Stories about life in Liddonfield housing project and its impact on the Northeast Philadelphia neighborhood of Upper Holmesburg. These true stories reveal how government policy affected the lives of real people, from the project residents to area homeowners during the 5 decades of Liddonfield’s existence. Stories and articles are written by a former resident of the project.

FIGHT THE STIGMA!

FIGHT THE STIGMA!
Rosemary Reeves, Blogger, standing on Philadelphia Skyline

Jan 25, 2015

MAYOR NUTTER'S APPOINTEE WANTS WHITES TO KEEP OUT OF PHILLY NEIGHBORHOOD


Part 3 in the Voices on Whiteness series 

Summary:  The radical race theory whites should know about, the political power universities hold over race relations in your city or town and the mayor’s appointee who wants whites to keep out. 

By Rosemary Reeves 

Most people think of racial issues in broad abstract terms within the framework of a large society or intricate governmental system.   It is very confusing and at times overwhelming to view such issues in this way.  The jumbled complexity of it gives the false impression that racial conflict is random and unpredictable. The reality is far different.  Racial discord is often incited by those in power at all levels of government, special interest groups, universities and the media.  Although it all seems to happen on a national scale, the people firing up the engines are at work only steps away from your front door.

The politics of race is best understood when the subject is examined up close within a small radius of your family home.  Think how race plays a part in your neighborhood, city or town.  In part 2 of this series, we discussed how our local media attempts to sway public opinion on racial issues.  That’s only part of it.  Now, consider your local college or university and the professors who are teaching social science, psychology, law and anthropology there.  Is race in the curriculum?  If so, what is being taught in regard to race?

LASSITER POSTED THIS SLOGAN TO
FACEBOOK

Philadelphia Daily News brought us another heaping helping of white defamation in the form of a Letter to the Editor on October 29, 2014 by Chad Dion Lassiter, a professor of race relations and President of Black Men at Penn School of Social Work at the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice, entitled Temple Town is the New Jim Crow.   Lassiter was critical of Temple University's expansion into the predominantly black neighborhood of North Philadelphia.  He also took exception to the fact that whites comprised the majority of Temple administrators, faculty and student body.

Lassiter slammed white students and faculty at Temple with a virtual cornucopia of racial buzz words including race and class privilege, white supremacy, South African apartheid, Jim Crow, white southern oppressor, segregation and slavery all in one approximately 500 word letter to the editor.   Clearly, he was trying to incite fear in his perceived enemies.  He even drew a parallel between Temple’s expansion and the fight for freedom by 19th century abolitionists Frederick Douglas and John Brown.  One has to wonder whether he sees himself in their likeness and wishes so passionately to walk in their footsteps that it serves his fantasies to view the entire white race as a threat.

"Temple is as bad as any white southern oppressor from back in the day," he laments, citing the recent decline in the black student population.  In the last few years Temple has tried to improve its less than perfect reputation in the academic world by raising admission standards.  It now requires higher SAT scores from applicants.  The number of black students declined in the same time period.  However, the black students who qualify under the new standards have a higher rate of graduation.  Temple should be praised for recruiting promising black students destined for success instead of playing a numbers game.

However, Lassiter would have us believe that the numbers are proof of the evil intent of white people.  Nowhere in his letter to the editor does he mention student ability, excellence, good grades, ambition or accomplishment.  This view is consistent with Critical Race Theory, which contends that merit and meritocracy is racist.  What is meritocracy?  The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines it as “a system in which the talented are chosen and moved ahead on the basis of their achievement.”  The rationale behind anti-merit is that affluent people (whites) can afford better schools, books, computers and all manner of things that support and foster achievement than poor (minorities) can.  Therefore, according to the theory, meritocracy is racist.  There will be more about Critical Race Theory later in this article.

Ignoring the existence of white students from poor and working-class families, Lassiter asserts that Temple "wants a white enclave of racial and class privilege." The misguided President of Black Men at Penn paints a Caucasian caricature of inherited wealth, racism and avarice.  "It's about replacing black folks with upper-middle-class whites," he adds.  Lassiter concludes his letter with a demand that Temple must ensure "that North Philadelphia will not become a playground for white students."

Lassiter was appointed by Mayor Michael Nutter to the Philadelphia Prisons Board of Trustees. His description of Temple Town as “the new Jim Crow” is not a mere exercise in the creative use of words.  He is quoting a book by Michelle Alexander entitled, The New Jim Crow:  Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.  Required reading in Critical Race Theory courses at many universities around the country, the book contends that the high numbers of black men in prison is due to a white racist prison system which exists for the purpose of controlling and disempowering blacks.  According to Alexander, the prison system operates under the guise of punishing criminals, when in actuality it is Jim Crow by a different name.

The main principles of Critical Race Theory are as follows: 
1.    Capitalist America is a racist society made up of white oppressors and black victims.

2.    Racism is permanent and will never go away.
3.    Whiteness is property.
4.    Racism is ingrained in American institutions. 

5.    Race doesn’t really exist.  It is a social construct.  (This seems like a contradiction.  How can there be racism if there is no such thing as race?  This principle holds that race was invented by society in order to place a higher value on certain individuals according to skin color and that scientifically, race doesn’t exist.  Those who oppose Critical Race Theory say the purpose of this principle is to diminish white identity.) 

6.    Meritocracy is a racist system.

In her lengthy criticism of whiteness Alexander contends that there is "a conspiracy of silence" among white people as to race because of their collective white guilt.  This alone reveals a profound ignorance of white experiences with race.  The reality is that white people are eager to talk about race but societal taboos prevent them from doing so.  There is also the fear of punishment or being labeled racist and the fact that whites have not yet found their collective voice.  Alexander relies upon the stereotype of whites as evil, dismissing outside influences and perpetuates the stereotype by labeling them conspirators.

We should examine, as well, what is meant by “talking about race.”  For most white people it means discussing race and crime or the role race plays in the decline of their neighborhoods because these aspects of race are tied to their personal experiences.  However, to critical race theorists and their supporters it means talking about white privilege, including face-to-face encounters where whites are confronted by minorities about how whiteness oppresses them.  

Expressing hatred toward whiteness and white people is allowed and the whites involved in the exercise are required to listen for as long as it takes for the hateful to unburden their souls.  Some universities where Critical Race Theory is taught tend to have a problem with white students breaking down and crying during these face-to-face encounters or walking out of the room.  The white students feel humiliated and abused by these encounters and as such, do not allow it to continue.  They are then labeled guilt-ridden conspirators. 

Despite Lassiter’s claims of insidious whiteness lurking behind Temple’s expansion into a predominantly black North Philadelphia neighborhood, Temple University promotes Critical Race Theory.  The theory is part of Temple’s legal studies curriculum.  Temple’s own book reviews website states, “Critical Race Theory has become a dynamic, eclectic, and growing movement in the study of law.”  The university’s review of the book Critical Race Theory includes an excerpt.  Click on the excerpt link on the website and notice in the introduction that it states, “…you will read the late Trina Grillo and Stephanie Wildman’s demonstration of how white people, even ones of goodwill, unconsciously turn discussions about race around so that the conversation ends up being about themselves!”  That must be the part where white students start crying and raising objections during the face-to-face encounters, self-centered conspirators they be.

On November 25, 2014, during the height of the violence in Ferguson when stores were set on fire, Lassiter posted a picture of red flames to his Facebook page with the message, Why Don't American Cities Burn?  Clearly, Mayor Nutter’s appointee to the Board of Prison Trustees is not interested in promoting peace among black and white Philadelphians.  He’s more than eager, though, to blame average citizens who happen to be white for the mounting racial tensions created by forces beyond their control. 

While I do not disagree that the prison system is badly in need of reform the methods used to achieve such reform, namely demonizing whiteness and white people, is nothing short of reprehensible. Whether it is through accidental omission or complicity, Philly’s mainstream media has failed to inform the public that Critical Race Theory is being taught at local universities.  It is a matter of public interest.  Critical Race Theory has a growing influence on government policies in regard to social work, public housing initiatives and the legal system, all of which have a great impact on the average citizen.  Few things are more deserving of public scrutiny. 

Your local university is much more than a place for frat parties and graduations.  This is where the supervisors of your fate reside.  Politicians use public funds to pay university professors for research and to consult them on public policy.  These professors earn great esteem in the academic and political world when their ideas are applied to government at the local and national level.  

NEXT WEEK:  A review of the book, Slaughter of Cities:  Urban Renewal As Ethnic Cleansing, which examines how housing policies caused the destruction of ethnic Catholic neighborhoods in Philadelphia, Chicago, Boston and Detroit. 

RELATED STORIES AND VIDEO:  


Voices on Whiteness Video 

Part One:  The Worst Mistake Whites Ever Made  

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Jan 19, 2015

PART 2 OF VOICES ON WHITENESS


THE MOST BIASED COLUMNIST IN PHILLY MEDIA
Part 2 in the Voices on Whiteness series 

By Rosemary Reeves

Summary:  This columnist criticized whiteness as a way to assuage opposition to the Ferguson protestors.  Also, the abusive practices of Diversity Journalism.  Learn how some in the Philly media manipulate race relations and try to influence societal attitudes in this breakdown of the meaning behind the words you read in your local paper.  

by Rosemary Reeves


Alas, in this age of radical diversity the character of a white man is no longer measured by his courage, loyalty or integrity but by his willingness to hate himself.  The more he admonishes his ancestors, the more he accepts the labels assigned to him and the more he devalues his own worth, the better man he is. The media saturates whites with this perverse morality, lest we love ourselves.

Take for example an article entitled "The Real Thugs" by columnist Josh Kruger which appeared in the August 20 – 27, 2014 issue of the Philadelphia Weekly.  A commentary on the Michael Brown case in Ferguson, Missouri, it reads more like propaganda from behind the Iron Curtain than a simple opinion piece, employing a number of radical tactics to induce white self-hatred and white guilt.  Kruger, who is Caucasian himself, even goes so far as to accuse the white race of “spiritual sickness,” a quasi-religious metaphor alluding to the original sin of inherent racism.

Kruger’s article, which aims to lecture whites for not siding with the Ferguson protestors, begins with an attempt to establish the moral bankruptcy of the fair-skinned.  He accuses Caucasians of “callous indifference” to the George Zimmerman acquittal and further characterizes them as having a “complete lack of empathy” toward other races.  His commentary is laced with sweeping  generalizations and manipulative psychology, reinforcing the stereotype of whites as evil doers and then highlighting this message throughout. 

Kruger leans heavily on the belief that simply being black is proof of moral infallibility in matters of race.  Since Americans of European descent are corrupt and unfeeling they must defer to their moral betters, according to his reasoning.  Unquestionably, Kruger thinks that all black people are of one mind, that they are a robotic collective of identical thoughts and feelings all pointing to the same conclusion about the Ferguson case.  

This reveals that Kruger knows nothing at all about black people except what he sees on television.  In fact, blacks from different backgrounds have a variety of opinions on a multitude of racial issues.  So, even if we were to believe that blacks had the moral high ground on matters of race, then there are two important questions to be asked.  Which perspective among them is above all the rest?  Why? 

The variety of perspectives within the black race seems to correlate strongly with social class.  Poor blacks in the urban ghetto have a completely different way of looking at things than working-class and middle-class African Americans do.  Blacks in poverty trump those from the working-class and the middle-class apparently, if Kruger's reasoning is to be believed.  Among poor blacks as well we can all assume there is no difference of opinion.

With a media lacking in integrity one of the perils of race baiting is that it can lead to unintentional stereotyping.  Kruger accidentally falls into his own trap by implying that all blacks are the same.

Psychological coercion is not beyond this biased writer.  “Many white people, indeed, would rather reinforce their prejudices to feel better about themselves,” he states.  In other words, if you disagree with him, then you are a bad person.

Finally, in what amounts to a low blow of the most revolting kind Kruger takes a cheap shot at poor white people, lest more affluent whites feel any kinship toward them.  Capitalizing on the stereotype of the white racist country bumpkin, Kruger mentions white Pennsylvanians driving cars with Confederate flag bumper stickers and urges the reader not to wave it off as “Pennsyltucky hillbillies.”  

I have no quarrel with Kruger’s point about the bumper stickers but the sole purpose of a hateful term like “Pennsyltucky hillbillies” is to mock poor white people ─ that is, all poor white people regardless of whether they are racist or live in a rural area.  Kruger is using the term to reinforce divisions among whites based on social class.  The message here is for whites to remain distanced from the poorer members of their own kind, to continue to regard all poor white people as failures and ignorant racists and therefore they must be cast off.  As one of the worst offenders in the business of pushing white stereotypes and labels, Kruger has proved himself to be the most biased columnist in Philly. 

The casting off of whites in poverty is one of the greatest injustices of our time, but it is the press that decides which things are unjust and which things we should turn our heads away from.  Read your local newspaper with skepticism, for the ones who dictate what society’s moral code should be are skilled in the clever use of words designed to manipulate our perceptions.

Kruger’s article is but one example of the media’s repackaging of white identity from a healthy one that celebrates the traditions and achievements of one’s race, such as creative genius in art and music as well as advances in medicine, science and technology and the good things those achievements have brought the world, to something unrecognizable and damaging to white people.   

Defamation of whiteness is seeping into American culture through writers and editors who have taken a once noble profession and made it unworthy of the public’s trust.  We are in the throes of social engineering with journalists at the helm and its deceptively innocent sounding name is Diversity Journalism. 

THE ABUSIVE PRACTICES OF DIVERSITY JOURNALISM

In the field of journalism diversity is all the rage.  The Associated Press and news rooms across the country are issuing diversity directives instructing reporters to follow race reporting guidelines when covering racial issues.   These race reporting guidelines are written almost exclusively by minorities who work in journalism.  For example, an organization of Asian journalists will write guidelines for reporters to follow when writing about Asian issues.  Likewise, an organization of black journalists will determine guidelines on reporting black issues.

Race reporting directives also seek to vastly increase the numbers of minority journalists who are hired by news publications.  In addition, they urge managing editors to include stories and viewpoints from voices previously left out of the national narrative, specifically those who are black, Hispanic, gay, female and Asian.  Furthermore, the race reporting guidelines and directives instruct reporters to avoid stereotyping these groups in the articles and stories they write.  It seems enlightened, egalitarian and fair but it can and is being used as a tool of oppression against Americans of European descent.

In their eagerness to fulfill the requirements of Diversity Journalism, some news publications invite people who have entered this country illegally to submit stories of what its like to be them.  They tend to be contributors since being here illegally prevents them from being hired as permanent staff.  While their stories would be interesting to read, some are publicly stating their wish to redefine the word "American."   Undocumented foreigners who have attended our public schools and lived here for some length of time are part of the new definition they wish to impose on the rest of us who happen to be citizens by birth or other legal means.

Redefining words is one method Diversity Journalism uses to socially engineer the attitudes and behavior of the general public.  In addition to illegal aliens trying to redefine what "American" means, the new journalism culture also promotes non-white journalists who are redefining the meaning of "whiteness" from something positive and healthy to something synonymous with evil and corruption. 

Diversity Journalism is a major cause of racial tension in Philadelphia and the rest of the country.  There are many negatives associated with this new journalism culture.  Since the race reporting guidelines are written almost exclusively by minorities, it leads to bias against whites.  Some minority journalists make no secret of it, portraying whiteness and white people as evil in their opinion pieces.  In addition, it leads to unbalanced reporting which results in favoritism toward minority viewpoints, excluding white experiences with race.  Only one side of the story is presented.  We've seen this happen repeatedly with the Ferguson case. 

Another danger of Diversity Journalism is rush to judgments and exaggerations by overzealous reporters who wish to jump start their career advancement.  The more they write about race in keeping with the race reporting guidelines, the more accolades they receive from their colleagues and editors.  This is one reason why white reporters jump on the "whites as evil" bandwagon.  

Under Diversity Journalism poor white people are mere tokens.  This new journalism culture tries to legitimize itself by incorporating tiny references to white poverty and passing it off as inclusion.  For instance, a reporter will write a lengthy article about the suffering of impoverished minorities and near the very end of the piece add a few compassionate words about poor whites.  This is to meet the Society of Professional Journalists guidelines on inclusion. 

It is stated in the Society of Professional Journalists Diversity Tips and Tools section:  Definition of Diversity.  Inclusion: Include in your coverage those who have frequently been left out of the news, particularly black people, Asians, Latinos, Native Americans, white women, gays, lesbians, and poor people of all races.”  I had to dig deep within the website to find those five little words at the end which sort of, in a round about way, kind of, maybe is a partial reference to whites in poverty.

A patronizing phrase or two about poor whites inserted into otherwise lengthy articles devoted overwhelming to poor minorities is not inclusion.  It is tokenism for the sake of appearances.  Perhaps they should call it the Society of Professional Hypocrites.  This organization gave an award to Josh Kruger for Best Non-Daily Commentary in the State of Pennsylvania.

Lastly, the Diversity Journalism directive against stereotyping minorities makes important stories go unreported.  For example, the media fails to report on the "knockout game," where young blacks punch random white people unconscious just for fun.  These attacks have been captured many times on videotape, but nothing is reported about it in the press because the new journalism culture dictates that doing so would stereotype young black men.  Most of the victims are elderly or disabled and there have even been attacks on pregnant women and women carrying babies in their arms.  These individuals should not walk alone and should be aware of others who are walking behind them as most of the victims are struck from behind. 

RESTORING MEDIA INTEGRITY 

Diversity in the media can be a positive thing but reasonable boundaries must be set to avoid abusive practices.  Depicting white Americans as members of an evil race is abuse of the citizenry and incites racial animositiesIt is our duty to challenge it for the sake of racial harmony, patriotism, national solidarity and the health and welfare of the general public.  

The media's portrayal of whites as evil doers is a moral issue even more so than a political one.  Go to your priest or pastor and try to make him understand that this abusive practice by those with power to influence the public is a major cause of the racial tension and violence we are seeing today.  Church leaders should be urged by their parishioners to publicly oppose it.  It should be written about in religious pamphlets and Christian magazines.  Explain that it isn't enough to preach about love and understanding between the races.  In order to achieve racial harmony, religious leaders need to pinpoint the source of racial turmoil and hatred.  It is not caused simply by the moral weakness of individuals. 

To learn more about Diversity Journalism, you can view the Society of Professional Journalists website for yourself.  Check out the organizations's Guidelines for Countering Racial, Ethnic and Religious Profiling.

Although the direct link to Kruger's The Real Thugs article seems to be unavailable, the content was also posted to Philadelphia Weekly's blog, Philly Now. 

NEXT WEEK:  The Mayor's Appointee who wants whites to KEEP OUT.  (Look for it on Monday, January 26, 2014.

RELATED STORIES AND VIDEO:  

Voices on Whiteness Video

Part One:  The Worst Mistake Whites Ever Made    

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