• Required Reading.

    - Alternet's Sam Adler-Bell interviews Robin DiAngelo on the concept of "white fragility" and how terms like "white privilege" and "entitlement" are losing their effectiveness in the white mindspace. Witness DiAngelo succinctly explain the origins of white fragility and how feelings of superiority are cultivated in the first place:

    RD: Exactly. And white fragility also comes from a deep sense of entitlement. Think about it like this: from the time I opened my eyes, I have been told that as a white person, I am superior to people of color. There’s never been a space in which I have not been receiving that message. From what hospital I was allowed to be born in, to how my mother was treated by the staff, to who owned the hospital, to who cleaned the rooms and took out the garbage. We are born into a racial hierarchy, and every interaction with media and culture confirms it—our sense that, at a fundamental level, we are superior.

    And, the thing is, it feels good. Even though it contradicts our most basic principles and values. So we know it, but we can never admit it. It creates this kind of dangerous internal stew that gets enacted externally in our interactions with people of color, and is crazy-making for people of color. We have set the world up to preserve that internal sense of superiority and also resist challenges to it. All while denying that anything is going on and insisting that race is meaningless to us.

    One of the best quotes in the interview, IMHO.

    - Strong Towns has a series of articles on American suburbia as a glorified ponzi scheme and the growing costs of maintaining this far-flung infrastructure. Yours truly will hopefully have a post on gentrification and suburbia's changing demographics later on.

    - In post-racial America, blatant, naked discrimination takes more subtle, insidious forms. For instance, Mother Jones' Marc Bookman shows how virulent racism affects how the gears of the justice system turns for minorities. To wit:

    ...nearly eight years after Kenneth Fults was sentenced to death for kidnapping and murdering his neighbor Cathy Bounds in Spalding County, Georgia, one of the trial jurors made a startling admission under oath: He'd voted for the death penalty, he said, because "that's what that nigger deserved."

    In 2005, a former prosecutor in Texas revealed that her superiors had instructed her, if she wanted to strike a black juror, to falsely claim that she'd seen the person sleeping. This was just a dressed-up version of the Dallas prosecution training manual from 1963, which directed assistant district attorneys to "not take Jews, Negroes, Dagos, Mexicans, or a member of any minority race on a jury, no matter how rich or how well educated."

    As the clock wound down on Osborne's appeals, a former US attorney general, a former Georgia chief justice, and former President Jimmy Carter (previously the governor of Georgia) all spoke out against the execution. They had heard the allegation by another one of Mostiler's clients, a white man named Gerald Huey, that Mostiler had told him, speaking of Osborne, that "that little nigger deserves the chair."

    a transcript from the trial of Derrick Middlebrooks, a black defendant who was so troubled by the racist talk that he asked the judge to dismiss Mostiler as his public defender: "He indicated to me that he wouldn't—he couldn't go up there among them niggers because them niggers would kill him," Middlebrooks said. "Now personally I don't know if he meant anything really by it. But I find it, you know, kind of hard to have an attorney to represent me when he uses those type of words. It doesn't help my confidence in my attorney."

    This is nothing new, aside from the fact that things like these are being aired out for all the world to see.

    - Gawker's David Graeber talks about Ferguson and how a perfect storm of institutional racism and policing for profit has culminated into a system that essentially harvests its own captive citizenry while keeping them locked in a permanent state of underclassdom.

    - Abagond talks about segregation academies and their legacy. A few of the commentators are also discussing how integration has possibly done more harm than good for the black community (which is something I'll talk about at a later date, as well).