Category Archives: racism

Long Beach Rally for Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and the many more

BWMTSC endorses a rally on Tuesday, December 9th 20144:00PM – 7:00PM  at Long Beach City Hall333 W. Ocean Ave. Long Beach, CA 

Faith and community leaders will gather in solidarity, prayer, and peaceful protest in response to the recent grand jury decisions involving the deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and the many lost lives and victims of structural, systemic, and institutional racism. Members of a number of interfaith and community organizations including Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE-LA), Greater Long Beach Interfaith Community Organization (ICO), and South Coast Interfaith Council (SCIC) will stand together in solidarity to say enough is enough, and will offer their prophetic and public witness in prayers for all the youth, family, and friends affected by police brutality. All people are invited to join us in prayer, protest, and songs for hope and change.You are welcome to bring a candle and/or signs.


Immigration Reform Part 2 : LGBT Immigrants

So far, so good. President Obama has given opportunity to immigrants to “come out” (see earlier blog), but how about those that have to come out as immigrants and queer? As a gay man and a first generation immigrant I applaud him. LGBT people who were deported and returned to the US will not have to fear being stuck in a revolving door. 

The president has previously given Deferred Action to Childhood Arrivals (DACA). At least 200,000 undocumented LGBT immigrants are now eligible for legal status.  An estimated 10 percent of DACA recipients identify as LGBT. The President’s new plan will make an estimated 300,000 more people eligible for DACA. LGBT citizens and lawful permanent residents no longer need to live in fear that their parents will be deported. This is particularly risky for same-sex couples since nearly 80 countries criminalize being LGBT. (see for example, NABWMT Board Press Release). It also saves same-sex binational couples from years of painful separation.

The President’s plan is temporary during his last years in office and would be subject to possible rejection afterwards. Long term policies should recognize LGBT folk and their families, in immigration and also in our asylum and refugee systems.

The action also ends Secure Communities and prevents police profiling of LGBT people from ending in deportation. 73 percent of LGBT people report encountering police in the last 5 years.

The President took the first step, but it’s up to Congress to pass legislation to fully protect LGBT immigrants.

Source: LGBT Progress.

Immigration Reform: Chance for Blacks to Form Political Coalitions With Other People of Color

Why Blacks Should Support Immigration     

— because it is about their political survival.

There are 44 million blacks and 52 million Hispanics. Although white Hispanics are the most visible, many immigrants from Mexico, Cuba, Columbia, Peru and other Latin countries self identify as black and will contribute to the “browning” of America. For African Americans, it’s an opportunity to create political coalitions with other people of color.

Facing a high unemployment rate, most African Americans falsely believe that the absence of foreigners who “take jobs” will benefit them in the current labor market. They may be unaware that the black unemployment rate since 1970 has always been twice that of their white counterparts. Very often African Americans have adopted the attitudes of early-19th-century whites who wanted to send Africans back to Africa.

The tragic death of Trayvon Martin and its aftermath is perhaps one of the lowest points for the black community since the civil rights movement. During that era, it was necessary to find commonality with people of different races and ethnicities who powered that social movement.

As Dr. King stated in his Letter from Birmingham Jail (in part):  
“Migrants who have entered the country without inspection or have overstayed their visas lack lawful immigration status. Because of legal changes over the past decade, they often have no way to normalize their status.[[23]] As long as the law remains unchanged, these individuals will be forced to live in the shadows of society — illegally.”

This is a “wedge” issue that comes up pitting blacks against browns. But a comprehensive analysis of Census data from hundreds of U.S. metropolitan areas indicate that immigration from Latin America improves wages and job opportunities for African Americans. This analysis shows, in fact, that Latino immigrants and African Americans fill complementary roles in the labor market. Cities with greater immigration from Latin America experience higher wages for African Americans, lower shares of African Americans in poverty and lower African American unemployment.

As President Obama prepares to address the nation on his Deferred Action consider his message and actions.

(Sources: The Root, Media Matters for America, American Immigration Council) 

Privilege, Part 2

In an earlier blog, (Black, White, and other Privileges) I wrote about all forms of privilege. In this blog I focus on white guilt concepts.

As time moves on, the idea of “How long am I supposed to feel guilty about being white?  exists since “the racial ceiling has been shattered. Our president is black” has been said. It is not that simple!

Black/white economic inequality is greater in America today than it was in apartheid South Africa.
Discrimination exists against African-Americans in the labor market.
There is systematic bias in the prison industrial complex.
Public schools, libraries and legal institutions lag, are holding back working-class whites as well as blacks.
Job and housing discrimination abounds.
Black families have, on average, only about 6 percent as much wealth as white household
Only 44 percent of black families own a home compared with 73 percent for white households.
Black median household income is $34,598, compared with $58,270 for non-Hispanic whites
Black life expectancy is four years shorter than that of whites.

Those of us who are white sometimes have a capacity for delusions and forget the past can shape the present. Blacks have to climb a higher mountain than whites who had a longer head start in the relay of life.

We can make amends by trying to spread opportunity, by providing disadvantaged black kids an education as good as the one afforded privileged white kids?

Source: Nicholas White –

Africa: Black or Light Skinned

In a great article by Timothy Ntilosanjein in All Africa Blog he asks Malawians to “Stop racism, Be Proud to be Black! Be Proud to be African!”

African youths, he says, all want to be white. Be it black or light-skinned, we have different cultural believes, but these cultural believes are at risk of eradication as many tend to run away from embracing their true identity and assume a more public-preferred one.

He cites a good example is the use of skin-lightening cosmetics, also commonly known as bleaching has actually been an increase in its usage in the past few years, especially among young black women. Yet people he claims are still reluctant to talk about it, let alone admit using it. He goes on but with over-use, they can cause irreversible skin damage and other health problems. So, why do so many young black African women continue to use them?

Black celebrities, he says are even bleaching themselves. Some of the most notable Black celebrities accused of bleaching are Sammy Sosa, Rihanna, Beyoncé, and many others who are not famous, use dangerous skin bleaching creams.

Quotes from his findings are: “I just prefer light skin women”. “Dark skinned women just look wrong next to me”. “black community that has internalized white supremacist notions of beauty?”, “They use skin lightener to try to gain respect and to be treated as an equal”.

Timothy presents a good solution to these issues, namely educate black children at an early age about history and how race mixing was used as a weapon of mind control back in the day. Here in the US we have a continuing need to promote self esteem and education for people of all colors. Our Statement of Purpose guides us in that path.

The “New Jim Crow”, California and Prop 47 Passing

The Prison Industrial Complex that privatizes incarceration at a profit weaked a little with the passage of Prop. 47 in California, reducing some crime penalties. This is some relief for people of color who disproportionately suffer under thsi system. 

for common drug and theft crimes in California will be reduced from
potential felonies to misdemeanors, shortening the time some offenders
spend behind bars.

Crimes covered by the measure include drug
possession and the following offenses when less than $950 is involved:
shoplifting, check and credit fraud, forgery, theft and possession of
stolen goods.

As with other misdemeanors, the new maximum
sentence will be one year in jail, down from a maximum of three years.
Those with histories of violence or sex offenses will be ineligible for
the lighter sentences.

Anyone already serving prison time for a felony conviction on a
reclassified crime may be able to petition for a new sentence — even
those incarcerated under the state’s “three strikes” law.

reductions in state prison spending that result from Proposition 47 will
go to a fund for crime victims, the state jails commission and the
California Department of Education.

Source:  Los Angeles Times