An excellent 12 minutes about the social construction of race and how knowing this idea can help to have conversations about race.
Funny and approachable.
The noted video blogger opens up about what got him interested in talking about race.
Put this on FB this morning.
Heard news peeps, based on recent census, describing how the US will become a “majority-minority” nation by 2020 or so. Can we kill that phrase now? If no single group is more than 50%, it is called pluralism folks. Or, multiculturalism. Or anything but majority-minority.
Among various problems. it perpetuates some idea that white majority is the natural or desired state of the USA. Look, when the “white” population falls below 50% it is just not the majority. OK? Deal with it. The term sounds like whities get together at my house on Wednesday while the blacks, browns, yellows, reds, and all other hues get together at Denzel Washington’s. It is just not that bipolar anymore. I’m not saying some sort of utopia of “i’d like to sing the world a song” will happen, just that identity, justice, controversy, politics, love and marriage, and schooling will be full of problems and promises in new ways.
At the end of this long WaPo article on an 89 year old, Black member of the White House staff, and his wife who also worked there, came this absolute gut wrencher.
They talked about praying to help Barack Obama get to the White House. They’d go vote together. She’d lean on her cane with one hand, and on him with the other, while walking down to the precinct. And she’d get supper going afterward. They’d gone over their Election Day plans more than once.
“Imagine,” she said.
“That’s right,” he said.
On Monday Helene had a doctor’s appointment. Gene woke and nudged her once, then again. He shuffled around to her side of the bed. He nudged Helene again. He was all alone.
“I woke up and my wife didn’t,” he said later.
Some friends and family members rushed over. He wanted to make coffee. They had to shoo the butler out of the kitchen.
The lady whom he married 65 years ago will be buried today.
The butler cast his vote for Obama on Tuesday. He so missed telling his Helene about the black man bound for the Oval Office.
Op-Ed Columnist – In Defense of White Americans – NYTimes.com
When Obama cited her in his speech on race last spring, the right immediately accused him of “throwing his grandmother under the bus.” But Obama’s critics were merely projecting their own racial hang-ups. He still loves his grandmother. He was merely speaking candidly and generously — like an adult — about the strange, complex and ever-changing racial dynamics of America. He hit a chord because many of us have had white relatives of our own like his, and we, too, see them in full and often love them anyway.
Many of my white, educated friends (just the people supposedly immune to racial stereotyping or prejudice) openly acknowledge our shock at the amount of subtle racist thinking that shows up in tests like the implicit racial bias test. Unions, pop culture (Eminem anyone? Or Hootie and the Blowfish?), sports teams, public school, and, of course, the original integrator, the US military have done a lot to create millions of moments for people to know each other as individuals and forge some sense of solidarity. My point is that racial bias, in its subtle form, extends everywhere (ask Hispanics or Koreans about Blacks, for example, or vice verse) and that social fact CAN and DOES exist in quirky disharmony with the human capacity to interact and relate across a myriad divides and misunderstandings.
Racism in the face of the yawning maw of economic collapse is a luxury only zealous ideologues can afford. And most Americans are pretty pragmatic.