Posts Tagged ‘racism’

I went to the grocery store the other day. Happened to notice all of the Uncle Ben’s rice boxes were gone. Most shelves were empty.

Mrben

Please don’t fret if you are a big fan of the rice. It will be back! Same taste. Just a bit of rebranding. The company made the announcement that it is removing the image of “Uncle Ben” who is the Black man on the box.

Here is the company’s statement.

“Racism has no place in society. We stand in solidarity with the Black community, our Associates and our partners in the fight for social justice,” Mars said. “We know to make the systemic change needed, it’s going to take a collective effort from all of us — individuals, communities and organizations of all sizes around the world.”

If this really bothers someone or if it matters to them personally-like interfering with a cherished memory of parboiled rice on the kitchen table-I’d ask them just one thing.

“Why?”

As I was strolling down the aisle that day I did happen to notice something else. The shelves weren’t totally empty. Up on the top there were still a few boxes. No, not Uncle Ben’s. Those are totally gone. These were called,”Seeds of Change.”

Mrben

We all have a choice.

Keep things the same. Or be the seeds of change.

Read Full Post »

How can I (or anyone) take action, to help my fellow countrymen/women, in a positive way?

First of all we need to be honest. And that is really, really hard.

Racism is alive and well in the United States. I don’t have to tell you that. Just turn on the television.

Someone asked me, at a socially distanced barbeque, what percentage of Americans I thought are actually racist. I quickly pulled out a 99% and I included myself in that number. The person who asked the question-along with my husband-did not agree with me.

Maybe I should use the word biased and not racist. Everyone has some bias. Not our fault. It’s in our politics. In our growing up years. In our society. Inherently. We don’t even notice it.

There lies the rub. We don’t even notice it.

We need to notice it. In order to create change we need to take notice and start questioning.

Not too long ago there were only white males in power or positions of authority. We (white people) didn’t even think about it. Until we did. And made changes.

I will share a story from my beloved father’s own mouth. He wasn’t telling me out of pride.

My mother, a bright lady, was a Registered Nurse. She skipped a grade in elementary school, graduated high school and was soon in the nursing program at a Rhode Island hospital. She loved her job and her nursing friends. I can still remember one evening, while I was upstairs in bed, hearing them while they laughed and smoked. I think that is probably the first time I also became aware of someone who was gay. One of Mom’s nurse friends.

Mom worked on the first heart/lung machine in Rhode Island. She also taught others. Pretty cool stuff.

My Dad was always so very proud of her. Almost to his dying day, if he was at a Drs. appointment-hers or his, he always mentioned that she was a nurse.

In the 1960s, when my parents married, three kids quickly arrived on the scene.

So, back then, life gets a bit tricky. And my mom was going to have to quit or cut back hours.

Dad told me, that a male Doctor from the hospital actually called him on the telephone. Asking if Mom could still work. Dad nicely and respectfully told the Doctor that they had a growing family.

When I was listening to my Dad tell this story I was sort of shocked. My stomach kind of lurched. I felt terrible for my mom (although she did work as a nurse part-time for years before going full-time again) -that the decision was not really hers.

I appreciated my father sharing that with me across their dining room table. I also appreciated that in the 1950s and 1960s things looked a whole lot different for women.

Did my Dad’s views change as he got older? Of course, they did.

Why?

Because people took notice and things changed for women.

But how many years had passed before someone noticed?

Now is the time for all of us to pay attention and listen.

Most importantly it is time to take notice.

Read Full Post »

My fingers kept typing like it was a Ouija board so forgive the ramblings. Hope you can follow the thread of this.

I keep seeing these postings on Facebook.

The ones that state, “Where’s the outrage now? A white policeman is dead and there will be no looting and rioting in the streets. Because everyone knows that a deranged shooter alone is responsible for it and no one is blaming his race.”

What are they really saying? Are they saying that white people are more civilized and discerning? That it’s just bad odds that black men are the ones being shot or hurt by white police?

Ironically, these are usually the same people that want to blame every single Muslim (not a race but a religion) in the world when someone with an Islamic sounding and/or Arabic surname commits a murder or an act of terrorism. And wants you to get worked up about Sharia Law that could possibly be embraced by our very own Muslim president. 

Or blame every Mexican (a race) immigrant for crimes committed in Texas and California by those who share their heritage. Let’s send them all back and build a wall. 

Here’s another posting. “Thank you, police officers. There are still people out there that support you.”

The insinuation is that the police does not have the support of the people. Or that folks aren’t allowed to be angry at past injustice. You’re considered almost un-American if you question this authority. And especially in the wake of a recent crime committed against a police officer. Somehow, you’re made to feel as if you are somehow disrespecting the dead.

It’s so manipulative.

Most people do and/or want to support and respect their police. They want to trust them. And tell their children, “If you’re in trouble just go and find a policeman.” That’s why there has been the anger.

No one policeman or anyone with authority is above the law. I believe this and it doesn’t make me non supportive of the brave, hard working men in blue that go out there every single day to protect us.

A horrible, despicable crime recently took place in Houston. A black man unloaded his gun on a white police officer who was just filling up his car with gasoline. Execution style. Absolutely heinous. I cannot imagine what his family must be feeling.

Was the policeman targeted because of his occupation? Maybe. He was in uniform.

But a fact of this matter, in this particular case, is that the murderer was declared mentally incompetent in 2012 and committed to a mental hospital. 

He was a man who had mental problems who had access to a gun. So he could fire multiple bullets (possible 15) into an innocent police officer. A husband and father.

These same people that keep posting are the ones that will spout out with their dying breath that there should be no gun control.

Yes, and this is just after another black man, a disgruntled employee, killed two people on live television. With a gun.

These are the same people that are posting about a black Sheriff quoting, “Stop trying to fix the police. Go fix the ghetto.” So, it’s now totally okay and it totally affirms their beliefs because we have one black man telling us the problem is with the ghetto. See, it’s not just the white people. Black people are saying it, too. So, it’s got to be true. They’re saying it, too!

Do we really want to trust just one mouth piece speaking for an entire race?

Bill Cosby comes to mind. A black celebrity and one of America’s beloved.

But then he started ranting about black folks (poor black folks) not taking responsibility for themselves, not getting educated, the dangers of drinking, drugging, sex and crime.

Lots of people loved this. See, Bill Cosby, a black man saying the same things we’ve been thinking! He’s right. Pick yourselves up from the bootstraps and get on with it. Use Bill as your example! You can do it!

Only to find out this highly educated, black man has raped countless women, after slipping them drugs. And then did not take responsibility for his crimes. If that is not the pot calling the kettle BLACK, I don’t know what is.

Thanks for the role modeling, Bill.

You do not speak for an entire race.

I have never been afraid of the police. Some of my friends are police officers. They are the first ones I would run to or call if I felt unsafe. They’d be the first ones I’d call if Bill Cosby invited me out for drinks.

But that’s me. I can’t speak for everyone.

A few things bother me. Let’s see if I can suss it out of this diatribe.

We have a huge problem with guns. These horrible examples cited were all crimes committed with guns. Domestic violence, mental illness, racism, etc. will always exist. It always has. Early intervention could bring the numbers down but these issues will always be there. In some form or fashion.

We can, however, reduce the number of murders in the United States with stricter gun control.

I cannot, right hand to God, even remember the names of all of the men who went on mass shooting sprees in the last five years. There are that many. Worse, there were over seventy one mass shootings since I graduated high school in the early 1980s. Most obtained the guns legally.

I can recall, however, the feeling I had, upon hearing that my niece had to hide in a cubby and my nephew was under his desk while their entire school was in lockdown mode. Because in the next town over, at Sandy Hook Elementary, twenty little angels-the same ages as my niece and nephew-were being systematically slaughtered by a man with a gun. I remember this killer’s name but I find it unnecessary to type it. Yeah, he had mental problems also. Obviously.

Another issue is the vitriol spewed out by these Kool-Aid drinking followers of a certain news channel and questionable politicians. They are so dogged and unyielding in their beliefs. Hmmm. They remind me of someone. Oh yes, that’s right. Bill Cosby had that same “holier than thou” attitude.

The third thing that bothers me is this. The reason for the uproar about the police shooting black males is/was because the police are the authority. We need the police. They, in my opinion, are the only ones who should have guns. As long as they are not shooting innocent folks.

But just google, when you have time, “Police shoot unarmed….” and see how many hits you will get. Is there an issue?

Do we have problems in the poor neighborhoods? Oh, yes. Especially in the poor, black neighborhoods. The black sheriff is 100% correct. We certainly need to fix the ghettoes. Address the poverty, unemployment, and education.

But we also need to address cases of injustice. And if some of the police forces need fixing then lets take care of that also. Ensure diversity training is available. Hire and increase the percentage of black officers.

Most of those who protect and serve are there because they want to make the surroundings a better, safer place. For us.

Police lives matter. Of course they do.

Black lives matter.

All lives matter.

But you actually have to believe that. For it to actually matter.

Read Full Post »

Trayvon

I am going to repost at the end of this. I don’t usually do that. But nothing has changed since that last post. And that is the saddest thing.

Didn’t watch the court proceedings on television. I personally don’t think any of us should be viewing it unless we want to get off our rear ends and get down to the courthouse. Because not ALL cases are televised. Just those special celebrity laden, juicy and/or particularly nasty ones. All about the moolah and ratings.

We have race issues. And if anyone denies it I would have to call them a liar or the most naive person in the whole world. We are all guilty of it. In some way. I am not even saying it is our fault. It’s been so ingrained in our society (world) that sometimes it’s not even noticed. White people rule. Still.

But I have heard or read comments and so have you. Some people check to see racial numbers before moving into a neighborhood and/or school. Maybe not because they even dislike Blacks but because not a lot of money is plunked down in areas where Black folks live. Especially in cities. So education stinks. Everyone knows that. Yup.

We had the white flight. The pristine suburbs away from the city. But how were the Blacks going to leave?

White people use code words for Black people. I didn’t even know that until my friend told me recently. But when I read up on it (like I do everything) I saw that it was out there. Some said it came from the food service industry. That Canadians were known for not tipping and so were African Americans. Sigh. Really?

A lot gets blamed on the Black folk. Do you know what the percentage of Black folks is in America? According to a census report for the year 2012 it was thirteen percent. How can everything (or anything) be blamed on such a small group?

I read an article today. Interestingly enough it was not about Trayvon Martin.

It was about America. And how the minority populations will soon be majority. This means that these folks, the ones now largely ignored, under educated and jailed will be our workforce ready (tongue in cheek) to compete with the rest of the world. If the country doesn’t  spend the time and money to fix this (and I don’t mean popping out more white babies!!!) then the country will suffer. Maybe that is what it will take to right the wrongs but USA might wait too long.

Sure, we love our sweet Black singers, our NBA athletes and funny actors. As my girlfriend once said, “Yup, everyone wants to sing like a Black person. Dance like a Black person. Play sports like a Black person. Emulate us in every way. But no one actually wants to be Black person.” 😦

One more thing. I remember Eddie Murphy (Black American actor and comedian) discussing an incident. His celebrity only masks outward racism. Usually. One day he is on an escalator and a fan (white girl) is smiling and waving at him. Her male companion says, “What are you waving at that *%&^&# for?” She said, “It’s Eddie Murphy.” Oh, okay, then.

People are not protected from racism. No matter how successful or big they make it in the world.

I am not even saying that Zimmerman is a horrible racist. But it exists in our world. And could have distorted his view. Maybe Trayvon looked suspicious (to him) because of that BUT he didn’t have to approach him. He did and the young man was shot. And killed. He was told by the authorities not to follow. He did anyway. Someone needs to be accountable. Because there was loss of an innocent, young life. Please don’t bring up pot smoking to me. Or graffiti.  Or even stealing a necklace. Or that he wasn’t a squeaky clean youth. For God’s sake, if we killed off all of our not so squeaky clean youth then what 60s, 70s, or 80s bands would we have? And who would be writing this very blog?

I have gone on long enough. Sorry. See blog posting below. Nothing has changed. In years and years.

Walking Freely

March 21, 2012 by Mary

A young man, seventeen years of age, was shot and killed in Florida a couple of weeks ago. His name was Trayvon and he was black.

A twenty eight year old man was patrolling his gated neighborhood and thought Trayvon looked suspicious. So he called the police. The police told him not to pursue. He did anyway. And shot Trayvon.

Someone’s son.

That is the tragedy.

Trayvon who was visiting a relative in the neighborhood and was armed with nothing more than candy wrappers. And was scared of this grown man chasing after him.

But sadly, that is not the only tragedy in this story.

The man who murdered him in cold blood walks freely among us. Not charged. Not jailed. There is a law in Florida that protects him. A law that states you can stand your ground. In a nutshell- someone can meet force with force if they feel that it will prevent death or harm to themselves.

But what if you follow, chase and hunt down someone? Provoke and then shoot them? Not in your bedroom. But down the street in your neighborhood.

Well, apparently that law still protects you.

I’m not going to discuss guns. That’s a posting for another time. I’m not going to discuss the racism. That’s also a posting for another time.

Lots of people talk about how this country is going downhill and we are losing all of our rights. That can’t be true. Because we still have rights. The right to kill. And walk freely after doing so.

Walking freely was probably something that Trayvon, being young and black, never took for granted. He was scared. He was murdered. And he will never walk freely again.

 

 

Read Full Post »