Monday, July 5, 2010

Call For Coalition Building

Hello All,

I am currently reading Eduardo Bonilla-Silva's book Racism Without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and Racial Inequality in Contemporary America. It is a very enjoyable book and has furthered my interest in the study of race. Why is this relevant? Because in one of the chapters he discusses where he thinks race in America is headed. He states, "My basic claim is that all this reshuffling denotes that the biracial order typical of the United States, which was the exception in the world racial system, is evolving into a complex and loosely organized triracial stratification system similar to that of many Latin American and Caribbean nations. Specifically, I contend that the emerging triracial system will be comprised of "whites" at the top, an intermediary group of "honorary whites"-similar to the coloreds in South Africa during formal apartheid, and a nonwhite group or the "collective black" at the bottom." The context is that given higher rates of Latino immigration and other changes America is headed toward a triracial with light-skinned Latinos as honorary whites (like Cubans) and dark-skinned Latinos in the collective black (like Puerto Ricans). While I was hesitant to agree at first I think the evidence he provides does have some merit. That's not why I'm writing this post. I am writing because I want us to have a different future.

I'm making a call to all my sisters and brothers out there. My people of color. As Latinos, Asians, Blacks, and for good measure lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgendered individuals we must work together. We must build coalitions to work for social justice. We cannot push people down to make ourselves 'fit in' with white America, rather we need to level the playing field and make sure that we change America to make it an inclusive place. We do not need to fit the mold of 'America' but create a new America. Where we challenge stereotypes, where we think critically, where we can see the whole person. Until then we must continue to work for social justice.

Adios for now!


Sunday, July 4, 2010

'Happy' 4th of July

Hello All,

Today is the 4th of July, Independence Day here in the United States. It is a very interesting holiday. Americans declared independence from England and proceeded throughout America's history to oppress and conquer many peoples. An example is the island of Puerto Rico, among many others: Haiti, several Latin American countries and today in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Joe Feagin of Racism Review posted Frederick Douglass' 4th of July Speech which is a very interesting piece. As much as it is important to celebrate the accomplishments of this country, it is also important to remember the wrongs this country has done and continues to do. It is important that we as Americans work towards a better future for our children and their children's children.

How can we create this change? Well, Daisy Fernandez of Colorlines discussed 5 Ways to Celebrate the Fourth of July which can be a start. They are simple but can have a big impact. Today I personally shared information about the Oscar Grant trial with my Facebook friends, and hopefully they will share it with someone else. I also emailed President Barack Obama about my views on immigration.

This country is not perfect (and no country is) but what I love about this country is that I have the right to say that this country is wrong for fighting wars in the Middle East, for ousting leaders and replacing them with puppet governments, for slavery, and the list goes on. I can say that. I can have this blog and discuss my feelings and share them with the world. I am an American. I was born in the United States and have seen many things in this life. I know that the way to change this country, to make it work right, to help it live up to it's credo, to follow the principles of the Declaration of Independence, to make the statement Liberty and Justice for All an honest one, to work for social justice, to give voice to the voiceless, is to stay in this country, live here, work here, speak out, speak up, and stand by what I believe.

"Patriotism is not obedience to government it is obedience to the principles for which government is supposed to stand" Howard Zinn

Happy 4th of July and continue to fight the power!