A Declaration of White Privilege in Missouri (Responding to “An Open Letter to Jonathan Butler”)

I cannot understate this. As a White man, the “OPEN LETTER TO JONATHAN BUTLER & #CONCERNEDSTUDENTS195” is possibly the most ignorant thing I’ve ever read in my entire life. Not that I haven’t been exposed to very hateful and overtly racist writings before. I was a History major at UC Davis and chose to specialize in the history of the United States and Race in America. I’m familiar with declarations of racial superiority made by the KKK and I’m aware of racist rulings by Judges in favor of slavery and segregation. This is not that.
 
This is worse.
 
This might very well be the best declaration of White Privilege, ever. The ‘Declaration of Dependence’ upon an invisible knapsack.
 
Perhaps the most telling statement this anonymous writer makes:
 
“My mind is overwhelmed with thoughts and questions about what I have seen lately, and maybe it’s just me…but there are things I don’t understand, things that I want to question, and things that I need to say.”
 
This proclamation boldly announces to the reader that the writer is genuinely concerned, frustrated, confused, and clearly speaking from a place of emotion and ignorance.
 
While this “Open Letter” is poorly written, and rambles along like an old drunk at the bar, it’s an excellent example of the dangers of being blind to White Privilege.
 
Indeed, many White people in my White experience tend to misunderstand and confuse the concept of “White Privilege,” often thinking its about a simplistic concept, as defined by access to wealth, or access to opportunity. Many feel that if they themselves are not rich, or did not grow up with a silver spoon, they don’t see how they can be “privileged.”
 
This misconception that White “privilege” is solely about success and wealth, often works together with personal feelings that we cannot  be “racist” because we do not feel hateful in our hearts. Perhaps we “have black friends” or have had romantic relationships with people of color, so therefore the logic is we cannot be racist. Furthermore, many Whites often confuse individual prejudice with systemic racism, and cannot come to terms with the idea that: while Black people can indeed be prejudice or hateful, they cannot be “racist” by definition in a structural sense. The example of this is that a Black person can certainly dislike White people, or be prejudice against whites, however those feelings (or actions) are not backed by the weight of the system (society) which throughout our history has been built and controlled by Whites and concepts of White supremacy.
 
That is, Black people have not prevented Whites from being free. Black people have never commonly organized to hunt and kill Whites. Black people have not prevented Whites from owning land. Black people have not prevented Whites from voting. Black people have not prevented Whites from playing sports. Black people have not prevented Whites from eating in public restaurants. Black people have not prevented Whites from swimming in public pools. Black people have not prevented Whites from integrating schools. Black people have not prevented Whites from receiving bank loans. Black people have not created drug enforcement policy that uses racial bias to target Whites. Black people have not passed laws that disparately sentence Whites for the same crimes. Black people have not built private prisons to profit from incarcerating disproportionate numbers of White people. Black people are not actively attempting to prevent Whites from profiting from the distribution of marijuana. Black people did not create a society in which human beings with “One drop” of “Black blood” are deemed as ‘Black‘ rather than ‘White,’ unless they can “pass” as otherwise.
 
So, although this particular White Privilege piece aimed at Jonathan Butler and Black students at #Mizzou is not radically violent or threatening. It helps to illustrate that the most dangerous kind of White Supremacy is simply a well-intentioned White person being utterly unaware of what White Privilege is in the first place. This lack of awareness of racial privilege, is a greater force than any purposeful denial, or calculated hatred. It’s a ferociously blind unconsciousness that maintains an atmosphere to birth the ideas of a Dylann Roof. It’s an inability to be empathetic, let alone concerned with the plight of people living in a place called Chi-Raq, and thus in part responsible. It’s a mindset that is categorically unaware of the daily realities of systemic oppression faced by people of color. Therefore it is to be ignorant of the basic advantages that come along with never having to navigate such obstacles.
 
But let’s be clear. This “Open Letter” is not the devious thoughts of a madman. These are very loud, confused, and racist feelings of someone who doesn’t wholly understand the History of the United States and it’s entanglement with White Supremacy. It’s to be absolutely unable to see the proverbial forrest through the tress. It’s to be both a benefactor and a mental slave to the pitfalls of privilege and supremacy and not even know it. This heavy amount of “not knowing,” or not understanding, can thus be startling and very scary when faced with it head on. Like a glitch in ‘the Matrix,’ many Whites choose to ignore the hard truths of racial inequality and revert to the ease of ignorance. The alternative is often too disruptive and challenges our concept of reality and what we are used to.
 
Paraphrasing Dr. Martin Luther King, the greatest threat to Black America achieving freedom and equality, is not the Klan, but the White Moderate that’s more dedicated to order, than justice.
 
In 2015, this pointed observation still rings true.
 
#FewMayKnow
#ConcernedStudent1950

Politicians Are More Dangerous Than The Klan [Anonymous Outs The KKK]

The Anonymous story about leaking the names of Political figures that are allegedly associated with the KKK needs to be understood in a larger context (*Even if the leak is unfounded).

#1. The History of the KKK in America is an organization of White Supremacy and Racist Violence aimed at Black Americans in the wake of the abolition of Slavery.

– The Klan’s existence began immediately after the Civil War in the late 1860’s, and it flourished, fractured, and expanded from then on, and throughout the 20th Century. It was a driving force to Oppress and Kill Black Americans in the South during the height of the Jim Crow era, from the early 1900’s through the 1960’s.

#2. The KKK was originally founded and led by Rich White Men, White Businessmen, Political figures, Military leaders, Law Enforcement, Lawyers, Doctors, Farmers, etc.

– Notable Southern General Nathan Bedford Forrest was the first Grand Wizard of the Klan. Throughout the South in the 20th Century businessmen and prominent figures such as Police Chiefs and Politicians put the White Hood on to cover up their association with the violent Hate group. This was not a “backwoods” organization founded and led by poor white “rednecks.” These were “1 percent” types so to speak.

– The fact that we saw a “Black Power” movement in America, in addition to MLK’s Civil Rights movement, was not an attempt to go to war with White America, rather it was to attempt to physically wrestle power away from Racist Systems, Politicians, and Police, as well as to become self-sufficient and stand up to forces that were attacking the Black community without Law enforcement doing anything about it – because often times Law Enforcement was in on it. From local Police all the way up to the FBI.

#3. Racism in 2015 is much trickier and far more insidious than simply being associated with groups like “the Klan.”

– Our entire Justice system in AMERICA, from profiling and targeting, to a Racially Bias “War on Drugs,” to our School to Prison pipeline where children of color are set-up to fail; the entire structure is very much an ‘AmeriKKKan’ institution at this point.

– You don’t have to be an outwardly Racist person, or have a White Hood hanging in your closet to be a supporter of Systemic Racism.

This is why we must ALL work to end the New Jim Crow, the War on Drugs, and the School to Prison pipeline. It’s not enough to simply expose Racists, we need greater awareness about policies and legislation that shape these Racist institutions. This is why “Black Lives Matter” is so important. This is why History is always relevant.

Note: I’m not claiming to support the Anonymous story as true or false. If these claims are true, let them come out. If they are not, they are not only damaging to someone whom might not actually be associated with the Klan, but more so damaging to the bigger perspective of what REAL INSTITUTIONALIZED RACISM looks like in the 21st Century. You do not need a White Hood to be knowingly (or unknowingly) supporting these racist systems and structures. Politicians that accept money from Private Prison lobbies (Hillary Clinton), or work to uphold mandatory minimum sentencing (Bill Clinton, Diane Feinstein) are doing more damage to the Black and Brown community than any coward in a Klan outfit.

#JusticeReformNow 
Nate Mezmer

FEW MAY KNOW

 


A Father’s Righteous Anger and Reactions to Injustice

I watched this Video earlier today several times via Shaun King’s Twitter. It is one of the most powerful things I’ve viewed in a long time. It shows the father of a student at Spring Valley High School in South Carolina, very angrily (and eloquently) address the school board and the Sheriff’s department in the wake of a viral video showing a Black Teenage girl being body slammed by an on-campus Police officer named Ben Fields.

This South Carolina father KEEPS IT REAL on the victimization …These 3 minutes, from this angry father in South Carolina, are about the realest 3 minutes anybody has spoke in 2015. Must see stuff.

Posted by Shaun King on Sunday, November 1, 2015

 

When watching this video each of his points speak volumes, however I believe it is the question that this man poses at the end, about the “reaction” that is most important. Indeed it runs parallel to the conversation that I spoke about on my Twitter and personal Facebook page in the wake of uprisings in Ferguson and Baltimore.

That is: Riots are not actions in the name of justice, they are reactions to extreme levels of injustice.

In that context, when the board member witlessly says not to “make threats,” he not only misinterprets this man’s very righteous level of anger, he misses the entire point being made. The bigger picture question is not “what is the point?” of such rage, but rather “how did it get to that point?” And what are WE as a Nation going to do about inequitable conditions that foster these types of situations.

This is why BLACK LIVES MATTER is so necessary, not just as a movement to bring about awareness and conversation, but actual political change to push forward policy and legislation.

Because reprimanding this particular officer is merely symbolic, if policy and protocol within the School District and Sheriff’s Department does not change. After all the officer was eventually fired but if there was any semblance of fairness or justice, he would’ve been charged with assault. Moreover, the fact that the School Board member perceives this father’s anger as a threat, and responds to him with a highly unexamined level of reproach sums up the great Racial divide in this country. Indeed it’s a level of ignorance to injustice and oppression that often correlates directly with White privilege and systemic inequity.  The same goes for all my fellow White people yelling about Black folks “rioting” and “burning down their own neighborhood” instead of trying to understand the conditions of injustice that have led to this point.

#FewMayKnow

If Black Lives Mattered, Flag Would’ve Been Ole News

Today, the University of Mississippi permanently took down the state flag from its campus. A long overdue step by Student leaders which will inevitably pressure the State to do the same.

As I’ve said before, in historical context, this is sort’ve the equivalent of Berlin taking down the Nazi flag in the year 2095.

If you want to better understand why America still struggles with the racial wounds of its past, look no further than the refusal to take down this awful flag.

If ‘Black Lives Mattered’ in this country, all these flags would’ve come down GENERATIONS ago.

If you want to better understand the difference between ‘Racism’ (as a social construct) and simply being Prejudice, look no further than this flag. Racism is the power to execute and maintain Prejudicial laws and oppressive systems. If Blacks had any real institutional power, they would have brought these flags down years ago. But, that’s not how this particular country works. They have had to wait for institutions Historically controlled by Whites to catch up.

From this old confederate flag in Mississippi, to newly racist Voter ID laws in Alabama, to racially bias Police targeting and disparate sentencing of people of color from California to New York, they are still waiting for us to catch up.

Donald Trump Is Feeling The Bern

I want to take this time to recognize Donald Trump for his courageous admission today that it’s important we preserve longstanding Democratic Socialist programs within our American system of Capitalism.

And I quote, directly from The Donald’s twitter:

Let me repeat that again…

“Ben Carson wants to abolish Medicare – I want to save it and Social Security.”

Even Donald Trump is feeling The Bern.

Quote that!!!

-Nate Mezmer (Few May Know)

p.s. – If you’re unfamiliar with Socialism in an American History context, understand that ‘Social Democracy’ is 100% American, and it’s also very Christian as well. Recall, the great American author Kurt Vonnegut musing about what what would Jesus do in regards to Socialism:

“How about Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes?

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the Earth.

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.”

* * * *

Crony Capitalism: Hillary Clinton’s Money Trail

This is Crony Capitalism.

Democracy is supposed to be ‘by the people, for the people.’ It’s not supposed to be ‘Corporations buy the politician.’

Hillary Clinton’s Top 10 cumulative donors between 1999 and 2016: Citigroup ($782,327), Goldman Sachs ($711,490), DLA Piper ($628,030), JPMorgan Chase ($620,919), EMILY’s List ($605,174) Morgan Stanley ($543,065), Time Warner, who owns CNN ($411,296), Skadden Arps ($406,640), Lehman Brothers ($362,853) and Cablevision Systems ($336,288).

hilary-630

“In four years as the nation’s top diplomat, Clinton made dozens of sales pitches on behalf of U.S. companies. In 2009 she toured a Boeing plant in Moscow and met with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to persuade state-owned Russian Technologies to buy 50 Boeing 737s instead of jets made by Airbus. That $3.7 billion deal was one of several large contracts Clinton helped clinch for Boeing (BA). In December 2011, Lockheed Martin (LMT) announced a $7.2 billion deal to upgrade Japan’s aging fighter jet fleet, beating out Eurofighter. Clinton advocated for the contract with her Japanese counterpart at the United Nations General Assembly. In February 2012, Space Systems/Loral, which builds communications satellites in Palo Alto, won a contract for equipment to create a national broadband network in Australia. Clinton met with former Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd several times to press for the deal. Last summer, Clinton’s undersecretary for economic growth, Robert Hormats, a former Goldman Sachs (GS) vice chair, took executives from Google (GOOG), MasterCard(MA), and Dow Chemical (DOW) to Myanmar to network with government officials, the first such meeting since sanctions against the country were lifted in 2012.” – Source: Bloomberg News

Hillary Clinton made $3.15 million in 2013 alone from speaking to firms like Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank and UBS, according to the list her campaign released of her speaking fees.” – Source: CNN Money

* * * *

#FEWMAYKNOW 

Hillary Clinton, the Political Chameleon

Hillary Clinton is a political chameleon that will change her position based on whatever the political climate may be.
 
In 2002, she was a coward on Iraq.
 
Her feigned remorse can only be outdone by her husband, the master of false sincerity. Today, Bill Clinton expresses deep regret for his co-starring roll in the 90’s hit “3 Strikes and your out,” when as President he played a major part in the push for #DisparateSentencing laws & #MandatoryMinimums that helped to destroy much of the progress made by the Black community in America after the civil rights struggles of the 60’s. All while he happily pranced around when it was convenient as the honorary ‘first Black President.’ Remember that? Cuz he played a sax on Arsenio but he “didn’t inhale.” The same slick Billy Clint that signed the fateful repeal of the #GlassStegall act that would help to usher in the economic collapse of 2007. Not to mention he was commander and chief when the United States sat on its hands as 1 MILLION human beings were massacred in Rwanda. I guess that wasn’t good politics? But yet he valiantly intervened in Kosovo.
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The entire time Hillary has been waiting her turn. Bobbing, weaving, and repositioning herself for her own political aspirations. She was supposed to be the one in 2008, if it wasn’t for that meddling Obama. Do not forget her campaign staff sent a photo to right-wing radio host Matt Drudge, of then Senator Obama dressed in the traditional clothes of a Somali elder on a visit to Kenya. The tactic was devilishly malicious and meant to bolster the narrative that Barack Obama was un-American and “not one of us.” Indeed, she was supposed to be the one suited for the “3AM phone call” to capture Bin Laden. Not some foolish young Black man from South Chicago trying to change the world.
 
So, when Anderson Cooper asked her point-blank: Will you say anything to get elected? I think a lot of the people watching at home familiar with her record wanted to jump in and say, “Yes.” She quickly retorted about her ‘values’ with “well, actually I’ve been very consistent over the course of my entire life.” I chuckled, and thought to myself… an entire life of political maneuvering?
Hillary and Bill Clinton
 
In 2008, the last time Hillary was in a presidential debate, she was against Marriage Equality, she was a much more vocal supporter of the 2nd Amendment, she stood firmly behind her Iraq War vote, and was against driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants. Last night, she had magically flipped on all those issues. Her biggest ‘Flip-flop’ however has been on the #TPP deal that she pushed as the Secretary of State, and now suddenly is against it. It’s not like she wasn’t familiar with disastrous trade deals. After all, her husband signed into law #NAFTA back in the early 90’s which helped usher in the Global corporate hegemony in which we now exist, where American workers are stripped of their value and living standards, effectively destroying what was once considered by some as the American dream. Her husband then promised “more jobs” and opportunities based on the deal with Mexico and Canada but the opposite happened. Although the deal was not entirely all Bill’s doing, it was birthed under Reagan and carried along by the First Bush, he certainly was the one that victoriously claimed it, sealing the deal with a creepy wink and a dirty kiss on the mouth.
 
So, why is Hillary suddenly against the TPP and simultaneously experiencing great clarity on her mistaken Iraq war vote?
 
You can thank two major factors for her shifty vibes.
 
One reason is: The Internet.
 
People like us on Social Media now have the ability to call Bull Sh*t. We can take our grievances to Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, and believe it or not, those things add up. Hillary learned the hard way that if you underestimate the groundswell of grass-roots movements you can get steamrolled by the younger generation. Those idealistic fools.
 
The other reason she’s flipping around like a fish out of water is simply because of Bernie Sanders.
 
The Populist candidate from Vermont has become more than a thorn in her side, and is drawing the largest crowds of anyone campaigning for President, including Donald Trump, even though up until last night he’s received practically no mainstream media attention (until he blew up Google during the debate). This is why we are seeing and hearing a new version of ‘Hillary Clinton’ that conveniently sounds a lot more like 2008 Barack Obama.
 
But don’t be fooled. This is how the “best politicians” operate. However, underneath it all she’s not a brave warrior for the people. She’s a 68 year old elitist Washington insider, with stronger ties to the establishment and the Military industrial complex than any other politician running for office in 2016. She may be able to talk the talk, but based on her record, she remains a bitter old war-hawk with no intentions of radically challenging the system in which she navigates. She’ll dine with Wall Street’s top brass and sip champagne with lobbyists for Private Prison companies. This is why her campaign is funded by shady Super PACs and Bernie’s campaign is completely made up of small donors.
 
So, while it would be “really cool” to elect a Woman as President of the United States, I’d rather elect a person that actually believes in what they are saying. Bernie Sanders may be older as well, but he isn’t full of nearly as much cow manure and he’s no fool either. Although he remains a little too weak on Gun Control, primarily because he reps the gun-loving little state of Vermont, his main agenda has consistently revolved around the idea that greedy corporate powers have absolutely corrupted the process in Washington DC, and that Wealthy elites who rig the system are the greatest threat to the Middle class and the American dream. He has been very vocal about these facts for over 20 years, and in the wake of the 2007 collapse, he’s been proven to be right about “crony-Capitalism” and unchecked Wall Street greed. He also fully admits that no candidate running for President can do anything about all of this without widespread support from the majority of Americans. I say, at least he’s honest.
 
#FeelTheBern
#FewMayKnow

When The Cows Go Mad: The Israeli Occupation of Palestinian Land

If you kick people out of the their neighborhoods by brute force, bulldoze their homes and build over them with yours, and then dance around on top of their sacred places. You’re not a settler. You’re an Occupier.

This is the story of Israel’s violent and oppressive subjugation of the Palestinian people. The Palestinians are treated like cattle on their own land, and then the Israeli’s cry foul (and shoot them) when the cows go Mad.

Father: “Please wake up, wake up, no please leave her with me.” She was killed in an Israeli air strike in Gaza, along with her mother, Nour Hassan, who was 5 months pregnant.

Posted by Omar Albach on Sunday, October 11, 2015

 

The United States in return fully supports the behavior with Billions of dollars and pathetically weak paternal advice. Much like bad parents would tell a spoiled child to please stop jumping up and down on the sofa. But the child does not listen and instead begins to throw toys at the dog. This goes on for years and the parents never properly reprimand the kid, continuing to supply the child with candy and more toys. Then when the animal finally bites the child the solution is to have the animal put to sleep.

They tell themselves, “It was bound to happen, the animal was a rescue.”

Of course, this is just a simple analogy. It’s actually much worse than that. For greater accuracy, the metaphor would need to involve dropping one-ton bombs on the neighbors. Years later, the surviving children of the neighbors grow up and return for retribution armed with a knife, so you shoot them with an M-16 rifle.

Social Media Whiteout of the Million Man March

Was there really a media ‘Blackout’ of the 20th Anniversary of the ‪#‎MillionManMarch‬ yesterday in DC? If so, would that really surprise you at this point? Hundreds of thousands of Black folks organizing peacefully to demand Justice Reform and changes in their own community. That doesn’t sell on Corporate Media Entertainment channels.

Screen Shot 2015-10-11 at 12.10.44 PM

But perhaps its not just a Media ‘Blackout,’ as it is also a Blackout within your own personal Timeline. That is, unless you are connected to people that are interested, or were participating in the MMM in DC, I think it’s safe to assume that your “feed” on a Saturday afternoon might only feature things like: Brunches, Drinks, Outdoors, Weddings, Sports, and Nightlife.

Maybe instead of it just being a ‘Media Blackout’ it’s also a Social Media Whiteout.

EXCEPT, I must say this… Shouts out to ‪#‎SnapChat‬ for featuring the 20th Anniversary of the Million Man March in their Featured Feed! If it wasn’t for that I personally wouldn’t have seen much of anything on it until the following day.

Quite literally, ‪#‎FewMayKnow‬.

 

Rest in Peace and Power: Grace Lee Boggs

One of the great humans of the past century passed away yesterday. Grace Lee Boggs was 100 years old. I did not know her personally but she was very much a personal hero of mine. An American revolutionary who helped lead the Black Power movement in Detroit in the 1960’s with her husband Jimmy Boggs, and would go on to become one of the leading activists for social change in this country for over 7 decades.

Grace was truly one of the most influential voices I’ve ever come across, with a smile that will enlighten you and inspire you to lead. Please take some time to watch “American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs,” the documentary on her life. You will be more than inspired! (links below)

“We are the leaders we’ve been looking for”Grace Lee Boggs

Watch it here on HULU with commercials. It’s also on Netflix.

Rest in peace, and power.

#FewMayKnow

LA Times obituary: Grace Lee Boggs