Racial Justice and White Privilege

This page is being created by an old white woman in support of #BlackLivesMatter. I want my step-son and step-grandson to be able to walk the streets of this country without feeling as if they have targets on their backs or bounties on their heads. I want my step-granddaughter to be proud of her dad, brother, future boyfriends and future husband and not have to worry that everytime they say goodbye may be the last time she sees them alive!

I care, and I have cared since the 1960s, when my home town of Eau Claire WI, heard about the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and immediately was concerned that 'the government was going to bring those people up from the South to work in the Presto defense plant!' I have cared since the time that I heard about the kind of treatment Hank Aaron had to endure from the goodly folk of my home town - who were later SO proud of his major league exploits, after they had heaped racial slurs on him when he played minor league ball in Eau Claire!

Yeah, I have cared for years! I cared later in the '60s when I knew Black kids at Michigan State, who had to go to Detroit, to parties at Wayne State, because there was little social life for young blacks in Lansing, MI, and I watched my Resident Assistant hover over the signout sheets keeping an eye on where the girls from my floor were going! The prejudiced bitch did not do that for the white girls, doncha know!

And I cared when my mother, who would say, "I'm not prejudiced, but..." complained about the animal behavior of the folks in Watts, when we lived in Whittier. The impact of those riots interrupted GARBAGE collection for a week, you see. I said to her: "Mother, (I NEVER called her that, except when I was angry) try treating a human like an animal for 20 or 30 years and see what you get!" but she would not hear!

Last week at Netroots Nation 15 in Phoenix, Black Lives Matter protesters interrupted a Presidential Candidate Town Hall, showcasing former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley and Senator Bernie Sanders. You can watch the whole Town Hall session here. Turn on your sound and click on the image to start the video. Close the video to return to this page.

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The protesters enter the conference hall at about 29 minutes from the start. They entered from the rear, streaming in down both aisles, chanting and singing, then congregating in two major groups near the stage.

As Netroots Foundation Vice Chair, Joel Silverman later stated, 'Netroots is special. Instead of calling for security, we handed the protestors a microphone!" He also read an email from one of the conference participants who recognized that his own white privilege had been infringed by the protest and THAT was the reason for his initial annoyance.

So, to the heart of my opening of what I hope will be a NEW work group for the Wisconsin Grassroots Network.

Racism and White Privilege are the two sides of the same coin! And IGNORANCE is a form of PRIVILEGE! Only those who are privileged can afford to remain ignorant!

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The other part of the #BlackLivesMatter is to remember the names of those who died as a result of police action or while in police custody. While I was in Phoenix, I learned of the life and death of Sandra Bland, a young African-American woman, a member of the A.M.E. Church, from Naperville, IL, who had just moved to Texas, was stopped for a routine traffic violation, wound up getting arrested, jailed and dead within a VERY short period of time!  

Also see this post on Daily Kos about differential treatment:  http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/07/22/1404515/-Cops-Pull-Over-a-Confederate-Sovereign-Citizen-and-His-Six-Loaded-Weapons-Not-dead


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  • commented 2015-08-01 16:47:32 -0500
    I never thought about “white privilege,” though I’ve thought a lot about what racism has done and continues to do to our country. White privilege is a new idea for me. I will give it considerable thought.