Merf. Thinking is Hard.

Jha can has random thoughtz about tapirs, kitties, comics, pretty people, social justice, things in general.


Posts tagged race

More Than Half of Those Killed by San Francisco Police Are Mentally Ill

I would also like to point out that most of the cases in the article are people of color (not always black) with mental disabilities who were killed by police. This is about police brutality and mental disability and racism. Together.

(via disabilityhistory)

(via moniquill)

Here’s the question before the court: If police know they are dealing with a person with mental illness, and they use confrontational tactics that can agitate the person, are they violating the Americans with Disabilities Act?


okay this is going to come off as random, and jangled and not fully coherent, but…

okay you know in that jared sexton video (its long but its good) where he says that all theory aims to be black studies.  and i had to take that sentence with a grain of salt because i dont really engage in theory in such a comprehensive way to be able to judge the accuracy of that statement…but, i can say, because i do engage in this field, that all politics, at least in the sense of radical, revolutionary, insurgent politcs, aims to be black politics. 

(most, not all, most…although i have not engaged a politics that does not aim to be black politics)

and this is becoming clear to me in egypt.  because when i say, black, i mean specifically, negro, black slave, specifically in the ‘new world’. 

the reason this has become so stark to me, is because, watching egypts politics evolve, i see more and more references to the black civil rights movement.  and while maybe at first i could claim this as some internalized us centrism on the part of egyptian artists, i see so many references to the us black civil rights movement, malcolm x, black panthers, etc, but without the (obvious) link to ‘this is why obama should be supporting our revolution, because we are doing what blacks in his country did…’ in other words i see little to no connection between referencing black suffering and struggle, and a political move to convince us americans to support the revolution because they support black struggle. 

the other reason this is becoming clear to me, in that it is a reference to black slaves, and not simply a reference to black skin, is because i live in egypt,  in africa.  and as i have pointed out numerous times before, arab egyptians (in general, that i have met) have a troubled time acknowledging that they live in africa.  north africa, maybe, yes.  but not AFRICA.  and while to be black in this country, is to be abd, to be a slave, there seem to be some interesting assumptions about black slavery in the new world:

one, even though we have a black president, the idea of black americans seems to be novel.  this is one of those cognitive dissonance moments, in which people know oprah, and michael jordan, and obama, and condoleeza rice, and colin powell, and martin luther king, and malcolm x, and and and…but are surprised that my black skin belongs to a us citizen. 

two, in the social imaginary globally, black americans have disappeared, vanished, and only a few worthy remain.  what i mean is that, in movies and television and commercials and commercial media (which is how the world comes to know of us america and black americans, specifically) the blacks that they see are not human.  they are drug ridden, ghettoized, encaged, violent, unintelligent, libidinal animals.  africans are like the lion king hyenas (which by the way is a movie i detest and always have. who the fuck thought it was a good idea, after doing a orientalist movie about the middle east, aladdin, then decided that when they did a movie about ‘africa’ suddenly all the characters become animals?  why are we surprised nearly 20 years later that the same company finally did a movie about black folks, princess and the frog, that the princess spends most of her time as fucking animal?  and then gets the ‘prize’ having a good job?  my daughter loves this movie.  and loves to cook.  but somebody shoot me, for all the bullshit black mamas have to go through just to give their daughters a semblance of self esteen in this world) that is to say, that ‘africans’, and by this i mean sub saharan black africans, are seen and portrayed as animals, but they are most animalian when they ‘imitate’ or ‘acknowledge’ their connections to black americans, they are at least acknowledged to exist as a separate peoples in a forever foreigner, orientalist (three pillars) sense. 

the descendents of black slaves, on the other hand, are not seen to exist. 

(at this point i feel the need to interject and state that this not some knee jerk reaction to some horrific incident or incidents of racism in egypt.  one, i have lived and visited many places in the middle east and globally.  two, my knee jerk response, is normally to excuse such behaviour - when i encounter it, and i do on the regular, to bad education as a child, ignorance, in other words, and it takes my brain a minute to say, no, maia, wait, this is just the way it is, this is not the exception, this is the rule of an anti black world.)

and i get it, as karnythia and audre point out, we were never meant to survive. 

and so, you can see my conundrum, that our survival is one hand, miraculous and inspiring and co opted, and on the other hand, impossible, and denied. 

this is our continual genocide.  the genocide of negroes.

this is not to say, that other peoples have not endured the same tactics.  being indigenous, i know that genocide is not limited to us blacks.  this is to say, that black suffering and struggle is co opted and referenced so often because it is seen as miraculous because we are the people of genocide, and slavery, and forever not-real-citizens, and yet still we dream the impossible dream of being human.  and if we are willing to do that, other folks who dream, are inspired by our soul music. 

like the way, that people will look at a picture of a girl with one arm playing a violin, and then say something horrible, like, oh if she can do that, then i have no excuse to not do what i want!  which i hate, because fuck you, and your ‘there for the grace of god…’ bullshit.  fuck you. 

this is the way that so many movements look at black struggle.  (including the anti able-ism movements)

and i can imagine the hands raised.  ‘but did you consider that maybe movements do this because the black struggle was so effective??!’

yeah, i considered that, i considered how great blacks have it us america now.  (is my sarcasm obvious?)

so that is what i am working through, the question of why do so many movements aim to be black politics, when black politics primary success seems to be the very survival of black peoples?  we havent achieved liberation or equality or even to be seen as human, but yet our struggle stands in for nearly every struggle…

(via blackamazon)



Sister Souljah on Larry King Live Part 1, Part 2 (1992)

Rap artist, activist and author Sister Souljah addressing the controversy that arose after remarks she made following the 1992 LA Riots. Sister Souljah was quoted as saying: ”If black people kill black people every day, why not have a week and kill white people?” As a result Bill Clinton infamously compared Sister Souljah to white supremacist and Klu Klux Klan member David Dukes. In this interview Sister Souljah puts her comments into context while providing a sharp social analysis of White supremacy, racism and capitalism in America and their toxic impact on the socio-economic infrastructure of American society. She also explains why she proudly identifies as an African and why she chose to express herself through Hip-Hop music. The Guardian later described Sister Souljah’s comments as a key event in the history of Hip-Hop.

Transcript for part one (Will edit this post and add transcript for part two when I have time):

King: Then came Bill Clinton, while LA riot victom Reginald Danny lay near death, Sister Souljah was telling the Washington Post quote: “I mean, if black people kill black people every day, why not have a week and kill white people?” End quote (Transcriber’s note: The quote shown on screen is slightly longer than the one King is voicing, on the end it says “You understand what I’m saying?”) At a Rainbow Coalition last weekend Clinton followed Sister Souljah to the stage and condemned those remarks. Jesse Jackson suggested that Clinton should apologise - he has not.
The political fallout, enourmous.
Clinton critics saying Clinton is losing black support.
Jackson critics saying Jackson shouldn’t be defending such incendiary remarks.
What about Sister Souljah? She says that she’s been misquoted and misunderstood. Sister Souljah, the woman in the middle, joins us from our studios in New York.
Sister, before we talk about the controversy just a little bit about you… Why did you choose, uh rap music as a form… of… entertaining expression?

Souljah: I think the important, uh thing for people to understand is that in America we have an education system, that does not speak to the needs of African children, so hat Hip Hop music has done is served as an alternative communication mechanism and given African children in this country some of the only understanding of African history, that they’ll ever recieve.

King: How ‘bout all the great female, black Jazz, Blues, and Rock… artists?

Souljah: Well Mr. King, I’m sure that you don’t think that the history of African people is limited to music or that music can build the esteem, the mind, heart, spirit, and intellect of African children in and of itself.

King: (attempting to cut her off midway through her last sentence) N-no, the question Sister, is why YOU chose rap music as your form of musical expression

Souljah: Oh because clearly Hip Hop music is what reaches the young population, and in America, African children are in a state of emergency so the best vehicle to use, is the vehicle that they enjoy which is Hip Hop music.

King: Ok, let’s try to put this in perspective, were you… misquoted?

Souljah: Yes I was definitely misquoted, not only wa-

King (cutting her off midsentence): What did, what did you say and what did they… They printed that you said about killing whites, you said you didn’t say that?

Souljah: What I’m saying is, that what you - and other people in the media - have not done, is said what the question that the reporter asked me was.
What I said before, and after the comment that people are um, blowing up and magnifying all over the world.

King: Right, well that’s what I just asked you now: What happened?

Souljah: Alright… The question was “But even the people themselves, who were perpetuating that violence, did they think it was wise? Was that wise, reasoned action?” So the reporter is asking me, what the people who did the violence in Los Angeles think, and I responded to him, in the voice of the people who did the violence. Which is that, white people have known, that every day in Los Angeles black people are dying from gang violence, but that they did not care. But when it became a question of white people dying and a billion dollars in property being lost that’s when it became a concern. But in the mind of a gang member, if the social and economic system has neglected your development and you have become a casual killer who will kill even your own brother, in your mindset why not kill a white person, because MURDER will not discriminate by colour.
The other thing that I said, is that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, and that if white America continues to neglect the development of African youth and it turns into a-an economic and criminal justice crisis, they will be the victims of that system, as well as black people.

King: When the Washington Post printed that did you then, did you then issue any kind of a statement saying, that here is the way it was asked, here is the way it was answered, and taken on those terms, you’re reading it wrong?

Souljah: No, actually I’m used to newspapers having preconceived notions, and preconceived actions. Because the issue of white supremacy and racism in America is so explosive, what happens is people don’t wanna hear what African people are actually saying. They wanna hear, what they want to hear, and so they manipulate the African leadership’s words, all the time.

King (after trying a whole bunch of times during her statement to interrupt and stop her from talking): Do you think that Governor Clinton before making those remarks, should have called you and asked you if you stated them?

Souljah: I think that Governer Clinton is a dishonest person, because he said he made those remarks because he was morally outraged.
But interestingly enough, he didn’t make the remarks until five to seven weeks after the article had appeared in the Washington Post.

King (begins talking just before she finishes): Well that’s because you had spoken at the same coalition he was speaking at, so it came to mind then.

Souljah: No. I don’t think that that is the reason, I think that an aide in his camp brought him the article, and he thought it would be a strategic political move to show how macho he is, to jump on this young African woman about her artwork, which even though she has the freedom of speech and freedom of expression. And there are SO many things in America to attack if you wanna attack racism that it would seem odd to attack an African woman, who is the primary victim of racism.

King: So you think it was designed to gain attention by saying it to a group like the Rainbow Coalition, and he knew that that would get a lotta press and attention, and get white votes as you read it?

Souljah: I think it was an attack on Reverend Jackson, to try to prove that Reverend Jackson keeps, uh Radical Company, to try to distance-

King (interjecting): Why? Why would Clinton wanna do that to, uh someone who’s supporting him?

Souljah: Clinton… Well first of all, Reverend Jackson has not endorsed Mr. Clinton. Second of all (Slightly firmer to be heard over King interrupting)

King: Well it’s expected that the black vote will go to the Democrats, why would he wanna harm his own base?

Souljah: Because, as we know, Reverend Jackson is a powerful contender for the Vice Presidential slot, and at the-

King (Interrupting again): This-the the contenders are only in Mr. Clinton’s mind Sister.

Souljah: Excuse me, you need to give me a chance to answer the question.
As we know, Reverend Jackson is a powerful contender for the Vice Presidential slot, and as we know racism and white supremacy exist in full effect in America. So in order to justify not having Reverend Jackson as the Vice Presidential candidate - even though he has delivered the most votes to the Party - Clinton has to find a justifiable reason.
So trying to prove that Jesse Jackson in some strange way is a racist or is unpalatable to America, is something that he tried to do by using Sister Souljah, when clearly Sister Souljah and her philosophies and Reverend Jackson and his philosophies are to different things.

King (again starting to talk just as she is finishing): What will be th-d’you think the political payoff for Clinton from this?

Souljah: Well usually African youth do not vote in the elections because we receive such poor choices of candidates, so what I think Clinton did was awaken a sleeping giant because I am very loved by African people in this country, and they feel personally attacked by what Clinton did, becasue they believe that it was an integrity-less attack for an agenda-less candidate.

King: So you think these people will then uh, vote for Mr. Bush? Or Mr. Perot?

Souljah: I think that African people will form a collective agenda, because a lot of people have been motivated by what has happened and we will stand to see what will develop from that, but I don’t believe the support will go to Mr. Clinton.

King: Sister did you also say to the Washington post… I wanna get this correct… “I don’t think that anything we can do to white people would ever equal what they’ve done to us. I really don’t. White people are born guilty. And there is no redeemer.”

Souljah: Oh I absolutely said that. Yes.

King: What do you mean by “born guilty”?

Souljah: What I mean is this: That in America white children are raised to be white supremists - meaning to believe that they are superior - and as they are raised, they are integrated into a system of power that protects their alleged superiority. We as African people have never enslaved and captured Eropean people, taken them from their land, raped their women, changed their culture, supressed their ability to be educated and do all of the wicked things that white America has done to African people. Therefore, there is no such thing in my mind as “reverse racism”, ‘cause reverse racism would imply that we had, in some way even the skills, and certainly as African people, we have not done that.

King (attempting to interject near the end again): D’you-Do you now any white Americans who resisted that education, and went the other way?

Souljah: Resisted what education?

King: The education to grow up superior.

Souljah: It depends on what you say means “went the other way”?

King: Fought for equal rights, got involved in the Civil Rights movement, put their life on the line as young men did in Mississippi and Alabama in the Civil Rights movement.

Souljah: I-

King (talking over the top of her): You don’t think whites did that?

Souljah: I think that there are white people who have made ostensible moves towards addressing the system. But I think when we get down to the fundamental issues of power - meaning not the question of whether blacks and whites can go to restaurants together, or whether Africans and Europeans can marry one another - not the ostensible questions, but when it comes down to the question of power, white people, European people in this country have not served us well.

King: We’ll be right back with Sister Souljah, we’ll be including your phone calls. This is Larry King Live in Washington. Don’t go away.

(Source: blackacrylic, via extended--metaphor)

In my assessment of the anti-lynching movement, I never stopped to look at the moment as an anti-rape movement because the goal of these activists were not specifically to end rape, but to end lynching. Nonetheless, it is so profoundly an anti-rape movement because the theory and activism work the organizers produced challenged all forms of racialized sexual violence. Deconstructing the myth that Black men are overwhelmingly “more desirous” of white women was critical in order for white women to eventually reflect on the sexual violence being done to them by white men as well as their own sexual freedom. Most importantly the anti-lynching movement forced America’s hand in recognizing that other manifestations of oppression are inseparably linked to sexual violence. There is no genuine way to discuss rape and organize against rape without being committed to deconstructing complex ways that race, ability, religion, age, economics, and sexuality are integrated into rape.





There has never been another large historical event that has it’s decedents be told to ‘get over’ than the ancestors’ of the enslavement of millions of Africans transported across the Atlantic.

There has never been such any formal set of reparations for the 300+ centuries of enslavement of Africans, and needless to say, there obviously never will be one. (As more time passes, its getting easier to ‘explain’ why reparations simply ‘cannot be made’).

I ponder this question often. How exactly can that be done? How can you get over what is your identity in the US? Your heritage? Get over your lineage? Get over your ancestry? Get over your great grandparents legacy? Get over the fact that you cannot trace your family tree than a few generations?

Hey, any tips guys? You have yet to give out any.

I know many of you like to imagine that the transatlantic slave trade took place thousands of years ago. On some B.C. or some shit. I know its comforting if you compare it to the slaves of the Romans, Greeks or the Hebrews in Egypt [okay, I’m just entertaining the idea that the Biblical story of Exodus is real for a moment] because its ancient history. Too bad it isn’t. There were still former slaves around in the 1940s. (That’s during the time of World War II, by the way. I’m certain no one forgets that).

It seems as though anything that involves Black suffering should either be swept under the rug, or that we must ‘move on’ from it. We should never acknowledge it. Anniversaries should never be mentioned. Just move on and pretend it never happened.

Any time one attempts to bring up slavery in any kind of discussion we are immediately silenced or disregarded; our tragedies don’t matter, they are dismissed whether it be because it was too long ago [slavery was abolished 150 years ago, but the violence and discrimination along with Jim Crow did not end until the 1970s] or trivialized (deflecting direct responsibility by pointing out that the Africans were selling the slaves to the Europeans, as if that holds any relevance. If not that, but ‘Arabs had African slaves too!’ or ‘Blacks were not the only slaves. White people were slaves too!’ And if not, then of course than ‘well none of you guys are slaves!’)

There is no end to the excuses made. Every time I feel like I’ve heard it all, I learn a new one. There is absolutely no acceptance of wrongdoings. Its not my fault, leave me alone. Stop trying to make me feel “guilty”.

I’ve even read about some disapproving openings of slave museum because it might spark ‘anger’. Why is the history of African enslavement the only event that has ever been censored? I mean its not like this country wasn’t built upon slavery, the free labor of African Americans or anything. But the abundance of Holocaust (an event that did not even occur in the states) museums are okay.

America is such an immature young country. Nobody whines as much as the United States when it comes to facing their own past crimes. In Germany the Nazi flag and salute are banned. You will get arrested. The Confederate flag? Still flying in some places (by the way guys, in case you forgot, you lost).

The fact that the first public apology for slavery did not occur until the late 1990s says it all. This alone makes statements like ‘I’m tired of apologizing for slavery!’ and ‘I’m tired of being punished!’ from White Americans laughable bullshit. You’ve never had to apologize for anything. Not slavery, not Jim Crow, not Tulsa, not Rosewood (an event that was kept secret and not revealed to the public until the 1980s) ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

For all the centuries worth of colonizing, raping, murdering, genocide, self hatred and torture they have done/brought upon other people of the earth, what is this constant ‘punishment’ you keep bringing up? Being made fun of as being bland in comedy stand ups?

What were the repercussions…not being able to freely do those racist things anymore? Not being able to ridicule, harass and/or humiliate black people as openly anymore?

I’d say you guys got off pretty fucking easy.

 While I applaud this post (standing ovation) & agree with it, I find the opening sentence very erasing and offensive to Native American/First Nations people. Yes, we are told ALL THE TIME to “get over” the genocide perpetrated against us and our cultures. And that cultural genocide, in particular, continues today - just as the literal genocide of Black, Brown, Red, bodies continues via the prison industrial complex, school-to-prison pipeline, food deserts, and other systemic ways that all non-white people continue to be marginalized. Native Americans still have the highest rates of rape and highest rates of suicide in this country. And we are still told to “get over it”/”it’s in the past”/”I can’t help what my ancestors did”. I KNOW THAT IT WAS NOT THE INTENTION OF THE OP OR PEOPLE REBLOGGING THIS TO ERASE OUR REALITY. I’m just asking that we all be more thoughtful and careful of absolutes when we write things like this.

You’re right. I’m sorry. : A Look at the Myth of Reverse Racism (via linzyxxxxx)

Maybe not. But returning the denigration doesn’t solve the underlying issue.

(via nefariousnewt)

Holy False Equivalency Batman!

(via notime4yourshit)

(Source: sociolab, via karnythia)

So whereas “nigger” was and is a term used by whites to dehumanize blacks, to imply their inferiority, to “put them in their place” if you will, the same cannot be said of honky: after all, you can’t put white people in their place when they own the place to begin with.
Yes, black America still lives on the brink of fear. For all the progress we have made, dues we have paid, degrees we have acquired and presidencies we have won, we can all recite the story of the father, son, daughter or niece who has gone from citizen to suspect in an instant — the son frisked, the cousin shoved against the car, the uncle badly beaten — and, more often than should be, the nephew convicted of a crime he didn’t commit or, worse, shot dead by the police.