…these posts about Troy Davis, I’m becoming increasingly annoyed. Non-people of color are absolutely shocked at the atrocities that played out last night. They’re posting pictures of themselves crying, they’re posting texts about faulty legal systems and are trying to comfort one another by offering solutions to make the current system better.
I’m not shocked by what happened to Troy Davis. People of color know all too well that being black and male in America is one of the worst identities to have. It is equivalent to painting a bright red target on your back. The system doesn’t care about us. We know racism is institutionalized and have been raised to be cautious of it. We know that being black makes everything harder. This is our daily experience. Our people are ALWAYS being wrongly persecuted, used as this country’s scapegoat.
Not one post made by a POC contained a tone of surprise. It is generally understood that if we get caught up in the “justice” system we most likely won’t get a great outcome. Many of us were disillusioned, angered, and disappointed, but not shocked.
This is where the disconnect comes in. Non-POCs don’t talk about race. They blame the process in itself, but they don’t attribute race to the problem. They don’t have to watch their brothers and friends get harassed on a daily basis by cops. They don’t feel the awkward stares if they walk into a store where the owner has already stereotyped them and has deemed them dangerous. They don’t have to live through any of this and so they’re shocked when they find out about people like Troy Davis. They’re sympathetic and recognize that the system is faulty, but they don’t even know the half of it because they don’t have to live this every single day. The true meaning behind all of this escapes them.
I don’t want to see another picture of a non-POC crying. What the hell do they have to shed tears for? In a few week’s time, most of them are going to forget all about Troy Davis and will go back to their lives, devoid of all prejudice. They’ll be free to do and say whatever the fuck they want without being challenged because they don’t have dark skin, whereas the rest of us will continue living through this. We will undoubtedly meet and hear about more Troy Davis’s whose stories most likely won’t make it to the major news stations. The ache will never leave our hearts. We will continue on in our lives in the quest for peace and success and whatever else one strives for, but the truth, the feeling of otherness that this society ingrains in us, will always be there. We will NEVER forget. They might, but we won’t. This is not an anomaly or some kind of accident. This is reality, our reality.
This is why hearing “I am Troy Davis” coming from white folks is not working. We’re not. If we were, we wouldn’t have been executed.
I agree with the above but I think it’s overly simplistic to say that the only factor that could lead to someone “being Troy Davis” is race. When non-normative individuals interact with the prison-industrial complex, the results are alwaysworsefor thosewho differin some way— the norm being, white, gender-conforming, straight and male. The sad irony of this, as we all know, is that that is far from the norm of prison populations— and yet difference still creates indications of guilt.
I’m not saying that I am Troy Davis— because I’m not. What happened to him would never happen to me, because we live in a justice system that values conformity to a standard storyline and if you are not the perfect defendant, you may be put to death despite your innocence. This isn’t just the case with capital cases or those accused of a crime. Witnesses, who give some of the most questionable evidence and are just people trying to do the right thing, frequently change their stories because memory is fickle. And plaintiffs, especially women, are consideredby judges and juries to be hysterical or mistaken.
A probably innocent man was put to death by the state last night, because pardoning him, staying the execution longer or canceling it altogether, would have indicated that there may be bias in our justice system, which is tantamount to treason in some circles. We have a black president, what could possibly go wrong?
A new report that analyses the distribution of grants and scholarships by race found students of color are less likely to win private scholarships or receive merit-based institutional grants than white students. The report found that white students receive more than three times as much in merit-based grant and private scholarship funding than students of color.
White students receive more than three-quarters (76 percent) of all institutional merit-based scholarship and grant funding, even though they represent less than two-thirds (62 percent) of the student population, according to the report published by Mark Kantrowit, the financial aid guru behind Fastweb.com and FinAid.org.
Kantrowit believes that the myth that there aren’t enough scholarships for white students comes from highly-qualified white students being turned away and those students in turn assuming the money went to students of color.
The myth that students of color are taking all the scholarship money is so prevalent that policies like California’s Proposition 209 and Michigan’s Civil Rights Initiative (Proposal 2) include mentions that scholarships and financial aid should be awarded solely on the basis of need and ability, not race
what? affirmative action ISN’T the object of your missplaced anger at not receiving a scholarship to college? REALLY?
I’m bookmarking this study so I can bring it up anytime ANYONE says that they didn’t receive a scholarship because they were white. If you don’t get on the internet and do a google search and spend your days looking for scholarship money (that you aren’t even entitled to anyway) then STOP BLAMING PEOPLE OF COLOR.
This study shows that white students are both the majority of students going to college AND students who receive scholarships. This just tells me that we need to spend MORE time & money making sure underrepresented groups can actually afford going to college.
Honestly, this excites me cause the next time I see some ignorant “my baby can’t go to college cause we’re white and its NOT FAIR” post anywhere in the world, I will straight up go irate on a muthafucka.
spread the word
Thank you for sharing this study. That’s what I was referring to last night when I said that Natives don’t even get scholarships if they are competing against white folks. We all KNOW the scholarship is gonna go to a white person anyway.
Wish I had this eight years ago when people in my classes told me I stole their money in college because I got a scholarship and I wasn’t white. Goddamn it.
Again, events are multifaceted, cultural and racial groups are not monolithic, and many things about a situation can be true at the same time. Reductionism is dangerous. Simplicity is dangerous. There are no easy, one line answers. They don’t exist, because life isn’t like that.
The following ideas do not contradict each other.
1. There are real socio-economic and political reasons for why this riot occurred. Urban violence committed by youth and marginalized people of color does not happen in a vacuum. When you neglect a community for so long, when you treat its residents as criminals-by-default who must then prove themselves to be citizens, when you treat these communities as problem areas to be hemmed in and monitored, instead of nurtured, when tax money goes to law enforcement, not schools and development — this is what happens.
Do NOT believe what the law enforcement or the media has to say about this. The institutions of power have a vested interest in protecting the status quo, which is the continued existence of the police state in poor communities of color in London, and in similar cities across the Western world. The rioters are not individual hooligans taking advantage of a bad situation. This is not an argument for more police control, for taking away social spending, or longer prison sentences.
The official reaction to these riots confirms what activists from these communities have been saying for years; poor kids of color are either a) irrelevant to mainstream society, or if they are finally noticed are b) only seen as criminals. There’s very little opportunity for poor youth to be seen as the nuanced, complicated, diverse beings that they are. That’s intentional. The status quo is reinforced every time minority youth are seen as a terrifying, brainless monolith. That is what the mainstream media is going to try to do to these kids. Do not let them.
2. Its silly to pretend that all of this violence is directed, focused, and political in intent. A powderkeg of repressed anger and energy has exploded, and London is feeling the consequence of that. It doesn’t mean London deserves the violence, or that the rioters are correct in their actions. The rioters are not innocents, fighting back the only way they can against a corrupt police state. They are culpable. Their behavior cannot be excused by their political intentions; political violence cannot be purified or sanctified or reduced into something palatable and easily digestible by an ideology. Political violence is still violence, the same old beast we’ve engaged with for millions of years. Nothing changes that.
You run over me, doesn’t matter how oppressed you are. You still ran over me. I’m still dead. There are a lot of people, innocent people, who are going to lose their lives, their livelihoods, and their homes. People who we know are in danger.