Black People Can’t Be Racist

The Difference Between Prejudice & Racism



A lot of White people, from the well-educated to the under-educated, seem to struggle with the concept of ‘Racism in America’ and who can be “Racist.”

It’s important that we continue to break this down, so everyone can better understand the scholarly differences between Bigotry and systems of Racism.

*** YES, Black/Brown people can be prejudice, bigoted, hateful, etc, but they cannot be “Racist”, in that they do not have the ability to affect ‘Systemic Racism’ against Whites. If YOU as a White person want to personally consider someone being Prejudice the same as them being Racist, that’s up to you. But that is inaccurate from a scholarly sense, and more importantly regardless of your opinion, Black people do not have the ability to impact Systemic Racism against Whites.

*** IF, Black/Brown people became the dominant ethnic groups, controlling the majority of wealth, politics, banks, and laws, and IF they were the majority of judges, lawyers, politicians, CEO’s, businessmen, police, and IF they then Systemically Oppressed White people for Hundreds of years, then they could be “Racist.”

For example, if Blacks controlled all of these aforementioned institutionsFOR GENERATIONS, and IF they imposed a ‪#‎OneDropRule‬, in which anyone with “one drop” of “white blood” was considered “White” and therefore lesser human, and without the same equal rights, then Black people could be “Racist.” There would also be some “Whites” that could‘pass’ as Black if they had enough “black blood” and were thus viewed as Dark enough.

However, even if all of this were to occur and there was a systemic structure of Racism against Whites in America, as imposed by Black-controlled systems. Blacks, with their newfound Black privilege, would have the ability to speak out against these Racist systems and become ALLIES of oppressed White people.

Of course, this is hypothetical and opposite of our American History and the racial realities that we live in today. Again, if you want to consider ‘everyday prejudice’ and bigotry the same thing as “Racism,” go right ahead. But you would be wrong.

Therefore, this discernment between understanding basic bigotry and larger concepts of structural racism is very important if YOU are concerned with using accurate language when speaking about Racism in America, in the context of historical structures of Race in America.

All of this is based on extensive scholarship and generations of Historical study by noted academics. I did not make this up! I do however have a degree in History from the University of California, Davis, with an emphasis in Race in America and US History. Moreover, I minored in African-American studies and spent more than a year specifically studying under Professor Clarence Walker, the award winning African-American History teacher.

‪#‎fewmayknow‬
‪#‎AmericanHistory‬
‪#‎Tellafriend‬

Originally posted on Medium.

It’s Foreign Policy, Stupid: Bernie’s Last Chance At Defeating The Clinton Machine

If the Bernie Sanders campaign wants to have a real chance at winning, he must do a better job at emphatically connecting the dots on Foreign Policy, in regards to Hillary Clinton’s disastrous record as a war hawk.

Hillary Clinton’s Foreign Policy is literally Bush/Cheney 3.0

President Obama’s Foreign Policy hasn’t been very good either (especially his Drone campaign), but Hillary would be moving us back toward the far right, and backwards in time.

• She was for Iraq, which became a failed state that created ISIS.

• She then repeated the same failed policy again as Sec. of Sate, pushing the overthrow of Gaddafi in Libya, and creating another vacuum to be filled by terrorists. Some of which were created by her Iraq war vote.

Furthermore, Barack Obama has said that Libya was his “worst mistake” – and that was Hillary’s signature piece of Foreign Policy.

Basically, the President equates his greatest failure as President with Hillary Clinton’s main policy push. The fact that Bernie did not mention this in the Brooklyn debate and go after her on it was a major missed opportunity that could cost him NY and the chance to win the nomination. But his errors of omission at the debate do not excuse her disastrous and deadly mistakes.

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And, it does not end with Libya. As Sec. of State she worked to arm Saudi Arabia, one of the most repressive regimes against WOMEN and free speech. Her support of Saudi Arabia has led to further destabilize the Middle East, including the regimes reckless bombing of Yemen, responsible for killing thousands of civilians with our support.

In addition to all of this, she has received millions of dollars from the likes of Lockheed, Boeing, and Saudi Arabia, that have contributed to her campaign, her personal bank account, and also her Clinton Global initiative. As former US Marine Corp Major General Smedley D. Butler, once famously said, “War is a racket.” Hillary’s scheme has been to push war in the Middle East, directly benefitting her and her business associates. Imperialism at it’s finest. Her mentor Henry Kissinger must be proud.

As Oliver Stone recently said, “Hillary Clinton has been for every war we have fought.”


 

Beyond Wall Street

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Bernie Sanders has pulled in a ton of new voters with his consistent positions on Wall Street and our corrupt political process. He should continue to make those connections but he’s got that position on lock. He must move beyond defaulting to this narrative, even if he’s absolutely right about its influence on everything else. If we want to beat The Machine, and essentially overthrow the Neo-Liberal Democratic establishment, we have to show that Hillary is essentially Dick Cheney when it comes to Foreign Policy.

Beyond Foreign Policy, Bernie must continue to reach out to disaffected and disenfranchised populations, both through his surrogates and his campaign message, listening, learning, and reminding folks as to the true colors of the Clinton’s and their socioeconomic policies. From Bill Clinton’s recent demonization of Black Lives Matter protestors, to the couples collective support of Welfare Reform (which crushed poor people of color), and ‘Tough on Crime’ legislation that championed the “Super Predator” narrative and exploded the prison population, the Clinton’s have received far too much support from the Black community with very little offered in return. Moreover, examining trends with Millennials and the Twittersphere, perhaps Clinton’s lock on the Black vote is not as strong as the media would have us believe (#BernieMadeMeWhite).

California or Bust

In addition to hitting hard on Foreign Policy, we must work to REGISTER a record number of new voters in California (before May 23rd). The majority of people that are going to vote for Hillary are already registered. We can certainly convert some of them with a stronger and more specific Foreign Policy argument, but there’s no chance of winning a Democratic convention led by a corrupted DNC, unless hundreds of thousands of new voters come into the fold in California and force the issue. California has over 500 delegates including Supers Delegates and we have until June 7th (CA Primary) to move the dial in the Golden State.

If you are tired of hearing the phony Paul Begala corporate news coverage on CNN, and all of this Nate Silver influenced math, then we must push harder on Foreign Policy, and we must Register (and Re-register) more people in California than ever before. Best of luck to everyone in New York on April 19th. Let’s hope you shock the world!

– Nate Mezmer

‪#‎BernItDown‬

Black Votes Matter: Understanding Why Bernie Lost in Missouri

Dear Bernie Sanders supporters:
 
It looks like Bernie will narrowly lose Missouri by less than a percentage point (as well as another close defeat in Illinois). He will end up splitting those delegates but it was more about the symbolic victory that he needed that he did not get. That being said, the race is not over despite what CNN and Politico will tell you. But, it is certainly an uphill battle as long as Bernie continues to do poorly with the Black vote. If that does not shift he will not be able to win the Democratic nomination. However, this must be put in proper context because I continue to see this being misunderstood and I believe that Missouri is a powerful example of why things are the way they are.
 
While it appears Black folks (that voted) in St Louis county overwhelming supported Hillary Clinton, there’s several things that should be examined more closely. One year ago, as Shaun King and others have pointed out, Bernie Sanders was virtually unknown in the region. Clinton on the other hand has been a household name nationally for decades. While Bernie’s been working quite effectively as an Independent legislator in DC, he’s been primarily focused on his quest to help the working man, Veterans, and to curtail Wall Street corruption. His virtual tie with Hillary in Missouri and Illinois is certainly impressive, when you contrast the fact that he’s literally running as David vs the Goliath sized Clinton machine. Even though he didn’t pull off huge upsets on Tuesday he did score a lot of delegates and the bulk of the race outside of the South and Midwest is still to come.
 
But it must be said that Bernie Sanders and his campaign are unknown in the St Louis region for other reasons too. Had Sanders spent some real time there (Ferguson and St Louis), with Black leaders in the community, college students, and disaffected youth over the past couple years, he would have more than likely won Missouri by a healthy margin (he lost the State by only a thousand or so votes). I’m not saying that Bernie should’ve been in the streets with rapper Tef Poe during the Ferguson uprising, but at some point Cornel West was there, Rosa Clemente was there, Talib Kweli was there, and Bernie could’ve have been there. That’s at the very least what it would’ve taken to make the necessary moves to defeat the Clinton machine.
 
To be fair, Bernie did speak on it:
 
“When you see the kind of force that’s been used in
Ferguson, it really does make it appear that the
police department there is an occupying army in a
hostile territory and that is absolutely not what we
want to see in the U.S.” – Aug. 2014 
 
But, understanding what’s going on in Missouri is a lot more complex than just assuming Hillary gets the Black vote by default because Bernie wasn’t in the trenches or because people know the Clinton name. Some Black folks are simply not voting at all. This is in part because the top of the Democratic party in the state is a joke and quite uninspiring. Look no further than the DA there, Bob Mcculloch, who is a Democrat. A man who did everything in his power to ensure Darren Wilson avoided a trial… he was just re-elected! While other crooked DA’s were rebuked and defeated in Chicago and Cleveland, he managed to survive. As DA, Mcculloch has not only been a staunch supporter of the Police union that backed Wilson, but a Ferguson Police department that was sued by the Justice Department for “a pattern and practice of unconstitutional police conduct.” The point being, the very party that Progressives are asking Black folks in Missouri to rally behind for their nominee as President, is the technically same party in that state that worked to exonerate the man that killed Michael Brown. Not even a trial. Therefore there’s not much trust in the process. Tef Poe infamously stated in a PBS town hall called ‘America After Ferguson,’ that he “voted for Barack Obama twice and still got tear gassed.”
So, while Bernie Sanders believes in policies that would certainly be better for communities of color than a Neo-liberal agenda, some Black folks just don’t believe in the process. Whether we like it or not they have good reason to feel that way. Because the Democrats in St Louis and in DC, for decades have helped to push “Conservative” Drug policies that literally KILL the Black community. Thus, when White Progressives say “How could ‘they’ vote for Hillary?” understand that it’s a lot deeper than what we are seeing.
 

The same goes for Trump supporters!
 
Although Racism and bigotry is often the overriding catalyst for the fervor we see at a #TrumpRally, the bulk of Trump’s base are working class, undereducated Whites that have continually supported a Republican Party that has never worked for their best interests. Many of these people are dumbed down, and broken down by a system that’s never delivered their American Dream (or perhaps took it away), and they have good reason to be upset. Sadly, they’re focusing their rage, as well as their allegiance, toward the wrong people. It’s the Trump’s, and the Koch Bros, and the corporations that fund Hillary, that have been screwing them over, not the darker skin boogiemen that they rally against. If they were going to build an effective Wall, it would be one around Washington DC and Wall Street to use as a jail to lock the crooks inside. This is not to allow Racists or White supremacists a pass for their rhetoric and violence. Getting screwed by the political system isn’t an excuse to scream “Fuck those dirty beaners” and “Kill the Protestors” at rallies. But, if we want to decrease the odds of Fascist right-wing Demagogues being elected, we may want to pay closer attention to these people. Perhaps delve into a little more empathy. It’s not exactly sympathy for the devil unless you are crying tears for the puppet masters pulling their strings.

We have a lot of work to do… and it’s much bigger than one election cycle!
 
Although I will continue to push Bernie to the convention and beyond if necessary, it doesn’t begin and end with a single candidate. Especially if we turn around and go home after Election Day. As Van Jones has pointed out, “yes We can” quickly turns into “yes He can,” when we disengage. And when we leave it up to a single person to make magic happen in a corporate controlled system, we create a false messiah figure and the results are almost always less than what we hope for. Indeed, if Hillary ultimately becomes the nominee, most Progressives will likely rally behind her rather than allow a silver spooned goon (favorite son of Neo-Nazis and Klansmen) to become the next President. But upon her election, no matter what she has promised Bernie and his supporters, she will predictably veer right, right back to where she’s always been. Right back to where the Military Industrial Complex lay in waiting, and right where her Wall Street money comes from. Until we get the corporate-special interest influence out of the election process, or in all likelihood, until we finally decide to tear down the two-party system, this maddening process will continue. Even if we elect Bernard Sanders as Killer Mike calls him, if we do not continue to push the rest of the system forward, he will be held captive by obstruction and crony-capitalism much like President Obama.
 

Note: My hope is that the candidacy of Bernie Sanders (regardless of the outcome), a campaign without a Super PAC and without Wall Street money, a campaign that’s been able to change the entire narrative of the Democratic establishment during the primary, opens the door for future Progressive leaders. One’s that will be younger, perhaps less white, and less male. More representative of the future of this nation.

– Nate Mezmer

#FewMayKnow
#FeelTheBern

Where To Find Real News?

People have asked me where to find quality news sources since our mainstream news in America is just as corrupt as our political process.

One really good muckraking group of investigative journalists is the The Intercept. They are not corporate pundits, or political operatives posing as neutral analysts. They actually do real news. Journalists like Glen Greenwald to Lee Fang. Another good one is Bill Moyers & company.

I’d also recommend finding sources on Twitter and following them to their websites. I did this with Fusion and they have good content on Justice, Politics, Life. Another great voice that connects sports and politics is my friend Dave Zirin who writes for The Nation and does the Edge of Sports Podcast). As for voices that carry a lot of weight when it comes to ‘Race in America’ and the importance of ending the War on Drugs, look no further than the incomparable Michelle Alexander.

Between adding up the gems offered by these types of sources and reading in between the lines of the bullshit that the corporate media spews at us everyday (‪#‎allday‬), we can begin to discern what the F*ck is really goin’ on.

Beyond that, we can continue to look to other sources such as comedy, music, and art. Whether it’s comedian newsmen like John Oliver or skits from Dave Chappelle; rappers like Brother Ali, Kendrick Lamar, Oakland’s Boots Riley of The Coup, or Ferguson’s Tef Poe; Artists like Hank Willis Thomas or Eddie Colla.

The truth is out there but you have to look for it.

‪#‎FewMayKnow‬


 

P.s. – if you don’t remember much from your US History class in high school. Do yourself a huge favor and pick up a copy of “A People’s History of the United States” by Howard Zinn (amazon or local book store!). Listening to Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! ain’t a bad idea either.

Donald Trump is like Kanye West for White People

Here’s the thing…

Most people supporting Trump don’t care that he uses dangerous rhetoric that stokes racial hatred, or that he often speaks with a fascist tone. They don’t care if he doesn’t have any plan. They don’t care if he lies about reading the bible. They don’t care if he has no knowledge of foreign affairs. They like that he’s rich, and seemingly “wins” everything. They don’t care that he started out wealthy. They don’t care if he’s declared bankruptcy multiple times. He seems to be doing just fine right now. They don’t care that he’s been a “liberal” in the past. They don’t care that he might be completely trolling this entire election and does not actually care about anything to do with the Republican Party.

Donald Trump is sort’ve like the Kanye West for white people (who are poorly educated). He does whatever he wants. He says whatever he wants. He’s the fantastical American dream on steroids. He is what we have been sold since our youth; especially what has ben sold to white males. That we can literally be anything we want and we don’t have to ask for permission. We just take it. Because it’s all about “winning.” It’s not about morality. It’s not about truth. It’s not about learning from history. It’s certainly not about intellectualism. It’s just about ME, ME, ME. Win, win, win. It’s the legacy of “manifest destiny,” meets hyper-capitalism.

Seems totally insane, and yet it all makes sense to me. We can trace it back to ‘The Birth (certificate) of a Nation.’

Even if ‘The Donald’ doesn’t win the election, he’s winning (I don’t think he will, but it’s possible). Before this election, he was a trumped-up tycoon and a semi-relevant reality TV star. Now he’s hands down one of the most famous people in the world. Ranked somewhere between the Pope, President Obama, and I dunno, maybe Kim Kardashian, Justin Beiber, and Beyoncé. If you listen closely, he really didn’t even want to run for President. But he quickly realized that if he just bloviated toughness and a make-believe inability to fail, that simpler Americans would cling to his cult of personality and the media would do the rest for him. Now he’s going to win the nomination for a party that’s comprised of over 90% whites, and a base that believes the President is Muslim, and that climate change isn’t real.

Seems totally insane, and yet it all makes sense to me. We can trace it back to ‘The Birth (certificate) of a Nation.’ A lot of undereducated white folks are upset, fed up with the system and their plot in life, and they don’t know who to blame other than the usual dark skinned boogieman, and business as usual in Washington D.C. To them, Trump represents an opportunity for “American” resurgence, white dominance, and an alternate universe where a Billionaire goes to Washington D.C. and works for the people, instead of the Billionaires.

That’s where we are at in 2016, with about half of this country.

On the bright side, the kids aren’t buying it.


Cue: DJ Khaled ‘All We Do Is Win‘ #MoreSuccess 🔑

Anquan Boldin: Man of the Year (and “Terrible” Example for America)

Anquan Boldin recently won the prestigious Walter Payton “Man of the Year” award for his volunteer and charity work, as well as his excellence on the field. Listening to an interview with Boldin the other day on KNBR680, it was amazing what he and his wife, along with his mother, and his foundation have done.
 
Boldin’s been working for years to help people in need off the field, but in 2014, he and his wife pledged $1 Million dollars of their own money to the foundation in efforts to take things to the next level, including sending deserving kids to college. Boldin also mentioned that his mother still takes people in off the street at her home and helps them get back on their feet. In his acceptance speech for the Walter Payton award, he said that when he came into the league he was young and “nobody could tell him nothing.” He later grew to understand that his purpose was not to score Touchdowns but to help people.
 
“The Anquan Boldin Foundation offers numerous programs, including a summer enrichment program, Thanksgiving food drives, which offers 300 meals annually in addition to holiday shopping sprees. Last fall, the Foundation awarded $10,000 academic scholarships to five students entering college. Since the Foundation’s inception, it has awarded 13 four-year scholarships through the “Q81″ Foundation Scholarship Fund.”
 
The point of all of this…
 

What a terribly “Liberal” person this Anquan Boldin is. He must be a socialist. Giving out all of these “hand-outs” and “freebees” to impoverished people in need. Such a bad example to set. Can you imagine if we allowed the Government to do more of this!? Using tax dollars to give more young people hope and opportunity, by supporting families in need, and God forbid making public college tuition free. Think about how bad a place America would become if we did this. Instead, we should continue to use our tax money to fund the War on Drugs, Private Prisons, and endless War in the Middle East. As well as allowing Corporations and Wall Street to continue to rig the system and avoid paying their fair share. We can’t allow America to become more like the Boldin family. Such a burden would be too much for us to bear.

Black History Month (on my Snapchat)

A few days into Black History Month and I’ve already heard about some dumb **** involving racist posts and the “Black History Month” geo-tag on Snapchat… So, I decided to drop some Facts on my Snap in honor of the month and OUR collective US History. Black History month is American History!  (Even though in school and on TV we are usually taught “HIStory”).

#FewMayKnow

[https://www.facebook.com/NateMezmerMusic/videos/10153252653562441=”FACEBOOK_PUBLIC_VIDEO-URL” width=”500″ height=”400″ onlyvideo=”0 or 1″]

Jerry Rice Drove A Lyft In San Francisco And Nobody Noticed

I know I’m supposed to care if Jerry Rice drove some people around in a Lyft and they didn’t notice, but I don’t.

Does that really surprise you?

We live in a city filled with gentrifiers and transplants that often navigate throughout their entire day never leaving the comfort of their cell phone. Swipe left.

Most of us don’t even know our neighbors now, let alone Jerry Rice or Joe Montana. Joe literally goes to Whole Foods here and nobody bothers him. Who’s that good looking old white guy with the blue eyes?

Shit, maybe I wouldn’t have noticed Jerry either? Too busy writing about how damn unexamined we have become. Swipe right.

But I don’t take Lyft or Uber so I guess he’s gonna have to drive a cab next time for me to notice. Plus, Jerry and I go way back to parties at Slide, and before that pickup games at Pacific Athletic Club (where I couldn’t afford a membership but always managed to somehow get in). I would’ve spotted his pearly whites from a mile away. The greatest receiver who’s ever lived driving around in a city that’s not listening or paying attention.

‪#‎Flash80‬
‪#‎fewmayknow‬

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^ Me & Flash80

Macklemore’s “White Privilege II” Is Another Attempt To Begin A Long Overdue Conversation

Note: I met Macklemore back in 1999. At the time he was brand new on the scene, hustling to get his music played at local college radio in the Bay Area (I worked at KSZU’s “The Drum” with Kevvy Kev). He was a few years younger than I was, and he was humble. I remember him giving me and my friends his CD. I don’t remember the tracks from that particular project but it had that angsty backpacker sound that Atmosphere and “Anticon” were doing. Several years later, I’d run into him again at a show in Portland. We took a photo together and he remembered me from the station. Fast forward to 2011 and I was pleasantly surprised to see his name on a major festival billing with a guy named “Ryan Lewis.” About a year after that, he would quickly ascend to the top of the charts with his catchy ‘Thrift Shop‘ track and the rest is History. Since then, most people have assumed that he was an overnight success. With his fame and sometimes purposefully corny hooks, many have quipped that he’s not really “hip-hop” and simply another white person appropriating the culture. But, if you listen to the music that he’s written over the years, Macklemore has attempted to remain aware of his place in the culture, as well as the impact of White Supremacy and Privilege.

Screen Shot 2016-01-22 at 9.48.42 AM

“This song sucks. It’s all over the place.” – Unexamined trolling comment

If we are arguing over whether this song is sonically pleasing or not, we are misguided in our focus. Perhaps it’s uncomfortable and lengthy layout is actually quite appropriate. That’s because there is nothing structurally pleasing about Systemic Oppression and the History of Racism in America. Certainly, getting White folks to understand “White Privilege” is not something that’s going to magically happen with just a couple 16-bar verses and a catchy hook. We are talking about a very complex topic, that Whites in general have yet to be ready and willing to intellectually process, let alone emotionally deal with the weight of it all. But, we do love us some Black music!

“We want to dress like, walk like, talk like, dance like, yet we just stand by/ We take all we want from black culture, but will we show up for black lives?” – Macklemore

As a White kid growing up in the 90’s, my experience like many other youth of my generation was that almost everything “cool” seemed to be inspired by Hip-Hop culture. Rap music, Graffiti art, Baggy and Colorful fashions, TV shows like In Living Color, Martin, and Fresh Prince, were all responsible for not only shaping the style and soundtrack of the decade but fundamentally the direction of American culture in the 21st century. However it was more than just coolness. Hip-hop culture and it’s music would literally change my life and help to open my perspective far beyond my White world (“911 is a Joke“).

Of course, this phenomenon did not start with Hip-hop. Before Afrika Bambaataa’s Planet Rock shook the world and before Sugar Hill Gang stole the Rapper’s Delight lyrics from Grandmaster Caz, Black America had already been responsible for creating everything from Disco and Rock N Roll, to Blues and Jazz. Not to mention being on the cutting edge of developing House Music and Techno in the urban neighborhoods of Detroit, New York, and Chicago. Like Hip-Hop, all of these art forms were created by Black Americans amidst the pressures of systemic racism, poverty, and state-sponsored violence. A unique genius and ingenuity that could only be born from such intense pressure to appear like diamonds from coal. In creating these things, Black America would give birth to languages and culture that would become more powerful than any religion.

“Do not ever forget that the biggest exporter in this country is Black culture. Our culture is what they send out to the world… If you go anywhere in the world, they send us through our culture. So, what are we but the greatest thing that America has ever sent out to the world.” – Rahiel Tesfamariam [Video]

The fact that Black Americans were originally brought here as African slaves, stolen from their homes, stripped of their history, language, family, even their names, and would ultimately end up creating the greatest cultural forces that this country has ever produced is very telling. Under the weight of all of that oppression they would also become the greatest athletes the world has ever known. They would become our greatest soldiers for justice and equality. Not to mention many of the greatest poets, entertainers, and actors alike. Meanwhile, fighting bravely for the U.S. in all of the Wars of the 20th and 21st century without ever receiving true equality in their own homeland. The hypocrisy is boundless, and the denial of its impact is a collective mental illness.

“So, now people want to listen because Macklemore made a song about White Privilege? – Twitter comment

Yes, Black folks and others have been speaking on this for years. What Macklemore is talking about is nothing new. But, the greatest obstacle to racial progress & social justice in the United States, as Martin Luther King once wrote from a Birmingham Jail, is not the most racist Whites or even the Ku Klux Klan, but in fact the average White person that is more concerned with maintaining order than pursuing justice. We see this example today when so many White people decry the ‘direct actions’ of Black Lives Matter groups, while simultaneously claiming that they are “not racist” but that these protestors are “going about it wrong.” We simply don’t get it, yet.

“Fuck Macklemore. Fuck this song. Fuck the narrative of supporting white people who talk about racism while most of them willingly do shit to hurt Black communities.” – Comment on Facebook

In the spirit of the late great Grace Lee Boggs (Black Panther leader & Chinese American woman), CONVERSATION must never be devalued. And what America needs right now more than anything is for White folks to have a very honest conversation about race and privilege. Because up until this point we clearly have not been willing, nor able to listen to what People of Color are saying. So, without this conversation that Macklemore and MANY others before him have been attempting to begin, there will be no LISTENING to People of Color. And it will only come from listening, that we can start learning. And only at that point can we begin to develop greater understanding, empathy, compassion, and support for Black America and their struggle.

Indeed, “BLACK LIVES” will not “MATTER” if White Americans continue to deny that the country was built upon White Supremacy. For “ALL LIVES” to “MATTER”, we must reach a point where the Government no longer wages a “WAR on DRUGS” that disproportionately targets and disparately sentences People of Color (Today, we have more Black bodies in prison for Drug crimes than there were slaves in 1865 #NewJimCrow). We must get to a point where growing up Black in America doesn’t mean that you are more likely to be killed by gang violence or by the Police, than go to a 4-year college. But, not just that. Currently, Black and Brown bodies are being used to traffic the drugs that middle-class and upper-class Whites often use without consequence or concern for where they originated. We must get to a point where being “Black” in America doesn’t mean that you are profiled on a daily basis simply based on your skin color. Because one day we must get to a point where Black skin doesn’t automatically trigger an ominous “alertness” in White people that does not exist when we see people who look like us. That whole “content of character” dream.

For All Lives to Matter, we must begin to recognize ALL of this systemic inequity and then we must begin to listen and learn from Black voices, if we want to start to make changes.

– NATE MEZMER

#FEWMAYKNOW

p.s. – Here’s MY PSA on “White Privilege” (for White people),  It’s not what you think.