Trump suddenly condemns “all types of racism and acts of violence.” Yet he still hasn’t condemned the Charlottesville nazis a year later.

Maybe he doesn’t understand what “racism” is. Sad! But America is better than he is. Let’s talk about why racism matters.

Oppression is about power: a group with more resources uses those resources to control a group with fewer resources. Often it’s the majority holding down those who are different. The balance cannot shift without a shift in resources, so we don’t give them a shot at the resources.
Sometimes advantage comes from an arbitrary characteristic like skin color. Whereas there is no such biological concept as “race,” we assign it social meaning to classify people. We see some groups have fewer resources, and we implicitly or explicitly assume their inferiority.
Let’s look at those assumptions. People who don’t have as much money/as good a job/as nice a car, etc. as we do are dumber? Weaker? Lazier? Slower? Taking advantage? Not here on their own merit? Dirtier? More likely to be addicts? Sicker? Morally bankrupt? Less loved by God??
What’s more, people are neither oblivious nor immune to others’ assumptions of their inferiority. They react, some by suppressing, others by internalizing, still others by resisting. Internalized oppression, especially, is a festering lesion feeding off America’s darkest spirit.
And hatred is born. Hatred of that which is “other.” Hatred of “those people.” Hatred of our own fear of losing our advantage to someone we have been taught is inferior to us. And fierce, fierce protection of “what’s ours.” We don’t want to share. After all, resources are finite.
You may have heard you’re privileged. That doesn’t mean you didn’t earn your way, so stop that thought train now. It means that, for at least some steps along the way, you succeeded because you had some resource that someone else did not. It was hard, but you were resourceful.
Resources can mean tangible goods (like money or medication to help you function), people connections (like knowing a good lawyer or the PTA president), or the “right” skin color and clothes so you don’t get arrested or shot when pulled over for going 44 mph in a 35 mph zone.
You succeeded because someone believed in you. You worked your tail off because you COULD work your tail off. You weren’t working late shifts to put food on the table. You weren’t unfairly fired because a customer thought you got an attitude with her. You did it. But life helped.
Let’s look at this practically. Maybe the odds against you were 3-0. But for someone without your resources, they would be 5-0. You’ve come through a lot, but some people have it even harder than you do.

You run into a wall. Someone with fewer resources runs into 200 of them.
So, with oppression, you get stuff because of resources, so you oppress others to keep resources. But sometimes the dividing line or criterion is race. The effect of racism extends beyond resources. You’re hated because of who you are, not even because of what you have.
That hatred gets internalized by us (the haters) and them (the hated). We swallow it and insist we’re not racist, but we still have implicit biases we don’t even know are there. Society teaches us. And what’s worse, we pass it to our children just as we pass our DNA.
Come with me to an old record shop in Durham, NC. If you’re Black, odds are you’ve felt or seen people watching you in this store (or perhaps another). I really don’t notice it. I’m white. The experience of being differentially monitored is stressful. I don’t have that stress.
Over a lifetime, the stress of being discriminated against builds up. You learn to let it go, but you can never fully forget how much hatred is thrown at you. This effect is called weathering, and it changes your biology and can be passed through generations. Racism IS alive.
Over time, weathering wears down your body. This stress is linked to almost every health condition. It’s not good for your job, either.

You may not be racist. You had nothing to do with slavery. But if you are in the majority “race” (i.e., you’re white), you are a beneficiary.
In sum, of COURSE the tyrant in the White House doesn’t understand racism. He accepts no blame and sees no faults in himself.

So We, the People, will take up the cause for him. This is a deep and painful journey, and each of us has a lot to learn. But we’re better for it.
As we remember #HeatherHeyer, let’s be conscious of ways we propagate hate, implicitly and explicitly. Racist hate has deeply scarred our past, but it need not cloud our future. Let’s vow never again to allow hate to win because of our own lack of concern. Will you stand with me?

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More from @dEMMAcratic

Sep 14, 2018
THREAD: 3 weeks ago I had emergency abdominal surgery. My gallbladder was rupturing. Not my fault, but if the current administration gets its way, insurance companies & others could discriminate against me for it. This is why we must #StopKavanaugh. This is #WhatsAtStake. (contd)
A family friend, 22 years old, recently suffered from a depressive episode. She attempted to take her own life and ended up in the hospital. Now she has a history of mental illness that, if not protected, could impact insurability. We must #StopKavanaugh. This is #WhatsAtStake.
My oldest niece is 12. When she was a baby, she had severe asthma. Her parents once woke at 3 AM to find her barely breathing. She is fine, but she has a preexisting condition that could make her uninsurable if the Trump administration gets its way. #WhatsAtStake #StopKavanaugh
Read 6 tweets
Sep 9, 2018
Preventing Suicide: The Hope and the Challenge

Today (September 9) is the start of Suicide Prevention Week. I’d like to take a break from resisting this administration long enough to share some facts and experiences about suicide and suicidality.
First some definitions from the perspective of a health behaviorist.

Suicidality = All thoughts and actions associated with suicide (completed or incomplete): ideation, attempt, planning, discussion, etc.

Ideation = Thinking, ruminating, talking about suicide; considering it
Suicide = A completed or successful attempt at ending one’s life

You are not a suicide survivor. You are a survivor of a suicide attempt or suicidality. Suicide has no survivors.

Most people who commit suicide have a mental illness, such as depression or bipolar disorder.
Read 14 tweets
Sep 5, 2018
My name is Emma, and I was raped when I was only 15.

Of course, he (my hot new boyfriend) didn’t see it that way. Somehow he figured my repeated insistence that “I’m not going to sleep with you” could be overridden by drugging me til I could no longer say no.

/ Short Thread /
Taking away a woman’s chance to say no is appalling to a degree I cannot put into words. Whether you are grabbing a woman’s body without asking permission or drugging someone so you can violently force yourself on her, I hope you burn in hell for the violation.
Rape isn’t about love. It’s not about connectedness or tenderness. It’s about power or control. By raping someone, you try to possess them. You satisfy your own needs at the expense of the dignity and agency of a fellow human being. That is beyond appalling.
Read 8 tweets
Aug 21, 2018
🌟What is “race”?🌟

I hope, by the time you get to the end of this thread, I’ll have convinced you that what we call “race” is actually a social construct that exists solely in the realm of language.

I’ll do that with fancy Jedi mind tricks and pretty pictures.

Let’s do this!
What does “social” mean? Does it just refer to how many friends you have?

That’s part of it, but it’s more about what you have access to as a result of connections with other people. Money. Resources.

Social identity is a sense of self we get through interacting with others.
Okay. So far, so good. So, you said race is socially defined. If that’s true, then how am I white as a function of how people perceive me? I’m white because of a gene that makes me white. I mean, you can think I’m purple, but I’m still white... right?

Not so fast!
Read 12 tweets
Jul 11, 2018
THREAD: Effecting change NOW.

If you're like me, you don't want to wait until November to make a difference. You know the importance of voting. You can't wait to cast your ballot. Heck, you've already signed up four of your friends so they can vote, too.

But what can we do NOW?
I'll present two avenues for getting involved NOW:

⚡️ Resisting on Twitter (EDUCATION)
⚡️ Resisting beyond Twitter (ACTIVISM)
⚡️ Self-care

These are all critical, timely facets of resistance.

(And before you say it, yes, I realize on-Twitter activity is activism, too.)
1. Resisting on Twitter

Ever feel like you're preaching to the converted? You may be. Challenge yourself to make connections in other Twitter communities. Maybe you love music, physics, movies... perhaps test receptiveness to resistance messaging there? Pro Tip: Start gently.
Read 15 tweets
Jun 22, 2018
In this day, with the evil that’s spreading across the land, seemingly unchecked, a lot of us are grappling with depression and anxiety. I think we’re also wrestling with a much larger question:

Am I truly powerless, or is there something I can do to make a difference?
A sense of powerlessness feeds depression. When we believe we cannot change the horrors that unfold daily, we become desperate. We despair. We mourn.

Having an outlet for our shock and anger gives us a sense of purpose, of accomplishment. Of hope.
Do we have any power against the Trump administration for their gross human rights violations?

It depends.

We may or may not have personal power. But we have collective power.

This power assumes we can overcome apathy and defeatism. We must firmly stand united against evil.
Read 15 tweets

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