Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Things That Piss Me Off Tuesday - the still not a post racial society edition...

I'm in a mood. This will, in all likelihood be similar to me right now. Abrupt and full of snark.

Let's just get it over with.

Yesterday was Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. I spent just about the entire day teaching my kids about him, about the civil rights movement in general, about why there is so much work yet to be done. As part of that, I had them all watch the eulogy that President Obama gave at the funeral for Rev. Clementa Pinckney last summer. After dinner, we all sat down and watched Selma as well. (If you are an Amazon Prime subscriber, it is available on there currently. I highly recommend watching it.)

I also urge you to watch the eulogy if you didn't watch it live.

I'm in a mood because of MLK Day, because of the people who try and twist his words, misuse his legacy to try and imply that either we live in some illusioned post-racial society, or that his focus on non-violence should be used to shush protesters.


We don't live in a post racial society, and he'd understand probably better than anyone why people are angry. Watching the movie last night, knowing that the VRA was effectively undone in large sections by the Supreme Court just recently made me so very disappointed. We have to do better, and to do that, we need to open our eyes to reality, not imagine that the world we live in is beyond all this already.

There are so many instances of racial injustice, even just in the news this week. Here are a few of them.

Had what has happened in Flint happened anywhere, I'd certainly hope that we'd be outraged. The fact that the affected population is predominately black and low income, that every young child is assumed to suffer from lead poisoning, that those in charge knew damn well what was happening and chose to do nothing, all horrible and unimaginable truths. The people in charge, the ones who made these short sighted and damaging decisions absolutely must be held accountable for what they have done.

Throw child abuse charges at them for every single sick child, negligent homicide for the Legionnaire's deaths. Throw the entire goddamn book at them.  They knew, they knew and they tried to cover it up. It's sick. All of it.

Governor Rick Snyder shouldn't just forced to resign or be impeached, he should be held criminally liable.

FLOTUS and her dress
The State of the Union address was last week. Michelle Obama wore a yellow dress to the event, and the internet immediately erupted, questioning the cost of her dress, whether the poor blacks who voted her husband into office would approve, wanting to know how she could justify spending money on a dress and worse. So. Much. Worse.

I will not even get into the names I saw her called.


People seem to forget that both of the Obamas had successful careers prior to their time in the White House. They seem to believe that it's appropriate to question every single expenditure of the couple, as though how they choose to spend their personal income has any bearing whatsoever on the public. It's no one's business.

The Happy Slaves Book, 2016
I simply cannot believe that in the year 2016 this would even be happening, but a book was recently published and distributed on Scholastic's website about George Washington's birthday. Specifically, the book was about the slaves who happily prepared his birthday cake. 

After widespread criticism and accusations that the book perpetuates the whitewashing of history, Scholastic announced that they would no longer be selling the book. And almost immediately, people started to cry censorship in response...not seeming to realize that a company's refusal to distribute materials largely considered to be revisionist and offensive is not equivalent in any way to state-sponsored censorship.

Scholastic is a school based book distributor. They have a responsibility here to do a better job. Period.

There really is no excuse.

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