Race, Racism and the Law: December 2004 PLAIN TEXT
Race, Racism and the Law
December 2004 Volume 6 Number 6
Speaking Truth to Power!!
This is the holiday season! Ramadan is over Christmas, Hannacuk and Kwanzaa, Winter Solitice are all on there way. We can take this time as opportunity to reflect on our blessings. It is also a perfect opportunity to reflect on how religion and holiday traditions have been construct to reinforce white supremacy and institutional racism. For an excellent essay, read Tim Wise's article "Dreaming of a Non-White Christmas".
Another point of reflection. What will four more years of George W. Bush mean for communities of color? We know full well what the last four years meant. In an assessment of the civil rights record of the Bush administration, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights released a draft report that concludes the administration failed to exhibit leadership or define a clear focus, relegating civil rights to a "low priority.
Yet, the Democrats offer only marginal improvement when it comes to addressing issues of racism, particularly institutional racism. If you didn't notice "racism" is a dirty word that was barely mention during the campaign and once again the democrats conceded rather than fight to protect the right of every vote counting. Once again Black votes are allowed to be cast aside.
So the problem we are facing is one of degrees rather than difference!
Yours in the Struggle!
Professor of Law
The University of Dayton
Dreaming of a Non-White Christmas: Santa, Jesus and the Symbolism of White Supremacy
The Civil Rights Record of George W. Bush
Law Review Articles
Race and Health Care
Test Your Hidden Bias
Race, Racism and the Law (Site Outline)
Dreaming of a Non-White Christmas:Santa, Jesus and the Symbolism of White Supremacy
Well it's that time of year again. Time for all good Americans to focus on what really matters. Not family, community, or world peace, but that national sacrament of late-stage capitalism known as Holiday shopping. Whether you do it online, or drag yourself to the mall amidst the sea of humanity scrapping and fighting for the latest must-have gizmo, rest assured that your actions are vital to the national interest. In fact, the annual consumer bonanza unleashed in the last fiscal quarter is so central to defining life in the U.S. that the economy's strength in the beginning of the following year is literally tied to how much stuff we buy. So get out there and do your duty: Buy American. Be American. Shop till you drop, and remember, this is what it means to be a patriot!
Now, being one who doesn't like to give advice that I myself am unwilling to follow, I must say that I too have been making the pilgrimage to the shopping centers lately, both to purchase desired items, and also to observe others in the process of this sociologically fascinating ritual. As someone who regularly writes about racism, you can probably imagine that I have long been especially intrigued by the way in which Holiday symbolism replicates notions of whiteness as rightness, and acts to reinforce, however subtly, racial supremacism. Yet, the full force of this process never really hit me until last week.
It was then that I found myself at the mall, passing a line of parents and their children, waiting to have a few seconds alone with Santa. You know Santa, right? The big white guy who only works one day a year and yet no one calls him lazy; the big white guy who exploits elfin labor in a sweatshop for no pay while his wife does all the housework, and yet no one calls him a slave master; the big white guy who invades millions of homes on Christmas Eve and yet, no one arrests him for breaking and entering. Yeah, that one.
Though there has been an attempt to make use of Santas of color in malls around the country lately, I think we can all agree this is pretty absurd: if Santa were black, there is little question he'd have been shot dead years ago in the vestibule of some New York City apartment by the NYPD's Street Crimes Unit. After all, how could the cop be sure that toy gun he was bringing to the child inside wasn't real? Better safe than sorry -- and anyway, that bright red suit would make him a logical target, seeing as how red is the color favored by members of the Bloods street gang.
But it wasn't this kind of irony about a black Santa that animated the comment I heard while strolling through the mall that day. No, it was pure racial resentment and nothing else leading the white woman, child in tow, to say to her friend, "don't you think it's silly to have these Black Santas? Everybody's trying to be so P.C. I mean, come on, a Black Santa? Everyone knows Santa is white."
Her friend of course agreed. Everyone knows Santa -- a make believe entity for those who haven't figured it out yet -- is white. The insistence on the racial purity of this entirely fictional being, as if this was a real person, struck me as hilarious, and right up there with the folks who send get well cards to their favorite soap opera characters when they fall ill on the shows. Ronald and Nancy Reagan are reported to have done this once. Fantasy, reality, ah screw it, who cares? I'm starting to realize the awful truth: white people are certifiably insane. ( Click here to Continue )
Black People Love Us! (funny, smart site on white interpersonal racism)
Blinded by the White: We Caucasians would prefer to ignore our preferences
Evaluating Native American Health Care Services
Ohio Dilemma: Race and the State Bill of Rights
Proslavery Constitution and Current Day Race Relations
Racial Terrorism and Its Relations to the United States Armed Force
Racial Terrorism and the First Amendment
Racism v Colorism - A Wrong Headed Debate
Reparations and the Failure of the Constitutional Amendments
Senator Edward on Institutional Racism (goto 7min 55sec)
The Best Interests of the South African Child
The Power of White Privilege in Racially Mixed Schools
Race, HealthCare and the LawIf you work in the area of health care, Health policy or health law and would like to be a part of an online discussion/information group on "Race, HealthCare and the Law, contact me. race.mail@...
Test Your Hidden BiasEven though we believe we see and treat people as equals, hidden biases may still influence our perceptions and actions. Social psychologists think stereotypes and prejudice linger in most of us. Created by psychologists at Harvard and the University of Washington, this collection of Hidden Bias Tests (called Implicit Association Tests, or IATs, in the academic world) measure unconscious bias.
Civil Rights Record of George W. BushPress Release
In an assessment of the civil rights record of the Bush administration, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights released a draft report that concludes the administration has failed to exhibit leadership or define a clear focus, relegating civil rights to a low priority.
The report, Redefining Rights in America-The Civil Rights Record of the George W. Bush Administration, 2001-2004 , analyzes scores of policy reports, scholarly papers, briefs and executive orders to chart the administration's responses to a broad spectrum of civil rights issues. Similar criteria have guided evaluations of previous administrations, including the civil rights review on former President Clinton released in 2000.
Some highlights of the report include:
* Voting Rights: The Bush administration did not provide leadership to ensure timely passage and swift implementation of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002. As a result, Congress did not appropriate funds for election reform until almost two years into the administration.
* Equal Educational Opportunity: The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) does not sufficiently address unequal education, a major barrier to closing the achievement gap between minority and white students.
* Affirmative Action: Instead of promoting affirmative action in federal contracting and education, the administration promotes "race neutral alternatives," in many instances not applicable and in others not overly effective at maintaining diversity.
* Environmental Justice: EPA has taken few actions to ensure disparate impact of minority communities to environmental contamination.
* Racial Profiling: The administration responded to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks by instituting regulations that facilitate profiling rather than prevent it. Immigrants and visitors from Arab and Middle Eastern countries were subjected to increased scrutiny, including interviews, registration, and in some cases removal.
For Complete Report:
Law Reviews on Race and Racism
Law Reviews on Race and Racism is a searchable database of law review articles on race, health and other topics of interest to the anti-racism activist. The database is updated regularly. This update includes over 90 articles in the following areas: http://academic.udayton.edu/race/LReviews/0412.htm
Specific Racial Group
*African/ Black Americans
*International Racial Groups
*Latina(o)/ Hispanic American
*Native American / Eskimo
*Pacific American/Native Hawaiian
Children and Teenagers
Church and Religion
Class, Wealth & Poverty
Criminal Justice: Sentencing
Criminal Justice (Generally)
Criminal Justice: Racial Profiling
Economics: Economic Development
Employment and Labor
Environment and Environmental Justice
Gender Issues: Generally
Gender: Domestic Violence
Health and Health Care
Housing and Land
Law and Lawyers
Racism: Cultural & Institutional
Voting Rights and Political Power
For the listing of articles go to the following: More...
Race , Racism and the Law
ChaptersRace and Racial Groups
Justice and Race
Patterns of Basic Needs
Who is White?
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