De jure segregation is deliberate, willful, race-based separation engineered by law (i.e. by legislation or state officials).

De facto segregation is race-based separation “by fact,” but it’s not orchestrated by legislation. The literal definition is “in fact” or “in effect.” It is presumably innocuous, race-based separation resulting from everyday policies or processes.

De facto segregation still exists.

We find it in healthcare, in housing, and in schools.

We find it in the workforce, in churches, and in the Academy.

We find it in politics.

We need to have a conversation about race. 

A good, long, Circle of Life, come-to-Jesus conversation.

We need to talk about power and privilege. The War on Drugs. The alt-right and undocumented immigrants. We need to talk about colonization, genocide, and the slaughter of the indigenous.

We need to have a conversation about race.

First: there is no such thing as race.

It was made up. It was socially constructed. It was invented.

There is no biological basis for race; it has no scientific merit.

In a similar vein, whiteness was made up. It was created, constructed, naturalized, and made supreme.

Early European colonizers needed a way to establish a permanent underclass—and thus “race” was born.

The rationale for whiteness was reinforced through the courts and reinforced through statutes, policies, ordinances, legislation, and institutions.

The supremacy of whiteness continues to be reinforced through policing and violence.

The supremacy of whiteness continues to be reinforced through unequal pay, through the unequal distribution of resources within schools, neighborhoods, and even workplaces; through disparities in special education, through disparities in wealth and access to wealth, through disparities in access to technology, through racial profiling and through disparities in arrests and convictions of people of color.

We need to have a conversation about race—even though race, in itself, doesn’t exist.

We need to have a conversation about race, even though I’m the first to admit this seems futile.

History, society, our current reality, and media’s assessment regularly convince me that you genuinely believe it’s your God-given right to be at the top and to relegate others to the bottom.

Some of you believe that we are not human and that we’re animals.

You think we are guilty and that you are innocent. Always.

And because you believe these things, you believe that you are entitled to the best that life has to other. Always.

This is America.

I have no way of knowing who among you, or how many of you, genuinely believe that I don’t have a place here. That I don’t have a right to, simply, live.

Sometimes this understanding – this calculation—gives me pause.

I believe it was intended to make me fear you (The irony then, is that you pretend to fear me).

And I sincerely believe this is pretense because lynchings still exist.

The KKK still march.

The alt-right still rally.

Under the circumstances, I shouldn’t be —but I am– empathetic. Sincerely.

Identity development takes time. People are motivated by self-preservation, even if this creates bias. Even if this creates unequal opportunities for other people’s children. Even if this creates unequal opportunities for other racial and ethnic groups.

Perhaps it seems that you aren’t necessarily trying to hurt me and people who look like me (although something wicked this way comes); it’s more about what you’re trying to preserve and hold on FOR YOURSELF, first. Always.

You seem to have a fixation on fairness and merit, but you blatantly ignore what you’ve stolen. Time and time again.

We need to have a conversation about race, even though it is futile.

The following is an excerpt from a speech that was delivered by Willie Lynch in 1712. Lynch was a slave owner in the West Indies and was invited to teach his methods to slave owners in the colony of Virginia.

This speech was given on Christmas Day.

“Gentlemen, you know what your problems are; I do not need to elaborate. I am not here to enumerate your problems, I am here to introduce you to a method of solving them. In my bag here, I have a foolproof method for controlling your black slaves. I guarantee every one of you that if installed correctly it will control the slaves for at least 300 years [2012]. My method is simple. Any member of your family or your overseer can use it. I have outlined a number of differences among the slaves and make the differences bigger. I use fear, distrust and envy for control.”

“These methods have worked on my modest plantation in the West Indies and it will work throughout the South. Take this simple little list of differences and think about them. On top of my list is “age” but it’s there only because it starts with an “A.” The second is “COLOR” or shade, there is intelligence, size, sex, size of plantations and status on plantations, attitude of owners, whether the slaves live in the valley, on a hill, East, West, North, South, have fine hair, course hair, or is tall or short. Now that you have a list of differences, I shall give you an outline of action, but before that, I shall assure you that distrust is stronger than trust and envy stronger than adulation, respect or admiration.”

“The Black slaves after receiving this indoctrination shall carry on and will become self refueling and self generating for hundreds of years, maybe thousands. Don’t forget you must pitch the old black Male vs. the young black Male, and the young black Male against the old black male. You must use the dark skin slaves vs. the light skin slaves, and the light skin slaves vs. the dark skin slaves. You must use the female vs. the male. And the male vs. the female. You must also have your white servants and overseers distrust all Blacks. It is necessary that your slaves trust and depend on us. They must love, respect and trust only us. Gentlemen, these kits are your keys to control. Use them. Have your wives and children use them, never miss an opportunity. If used intensely for one year, the slaves themselves will remain perpetually distrustful of each other.”  — Willie Lynch

We need to have a conversation about race.

Even if the conversation is futile.

I hope you’ll stay.

I hope you’ll join me.

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Next time: 

dont come for me


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