Showing up for Racial Justice(SURJ) was formed in 2009 by white people from across the US to respond to the significant increase of targeting and violence against people of color in the aftermath of the election of Barack Obama. The killings of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO; Eric Garner on Staten Island, NY; Ezell Ford in Los Angeles, CA; and John Crawford in Beavercreek, Ohio are the latest in a long series of extrajudicial (outside the law) killings of people of color in the United States. We mourn the loss of life, see the impact on communities of color and believe that white people must partner across race and other differences to create social change. SURJ is here to provide resources and support for white people to make this happen.… Read more
As Mother’s Day approaches, the White Noise Collective is once again faced with more questions than answers about this national holiday with a rich but forgotten history. We all agree that the current mainstream celebration of Mother’s Day — adorned with endless plastic, fuzzy and floral ways to express your annual appreciation to your mother — are at best a capitalist co-optation of a holiday that was originally meant for a completely different purpose.
Harnessing fierce maternal love in all its forms, we offer this blog with a compilation buffet of food for thought and critical reflection on the his/herstories of Mother’s Day.
In its inception, Mother’s Day was intended to be a day for women across the world to band together in opposing war and promoting peace. As Ruth Rosen writes in her article about reclaiming Mother’s Day, “The women who originally celebrated Mother’s Day conceived of it as an occasion to use their status as mothers to protest injustice and war.… Read more
“The killings became more and more frenzied with days of Thanksgiving feasts being held after each successful massacre. George Washington finally suggested that only one day of Thanksgiving per year be set aside instead of celebrating each and every massacre.” (Susan Bates)
We often think of Thanksgiving as a time of family, football, giving thanks and gorging. I used to be of this mindset until learning more about some of the actual roots of this holiday. What I learned was that Thanksgiving has little to do with an amicable meal shared between the Pilgrims and Indians. While there is a documented meal shared at one point, and this is often what is referenced, the “National Holiday” was originally a marker of the celebrations of the massive genocide of Indigenous peoples across the Eastern coast of the US. Judy Dow (Abenaki) and Beverly Slapin gives an amazing run down of many of these “origin story” myths we were taught about our country and some of the actual truths that they mask.… Read more
While the “social media moment” may have passed, the Zimmerman verdict represents just one of countless examples in an on-going pattern of unrecognized white privilege lending justification to violence against black men. The need remains to continue the conversation about this case, particularly with respect to this pattern. One element of the pattern that is specific to white women is our stereotyped role as virtuous victims who need protection from “bad guys.” Looking at the Zimmerman trial with an eye to this narrative reveals how the verdict was shaped by the white female judge’s decision to frame the case in terms of Zimmerman’s fear, the white female jurors’ description of their key decision as a response to fear, and the significance of the white female neighbor in justifying that fear.
The White Noise Collective has added our name to the list of organizations that support and endorse the California Prisoner Hunger Strikers. We do this as an act of solidarity and to stand in opposition to the structural racism of the prison industry. As part of that endorsement, we are sharing this announcement about an upcoming way for all of us to show support and solidarity. Please join us in making a call to Gov. Brown and encouraging him and the CDCR to negotiate. -the WNC
Hunger for Justice
On Wednesday July 31st, people around the world will fast and take other action in solidarity with the California Prisoner Hunger Strikers. Join family members of hunger strikers along with James Cromwell, Angela Davis, Mike Farrell, Danny Glover, Elliott Gould, Chris Hedges, Alice Walker, and Cornel West. We fast knowing that the criminalization that killed Trayvon Martin, and the criminalization that justifies the torture of prisoners in solitary confinement are one and the same.… Read more
As we collectively mourn for Trayvon Martin and feel outrage for him, his family and all people who live in fear of a criminal (in)justice system which is designed to entrap and persecute them or their loved ones, we must reflect on the dynamics of racism and fear in our culture that not only allowed, but encouraged, Travon’s murder. From theWe Are Not Trayvon Martin tumblr:
The Trayvon Martin case isn’t about an isolated incident but about a pattern of behavior. It’s assumed that racism some how magically ended in the 1960’s. Instead, we’ve slapped a fresh coat of paint over it and then remarked about how great it looked. But the problems didn’t disappear.
And we must have a conversation about the System of White Supremacy and the white women jurors who released George Zimmerman. As one of our collective members posted earlier today on facebook, “White Supremacy let Zimmerman go, but it was a jury of almost all white women who did White Supremacy’s bidding.” The Daily Mail reports:
A jury of six women, five of them white and the other a minority, decided George Zimmerman was not guilty in the shooting of an unarmed black teenager, Trayvon Martin.… Read more
Here are the themes that the folks who came to our last dialogue said that they want to explore in future dialogues. Through the help of Beja, they miraculously transformed from notes on poster paper into typed clusters in this blog for people to comment on to collectively figure out what to talk about next (April 12). Let’s see if this works. They are numbered and named for ease of commenting: Here’s a suggested process:
1. Read them over
2. Pick a cluster or a topic within a cluster that you think would be a good place to start. You can also propose restructuring the clusters.
3. Post it in a comment, along with any other thoughts about any of them, or the structural ideas at the bottom.
how do we claim ancestry? (white privilege, healing the burden, understanding the choices our ancestors made)
current deep north and addressing the ways we currently/tacitly benefit from global slavery
tendency for forgiveness of others but not ourselves
we are generations into colonization
radical/proud identity/need to know your roots