Category Archives: Editorial

Natural Disasters Highlight Cost of Poverty

By S. Christopher Emerson

As we watch the ‘round the clock coverage of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Jose, we can’t help but fix ourselves on the human element, and feel the fear of the inevitable crashing into the southern coast of our imagination.

Some of us are housing family and friends who escaped Harvey with whatever they could carry. Some of us are possibly still looking for family.

And as South Texas sets about rebuilding with federal money that the red state would surely grandstand against any other time, Hurricane Irma is plowing through the Caribbean on its way to Florida.

Those storms are some big nasty looming climate change monsters slowly rollin’ up to Debo the whole southeast US and that’s scary. But there are people down there: some are running for their lives, some are stickin’ it out with the ole’ “Git ‘er dun” mentality (if ya’ know what I mean), and some are just… stuck.

The scene reminds me of the harrowing images we couldn’t take our eyes off of during and after Hurricane Katrina; with the losses, the hope, and the racist macro offenses playing out in the middle of a natural disaster. We’re all hoping that casualties and damages don’t reach

Use Wisdom in Responding to Racist Rallies

By S. Christopher Emerson

Drawing on momentum from racist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, white supremacists attempting to characterize themselves as “free speech” activists (as if they aren’t ever allowed to speak freely) planned rallies in Berkeley and San Francisco, CA (which were duds).

Even though organizers for both events have said, as reported by CNN, that “they don’t promote hate speech and extremists, KKK, Nazis and white supremacists aren’t welcome at their events,” history tells us that rallies of this thrust are generally awash with white supremacists.

…Because white supremacists are the main groups so concerned with “Saying ‘no’ to Marxism” that they’d plan a public gathering to fight it.

It’s simple social math. Anything other than capitalism + “whur gunna looz arr FREEDUHM” = Toothless, racist White crackers and their flag-waving, history-forgetting lackeys.

Lackeys, you say? Joey Gibson, founder of Patriot Prayer, disputes being labelled as a white supremacist, saying that he’s a person of color. In a clip on NPR on Friday, he described himself as

Why is Removing Racist Statues Even a Question?

By S. Christopher Emerson

For the same reason they were erected in the first place…

Racism is still alive in well in America, and it’s allowed to fester.

Monuments are built to recognize people and events that are of significance, and to evoke the beliefs, feelings and emotions of those historical figures and times. Humans erect monuments to remember a thing, many times, fondly, and to perpetuate the lessons of those memories.

Unfortunately, in this case, Confederate monuments appear to all be intended to evoke fond and prideful longing for the days when all White folks, most especially poor European immigrants, had clearly separated themselves from the enslaved Africans working across the burgeoning US landscape.

Confederate monuments remind racist White folks that there was a time when their superiority complex was overtly being played out in national politics, social relations, and economics. Those politics laid the foundation for the privileges and benefit of the doubt that the white dominant culture and people enjoy today.

Now, some White folks understand just how much their oppression and privilege hurts Black folks and other people of color, in this country and around the world. Actively working to make social relationships and institutions equitable is the next step that those “woke” White folks should move to.

With that said, while we appreciate Tina Fey’s “sheetcaking” skit on Saturday Night Live, in which she mused about Charlottesville and white supremacy, her message failed to clearly state that racism needs to be challenged. Her suggestion that we let racists just shout to empty air is really the same thing many White people have already done. White American audiences weakly sat back and allowed slavery, white backslashes, Jim Crow, segregation, apartheid, McCarthyism, COINTELPRO, the War on Drugs, and now are set to be spectators for the racist “alt-right” movement.

Tina’s sheet cake is a metaphor for “coping through lack of direct action.”

Meanwhile, Black folks are experiencing some very real effects, latent and not-so-dormant racist ideas in everyday White folks’ minds. But you just go ahead and enjoy your cake, Tina.

We’ll keep working hard to beat back these racist people and policies that are at the core of oppression in this country.

The Use of Tiki Torches Tells You About the White Nationalist Cowards at UVA

S. Christopher Emerson

If you agree with US president Cheeto Hitler and believe there are two equal sides of the Charlottesville race riot, you’re as obscenely wrong about everything as he is.

When a couple hundred Ken Doll Garbage Pail Kids descended upon the campus of the University of Virginia at Charlottesville Friday night devoid of the creativity that would have led them to do more than charge 200 tiki torches on dad’s Home Depot card and whine about some europocalypse, we knew what in the history-repeating-itself-hell was going on.

Without devoting too much time to a phenomenon Black folks have literally been dealing with since the end of slavery (and before, of course), Charlottesville is just the latest terrorist incident perpetrated by whites backlashing Black and Brown social advancements. In this case, white nationalists including klan members, Nazis (ain’t nothin’ “neo” about ‘em), and confederate losers shouted out in the dark “You will not replace us.”

No need. You’re fading out without our help.

Add the UVA race riot to the list that includes the East St. Louis Race Riot, the bombing of Black Wall Street, the massacre in Rosewood, FL, culminations of a boiling white backlash that once simmered in police killings of unarmed Black folks, including children and the other lynchings of Blacks committed by probably the White guys standing next to our grandparents in the town square. Counter protesters still squared off on those cowards though.

And yes, there were white women present to taking phone video of the Aryan snivelfest, just like they showed up for Toupee Fiasco in his election as Bullshitter-in-Chief.

And to add insult to insult, White enemy combatants, outfitted with helmets, blunted weapons, makeshift shields, and firearms, attacked counter protesters before their 12 noon response the next day. The attack led to several injuries, and one death after one of the cowards drove a car through a group there to oppose the white nationalists.

So no, this ain’t two equals sides meeting on level footing, arguing the finer points of racial and ethnic difference. Nah Son. This is a group of savages, guilty and emboldened by their white privilege, flailing about because they think their opinions are valid or important, and a group of folks who wouldn’t allow them to crack their mouths without a challenge.

Incidentally, THIS is why we protest, and boycott, namely the NFL… Because it’s important to build and issue power beyond what is comfortable and convenient, since we wanna be free.