I found this video on For Harriett and think it's especially worth sharing.
This blog isn't just about food, but life and current events too. So I try to bring up issues that are important to me and the world in general.
The Donald Sterling saga has many people discussing race and racism again. Hopefully the conversation will continue. Because talking about race is not the problem. It's the beginning of the solution. Are you part of the conversation?
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After just reading this article about Attorney General Eric Holder's recent commencement speech, I feel like I have to add a bit more to this conversation as well. Below is an excerpt from his speech.
These outbursts of bigotry, while deplorable, are not the true markers of the struggle that still must be waged, or the work that still needs to be done – because the greatest threats do not announce themselves in screaming headlines. They are more subtle. They cut deeper. And their terrible impact endures long after the headlines have faded and obvious, ignorant expressions of hatred have been marginalized.I may have shared these personal experiences regarding race on my blog before, but you may have not read those posts, so I'll risk the repetition.
One of my first jobs out of college was investigating allegations of discrimination in credit, housing and public accommodations. I will never forget working on a case where I was talking on the phone with a landlord. He said that he wasn't racist, that he had black friends. He just did not want to be the first person in the neighborhood to rent to someone black. That seemed like a perfectly acceptable response to him. We were speaking on the phone, so he could not see me.
He did not feel like something as fundamental as his deciding where a person could live based on their race could be considered racist. Maybe he did not feel any outright hatred towards black people in his heart. However, he made a decision, a very important decision based on race.
People in power making decisions about other people's lives based on their race is the heart of the problem. This man may have never shown any outward sign of racism, but he made a business decision that impacted a black family. This happens with work and how people are treated in their everyday lives just shopping at a store.
Another instance that I will never forget is a comment made to me by someone who said that she did not consider me black. That is not a compliment to me. My race is not the only part of my identity, but it's a big part.
Many white Americans have strong ethnic identities. If they are Italian, Irish, French, etc. That part of their identity is celebrated. As it should be. It's interesting that we are different. Wouldn't it be very odd to say to say to an Irish-American that you don't consider them Irish? They may be American, but they still have that connection to Ireland.
That is the same way that most African-Americans feel. Except for most of us, based on our history in this country, we have been deprived of knowing our specific African ethnicity. But we are proud of being black, identify with it it and don't want people to ignore that we are black. Just don't discriminate against us because of it. That is all. : )
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