Friends share #afterthoughts in the days following #Ferguson and #EricGarner.
Analilia Mejía, on Facebook
07 Dec 2014 at 08:42
Watching a White Christmas for the first time this morning and all I can think of is that this exemplifies the economic disadvantage forced on people of color.. There are no black soldiers in the 151 Division, in fact no black characters asides for the AA car porter (whom at the time would have been discriminated against in employment, advancement and pay). All of the happy GI’s who created comfortable lives (enough to drop everything and head to Vermont) did so through their access to higher Ed, a growth in professional jobs and their ability to build equity in a newly created suburbia. Blissfully ignorant (or directly complicit) to the denial of the same benefit to AA GI’s. Redlining prevented home purchases and neighborhood covenants kept them out of suburbia (and its schools). Racism denied (and denies) equal access and advancement into more lucrative jobs and careers. The American Legion and VFW routinely denied claims of African Americans in pursuit of higher education, and those who did access it where barred by racist policies in many universities, or limited to increasingly strained HBCU’s and even then faced the hurdles of an inferior preparation by Jim Crow segregated AND unequal k-12 schools.. This all led to a wealth gap passed on through generations. Your comforts today are DIRECTLY influenced by your grandparents owning a home, generations of superior education impacts how well YOU did (much less if you went). This inequity is exacerbated today by the foreclosure crisis that disproportionately dismantles POC communities thanks to predatory lending. All of this didn’t happen centuries ago and hence we are past it. This systemic racism has tentacles that reach back into times of slavery, peonage re-enslavement, Jim Crow, the struggles of the civil rights era and into today with the subsequent dismantling of that dream through continued inequity in education, mass incarceration, an unjust justice system to name a few.. But much like those soldiers and Bing in that movie, most of white America is OBLIVIOUS to all of this. Insulated or intentionally blind. Lucky them, they get to dream about a White Christmas while black mothers are mourning their sons and WE continue to lose our belief in the system this holiday season…
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There are times in history when the story of current events – what we know as news – enters a state of flux. New voices emerge to tell the stories of people and our world that are happening in real time. Today, we see this with YouTube, blogging, social media, community radio and TV. Periods of change can also be times of danger. People’s right to know must be protected and reporters must hold themselves responsible for present facts and truth without embellishment as far as they are able to discern them … in other words, the principles of expository journalism must be upheld.
Chloé Simone Valdary is young Black non-Jewish woman Zionist who believes that the current worldwide campaign to create unfounded hatred of Jews and Israel has been artificially engineered by Arab oil magnates, and is funded with their fortunes. Chloé established the group “Allies for Israel” at the University of New Orleans where she studies, to fight “anti-Israel sentiment and anti-Semitism on campus”.
In Tablet Magazine Chloé explains why an anti-Israeli/Jewish position is fundamentally wrong, especially for African Americans:
If this money comes from sincerity (their heart) it is a blessing, but if it comes with “strings attached” the Koch brothers will have not surprised us. They will show us as usual their true colors! Win-win situation either way!
My thoughts are different:
Not necessarily, Maria. The insidious multi-level strategies that typically accompany gifts by the rich and powerful are designed to have subtle, but long-lasting and far reaching effect. First we should ask, what is being asked for as a direct trade for the gift? We may never know everything that was bargained away behind closed doors but we do know that two Koch Brothers designees will sit on a scholarship decision committee of three that will decide which students get that blood money. Right out of the gate, it’s clear that the money was not given with an open hand.
Four years is a long time in community college terms but it was so worth it to keep on working at bringing this program to Bergen Community College. I got to know so much about the college and campus organizing just by recruiting advisors, speakers and participants to the College Leadership Development Program. 2014 CLDP @ Bergen Cohort members are enjoying participation tremendously, and the speakers we’ve brought in are enjoying us!
Thanks to USHLI for dreaming up a really good program and providing us with guidance to get it off the ground, to our speakers, donors and advisors, to BCC for hosting our evening workshops and to Kimi Wei of The Wei for so much help.
~ Jorge Ivan Gomez Wei
We’re fundraising to cover the cost of food served at the five College Leadership Develop Program (CLDP) workshops we just completed … and hopefully, we’ll receive a few thousand more dollars to get to the USHLI National Conference in Chicago. Participants in the inaugural CLDP at Bergen Community College are invited as USHLI’s guests!
The CLDP @ BERGEN students and The Wei Team which organized the CLDP @ BERGEN workshop series thank our awesome sponsors for helping us enjoy great food during our sessions. We also thank our advisors Gene Calderón and Johanna Heule and the beautiful speakers who brought words of enlightenment, hope and knowledge to this project and all of its participants.
BCC students Jorge Ivan Gomez Wei and Ari Lopez Wei brought an exciting college completion and student engagement initiative to Bergen Community College this winter of 2014, one which promises to boost Latino student success. The Wei Development Team supports the program with pro-bono technical assistance and BCC provides the venue for most workshops. College staff members Gene Calderón and Johanna Heule serve as advisors and the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute (USHLI) is the program’s conceptual creator.