Can the Black Income Gap Be Reversed in the United States?

Can the Black Income Gap Be Reversed in the United States?

Can the Black Income Gap Be Reversed in the United States? It is almost a socioeconomic axiom in America that black people are poorer than other Americans. Since racism took hold on an official basis in 17th century colonial America, Black people have been institutionally as well as personally blocked from attaining material security. Continue reading

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Who was Franz Fanon?

Franz Fanon

            Franz Fanon

Thinker, revolutionary, psychiatrist, cultural analyst and philosopher of Western Colonialism and its attendant racism, Franz Fanon is without peer vis a vis his profundity and psychological acumen. His Black Skin White Masks (1952), about White racism and the oppression of Black people is a classic.

The following is taken from Zia Sardar’s article On Franz Fanon
and can be read in its entirety at Naked Punch

Frantz Omar Fanon, born on 20 July 1925 in Fort-de-France, in the French colony of Martinique, was a complex figure, with multiple selves. He was, as he tells us, from Antilles but he ended his life thinking of himself as an Algerian. His parents belonged to the middle class community of the island: father a descendant of slaves, mother of mixed French parenthood. In Fort-de-France, he studied at Lycée Schoelcher, where one of his teachers was poet and writer Aimé César. Cesar’s passionate denouncement of colonial racism had a major influence on the impressionable Fanon. As a young dissident, he agitated against the Vichy regime in the Antilles and travelled to Dominica to support the French resistance in the Caribbean. Soon afterwards, he found himself in France where he joined the resistance against the occupying forces of Nazi Germany. While serving in the military, Fanon experienced racism on a daily basis. In France, he noticed that French women avoided black soldiers who were sacrificing their lives to liberate them. He was wounded; and was awarded Croix de Guerre for bravery during his service in the Free French forces.

After the War, Fanon won a scholarship to study medicine and psychiatry in Lyon. While still a student he met José Dublé, a Frenchwoman who shared his convictions against racism and colonialism. The couple married in 1952, had one son, and stayed together for the rest of their lives. Fanon also began to use psychoanalysis to study the effects of racism on individuals, particularly its impact on the self-perception of blacks themselves. During the 1950’s metropolitan France was a centre of revolutionary philosophy and a magnet for writers, thinkers and activists from Africa. Fanon imbibed the ideas of philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre; and became friends with Octave Mannoni, French psychoanalyst and author of Psychology of Colonization. As a young man searching for his own identity in a racist society, Fanon identified with the African freedom fighters who came to France seeking allies against European colonialism. He began to define a new black identity; and became actively involved in the anti-colonialist struggle. So when, in 1953, he was offered a job as head of the psychiatric department of Bilda-Joinville Hospital in Algiers he jumped at the opportunity.

Fanon arrived in Algeria just as the colony was on the verge of a full blown, violent struggle against the French. He was appalled by the racist treatment of Algerians and the disparity he witnessed between the living standards of the European colonizers and the indigenous Arab population. He developed a close rapport with the Algerian poor and used group therapy to help, as well study, his patients. There was intellectual ferment too. A major event of 1954 was the publication of Vacation de l’Islam by the Algerian social philosopher Malek Bennabi. Published to synchronize with the outbreak of the Algerian revolution,Vacation de l’Islam presented the radical concept of ‘colonisibilite’: the historical process through which Algeria, and other Muslim countries, declined culturally and intellectual to a stage where colonialism becomes a ‘historical necessity’. Bennabi, who like Fanon spent most of his life struggling against French racism, distinguished between ‘a country simply conquered and occupied and a colonized country’ [1]. The later had lost its own cultural bearings and internalized the idea of the inherent superiority of the colonizing culture. Fanon and Bennabi never met; but it is difficult to imagine their work did not fertilize each other’s thought.

The French response to the 1954 Algerian revolt was brutal, involving torture, killing, physical abuse and barbaric repression. For two years Fanon secretly supported the revolutionaries. Then, in 1956, he resigned his post and openly joined the National Liberation Front (FLN). He moved to Tunis, where he worked for Manouba Clinic and Neuropsychiatric Center and founded the radical magazine Moudjahid(from Jihad, meaning freedom fighter). Soon he acquired a reputation as a leading ideologue of the Algerian revolution. He received many death threats from the French and their sympathizers – which only served to strengthen his resolve. By now, Fanon identified himself as an Algerian. He travelled throughout Africa speaking on behalf of the NLF; and even served as an ambassador to Ghana on behalf of the provisional government of Algeria.

Fanon did not live to see Algeria acquire full independence. While still in Ghana he was diagnosed with leukemia. He went first to the Soviet Union for treatment; and later to the United States. He died in Washington on 6th December 6, 1961.

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Can a pro-Obama T-Shirt Get You Killed?

Can a Pro-Obama T-Shirt can get you killed?
From Your Black World
• A woman was set on fire this weekend, allegedly for wearing a pro-Obama t-shirt. Sharmeka Moffitt is now in critical condition after the incident, which has sent shock waves through the Winnsboro, LA community. According to the Franklin Parish Sheriff’s Office, Moffitt was walking along a trail at 8 pm on Sunday evening and three men approached her. That is when she was attacked and set on fire.
The 20-year old woman was taken to a hospital in Winnsboro and then transferred to LSU Hospital, which is in Shreveport…
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Re Trayvon Martin…a stereotype can be deadly

Pitts: Re Trayvon Martin…a stereotype can be deadly’
The Miami Herald ^ | May 5, 2012 | Leonard Pitts Jr.

I don’t care about George Zimmerman’s MySpace page.

Granted, it was gratifying to read recently in The Miami Herald about his crude animus toward Mexicans (“soft ass wanna be thugs”) and his reference to a former girlfriend as an “ex-hoe.” Given the way white supremacists and other Zimmerman supporters have exaggerated and manufactured evidence to paint Zimmerman’s unarmed 17-year-old victim, Trayvon Martin, as a thug who somehow deserved shooting, this unflattering portrait offers the same satisfaction one feels any time the goose is basted with sauce that was prepared for the gander.

But ultimately, Zimmerman’s online profile is as irrelevant as Trayvon’s to any real understanding of the social dynamics that were at play the night the boy was shot to death. Worse, our fixation on this ephemera, the need on the one hand to make Trayvon some dark gangsta straight from Central Casting and on the other to find a Klan hood in the back of Zimmerman’s closet, suggests a shallow, even naïve, understanding of the role race seems to have played in this tragedy.

The pertinent fact is that Zimmerman found Trayvon suspicious because, as he told the 911 dispatcher, the boy was walking slowly and looking around. That might be the behavior of a boy who was turned around in an unfamiliar neighborhood. Or of a boy enjoying a cell phone conversation with a girl and not overly eager to return to where his sweet nothings might be overheard by his dad.

That no such alternate possibilities seem to have occurred to Zimmerman for even an instant suggests the degree to which we as a people have grown comfortable with the belief that black is crime and crime is black. Nor are African Americans immune to the effects of that invidious formulation….

(Excerpt)

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Mr. Zimmerman could have easily been Black…

by Leonard Pitts Jr. for the Miami herald

Indeed, the dirty little secret of the Martin killing is that Mr. Zimmerman could easily have been black. True, a black Zimmerman probably would not have been sent home by prosecutors who declined to press charges — whiteness still has its privileges — but otherwise, yes. It is entirely possible.

Why not? Blacks watch the same TV news as anyone else. We internalize the same message. We drink the same poison.

Why else do you think black folk flinch when the mug shot goes up on television, hoping the face will not be brown — as if we bore some communal responsibility for the suspect’s misdeeds? Why else do you think so much of our music is a song of violence and crime? Why else, when I ask an auditorium full of black kids how frequently the individual who murders a white person is black, do they figure it at 75 percent? Why else are they shocked to hear it’s only 13?

At some subterranean level, we — African-Americans — still believe the garbage of innate criminality we have so assiduously been fed and struggle with hating ourselves, as America long ago taught us to do. We struggle with it, yet we know better from firsthand, man-in-the-mirror experience. So how much harder is the struggle for white folks?


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On Trayvon Martin…one of us

From the renowned rabbi and incisive social critic, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach
More of Rabbi Boteach’s writings can be read at his web site;

No greater tragedy can befall parents than having to bury a child. This is especially true when the child is killed and a perpetrator gets away with it. In this sense no American can but feel the double pain of the parents of Trayvon Martin.

On the other side of the equation, however, is the interview given by the father and brother of George Zimmerman, the shooter, who have spoken of a son and sibling who shot an assailant in self-defense but who is now being so pilloried and demonized that he cannot leave his home for fear of violence.

Who is right?


Posted on the Huffington Post on 3/30/12

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From the Global Grind..Accepting our Social Responsibility post -Trayvon Martin

by Rachel Hislop Hislop

In 1903 W.E.B. Du Bois penned the single most important piece of literature in African American history, Souls of Black Folk, that opened with the question I have carried with me ever since I read it: “How does it feel to be a problem?”

Over a century later, we are still answering that question. Over a century later our black men, like Trayvon Martin, are still paying with their lives for being “a problem.”

I am a woman. I am a college-educated, 23-year-old woman living in what may be the greatest city in the world. I play hard, but I work even harder. I am honest, trustworthy and an amazing listener, but all of that is negated at first glance by one simple fact — I am black, therefore I am a problem.

Sounds cliché, doesn’t it? By now you are probably furrowing your brow, or rolling your eyes expecting to hear another story of why America should feel sorry for me, but that isn’t the case here.

I’ve sat through a multitude of African studies classes tight-lipped as my white peers questioned the existence of racism in their post-racial American, white privileged minds. But then a young black man named Trayvon Martin was killed and the dirty blanket was finally pulled off the taboo conversation of the very present demon that is race relations in America, and I’ve decided I am tired of staying quiet.
Read more: at

Click on the link below to order “How Race is Lived in America: Pulling Together, Pulling Apart” by correspondents of the New York Times

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NeoNazis Patrolling Streets of Sanford, Florida

From “What the Ha-yell Urban news and Entertainment”.
April 07,2012

NeoNazis Patrolling Streets of Sanford, Florida

The racial implications of the Trayvon Martin shooting just got a little scarier.  Armed neo-Nazis are now patrolling Sanford, Florida, where Martin was killed.  A rep from the National Socialist Movement told the Miami New Times that 10 to 20 volunteers are going to patrol the neighborhood to protect “white citizens in the area” from possible race riots.

“Whenever there is one of these racially charged events, Al Sharpton goes wherever blacks need him,” Jeff Schoep of the National Socialist Movement told the news organization. “We do similar things. We are a white civil rights organization…We are not the type of white people who are going to be walked all over.”

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Quote from Frederick Douglas on racial divide and conquer in the Old South

Former Black slave and abolitionist Frederick Douglass made the point most succinctly when he wrote in the late 19th century, under conditions far more violent and racially polarized than today: “The hostility between the whites and the Blacks of the South is easily explained…both are plundered by the same plunderers…and it [hostility] was incited on both sides by the poor whites and the Blacks by putting enmity between them. They divided both to conquer each.”47

Order your kindle fire here.

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Interracial Marriage Increasing by Leaps and Bounds in America

From the Pew Report

The Rise of Intermarriage

Rates, Characteristics Vary by Race and Gender

February 16, 2012

Interracial marriage is a fact of life in the United States today. 
Whereas only about 1 in 33 Americans were married interracially in 1980,
1 in 12 are in an interracial marriage union today.

While the overall intermarriage rate has increased by 400% in little more
than a generation in the U.S., that rate is growing exponentially today.

 Some interesting aspects of this phenomenon are covered
in the following report; including “out-marrying” rates for both
African Americans and Asian Americans that show sharp differences
along gender lines.

The share of new marriages between spouses of a different race or ethnicity increased to 15.1 % in 2010, and the share of all current marriages that are either interracial or interethnic has reached an all-time high of 8.4%.

In 1980, just 3% of all marriages and less than 7% of all new marriages were across racial or ethnic lines. Both of those shares have more than doubled in the past three decades.

While newlyweds who “married out” between 2008 and 2010 are very similar to those who “married in,” judging by characteristics such as education, income and age, there are sharper differences among them based on the race, ethnicity and gender partnerships of the couples.

Just as intermarriage has become more common, public attitudes have become more accepting. More than four-in-ten (43%) Americans say that more people of different races marrying each other has been a change for the better in our society, while only about one-in-ten think it is a change for the worse.


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