racism

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(Below are three responses to my previous essay.  My responses are in italics.)

N.’s Response:

Michael,

I just read your paper with great interest.  You make a number of important points.  However, you say repeatedly that not every group needs to follow all of the 10 steps [required according to IndividualEvolution.org] to be successful.  However, you never give any support for that opinion.  You may be right about that, but I wish that you would give specific details showing which steps can be omitted and why?  You indicate that various movements have been successful in the past without using all these principles.  But I believe those so-called successes have only been partially successful.  The reason for that may be that they have not followed all of the points B. has used.

Sincerely,

 

N.

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“Nobody in the world, nobody in history, has ever gotten their freedom by appealing to the moral sense of the people who were oppressing them.” -Assata Shakur.

While I am certainly not qualified to compose a proper tribute to Sandra Bland, I am qualified as a social psychologist to analyze some elements of #BlackLivesMatter in relation to Individual Evolution1. In order for either to impact societal change, it will be necessary for both to be revolutionary. In this case, revolution implies change. Whether it is gradual or immediate depends upon the need and the circumstances. Political minorities have been programmed into subservience for centuries via a political majority fueled by institutionalized racism utilizing propaganda promoting the idea that if they do what they are taught, what they are told, and what is demanded of them, they will receive fair treatment, equality, and integration with that political majority. In other words, if they play nice, institutionalized racism will eventually disappear. That has not happened, and it will never happen unless it is demanded as forcefully as possible and racism is deinstitutionalized. For most people, recent events contradict the myth of a peaceful transition. For some, Individual Evolution does not need to proceed according to a formula that progresses from a bureaucratic vision to an evolutionary power (the Head of logical thought through the Heart of desire to the Hand of action). And while individual evolution continues to evolve through a series of conference call classes anyone interested is welcome to attend, I will argue that it doesn’t necessarily need to follow this method to be successful.

A friend asked me to write this, even after I explained that I am not worthy to write a tribute to Sandra Bland, the woman who was recently murdered by a Texas police officer and made to appear as though she hanged herself in her jail cell. I know I am not worthy because Sandra Bland should not have been murdered. I know I am not worthy because the families of every person of colour, men and women that have left us too, too soon, before and after Michael Brown in recent months and, frankly, in the last few hundred years of murder in the employ of institutionalized slavery and racism, understand what is at stake better than I do. People of colour have died and continue to die needlessly, sacrificed to the bloodlust of a white patriarchy that doesn’t care, a white patriarchy that lashes out in fear and hatred with the knowledge that their control, their enslavement of everyone not like them, their reign, will end soon. Those that have been awake for centuries are still awake, and they have awakened the rest of us, though frankly we all should have been wide awake and alert for decades if not centuries, leaving institutionalized slavery, with all its permutations, in a weakened blob at the bottom of the dustbin of history.

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For your listening pleasure, here is my radio interview from last night.  This is something I had not thought about doing until the opportunity was presented to me by the producers of Radio Islam who found my content here.  For those of you who are curious, I am open to other opportunities to discuss cultural conditioning/propaganda, sexism, racism and everything that the intersection of all of those subjects entail and more. I am about halfway into the show. If you have time to listen, I would love to know what you think. 

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Harvard’s Implicit Associations Test is interesting, as loaded as an adjective as that is in this case.  The visual portion of the test makes certain assumptive social constructs that particular categories of individuals “look” a specific way (I took the gender- science test and the African American-European American test—twice) rather than another.  There was no room for variations or exceptions to this test “rule”. For any interested in seeing the tests, please click on this link, https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit//demo/, and find “Demo”.

Now to the results, what I found, what I think of them, and the test.

1. I took the Gender- Science Test and the African American-European American Test—twice.

2. The tests’ results were not consistent with my conscious attitudes and beliefs very simply because the tests did not allow for an African American that “looks” like a European American, who looks like a Hispanic American, who looks like an Asian American, or who looks like any other variety of multi-racial or multi-ethnic American.  Additionally the test allowed for no variation in the test answers if I associate the adjective of one stereotypical “racial characteristic” or gender characteristic with the one that is not associated with that stereotype.  When I attempted to do this, my answers were marked “wrong”.

3. I think I obtained the results I did because I learned how to “take” the tests in a particular way and in a way that my brain was able to respond and follow the directions of the test that stated that the adjectives of one type and one social construct had to be associated with one key on the keyboard and the adjectives of another type and social construct had to be associated with another key on the keyboard. Once again, my impression of the tests is that they test your ability to take tests and very little else.

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