Some laud Merrick Garland's response about implicit bias I found his answer problematic. He said that "implicit bias just means every human being has biases...Everybody has stereotypes....Implicit biases are the ones we don't recognize. That doesn't make you a racist." 1/
But what if the stereotypes we hold about Black people are racist and we act accordingly? Implicit assumptions about Black people's behavior and capacities shape our interactions and decision making, with tangible consequences for how we live in this country. 2/
The fact that we aren't conscious of these assumptions doesn't absolve us of the responsibility to address them. Nor does it let us off the hook. White Americans have been indelibly shaped by racism. In some ways, all of us have. 3/
Admitting that racism isn't simply a matter of intention (or the conscious will) would help us uproot it. Hiding behind implicit bias only allows some to declare, "I am not a racist. I didn't know I was doing it." Sounds like the words of an adolescent to me
I should say that the last sentence about "adolescents" referred to Senator Kennedy, not Merrick Garland. Just say the sentence out loud with an exaggerated Louisiana drawl

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More from @esglaude

20 Feb
Over the last 40 years, Republicans trashed “big government.”They sought to “starving the beast”—attacking what they called “entitlement programs,” insisting on privatization and deregulation, and eviscerating any robust conception of the public good. 1/
The devastation of Covid-19 and what is happening in Texas are the latest examples of how bankrupt this idea about government is. We need to toss aside the debate between “big and small government” and insist on responsible/transformational government. 2/
Government should reflect our national values; at every level, it should be charged with ensuring the background conditions necessary for all Americans to flourish. We have to get clear about what those values are and what the background conditions should be. 3/
Read 6 tweets
6 Jan
In his reflections on Dr. King, James Baldwin wrote that we were witnessing the death of segregation as we knew it, and the question was how long and how expensive the funeral would be. If only he knew. We are still in that funeral procession. 1/
Baldwin wrote in _No Name in the Street_: "An old world is dying, and a new one, kicking in the belly of its mother, time, announces that it is ready to be born. The birth will not be easy, and many of us are doomed to discover that we are exceedingly clumsy midwives." 2/
"No matter, so long as we accept that our responsibility is to the newborn: the acceptance of responsibility contains the key." 3/
Read 4 tweets
25 Dec 20
Merry Christmas. Say a prayer for those who have lost loved ones and have to face this holiday season without them. Lift them up. Say a prayer for those children separated from their parents. Pray that one day soon they will feel their embrace.
Say a prayer for those who are struggling to keep a roof over their heads and to put food on the table. Be mindful of the least of these on this day of excess. Say a prayer for those who are alone on this day—that they may know they are loved
Say a prayer for those with hatred in their hearts. Pray that they might see the full humanity of those around them and embrace the power of love.
Read 4 tweets
17 Dec 20
Who believes that $600 is a sufficient response to what is happening around this country right now? I know there are other much needed elements in the bill. But what is going on in the minds of legislators to think that $600 is sufficient?
We have to understand that the leaders of this country are CHOOSING this pain and suffering. Look at Europe. Nothing of this scale of suffering is happening there. Why? They are making dramatically different choices.
And don’t tell me that $600 is better than nothing. A dollar is better nothing! The question ought to be is it an adequate and moral response to the need.
Read 4 tweets
2 Sep 20
We have to change the frame. Fighting over who is more committed to “law and order” reproduces a way of thinking that undergirds a problematic view of policing in this country.
All too often the phrase, “law and order,” has been used to shift the blame and focus from police violence directed at Black people to the response of Black people to that violence. @BreeNewsome 2/
We see this, for example, in how “law and order” was invoked in response to the nonviolent marches of the civil rights movement. The marches were the problem. The likes of Martin Luther King, Jr and John Lewis were the criminals not the defenders of the Jim Crow South. 3/
Read 6 tweets
2 Jul 20
Hugh Downs died today at the age of 99. His death reminded me of something. While researching _Begin Again_ at the @SchomburgCenter, I came across a beautiful exchange of letters between Downs and James Baldwin. 1/
Downs was the anchor of NBC's Today Show and wrote Baldwin expressing his admiration and his own desire to do more with his platform to address the issue of racial justice in the country. 2/
It took Baldwin awhile to respond, but in May of 1966, he wrote Downs from Istanbul. "I am less sanguine, perhaps than you are," he noted. "I may have shed too many tears already. 3/
Read 6 tweets

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