Tag: Racism in America

Get Ready: It’s WTF Time, Y’all

I want to tell you a story. The characters in this story came from many lands, but eventually their view of themselves sorted around one fact: they did not come from Africa. Or China…or anywhere “that just doesn’t look white.” I’m a character in this story, the starring role, in fact. Fair warning: I’m not the hero. The Story Once...

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Do You Know Your Patterns of Racism?

All the news about attacks on Asian Americans, I wanted to speak out. So I began writing a blog post, and soon enough, I took a hard turn and found myself re-hashing our national history of white racism toward Black folks, with some scant references to indentured Chinese. I wrote, and I revised, and somehow I couldn’t get it right. Then I realized,...

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If We Don’t Know about Racism, Maybe it’s Our Own Fault

The Public Defender broke the news: the DA was dismissing the charges against my friend. We were seated in his office, a small, square space with a desk and chair and not much else. I was there in my year-long wade through racism and incompetence in support of my friend. A white woman had claimed—three months after the fact—he had stolen her purse....

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Malcolm X has died, and I am Full of Sorrow

Malcolm has died three times in my last four months. First, he died in Manning Marable’s Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention. Then he went silent at the end of The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told To Alex Haley. But his death in Les Payne’s The Dead are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X was the most difficult. In Les Payne’s opus,...

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When a White Woman Accuses a Black Man

He was a writer, a man I’ll call Jonathan. Jonathan was in writing group with me one hour before he was accused of having snatched a purse from a woman on the street, a felony even though the purse had less than $10 in it. I told the investigators that Jonathan had just left writing group when this crime supposedly occurred; there was no way...

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