Racism in the 21st Century

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There is radio host here in California that espouses a concept that we as Blacks are no longer hampered by the racism that was prevalent in the 50s. 60s, and 70s, and that Jesse Jackson and his peers are merely fanning the flames of race to build up their own agendas.

I tried explaining to one of my white coworkers (that one that was listening to the radio host) that while racism may be gone (wink wink), the effects of institutionalized, economic, and mental slavery have yet to be erased. 400 years of abuse would take at minimum 400 years to heal. That puts the end sometime in the 24th Century.

In the meantime, I maintain that it is a lack of access and opportunity that keeps us behind, not racism.

What say all of you?

-- Anonymous, October 23, 2003


Hopefully what I am about to say doesn't need "decoding". Racism is a constraint on the market not an impenetrable barrier. The keys to "getting ahead" in life are largely based on skill, opportunity, luck and social networks. If racism was somehow magically eliminated and a person is deficient in the above four categories he/she will still experience disparate market outcomes. QED

-- Anonymous, October 24, 2003

I agree Bill. We as a race are like the children of Israel who did not enter the promised land. We need to get over slavery and racism. Racism will never go away so stop waiting for it to happen. Stop being a victim. Being a minister you above anyone should know that if God be for us, who can be against us. Jesse and his ilk only line their own pockets, which is why they keep the mantra going. They profit from victimhood. The power of life and death is in the tongue. If we keep saying we can not make we never will. Read Losing the race and Authentically Black for great treatise on this issue.

We are more than conquerors through Christ Jesus. No weapon formed against us can prosper. However we do have to put forth effort so God has something to work with.

BTW I just became an Itinerant Deacon in the AME church.

-- Anonymous, October 24, 2003

True! You need above average of everything; especially prayer, but how long does race have to be a factor? God is good and is able to overcome the world, however it is so frustrating when you have done all you can and still you must stand. Belieiving that God does not treat people different; knowing that all is joy; I can understand my brothers witness to his co-worker. This must be the time in history when we must stand still, and forgive as God has forgiven us. Rev. Denise Rogers has been discussing this topic. Pastor keep witnessing in love and in the next generation it will be a little better. Isn't it a little better for us because past genearations just stood? Please forgive my sentence structure and grammers. Love Felicia

-- Anonymous, October 24, 2003

Rev. Harper thank you for bringing up the issue of "Racism" for many of us working in the human rights arena (I am the executive director of the Montana Hate Free Zone) we are disturbed by rhetic saying "racism" is gone. Or "we should not be politically correct" and then people say what ever want about people of color. The NAACP and other groups that have championed the rights of blacks in the past are being seen as "dinosaurs" because "racism" is gone. (supposedly) Affirmative action programs are being dismantled. And people of color are told it is 2003 and they should get over slayery and move on, and that they have the same access as others.

Racism is still alive and rearing it's ugly head in America. What many of us in the human rights field are seeing is that "racism and acts of hatred, racist remarks, etc" have gone main stream. White supremact music is making millions and millions of dollars, targeting young white youth. That money is then funneled back into white supremacist groups. The southern law poverty center, an organization that I have worked with in the past. has documented an alarming trend. Wealthy foundations and think tanks are putting in the mass media erraneous information about blacks, ie. genetically we are inferior, etc. books are written, conferences are held and these false truths become part of the "planned attack on blacks and latino"s" all done under the guise of intellectual discourse.

Talk radio stations of which Rev. harper has mentioned are prime movers this kind of negative media exposure. Recently target removed hats that had the number 88 on it. In white supremacist circles 88 means "heil hitler" Racism and white supremacy has gone main stream. civil rights laws and affirmative action laws are being attacked by foundations who are pouring vast amounts of money to remove these laws, why? Because they are racist. Our forefathers and foremothers in many cases gave their lives so we could enjoy the freedom's of voting, education, sitting at the front of the bus, employment etc.

We are also seeing Ethnic cultural festivals being used as a means to recruit youth to white supremacist groups and racist thinking. Come celebrate your heritage, "and lets not let the blacks and latino's take our jobs"

Racism and white supremacist groups have gotten very sophisticated and they have money! In my state of Montana we have fought long and hard to get rid of the KKK, aryan nation and the militia, we have done so through education and standing up to them. We have taught people to report racial incidences and we follow up with hefty fines to companies that allow that in the work environment. We fought for votes in the legislature to get these laws.

We as people of color need to understand the nature of racism and the financial components to it. Racism has changed it's name, it now called "You can do it yourself" translation we have sent false info to the media that proves you can't hold a job so we do not have to hire you. Or "why don't you people stop talking about racism and slavery" translation, let's blame the victim while we keep doing what we are doing.

The high percentage of black men in prison speaks of racism through double standards in the judicial system. The disrepair and lack of quality education in our black schools speaks of a false belief system that blacks and latino's are inferior and why spend our tax dollars on them.

We particularly as a church must educate on the tactics being used today for they are new tactics and give the information to our children. Black businesses and contractors that cannot get state and federal contracts when they bid smacks of racism. Yet when people voice their experience they are told things are better and you just need to try harder. Their voices become silent and we too begin to believe that things are better. We are called to be a prophetic church and that means speaking the truth. Below is an article taken from the souther law poverty center.

Into the Mainstream Page 2

The American Cause www.theamericancause.org The American Cause is a foundation founded and run by commentator and nativist firebrand Patrick Buchanan, a three-time presidential contender who may have done more than almost any other individual to popularize white supremacist and Christian nationalist ideas in America.

Founded in 1993 to promote "national sovereignty, economic patriotism, limited government and individual freedom," the organization is actually an echo chamber for Buchanan, who has long been disdainful of non-white immigration. In one 1984 column, Buchanan wrote that the issue of immigration has "almost nothing to do with economics, almost everything to do with race and ethnicity. If British subjects, fleeing a depression, were pouring into this country through Canada, there would be few alarms. The central objection to the present flood of illegals is they are not English- speaking white people from Western Europe; they are Spanish-speaking brown and black people from Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean."

Buchanan argues that democracy can only work in societies populated by a single ethnic or racial group and culture. His recent book The Death of the West bemoans the rise in non-white, non-Christian immigrants, and uses information from the racist New Century Foundation* to spread claims that blacks have an inherently more criminal nature than whites. He is also given to conspiracy theories about the New World Order, secular humanist plots and powerful Jewish elites. Buchanan's latest project is a magazine, The American Conservative.

American Enterprise Institute www.aei.org

Founded in 1943, the Washington, D.C.-based American Enterprise Institute (AEI) is one of the most influential conservative think tanks in America. While its roots are in pro-business values, AEI in recent years has sponsored scholars whose views are seen by many as bigoted or even racist.

For example, Dinesh D'Souza, the author of The End of Racism, holds an Olin Foundation research fellowship at AEI. D'Souza has suggested that civil rights activists actually help perpetuate racial tensions and division in the United States, and has even called for the repeal of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. After his book was published, black conservatives Robert Woodson and Glenn Loury denounced it Woodson released a statement saying it "fans the flames of racial animosity" and broke their own ties with AEI.

Another AEI-sponsored scholar, Charles Murray, is more controversial. Murray, who has a Bradley Foundation research fellowship at AEI, is the co-author of The Bell Curve, a book that argues that blacks and Latinos are genetically inferior to whites and that most social welfare and affirmative action programs are doomed to failure as a result. The book, described as a reheated "stale stew of racial eugenics" by historian Godfrey Hodgson, cites the work of some 16 researchers financed by the racist Pioneer Fund*.

I invite you to cut and paste and go to their website and read the work they are doing.


-- Anonymous, October 24, 2003

Dear Felicia, I was posting as you were posting. If we have all the facts about what is going on regarding racism in our country. how much powerful will our prayers people. We will see clearly that we are dealing with a cunning enemy, one that wants us to give up. I had no intention of standing up to the KKK, aryan nation or the militia but, God has prepared me, as a minister I know I must speak out against evil, we only have 900,000 people in my state and our peace groups work together. I have a sister in Miles city ex dock worker from san franciso, white, she organizes black history days in her town and has a black museum, she has fought the KKk single handily. I have a sister who is Jewish in Billings she organized a national movement. We ususally read about each other in the paper. It has taken 11 years, but the last major group we are dealing with now are the ne0-confederates. We have responded with love and knowledge. For every lie told about our people we countered with the truth. God is equipping to tear the walls of racism. Thanks felicia, i love you.

-- Anonymous, October 24, 2003

oops, first line should say "how much more powerful will our prayers be"

-- Anonymous, October 24, 2003

There is no reason for an apology Rev.Rogers. Knowledge is power and I am glad to know that you are on the battlefield. God will never leave you alone. He sends people to you for His purpose. Know that I am praying for you and so are the 5th prayer warriors. God be with us and strenghten us; blessing us with our gifts which have been set aside for us. Be blessed at all times Pastor. Felicia

-- Anonymous, October 24, 2003

Living in a black metropolis--a black Mecca if you will, I can attest to the fact that racism is alive and well. It is aided and abetted by blacks who put down all that is black. When black men who should know better hold other back men in comtempt and put other black men down, I have to shake my head in awe and say, "Oh there is that 'famous cookie' effect again."

I live the same city where Martin Luther King, Jr. was born, lived and preached and among a people for whom he bled and died--A city where Henry McNeal Turner, Joseph Simeon Flipper, William Reid Wilkes and Harold Irvin Bearden lived and preached as well. But conditons often appear to have been better in their day and age than in ours.

As I go in and out of schools in a system led by blacks. I often marvel at the difference in the schools on the north side and the south side of town. The School System is one and the money comes from tax dollars paid by all, but it is obvious that it is spent differently where the color lines divide.

Though our ignorance and conplacency we have allowed the clock to be turned back forty or fifty years. Like Israel we have traded the shackles of Egypt and Babylon for Egyptian and Babylonian ways and ideals. God forbid that like Israel we will end up in captivity over and over again.

Of course the change is subtle and we are often unaware of it. But, the losers are our children and generations yet unborn. The time to act in now while we yet have the chance or like Israel God is going to hold us accountable for it.

-- Anonymous, October 24, 2003

Rev. Harper,

You are quite right when you say that "lack of access and opportunity" is keeping us behind. However, people who say that racism is gone are in denial. They are insensitive to the plight of those who are victimized by it. These same individuals would never say that sexism is gone because they realize that women voters can vote them in or out of office. So, therefore, how can the playing field in America be equal for the races and unequal for the sexes? How did we advance so fast in race relations but so slow in the equality of the sexes? What day did racism in America die? Shouldn't this day be a holiday?

Brother Robert Matthews stated that "racism is abetted by blacks who put down all that is black". Thank you sir for such a powerful statement. Why is it that we black folks don't love ourselves enough and hate ourselves too much? I believe that we blacks have to learn the lessons that Jesus taught us about loving one another before we can overcome racism. What's worse than not having education, money, or power is not loving oneself. Thank you Rev. Rogers for your synopsis of some of the social ills produced by racism.


-- Anonymous, October 25, 2003

After reading all of the well thought out responses, some of which I can agree and some that I have trouble with, a word: Racism is not dead but it is mortally wounded. Will it ever die? I don't think so. The enemy will resort to another tactic (ism). I don't consider it my number 1 priority. My first priority is to get our people to take advantage of every opportunity that is available, particularly education. An educated people cannot be enslaved. By taking advantage of all our opportunities, new venues will be opened. For example, the doors for blacks in flight was opened by the Tuskegee Airman sponsored by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt in the forties. This led to careers for our Airman in the Air Force and after service many are sought out by industry, sitting on corporate boards, etc. The number of blacks are overrepresented on the basis of census statistics in the Spac3e Frontiers and they also go on to corporate careers. All of these folk, simply by their presence are changing minds and hearts every day. The spotlight is not on them and the efforts they make but none the less, that is the thrust of the future.

Enough Be Blessed.

-- Anonymous, October 26, 2003

Rev. Paris I do agree with you and thank you for sharing the accomplisments of those who persevered. By Rev. Harper raising the issue it has provided an opportunity for all to discuss this issue. I like you Rev. Paris have for the most part found myself being the first black person hired or first woman or first black woman in positions. The two things that has always guided me is the power of God to open doors and the faithful witness of the saints who have gone before me. I remember being hired as a social worker in a criminal court program in NYC. We were to go into the jails and chose clients suitable for an alternative incarceration program. The population was male teenagers (black) they had never hired a woman because they said "a woman wouldn't be able to deal with the harrasment in the jails and if there was a lock down. (when they close the jails and no one including visitors can leave) it would be a security risk. They did not have any black women on the staff and they were determined not to hire me. I got the job because I said to the the men, if you did something really bad who would you be most afraid of telling the police or your mother? They all said their mom. I said those boys need a mother figure. I got the job and when I left, they had hired 5 more women.

I think what we are seeing in our posts is the importance of the church in equipping us to deal with racism. When I was a child in the early 50's elders told us what they went through, they told us we were good no matter that others said we were not stupid. The church reinforced are intellect by having student appreciation day. You brought your report card to sunday school. Those in the church taught many to read. I think it more important than ever for the Church to continue it's prophetic role. 11 years ago I became the first black clergy woman in the state of Montana. I still have that distinction of being the only ordained black clergy woman in the entire state. But I love Montana and I love my people and as long as we keep calling on God, racism will be like a mosquito, we may get bit, but we will not be fatally wounded.

-- Anonymous, October 26, 2003

First things first. Congratualtions to Rev. Cephas Martin for his latest accomplishment in becoming an Itierant Deacon!! The 9th District will be the beneficiary of this latest achievement. Please extend my best wishes to Dr. L. A. Gatewood of the 9th District. Gatewod is a candidate for the General Officer position of Director of Christian Education. Gatewood is a terrific teacher and writer in the AME Sunday School Union.

Now concerning Elder Rogers somewhat lengthy 10/24 contribution to this thread let me make a point or two. I personally know both Glenn Loury and Robert Woodson. Professor Loury taught me mathematical economics at Northwestern University. He helped prepare the brief (which he shared with me last year) which was used in the recent US Supreme Court affirmative action case involving U. of Michigan. He is the author of the critically acclaimed book called "An Anatomy of Racial Inequaltiy" and is constributing a section to my forthcoming book. Robert Woodson has been a champion of local development and fair housing for over thirty five years in Philly, DC and the nation as a whole. While both indeed severed ties with AEI after publication of D'Souza's book it would be incorrect to conclude that both gentlemen are politically liberal because of that incident. They remain agnostic to the simplified monocausal model which suggests that racism is the primary factor for why black Americans are still "behind". While it is true that some economists find some empirical support to the monocausal view the more robust and sophisticated models describe racial inequality similar to the four factors I mentioned earlier - skill, opportunity, luck and social networks. I regret some of you purposely avoided enrolling in some of my economics classes :-) QED

-- Anonymous, October 26, 2003

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