Since its seems that less black people are being lynched, denied access to drinking fountains or Public universities, I have to wonder if there are other issues to focus attention on. (Notice I didn't say full attention. I recognize that issues of race still require attention and occasional outrage.) Or rather, issues underlying perceived racism. Through my observation, I have noticed that what we are dealing with some equally toxic isms. Classicism, sexism, capitalism... Sure, these isms have always existed, separating the haves from the have nots, the guys from the gals and those who own from those who owe, but the recession has placed a microscope on the matter. The recession has caused role reversals in households and a shifting of our views on poverty. I'm aware that there are entire anthologies of study on the topic and that there is a great deal to unpack in this discussion. My friend even suggested writing this blog in parts....we'll see. For now, let's opt for a quick definition of "ism" shall we?
(2) Doctrine: a belief (or system of beliefs) accepted as authoritative by some group or school
Ex. Classism is prejudice and/or discrimination on the basis of social class. It includes individual attitudes and behaviors, systems of policies and practices that are set up to benefit the upper classes at the expense of the lower classes. (Courtesty of the illustrious Wikpedia )
**For complete list of ISMS visit: ismbook.com/ismlist**
Since President Obama took office people have been very selective about the ways in which we discuss race and the conclusions that we draw regarding race. That, in my opinion, is a good thing. I'd much rather believe that all of the Marcus', Dre's and Antwan's of the world could be the next Barack instead of the next Lil Wayne. The question is, how has the President's term changed our notions of all of these other "sub-isms"? While that's a tough question to answer, we've had healthcare reform as well as the steadily tanking economy as recent litmus tests. While it seems that stimulus and healthcare debates were just episodic duels between the Dems and Republicans, what we really saw was a modern day class struggle. It wasn't as much about white people vs. minorities as it was about haves and havenots. Meaning, there were plenty of people of all colors out of work and plenty of people, of all colors, who go to work everyday and do not have access to basic medical care *raises hand* So, for one of few times in their lives, a black family from NC who's primary source of income is cut when Dad is laid off and the white family from Michigan who falls on hard times because Mom is a recently out of work teacher have something in common. Perhaps they always have.