White privilege

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Monday, April 29-9AM: FACING RACE: Getting the Conversation Started; April 15: COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS III: Re-entry Issues for Ex-Offenders

Many will tout these days, particularly since the election of President Obama, that racism is no longer an issue in the country. But as we've seen how the disparate rates of black male prisoners in this country have created slavery by another name, we must also see how certain daily privileges afforded to the majority groups in power in the United States, media portrayals, and the like, are, in fact, racism by another name.   

The fact is, even if we have succeeded in quashing the completely irrational fears that led to the formation of hate groups such as the Klu Klux Klan and other groups that sought to torture or kill people based on race, we are still dealing with the socio-economic aftermath of what that way of thinking has done to this country and its diverse body of citizens.

Right here in Minnesota, a recent study from the Wilder Foundation found that 37 percent of people in Dakota, Washington, and Ramsey counties still say they get nervous walking into a room of people from other races, if they are the only one of their own race present. One third of these same folks say they strongly or somewhat agree that they would like to get to know people of other races better, but often feel as if they might be ridiculed or shamed if they say the wrong thing. Combine that with the disheartening statistics on education and housing disparities by race in this state and it’s hard to deny that racism is still an issue that needs much attention.  

Who will step up to help bridge the cultural and institutional divide that racial tensions have spawned? How exactly do you confront racism in a way that is both implicating and welcoming? These are all goals of the Facing Race ‘We’re all in this together’ Initiative. Hosts, Michelle Alimoradi and Tom O'Connell will discuss these issues of racism that are subtly embedded in our societal structure today as we talk about their upcoming Facing Race Ambassador Awards ceremony, happening the evening after our broadcast, and what these folks are doing to shed light on the privileges and the fears that continue to perpetuate racism in this country.  

TTT’s MICHELLE ALIMORADI and TOM O’CONNELL talk with key figures in this year’s Awards event. 

On-air guests: 

JOSIE JOHNSON- former University of Minnesota Regent; retired University of Minnesota Associate Vice President for Minority Student Affairs; Founder, UofM Office of Diversity & Equity, and Honoree - Josie R. Johnson Human Rights and Social Justice Award; Principal, Josie Robinson Johnson & Associates Consulting, and recipient of a 2013 Facing Race Amabassador Award.

 


CORINTH MATERA- Teacher, South High School, Minneapolis. Corinth was nominated for a Facing Race Ambassador Award for her work in creating an education unit addressing the U.S. Dakota War of 1862.  Ms. Matera has been a leader in promoting this education unit, and it has reached over 600 students in the past three years.

 

DR MANUEL PASTOR- Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity, Southern California; His most recent book, published in 2010,  is Uncommon Common Ground: Race and America’s Future. Keynote speaker at this year’s Facing Race Awards Ceremony. 


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Monday, April 22, 2013

Ed. NOTE: This week, TruthToTell looks at Earth Day as an entrepreneurial and responsible opportunity. Our colleague and engineer, Kel Heyl, himself a green contractor, offered to help assemble this program and offers, too, this reflection on the Day’s creation and this year’s TTT approach to celebrating this now iconic annual reminder of our human responsibility to protect the planet in all ways possible – and, ironically, as businesses new and adapted:

Making Cents of Earth Day

It’s the summer of 1969. Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, already considered a champion of the protecting the natural world, had visited an oil spill site in Santa Barbara, California. On his return flight he was reading an article about various “teach-ins” on college campuses dealing with Vietnam, when…“It popped into my head. That’s it! Why not have an environmental teach-in and get everyone involved?”

Senator Nelson returned to Washington and quickly formed a non-profit – Environmental Teach-In, Inc. – recruiting a few Republicans and conservationists to help with the project. On September 20, 1969 he went public with his mission from Seattle:

“I am convinced that the same concern the youth of this nation took in changing this nation’s priorities on the war in Vietnam and on civil rights can be shown for the problems of the environment. Young people can take the leadership away from the indifferent, venal men who are concerned with progress and profit for the sake of progress and profit alone…”

After considering a number of names like Environment Day and Ecology Day, they settled on the appellation, “Earth Day.” Nelson chose the date to maximize participation on college campuses. The week of April 19–25 did not fall during exams or spring break and did not conflict with Easter or Passover. It was late enough to ensure good weather. During the middle of the week there would be more students in class and no competition from other events – so Wednesday, April 22, 1970 was anointed as the target day. When critics later pointed out it was Lenin’s birthday, Nelson replied that it was also the birthday of both St. Francis of Assisi, the nature saint, and his own Aunt Tillie.

The above was excerpted from this article. In September,1995, Sen. Nelson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

In keeping with the spirit of the times, much of the work flowing from those first Earth Days were seeking top-down large-scale Federal legislation and regulation.

What makes progressive change so difficult now is that a sizeable percentage of the American people are inserting their heads into deep holes they purchase from entities whose short-term bottom lines are enhanced by maintaining unsustainable patterns of consumption. Just regulating industry will not yield a viable future. Today, we look at small-scale day-to-day successes with special attention directed to increasingly sophisticated tools that allow us to make sustainable decisions and how an NGO is becoming a de facto global standard.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI lead our guests through their work on three different points along the sustainability continuum. Each runs a businesses which helps clients make better informed decisions – decisions which make their futures more sustainable without further disrupting the present.

GUESTS:

CINDY OJCZYK – Principal of Simply Green Design and A More Beautiful Home.

RAMY SALIM  –  OwnerSunny Day Earth SolutionsCompleted the first City issued permitted straw bale building in over a decade 

DALE FORSBERG – President of Watson-Forsberg Contracting; specialist in LEED*

*Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – a point based rating system used to answer the questions: How green is this design or building. It was created by theUnited States Green Building Council.

 

TruthToTell, Monday, April 29 - 9am: FACING RACE: Getting the Conversation Started - AUDIO HERE

On-air date: 
Mon, 04/29/2013
Listen to or download this episode here: 

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Many will tout these days, particularly since the election of President Obama, that racism is no longer an issue in the country. But as we've seen how the disparate rates of black male prisoners in this country have created slavery by another name, we must also see how certain daily privileges afforded to the majority groups in power in the United States, media portrayals, and the like, are, in fact, racism by another name.   

The fact is, even if we have succeeded in quashing the completely irrational fears that led to the formation of hate groups such as the Klu Klux Klan and other groups that sought to torture or kill people based on race, we are still dealing with the socio-economic aftermath of what that way of thinking has done to this country and its diverse body of citizens.

Right here in Minnesota, a recent study from the Wilder Foundation found that 37 percent of people in Dakota, Washington, and Ramsey counties still say they get nervous walking into a room of people from other races, if they are the only one of their own race present. One third of these same folks say they strongly or somewhat agree that they would like to get to know people of other races better, but often feel as if they might be ridiculed or shamed if they say the wrong thing. Combine that with the disheartening statistics on education and housing disparities by race in this state and it’s hard to deny that racism is still an issue that needs much attention.  

Who will step up to help bridge the cultural and institutional divide that racial tensions have spawned? How exactly do you confront racism in a way that is both implicating and welcoming? These are all goals of the Facing Race ‘We’re all in this together’ Initiative. Hosts, Michelle Alimoradi and Tom O'Connell will discuss these issues of racism that are subtly embedded in our societal structure today as we talk about their upcoming Facing Race Ambassador Awards ceremony, happening the evening after our broadcast, and what these folks are doing to shed light on the privileges and the fears that continue to perpetuate racism in this country.  

TTT’s MICHELLE ALIMORADI and TOM O’CONNELL talk with key figures in this year’s Awards event. 

On-air guests: 

JOSIE JOHNSON- former University of Minnesota Regent; retired University of Minnesota Associate Vice President for Minority Student Affairs; Founder, UofM Office of Diversity & Equity, and Honoree - Josie R. Johnson Human Rights and Social Justice Award; Principal, Josie Robinson Johnson & Associates Consulting, and recipient of a 2013 Facing Race Amabassador Award.

 



CORINTH MATERA- Teacher, South High School, Minneapolis. Corinth was nominated for a Facing Race Ambassador Award for her work in creating an education unit addressing the U.S. Dakota War of 1862.  Ms. Matera has been a leader in promoting this education unit, and it has reached over 600 students in the past three years.

 

DR MANUEL PASTOR- Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity, Southern California; His most recent book, published in 2010,  is Uncommon Common Ground: Race and America’s Future. Keynote speaker at this year’s Facing Race Awards Ceremony. 


TTT This Week: Monday, April 11- 9AM: WHITE PRIVILEGE REDUX: Our Advantage Persists; First Person Radio -April 6: CLYDE BELLECOURT & CHIEF TERRY NELSON: Roseau River First Nation meets AIM Founder

REMEMBER TO CALL IN AND JOIN THE CONVERSATION – 612-341-0980

AND THANK YOU FOR PUTTING US OVER THE TOP OF OUR $80,000 MEMBERSHIP GOAL LAST WEEK!

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What does it mean to be white in America?

Today? Yesterday? Historically? Has anything really changed since slavery and colonialism enslaved and dismissed whole peoples the US Constitution defines “all men…” as in “all men are created equal”?

To understand what it means to be born into whiteness and the privilege automatically conferred on us because of that accident of birth, we must examine that privilege in both the choices we’re allowed to make and the assumptions others make about us.

To understand what it means to be white in America is to look honestly and deeply into what whites have done to others in the name of white superiority or white supremacy. And to admit that, in reality, little has changed in the minds of many, probably most white men and women in America requires the exercise of standing outside ourselves, outside our institutions and outside our subtle and/or behavior to really understand how we maintain our privilege.

The concept and the reality of white privilege has been explored in scholarly terms, in sociological treatises and in legal briefs. And, still we exercise that privilege deep inside our personal and collective cultures sometimes consciously, often unconsciously, and it’s the unconscious part that needs shaking loose in order to rid ourselves of the ignorance of our own racism, to be able to admit that even we progressives are afflicted with the ability to exclude others on the basis of color and culture.

White privilege has essentially meant living where we want, when we want and not to be shuffled into the only conclaves and neighborhoods that real estate agents, bankers and government financiers want us to live. And it means having greater influence over most of the means of production and services and governance.

White privilege has for years been the subject of the annual White Privilege Conference coming to Minneapolis-St Paul for the first time. It will gather at the Bloomington Sheraton, this coming Wednesday April 13th through Saturday, the 16th. Sponsored by the Minnesota Justice Collaborative, it brings together many of those scholars and advocates for giving greater visibility and deeper understanding of what makes America tick in ways that prevents us from growing into the country we claim to envision in the documents that created this country…after we ripped it violently from its indigenous people.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI talk with the two primary organizers of this conference, themselves devoted to resolving this question of what it means to be white in America.

GUESTS:

LISA ALBRECHT – Morse-Minnesota Alumni Association Distinguished Professor of Teaching, School of Social Work, University of Minnesota, Co-Chair, White Privilege Conference 2011

RAUL RAMOS – Community Outreach & Training Specialist, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, Co-Chair, White Privilege Conference 2011

REMEMBER TO CALL IN AND JOIN THE CONVERSATION – 612-341-0980

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First Person Radio -April 6: CLYDE BELLECOURT & CHIEF TERRY NELSON: Roseau River First Nation meets AIM Founder  - Audio HERE

First Person Radio hosts Laura Waterman Wittstock and Richard LaFortune (with Andy Driscoll) talk with Clyde Bellecourt and Chief Terry Nelson of Roseau River Anishinabe First Nation Tribe of Manitoba, Canada.


Clyde Bellecourt is a founder of the American Indian Movement in 1968. The Movement was founded in Minneapolis and although it became a worldwide activity, Clyde stayed and lived in Minneapolis, to make permanent change right here in his own local community. He has worked in education from the start of Heart of the Earth Survival School in 1972 to the present. He deeply believes that education is the key to the success of the Indian community. That has been his consistent message. The Clyde H. Bellecourt Scholarship Fund has awarded $222,687 in 22 college scholarships to both graduate and undergraduate since 2005 to American Indian students who are studying in the fields of Education, American Indian Studies, or Indigenous Languages.

Chief Terry Nelson of Roseau River Anishinabe First Nation Tribe of Manitoba, Canada, and was elected national Chief of Canada's Assembly of First Nations in 2009, has led the fight for a settlement over Indian lands surrendered in 1903. He is also warning both Canadian and American Indian Country of the damages sure to come from a pipeline connecting the expensive - and feared - tar sands oil extraction projects in Northern Alberta.

Together, Nelson and Bellecourt discuss the real history of their countries, especially the usurpation of lands and resources as well as the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples - signed by Canada (finally) last November, more recently by President Barack Obama, making the the US the last resister to finally sign on to that resolution..

Mr. Bellecourt has traveled to many countries in the world, notably the United Nations Conferences in Geneva on Indigenous people; Ireland to develop culturally based schools that teach the native language; Germany to work with groups interested in studying American Indian culture and the political issues being faced by Indians in the United States; several Central and South American countries in coordination with the International Treaty Council; and within the United States, to reservation areas where he was called for help by elders and families.

Clyde Bellecourt regularly meets with a large number of community members in the American Indian and other communities of color, particularly when issues arise. Frequently called upon to mediate, represent, or conduct discussions or conflicts between groups, he carefully gathers the information on the issue, gains an understanding of the core demands or understandings and goes forward to negotiate or represent a minority view that is not being heard by authorities. The information can include documents, phone conversations, re-telling of what each side is saying, and an analysis of the best way to proceed.

As for Terry Nelson, here is an article written two years ago:

WINNIPEG - OTTAWA - An outspoken and controversial Manitoba chief is throwing his name in the race to replace outgoing Assembly of First Nations national chief Phil Fontaine.

Roseau River Anishnabe First Nation Chief Terry Nelson told the Free Press he will formally announce his candidacy Friday morning in Winnipeg.

Nelson said he will run on a platform to end dependence on Ottawa and turn instead to international investment in economic development for first nations in Canada.

"You can’t expect the governemnt will finance economic development on reserves," said Nelson.

He said he’s already spoken with various parties in the U.S., China, and other countries who appear interested in working with Canada’s first nations.

Fontaine, a Manitoban from Sagkeeng, will announce this afternoon he will not seek re-election after three terms at the helm of the AFN.

Nelson said he has nothing but respect for Fontaine but said the chiefs in Canada are ready for more action.

Nelson is himself a controversial figure, known to take hardline approaches to negotiations including blockades.

Nelson last week was returned to the helm of his own band following a bizarre electoral period that required Indian and NOrthern Affairs Canada to step in.

In March, two different chiefs were elected in Roseau River in two separate elections and both claimed victory. INAC set the results of both aside and called another election but it had to be postponed because Roseau River was evacuated due to spring flooding.

The election was finally held May 27; Nelson won.

TruthToTell April 11: WHITE PRIVILEGE REDUX: Our Advantage Persists - AUDIO BELOW

On-air date: 
Mon, 04/11/2011

What does it mean to be white in America?

Today? Yesterday? Historically? Has anything really changed since slavery and colonialism enslaved and dismissed whole peoples the US Constitution defines “all men…” as in “all men are created equal”?

To understand what it means to be born into whiteness and the privilege automatically conferred on us because of that accident of birth, we must examine that privilege in both the choices we’re allowed to make and the assumptions others make about us.

To understand what it means to be white in America is to look honestly and deeply into what whites have done to others in the name of white superiority or white supremacy. And to admit that, in reality, little has changed in the minds of many, probably most white men and women in America requires the exercise of standing outside ourselves, outside our institutions and outside our subtle and/or behavior to really understand how we maintain our privilege.

The concept and the reality of white privilege has been explored in scholarly terms, in sociological treatises and in legal briefs. And, still we exercise that privilege deep inside our personal and collective cultures sometimes consciously, often unconsciously, and it’s the unconscious part that needs shaking loose in order to rid ourselves of the ignorance of our own racism, to be able to admit that even we progressives are afflicted with the ability to exclude others on the basis of color and culture.

White privilege has essentially meant living where we want, when we want and not to be shuffled into the only conclaves and neighborhoods that real estate agents, bankers and government financiers want us to live. And it means having greater influence over most of the means of production and services and governance.

White privilege has for years been the subject of the annual White Privilege Conference coming to Minneapolis-St Paul for the first time. Gathering at the Bloomington Sheraton this coming Wednesday April 13th through Saturday, the 16th and sponsored by the Minnesota Justice Collaborative, the event brings together many scholars and advocates giving greater visibility and deeper understanding of what makes America tick in ways that prevents us from growing into the country we claim to envision in the documents that created this country…after we ripped it violently from its indigenous people.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI talk with the two primary organizers of this conference, themselves devoted to resolving this question of what it means to be white in America.

GUESTS:

LISA ALBRECHTMorse-Minnesota Alumni Association Distinguished Professor of Teaching, School of Social Work, University of Minnesota, Co-Chair, White Privilege Conference 2011

RAUL RAMOS – Community Outreach & Training Specialist, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, Co-Chair, White Privilege Conference 2011


60:56 minutes (27.9 MB)

ENCORE: TTT June 16: A Conversation About White Privilege

On-air date: 
Wed, 06/16/2010

REMINDER: Starting July 5th, TruthToTell will air live at 9:00 Monday mornings following Amy Goodman moving to 8:00AM M-F.

This is a consolidated one hour from our two-part series on White Privilege which aired earlier this Spring. It is truly an evergreen issue, one worth revisiting, in any event. The individual originals can be found in the Archives section.

Do you think of yourself as white? Or have you never thought of it before? If you think of yourself as white, how do you feel about it? In fact, African-American children learn as early as age four or five that they are, indeed, Black, and they continue to learn as they go along what it means to be a person of color in this culture. Same with Asians. And Latinos. And American Indians. Confronting our privilege as whites is being seen as an essential step in understanding what it means to be NON-white, something that's always been true. In fact, few of us ever give our whiteness a thought - or a second thought - and the benefits whiteness accrue to us as a result of not being a person of color in Minnesota or the United States.


54:57 minutes (25.15 MB)

TTT Mar 31: WHITE PRIVILEGE: Just What Does It Mean to be White in Minnesota-and Everywhere Else? (Podcast below)

On-air date: 
Wed, 03/31/2010

Do you think of yourself as white? Or have you never thought of it before? If you think of yourself as white, how do you feel about it? In fact, African-American children learn as early as age four or five that they are, indeed, Black, and they continue to learn as they go along what it means to be a person of color in this culture. Same with Asians. And Latinos. And American Indians. Confronting our privilege as whites is being seen as an essential step in understanding what it means to be NON-white, something that's always been true. In fact, few of us ever give our whiteness a thought - or a second thought - and the benefits whiteness accrue to us as a result of not being a person of color in Minnesota or the United States.


46:47 minutes (21.42 MB)