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by Fakiha Baig | June 2021
A Cree woman had just given birth to her sixth child in Saskatoon, when she was presented with a consent form for her sterilization. “She tried to wheel herself away from the operating room, but the doctor wheeled her right back in the direction of the same operating room,” says a new government report, which details the woman’s sterilization in 2001. “When she was in the operating room, she kept asking the doctor if she was done yet. Finally, he said, ‘Yes. Cut, tied and burnt. There, nothing is getting through that.”’
TAGS: [Racial Terrorism] [2020’s] [Indigenous] [Systemic Racism] [White Supremacy] [History] [Health Disparities]
The Bloody History of Anti-Asian Violence in the West; One of the Largest Mass Lynchings in the United States Targeted Chinese Immigrants in Los Angeles
by Kevin Waite | May 2021
This year marks the 150th anniversary of one of the largest mass lynchings in American history. The carnage erupted in Los Angeles on October 24, 1871, when a frenzied mob of 500 people stormed into the city’s Chinese quarter. Some victims were shot and stabbed; others were hanged from makeshift gallows. By the end of the night, 19 mangled bodies lay in the streets of Los Angeles.Lynching is a term most often associated with violence against African Americans in the post-Civil War South. But racial hatred has never been quarantined to one American region or confined to a single ethnic group. In Los Angeles in 1871, the victims were Chinese immigrants. Their deaths were part of a wave of anti-Asian violence that swept across the 19th-century American West—and reverberates to this day.
TAGS: [Racial Terrorism] [2020’s] [White Supremacy] [White Culture] [History] [Asian] [Systemic Racism] [White Privilege] [Silencing POC]
Slave Traders Knew Exactly What They Were Doing; A New History of Three 19th-Century Human Traffickers Explodes All the Old Excuses
by Rebecca Onion | April 2021
The Ledger and the Chain tells the story of how these three men profited from the United States’ decision to outlaw the foreign slave trade, in 1808. The change, of course, did not put an end to slavery inside the United States, and because the slaveholding states of the Upper South were finding that their land was increasingly difficult to work after decades of tobacco cultivation, they profited by selling people further South, where cotton and sugar production was booming. …
This dynamic is most visible in the traders’ letters discussing teenage girls who were sold as sex slaves. In trading these young women, identifiable in documentation by their much-higher-than-usual prices (and, sometimes, by the traders’ explicit discussion of their likelihood to sell for those purposes), Franklin, Armfield, and Ballard prided themselves on their ability to know what buyers might want—their success “speculating on the erotic desires of slaveholders.” They also raped such women, themselves; Rothman found many ribald references to those activities in their own correspondence, interspersed with discussions of everyday business matters.
TAGS: [Racial Terrorism] [2020’s] [Slavery] [History] [Systemic Racism] [Black Lives Matter] [White Supremacy] [White Culture] [White Privilege] [Social Justice] [Politics]
Return the National Parks to the Tribes; The Jewels of America’s Landscape Should Belong to America’s Original Peoples.
by David Treuer | April 2021
The American story of “the Indian” is one of staggering loss. Some estimates put the original Indigenous population of what would become the contiguous United States between 5 million and 15 million at the time of first contact. By 1890, around the time America began creating national parks in earnest, roughly 250,000 Native people were still alive. In 1491, Native people controlled all of the 2.4 billion acres that would become the United States. Now we control about 56 million acres, or roughly 2 percent. And yet we remain, and some of us have stayed stubbornly near the parks, preserving our attachment to them. Grand Canyon National Park encloses much of the Havasupai Tribe and its reservation. Pipe Spring National Monument sits entirely inside the 120,000-acre Kaibab Paiute Indian Reservation, in northern Arizona. Many other parks neighbor Native communities. But while the parks may be near us, and of us, they are not ours.
TAGS: [Racial Terrorism] [2020’s] [History] [Indigenous] [Systemic Racism] [White Supremacy] [White Culture] [White Privilege] [Denial] [Social Justice] [Accountability] [Environment] [Politics] [Assumptions] [Silencing POC]
by Simon J. Levien | March 2021
When J. Max Bond Jr. ’55 entered Harvard at the age of 16, he was among 15 Black students in his class, most of whom lived in the north corner of Harvard Yard. As his freshman spring semester began, two other Harvard freshmen erected a wooden cross facing that corner of the Yard, formed by Stoughton and Holworthy Halls. And around midnight on Feb. 5, 1952, the students lit the cross on fire… Post-Harvard, Bond became one of a few prominent Black architects in the 20th century. After his death in 2009, his widow, Jean Carey Bond, released an 11-page retelling of his life. In it, Jean reveals that the University threatened Bond or any Black student with suspension should they go to the media with the cross burning. Bond, who graduated Phi Beta Kappa and finished undergrad in three years, was never suspended.
TAGS: [Racial Terrorism] [2020’s] [Systemic Racism] [Silencing POC] [White Supremacy] [White Culture] [White Privilege] [White Defensiveness] [History] [Slavery] [Denial] [Social Justice]
Black Student Who Was Knocked Unconscious by Florida Officer Is ‘Traumatized’ and Seriously Injured, Family Says
by Zack Linly | February 2021
Last week, The Root reported that a Black high school student was body-slammed and knocked unconscious by a school resource officer at Liberty High School in Kissimmee, Fla. The Osceola County Sheriff’s Department said the officer was trying to stop a fight between her and another student, but video footage of the incident recorded by another student has since gone viral and has understandably raised questions about police use of force, the necessity of police officers on school grounds and, of course, racism. Those concerns are likely to be compounded now that the girl’s family is speaking out saying that she was “traumatized” by the incident and that she’s suffered serious injuries.
TAGS: [Racial Terrorism] [2020’s] [Policing] [Assumptions] [Systemic Racism] [Black Lives Matter] [White Defensiveness] [White Privilege] [White Culture] [White Supremacy]
Retracing Slavery’s Trail of Tears; America’s Forgotten Migration – the Journeys of a Million African-Americans from the Tobacco South to the Cotton South
by Edward Ball | November 2015
“My grandfather went to the folks who had owned our family and asked, ‘Do you have any documentation about our history during the slave days? We would like to see it, if possible.’ The man at the door, who I have to assume was from the slaveholding side, said, ‘Sure, we’ll give it to you.’ When Delores McQuinn was growing up, her father told her a story about a search for the family’s roots. He said his own father knew the name of the people who had enslaved their family in Virginia, knew where they lived—in the same house and on the same land—in Hanover County, among the rumpled hills north of Richmond.“The man went into his house and came back out with some papers in his hands. Now, whether the papers were trivial or actual plantation records, who knows? But he stood in the door, in front of my grandfather, and lit a match to the papers. ‘You want your history?’ he said. ‘Here it is.’ Watching the things burn. ‘Take the ashes and get off my land.’ “The intent was to keep that history buried,” McQuinn says today. “And I think something like that has happened over and again, symbolically.”
TAGS: [Racial Terrorism] [2010’s] [History] [Slavery] [Silencing POC] [Confederate Monuments] [Politics] [Black Lives Matter] [Definitions] [White Supremacy] [White Culture] [White Privilege] [Social Justice] [Civil War] [Accountability]
by Kayla Epstein | October 2019
The cars came one by one, down a gravel road and through a cotton field, to the edge of the Tallahatchie River and the spot where, 64 years ago, historians believe Emmett Till’s lifeless body was pulled from the river. The vehicles carried Till’s relatives, including cousin the Rev. Wheeler Parker, community leaders and advocates dedicated to keeping his memory alive. The group had gathered on Saturday at noon in the remote spot near Glendora, Miss., to dedicate yet another memorial to Till. And this time, it was bulletproof. It took 50 years to get the first memorial to Till erected in Tallahatchie County, the site of the lynching that helped spark the civil rights movement. But then an entirely new battle began: keeping the tribute intact.
TAGS: [Racial Terrorism] [2010’s] [History] [Systemic Racism] [White Supremacy] [White Culture] [Social Justice] [Black Lives Matter] [White Privilege] [White Defensiveness]
by Corey Mitchell | January 2021
Searing images from this month’s mostly white insurrection in Washington, D.C.—including a hangman’s noose on the Capitol grounds and the Confederate flag carried inside the U.S. Capitol—harken back to another era when both were tools and symbols of white supremacy across the country. But relatively few students have learned about previous sordid moments that foreshadowed this year’s efforts to instill terror and violently overturn an election such as the Wilmington Insurrection of 1898, widely thought to be the only successful coup in U.S. history, and the Tulsa Race Massacre.
TAGS: [Racial Terrorism] [2020’s] [History] [Social Justice] [Systemic Racism] [White Culture] [Slavery] [Politics] [Denial] [Silencing POC] [Teachers] [White Supremacy] [White Privilege] [White Blindness] [White Defensiveness] [Black Lives Matter]
by Gilliam Graham | February Year Unknown
In July of 1750, a short notice appeared in a Boston newspaper calling for help finding an enslaved man who had run away from Ichabod Goodwin of Berwick in the province of Maine. Pompey was described as a short man of about 40 who spoke good English, wore a homespun jacket and checked shirt and had a cut ear. Fitted around his neck was an iron slave collar, a brutal device used by enslavers to identify and discipline the people they claimed as property. Goodwin, a blacksmith who offered a reward for Pompey’s return, likely made the collar himself. Notices like these of runaway slaves are among the few written documents that describe the reality and brutality of slavery in the early days of the Massachusetts Province of Maine. Largely left out of history books or minimized as an insignificant footnote, slavery remains a nearly hidden aspect of the history of Maine, a state better known as the home of abolitionists than enslavers or profiteers. However, reminders of Maine’s slavery connections linger in the coves, streets and other landmarks named for slaveholders who have been remembered instead for their contributions to shipbuilding, trade and establishing coastal towns.
TAGS: [Racial Terrorism] [Slavery] [Systemic Racism] [White Supremacy] [White Culture] [White Privilege] [Black Lives Matter] [History] [Social Justice]