Isaiah Webster

Tag: Racism

Hillary calls out white priviledge and racism in America

Speaking at the 83rd U.S. Conference of Mayors, Hillary Clinton directly addressed white privilege and racism. She was blunt:

“For a lot of well-meaning, open-minded white people, the sight of a young black man in a hoodie still evokes a twinge of fear. And news reports about poverty and crime and discrimination evoke sympathy, even empathy, but too rarely do they spur us to action or prompt us to question our own assumptions and privilege. We can’t hide from any of these hard truths about race and justice in America. We have to name them, and own them, and then change them.”

By my count, this is now the fourth or fifth time that Hillary Clinton has addressed this issue in the last 2 months. She previously addressed the inequities in the criminal justice system, and the ongoing attempts to disenfranchise voters of color.

It’s mind boggling to me that she’s facing a primary challenge for not being progressive enough! Watch:

Gov. Haley should use her bully pulpit to force removal of Confederate flag in S.C.

Nikki HaleySouth Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) has said all the right things since 9 of her constituents were gunned down in their church on Wednesday night. She even choked up talking about how the tragedy is a tragedy for all the people of South Carolina. That’s a great foundation to work from. Now, Nikki Haley should use her bully pulpit to push for the admonishment of the Confederate flag. The flag, a symbol of racism and hate, is still the state flag — and flew at full-mast the day after the shootings.

As you might expect, reasonable people have started a petition to have the flag removed. But a spokesperson for the governor, tried to pass the buck, when explaining why the symbol of hate wasn’t at least flying at half-mast:

“In South Carolina, the governor does not have legal authority to alter the flag. Only the General Assembly can do that.”

Though that may be technically true, as governor, Haley holds enormous sway and influence in her state. After all, her fellow citizens have twice elected her to speak for them. Unlike the legislature, Gov. Haley has a bully pulpit — she could use it to force the issue, and put intense pressure on the Assembly to act. This is the moment for strong leadership. If Gov. Haley truly wants to help the Black community in South Carolina heal, she should prove it and help remove a symbol of racism and hate — forever.

UPDATE 6/22/15: Gov. Haley has decided to call for the removal of the Confederate flag, multiple newspapers reported.

“Few are guilty, but all are responsible.”

SC

So here’s the thing: A white bigot commits an act of terrorism against the people of South Carolina, killing 9 Americans. In response, he wasn’t choked on a sidewalk or shot in the back — he was arrested peacefully. Meanwhile, other bigots — on racist cable networks — debate whether or not he committed a “hate crime.” Trying to figure out why a bigot did what bigots do, is pointless. It also absolves us of the role we’ve all played in this senseless tragedy.

Our president reminded us that we remain the only advanced nation with such uncontrolled gun violence. We ignore him, just as we have every other time he’s pleaded with us to come to our senses. As the state flag of South Carolina, the confederate flag still flies atop the state capitol. A flag that is the very symbol of racism and hate. Yet we are surprised that in such a state, a white man so freely enters a historic Black church and kills innocent Black people?

We allow police to administer justice without equity. We allow guns to proliferate. We allow symbols of hate to stand. And when challenged about our collective failings, we fight amongst ourselves — as Democrats or Republicans or Blacks or Whites or Cops or Politicians or Whatever. This is the society we have created for ourselves, and actually, it’s the greatest hate crime of them all.

As Abraham Joshua Heschel once said, “Few are guilty, but all are responsible.”