Racism Bingo – ATLANTA Edition

I’m pleased to watch Black television shows with no Good White People. I admit that when I was younger, I looked really hard for that representative Good White Person. I needed that confirmation that Black people didn’t think as badly of White people as I did; that we weren’t all terrible; that we could maybe be friends. Of course I still want that in life, but now I really appreciate it when White people are nonentities in Black shows. I love the apparent absence of serious pressure to showcase a Good White Person, and no compulsion by Black creators to add them.

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Racial Whoopi

If race isn’t real, how can racism be? Seems like a reasonable question, but it’s like saying, if money isn’t real, how can we prosecute bank robbers? Money has no value on its own, but since it represents real things, or can be traded for real things, it represents “value” to us. Science has proven that race cannot be delineated, and is therefore objectively nonexistent. Race is socially constructed, and the classifications change over time and over geography, but because we recognize it as a real thing, we identify ourselves as members of a “race” for purposes of forming community and preserving tradition, and we can identify others as a “race” for purposes of exclusion, violence, etc.

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Imagine?

If you can start to imagine it, you can start to figure out what is necessary in order to make that world possible: an economic system in which everyone can live with dignity; community spaces where people mix with folks that are different from them; freedom to live as your true self without prejudice; access to the psychological and spiritual powers of nature; neighbors looking out for each other; support systems for people with mental or physical illnesses; an education system that recognizes and celebrates difference, that takes responsibility for past crimes and abuse and works to make amends for them … fill in the blanks.

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Perfection & Capitalism (Perfection, pt 3)

Capitalism, in fact, thrives on the pursuit of an ever-changing idea of perfection. It thrives on pursuit in general, and the greater the pursuit, the greater the consumption – of time, of energy, and of course, of resources. And perfection is the ultimate pursuit. It keeps us focused on the future and unconscious in the present, missing who we actually are and what is actually happening in the desire for what we FOMO on.

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Perfection & the Great Chain of Being (Perfection, pt 2)

When we rank the superiority of life forms on a human-determined, essentially arbitrary, arrogantly immutable hierarchy, we are necessarily isolating entire species. That does not leave space for mutuality or co-evolution, or collaboration or interconnection, all relationships that we know not only exist, but are essential for the sustainability of life.

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Inequity of Olympic Proportions

I used to love the summer Olympics. I did gymnastics, track & field, and long-distance running as a kid (none of them well) and once felt a personal connection to those athletes. I love the tear-jerkers, the close calls, the underdogs, and the obsessive physical commitment to a goal: I’ve always been a little in […]

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Orange & Black & White

I am most intrigued by the White folks’ growth in Orange is the New Black, and that says something about the show. The bad White folks seemed like inferior humans by design, which I found really interesting in a mainstream, White-led series.

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Kill the Patriarchy, Save the World?

Narrow movements – women’s rights, gay rights, Black rights – always fail on some level. Because if you are choosing to prioritize one cause, you are necessarily prioritizing one population in that cause, and relegating others to another category – one that is beyond your capacity to help if your focus is elevating a particular group, rather than bringing down the oppressor. Alternative? Smash the patriarchy!

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Is Anarchy the Answer?

If you’ve heard of this Rebecca Solnit book, you probably know the hypothesis – that people come together and form caring communities in times of crisis, in contradistinction to the myth of scarcity violence and mob mentality that supposedly happens after “natural disasters.” The book is a combination of historical evidence and theory, with examples […]

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Deliberate Accidents & White Complicity

It is both possible and impossible to grab a gun on one side of your belt while intending to grab a taser on the other. I believe she absolutely could have meant to grab her taser and reached for her gun, but that “accident” was born out of an antipathy, hatred, and/or fear of African-Americans nearly endemic to the White population in the US.

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