philmorbru

Posts by philmorbru

New Independent Lens Documentary

Last week, PBS premiered a new documentary on racism as part of the Independent Lens program. The one-hour film, American Denial, uses the 1944 investigation of Swedish intellectual Gunnar Myrdal into “America’s race problem” as a way to highlight the disconnection between the stated values of US society (it’s citizens as well as its founding documents) and the lived reality of people of
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Is #MuslimLivesMatter a misappropriation?

There is an important conversation going on regarding the hashtag #MuslimLivesMatter. The central questions are: Is this a misappropriation of #BlackLivesMatter, because the Black experience of violence in the U.S. is very particular? Or is this a recognition that Muslims are also treated with violence born of white supremacy? Is the very controversy of #MuslimLivesMatter part of
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“Hands Together” and slogans of white supremacy

The other week I was visiting family in the St. Louis area and drove by a billboard showing two hands, one white and one black, making a heart. The only words were “Hands Together.” I don’t know what group created the billboard, but it seems pretty clearly in response to “Hands up, don’t shoot,” a prominent slogan
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The Green Lantern

It’s Official: Black People are Now Superhuman

Variations of the trope have existed for years beyond count. The myth that the “Middle Passage” had the effect of selecting only the strongest African captives, while the weaker ones died. Then, those who survived were further selected for strength through generations of enslavement. Which leads us to the persistent belief that Black people are athletically superior.
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unfair

On Empathy and Being Treated Unfairly

The other month, I found myself in a conversation with a long-time family friend from the church I grew up in. She’s a teacher in a public school and she began telling me about some of her frustrations when I mentioned that I do antiracism training. She’s white, and her school has seen a dramatic
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What’s Up With 68% of White People?

What’s Up With 68% of White People?

Pew Research has released a new poll showing that merely 37% of White people believe that the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, raises important issues about race. (Compare to 80% of African Americans.) I know that there will always be some who “don’t see race” (supposedly), but a full two-thirds in what seems like such
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Favoritism (Privilege) is a Form of Discrimination

Favoritism (Privilege) is a Form of Discrimination

I came across an interesting article summarizing a study that found that “Favoritism, not hostility, causes most discrimination.” The main point of the findings is that social scientists have studied discrimination as hostility towards out-groups (negative discrimination) and have not spent much time studying the effects of favoritism towards in-groups (positive discrimination). I find this helpful
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Round Up: The Rodger Murders, Misogyny, and White Supremacy

Round Up: The Rodger Murders, Misogyny, and White Supremacy

A lot is being written about the mass killing spree of Elliot Rodger. I though I’d just post a quick summary and link to some articles, but the more I read, the more wished articles took on a more rounded, intersectional analysis. Rodger’s complex story includes male entitlement and misogyny, internalized racism/white supremacy, heteronormativity, mental illness, and
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Easy Racism: Donald Sterling, Cliven Bundy, and a lot of other people

Easy Racism: Donald Sterling, Cliven Bundy, and a lot of other people

It’s been a good week for those who like to be incensed. Two aging white men said some very offensive and racist things on tape and the media has showered us all with righteous anger. Donald Sterling, owner of the LA Clippers pro basketball team, has been banned from pro ball and fined as much as possible
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Linguistic Racism

Linguistic Racism

On Saturday I was shopping at the farmer’s market, and for the entertainment of children, a magician was putting on a brief show. During the classic Cup Trick, he had everyone count the cups – “one, two, three” – and then in Spanish, French, and German. Then, “In Japanese, ….” and he added three nonsense words that
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