brookessinclair·Sep 25·5 replies
My country tis of thee. Sweet land of liberty. Not for me, I sing. Land where my fathers died. Land that the pilgrims stole. Now ev’ry mountainside...Let Freedom Ring!The summer of 2020 was unreal. For the first time in American history, the descendants of slaves were seen as human beings. We were treated as though we had feelings and a soul. When the deaths of Ahmaud Abry and Breonna Taylor made national news, and Goerge Floyd was murdered in front of a crowd, there were a few short days when most of America was on one accord: police brutality is wrong. For a brief moment in time, our nation was unified. For a hot second, America was one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. America. A nation of immigrants built on land stolen from the indigenous people. If any group should hold political power in this country it should be its indigenous population. But that’s not the world we live in. We live in a paradox. We live in a world where wrong is right and the right seems to do the most wrong. Never have I ever heard a politician say “you didn’t hear me say that” (huh?). When facts are confused for fiction it keeps us from having the higher-level conversations we need to have. Important conversations like defunding the police. Do you know how many food secure families we could feed if each police department volunteered $1 billion from its budget to community social services? Critical conversations about topics like police brutality. When was the last time a plain-clothed policeman busted served a no-knock warrant to a home in a historically white neighborhood when they already had the suspect in custody? We need to discuss the likelihood of a black person public hanging themselves in a public square and the progress of those investigations. Make no mistake, America is at war. The American civil war of 2020. This article disproves the lies of the so-called conservative media. A direct response to The Daily Intelligencers’ article written by New York magazine’s journalist Jonathan Chait and published in July 2020. It is a response to the lies and propaganda spouted by the ivory tower dwellers. The rich and privileged gain from the conflicts of the common middle-class. I cannot convert anyone’s thinking, but I can speak to those who are listening. To those who see what’s happening to this country and are frustrated by the same distracted talking of American politics, I say onto you...We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish Enough is Enough.Facts. Facts are things that are known and/or proven. Fears have no basis in facts. Scientists gather facts. Space travel is now a fact, but what if everything you’ve ever known about yourself was not based on facts? If you learned that your legacy, your ancestry, and your very existence was all based on myth. A myth is a widely held but FALSE idea or belief. Would you rather hold onto the lie you have been taught? The systemic racism we find in America’s education and housing did not happen by coincidence or accident. However, for a large number of the white majority, this was the first time they had seen the death of a Black man in a way that shook them to the core. 2020 has been the first year where white Americans faced the facts of their ancestral inheritance and the myths of racism. The perfect American dream of raising 2.5 children and living in a just and civil society is a myth. The myth first came into question when the viral video of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery’s murder was released to the public on May 5th. Ahmaud was shot and killed on Feb. 23, but because one of Ahmaud’s assailants, Gregory McMichael, was a retired police officer he and his son Travis were not charged with a crime until the video was released. Recorded for their enjoyment, the McMichael’s and friend, William "Roddie" Bryan, told police they suspected Arbery had committed a series of break-ins. Although rumor has it, the video was already in police possession before being posted to social media. Fact: The rights and privileges of police brutality extend to retired, plain clothes, and off-duty police officers. According to Chait, “White racists project the opposite of (hard work, rational thought, and careful planning) onto Black people and present them as immutable flaws.” The myth came into question for a second time this year when a 26-year-old award-winning emergency medical technician, Breonna Taylor, was murdered in cold-blood by Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) when three plainclothes officers broke down Taylor's door in the late hours of March 13th with a battering ram. And although the three plainclothes officers 47-year-old Jonathan Mattingly, 44-year-old Brett Hankison, and 42-year-old Myles Cosgrove had been “on the job” for more than a decade rumor has it the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) already had the primary targets of the investigation, Jamarcus Glover and Adrian Walker, in custody. In the 150 days since Breonna’s murder, police across the nation have investigated and arrested more than 10,000 protestors and the woman who set fire to a Wendy’s. Fact: Denying the gap in police brutality is racist. Anti-racism training is a measure of conflict resolution. It is not a business model for spreading harmful, racist, ideas as Chait would have you believe. Anti-racism training is certainly not as harmful to American citizens as the greed of Enron, MCI, or the 2008 collapse of the housing market. Anti-racism training has not, and will not, harm the same number of Americans as redlining, homelessness, food deserts, or pollution. Fact: Throughout the entire year of 2019, there were only 27 days where the police did not kill someone. Training is the action of teaching a skill or behavior often in preparation for an event. The event, in this case, concrete methods of addressing systemic racism. Enlightenment. The anti-racism consulting industry deserves more than your sympathy. The training/consulting market in the states spans across several sectors including but not limited to IT (Information Technology), Management & Leadership, Sales, and Teaching. To its credit, the consulting market in the U.S. was worth $55B in 2015. The consulting market was worth $166B in November 2019 and even today the market is still worth $132B in spite of coronavirus. From a Silicon Valley perspective, the consultation market is no longer a burgeoning market Chait suggests. It is burgeoned. A trained consultant sells a resolution to a conflict. When you hire a consultant you’re buying that person’s professional expert advice on how to solve a problem or issue. Depending on the field, industry, or context that person’s professional expert advice can resolve issues that afflict us personally, professionally, or in society. In this case, anti-racism training is the beginning of working towards a solution and anti-racism consultants are selling solutions to help people heal from the trauma we’ve shared as American citizens. The consultants are experts in their experiences. Just like any other consultant, the solution of an anti-racism consultant is neither vague nor mystical. False: Racism is not a problem white people need to overcome in order to see people who look different as fully human — it is totalizing and inescapable. The silent white majority was confronted with yet another myth on May 25th when Amy Cooper, a white female investment banker for Franklin Templeton took her dog off its leash in Central Park’s Ramble. The Central Park Conservancy website says when dogs are in the Ramble they must always be leashed (even during off-leash hours). However, when a birdwatching black man, Christian Cooper, asked Amy to put her dog on the leash she became enraged with anger and attempted to murder-him-by-cop. Christian then recorded Amy calling 911 to report a phony threat that she was being attacked by “an African American man” in Central Park. Amy Cooper tried to weaponize her whiteness against Christian. Just like how Carolyn Bryant Donham claimed Emmett Till sexually harassed her, which led to the 14-year-old's horrific lynching in August of 1955. More than 60 years later, on her deathbed, she admitted to lying about the incident. False: US government doesn’t track statistics of unarmed men brutalized by the police but OSHA requires employers to record incidents and cases that involve death, loss of consciousness, days away from work, restriction of work or motion, transfer to another job, medical treatment other than first aid, or diagnosis of a significant injury or illness by a physician or other licensed health care professional.An investment banker is someone who works in a financial institution or in a large bank's division that is involved in raising capital for governments, companies. Investment banking is one of the highest-paid professions on the planet and Franklin Templeton is a global leader in asset management with more than seven decades of experience. An American multinational global investment firm Franklin Templeton was founded in New York City in 1947. Now at first glance, this detail may not seem important or related to the overall story. However, remember America’s systemic racism did not become a reality by coincidence or accident. High grossing jobs and industries like investment banking are dominated by white men and women. Those white people who work in a financial institution are often involved in raising capital for startups, established businesses, governments, and other institutions. So when underrepresented founders, entrepreneurs, or emerging fund managers are unable to secure an investment, loan, or lines of credit it is because of people like Amy Cooper. Regardless of the company’s actions, I believe people like Amy Cooper are the norm and not the exception at Franklin Templeton. We couldn’t see Amy Cooper’s face but I feel certain she and Derek Chauvin, the police officer responsible for murdering George Floyd on May 25. Fact: America provides Black children with worse education. Ignoring that fact keeps us from working towards a solution. On May 25, 2020, George Floyd was arrested on suspicion of using a counterfeit $20 bill. Four police officers responded. Derek Chauvin was one of the four police officers to respond to a 911 call of fraudulent paper. Instead of placing the already handcuffed man in the backseat of the squad car, the senior white police officer, Derek Chauvin, layed handcuffed George Floyd face down on the street. Then, in front of a crowd of people with camera phones Chauvin then knelt down on George’s neck without shame or a fear of consequences. George begged for his life and screamed "I can't breathe" while the other three police officers prevented bystanders from intervening. Chauvin did not remove his knee from George’s neck until he was told to do so by the medics. Fact: Racism is not based on a person’s intent. A person can have well meaning intentions, but say and do racist things. The racism is in the words or actions that physically, mentally, or emotionally harm you caused the other person. As the world watched Derek Chauvin, impassively stare ahead with his knee on George’s neck we were all united in having a strong emotional response. San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich described the look on the officers face as nonchalant, casual, as though kneeling on people’s necks was an everyday activity. Kneeling on a person’s neck is a routine activity for police officers like Chauvin. It’s all in a day's work. The truth is it wasn’t Derek’s actions that shook the world, it was the look on his face. The look Popovich said was embarrassing as a white person. Popovich described the intent behind Chauvin’s facial expression as his right, his duty to do as he pleased. It was the look on Derek Chauvin’s face that caused a number of white people to realize the history lesson they learned in school was a lie, “and they were trying to make a lie the truth,” said Popovich. The look on Chauvin’s face was a familiar look for white people. We’ve all seen that face before. It’s the same face Karen makes when she’s attacking innocent adults going about their daily tasks. Was it a look of fearlessness? Or the look of undisputable racism? It was the look of privilege.Those who knew Derek Chauvin said they would not have predicted him killing George Floyd. Chauvin was considered ‘a regular guy’ by his friends. He attended Inver Hills Community College and Metropolitan State University, where his focus shifted to police work. “The number one question I had was, ‘Why didn’t you just get up?’ ” said a relative, who asked not to be named. As a result of his actions, Chauvin’s wife filed for divorce and his personal life has been highly scrutinized by County prosecutors and white people had no choice but to admit to themselves systemic racism does exist. Myth: Denying the value of teaching white values to black children condemns them to poverty. In the end, sympathy & credit is not what the anti-racism training industry deserves. It deserves respect. You go to the gym to build muscle, you meditate to focus your concentration, you go to anti-racism training for enlightenment. The anti-racism training industry provides participants the tools to rehab their unconscious bias. To rehabilitate an unconscious bias, to gain clarity and understanding, you have to admit there is a problem. Enlightenment is the only concrete method of addressing systemic racism. Journalists like Jonathan Chait and publications like the Intelligencer know that. The Intelligencer is the one stop source for political news stories from around the globe. A subsidiary of Vox and New York Media, Intelligencer is one of five popular online offshoot websites The Cut (style, culture), Grub Street (food), Intelligencer (politics), The Strategist (shopping) and Vulture (pop culture). Vox and New York Media consist of a widely-decorated print magazine, websites, a podcast empire and several streaming television deals — the very model of a modern media company. Jim Bankoff is the Chairman and CEO of Vox Media. He’s white. Jim graduated from the Phillips Exeter Academy and Wharton School. He interned at CNN for less than a year then after graduating with his MBA he became President at Netscape and America Online for six years before working at Providence Equity Partners, the leading private equity firm in Rhode Island. Jim’s counterpart at New York Media is Pamela Wasserstein. Pamela had a similar upbringing to Jim. Pamela got a Bachelor of Arts and Law degree from Harvard. After Law School, Pamela worked at a prestigious New York law firm before working for Apollo Global Management, the world's leading alternative investment managers with more than $330 billion of assets. The granddaughter of the late investment banker, Bruce Wasserstein, on paper the New York Media company is actually owned by the Wasserstein Family Trust. Pamela runs the day-to-day operations of New York Media and other sites. Myth: Anti-racism trainers go beyond denying the myth of meritocracy to denying the role of individual merit.Without having met Jim & Pam I’m sure they are great people, they both have warm approachable smiles. However, Chait challenges the credibility of the anti-racism industry through the real life story of famed negro baseball player Jackie Robinson. Chait says anti-racism trainers go beyond denying the myth of meritocracy to denying the role of individual merit. Now let’s break this down. Meritocracy promotes equal grounds for people from different races and castes. It prioritizes performance and uses it as a scale for promotions, bonuses and other rewards. Meritocracy is a social system in which success and status in life depend primarily on individual talents, abilities, and effort. Denying the myth of meritocracy sounds like Chait believes anti-racism trainers refuse to admit the truth of a widely held but false idea. Jonathan Chait, and many like him would have us believe, Robin DiAngelo, the author of the New York Times best-selling book White Fragility reduces a remarkable figure like Robinson to a mere pawn of systemic oppression and that anti-racism training eliminates Robinson’s heroic qualities, denying Jackie’s individual merit. Heroic? I am not a frequent comic book reader so I double checked the heroes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Detective Comics Cinematic Universe, and Valiant Universe. I was unable to find any baseball playing negro heros. Then the context clues of Chait’s argument that DiAngelo and anti-racism training denies the role of Jackie Robinson’s individual merit. It sounds like although Chait acknowledged Jackie Robinson was not the first Black man good enough to play major league baseball with whites, Chait still believes it was Jackie Robinson’s individually powerful skills and personality that drafted him to the Brooklyn Dodgers. Just like Jim & Pam, the key to Jackie Robinson’s success was working hard, and nothing else. Fact: White racists project the opposite of (hard work, rational thought and careful planning) onto Black people and present them as unchangeable flaws. Chait’s closing argument is that in order to overcome poverty minority children should be taught white values in school like Jackie Robinson. Black children from the slums, like Jackie Robinson, can overcome the gap in achievements if they are taught white values. Because the idea of “white values” includes things like rational thinking; cause and effect; hard work being the key to success; planning for the future; and delayed gratification. Chait argues that anti-racism programming denies Black children the value of learning so-called white values. He gives the new breed of woke white executives, professionals, and school administrators permission to acknowledge the morally justifiable explosion of anger of racial prejudice, for a moment. Then he subtly reminds the silent white majority of their privilege. That white people are just good, or inherently better, at things. White people are cleaner, harder working, and more likely to be on time. Chait summarrized his closeted white-nationalist thoughts on so-called white values which inspired and motivated me to respond to this New York columnist’s analysis and political commentary. Because the one most accurate statement of his entire article, the perspective that should keep white-nationalists, or supremacists awake at night is that the current (white) president happens to be alienated from the white values that the previous (Black) president identified strongly with. Fact: Trump’s version of his alleged success is that he’s a genius who improvises his way to brilliant deals. The realistic version is that he’s a lazy heir who inherited and cheated his way to riches, and spends most of his time watching television. Trump is likewise incapable of delayed gratification, planning for the future, and regards “objective rational thinking” with distrust.