “damned bleeding heart liberal” or accused of having far too long “with the Yankees”. However, I refuse to stop trying.

– David W Kelley, D.O. Critical Care Physician at St Joseph’s Hospital Health Center

Thank you to those who refuse to stop trying.

Nina Simone – Mississippi Goddam

Related posts:

CDS: AN OUTSIDER ILLNESS – https://failuretolisten.com/2013/05/10/cds-chronic-discrimination-syndrome/

BLACK HISTORY MONTH – CONSERVATIVE VIEWS OF THE FIRST BLACK U.S. PRESIDENT – https://failuretolisten.com/2014/02/25/racist-post/

Author: Angela Grant

I am a first generation Jamaican immigrant whose experiences and accomplishments were made possible by the courage, sacrifices and the heroic acts of many whose bodies have rotted away in unmarked graves. Those are my heroes. Their sacrifices and death paved the way for my children and I. Failure to Listen is a token of my eternal gratitude. Failure to Listen is a tribute those generations of unmarked graves occupied by people of all races whose ultimate sacrifice of life opened the door for me and others, THANK YOU. Failure to Listen https://failuretolisten.wordpress.com/ uses cultural lenses to appreciate and understand the relationships between current events and our values, beliefs and attitudes. Culture is everything without it we are nothing. Failure to Listen will take you on a journey to recognize the beauty of our differences as the seeds to creativity, innovation and resolving disparities. By sharing my personal and professional experiences, I hope to do justice to the perspectives of those who are rarely heard or listened to. This site is not to incite anger but rather to provoke thought. It is my hope that Failure to Listen will work to foster intergroup dialogues and motivate readers to step outside the box and get to know ALL PEOPLE. In the spirit of Martin Luther King, let's join hands and remember his famous speech about a dream... A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. -Margaret Mead

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