Dear G-d, this is such a powerful statement on the chilling effects of racism. Whether we choose to believe it or not, each of us is truly a product of the messages disseminated through our society and popular culture. That’s why it’s so important to expose ourselves to the least possible propaganda: avoid malls and shopping centers, watch less TV, do not frequent commercial websites. Have more f2f conversations with people. Walk and bike more. Get involved with your communities.
… I hadn’t realized it but I was crying. I must have been crying as he spoke to me. I thought about what it was that was making me so sad and I guess it was the recognition that I cannot escape the effects of our culture’s demonization of young black boys. I, who spend so much of my time in the presence of these young men, have internalized racism. Of course, I know this intellectually but it is something quite different to be called out on one’s internalized oppression and to have to face the fact that I am just like everyone else in America: I am afraid of the “criminalblackman” (a term that Kathryn Russell has coined). The “criminalblackman” mindset is pervasive and entrenched. The idea of young black men as being “problems” is a historical fact that has infected every institution in the country as well as infiltrated individual hearts and minds.”