Friday, June 19, 2015

Is Terrorism A Hate Crime?

The shooting in Charleston, South Carolina is one of many instances in the news this year already where people's stereotypes about race has led to black Americans dying.  Rather than write yet another post on this topic, here are a selected few that look at the topic of racism from different perspectives.  The first one has gotten a lot of hits from google the last couple of days. 

Is Terrorism A Hate Crime?  -  This post examines the contradiction of those politicians and citizens who oppose the idea of 'hate crime'  when it adds to the severity of the penalty, yet strongly support the idea of 'terrorism' charges increasing the penalty.  This is a detailed look at the meaning of both terms and I quote the tortured logic of some of the folks who support or oppose them

Why Is It Hard To Talk About Racism? - This post outlines an approach I've used in workshops on racism to approach the topic in a way that is a little easier to get people talking.  Even so, some people will say it's not hard to talk about it and they have nothing more to say.

Michele Norris Talks About Race At UAA  - This post reports on NPR's Michele Norris' talk at UAA about her Race Card Project, getting people to write and post short cards online about what race means to them.  There's also a bit of video of Norris that evening in January 2014. 

"Like termites, they undermine the structure of any neighborhood in which they creep."  - This post reviews the book Some of My Best Friends Are Black by Tanner Colby, who went to Central High in Birmingham, after 'integration.'   His experience there causes him to first review how desegregation resulted in widespread loss of teaching jobs for black teachers and a resegregation in the schools.

He then goes on to look at how neighborhoods were segregated using federal home loan laws and restrictive covenants.  Here's a short quote from the post (and the book) about a real estate developer who destroyed neighborhoods by scaring white folks out of their city neighborhoods and into buying his suburban white by covenant housing developments. 
"But Nichols's most important contribution to the way we live wasn't something he invented himself.  He just perfected it.  And the thing he perfected was the all-white neighborhood, hardwired with restrictive covenants that dictated not only the size and shape of the house but the color of the people who could live inside.  This idea, the racialization of space, would take root deep in the nation's consciousness, for both whites and blacks alike, becoming so entrenched that all the moral might of the civil right crusade was powerless to dislodge it.  In the South, Jim Crow was just the law.  In Kansas City, J.C. Nichols turned it into a product.  Then he packaged it, commodified it, and sold it.  Whiteness was no longer just an inflated social status.  Now it was worth cash money." [p.82]
And to connect back to the title of this post, here's another quote from the post.
Colby then discusses Nichols' friends, a group of prominent developers from around the country who were the 'brain trust' of National Association of Real Estate Boards (NAREB). 

"Not by coincidence in 1924 NAREB made racial discrimination official policy, updating its code of ethics to say, 'A Realtor should never be instrumental in introducing into a neighborhood members of any race or nationality . . . whose presence will clearly be detrimental to the property values of that neighborhood.  Like termites, they undermine the structure of any neighborhood in which they creep."

[Reposted because of Feedburner problems.]

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