2020 continues to be a truly historic year, and the international protests for racial justice are unlike anything I've ever seen in my lifetime. I stand by this movement 100% and while I can not fully understand the fear and pain that black Americans live with constantly, I'm doing my best to listen to those who have felt this their whole lives and can help me understand it better.
You should be able to learn and make mistakes, and live a life of joy without having to worry about what's going to happen if you go to the store or go for a jog or are driving down the street or are looking at some birds in a park.
- Barack Obama, in yesterday's address
I think everybody understands all lives matter. I think the reason that the organizers used the phrase ‘Black Lives Matter’ was not because they were suggesting nobody else’s lives matter. Rather, what they were suggesting was there is a specific problem that’s happening in the African-American community that’s not happening in other communities. And that is a legitimate issue that we’ve got to address.
In an anti-racist move that demonstrates their formidable social-media power, K-Pop fans took over the hashtag #whitelivesmatter, drowning out white-supremacist messages with nonsensical or anti-racist posts. The move was met with wide approval online early Wednesday morning.
Individuals may not see themselves as racist, but they can still benefit from systems that privilege white faces and voices.
But I hope you can consider this: the American Dream cannot exist for only your children. We are all in this together, and we cannot feel safe until ALL our friends, loved ones, and neighbors are safe. The American Dream that we seek is a place where all Americans can live without fear of police violence. This is the future that I want -- and one that I hope you want, too. With love and hope, Your children
Williams and Lewis stood their ground at the front of the line. After a few moments, the troopers, with gas masks affixed to their faces and clubs at the ready, advanced. They pushed back Lewis and Williams. Then the troopers paced quickened. They knocked the marchers to the ground. They struck them with sticks. Clouds of tear gas mixed with the screams of terrified marchers and the cheers of reveling bystanders. Deputies on horseback charged ahead and chased the gasping men, women and children back over the bridge as they swung clubs, whips and rubber tubing wrapped in barbed wire. Although forced back, the protestors did not fight back.
It’s not being mistaken for a member of the support staff that troubles me, but what that mistake means. Whether they mean to or not, my fellow academics are betraying a toxic assumption: Even as I move about a university with a messenger bag over my shoulder and a stack of books in my arms, they refuse to see me as a member of the professional and intellectual community I’ve worked to join.
The term ‘colourblind racism’6 is used to describe the declaration that someone simply does not see colour, denoting a subtler form of racism than overt racism. Many White people who are not aware of (and would deny having) any racist tendencies unwittingly engage in it. Although this is not intentional, disregarding race in a setting with a strong imbalance in power -- as is the case in many US geoscience departments -- reinforces race being viewed by default from a perspective of being White.
Racial inequality has plagued the American economy for centuries, and the coronavirus pandemic has only heightened the dangers of the existing racial wealth gap. Notably, African Americans are disproportionately dying from COVID-19. Black-owned businesses are also far less likely to receive financial relief from the CARES Act, the enormous government aid bill passed by Congress in March.
We use data on police-involved deaths to estimate how the risk of being killed by police use of force in the United States varies across social groups. We estimate the lifetime and age-specific risks of being killed by police by race and sex. We also provide estimates of the proportion of all deaths accounted for by police use of force. We find that African American men and women, American Indian/Alaska Native men and women, and Latino men face higher lifetime risk of being killed by police than do their white peers.
This is a massive article, and I can’t make a single pull quote sum up the whole read, so I highly suggest taking an hour and reading this.