Friday, November 28, 2008

More Than a Turkey: U.S. American holocaust denial & "Thanksgiving" day

As you well know yesterday was "Thanksgiving Day."

Yet another way in which -- another day on which -- U.S. Americans do not acknowledge the present-day existance as well as the historical resistance and inordinate suffering of people indigenous to the "Americas."

Since college, on every "Thanksgiving Day," (and Columbus Day), I remember the historical genocidal campaign against people indigenous to "the Americas."

When a well-meaning person wishes me a "Happy Thanksgiving" -- the massacre the mass murder, mass rape, and wholesale land theft committed against indigenous people by so called European "settlers" between the late 1400s and late 1700s -- a genocidal campaign
continued by the U.S. government after the "American Revolution" (or "American War of Independence") established it in 1783 -- a genocidal project that culminated in the murder of unarmed Lakota in 1890 at Wounded Knee.

(**I place the term "American War of Independence" in quotes because that war DID NOT translate into independence for everyone -- that was never the war's aim (so why not give it a more honest title... like the "American War to Become the Leaders of Genocide and Slavery," for example). The so called "American War of Independence" did not stop the U.S. government's efforts to supress/repress/entirely strip formal recognition of indigenous people's freedoms and land claims. The so called "American War of Independence" also left slavery intact -- and, in fact, put more concrete, legal protections in place to ensure its continuance in the U.S. Constitution, for example. The so called vision of independence driving this U.S. War did not include extending the francise (voting rights) to white women and poor white & European immigrant men (until president Andrew Jackson recognized their voting rights in the early decades of the 1800s. Granting poor white & Euro. immigrant men a measure of white privilege must be why Jackson's face is on the U.S.'s $20 dollar bill -- and himself was a merciless and vigorous leader of the holocaust against people indigenous to "the Americas"). Nor did the so called "American War of Independence recognize the voting rights and civil rights of "free"(not enslaved) women and men of color. In short, the "American War of Independence" was a military campaign to wrest power from British coloniasts over white U.S. American men -- so that wealthy white U.S. American men could take the place of British imperialists.)

Returning to the subject of Wounded Knee as part and parcel of the U.S. American genocide project:

At Wounded Knee, writes Tim Giago, "...nearly 300 of...[Lakota] relatives were shot to death in cold blood by the enlisted men and officers of the 7th Cavalry. Ironically, 21 members of the 7th Cavalry were awarded Medals of Honor for this horrific slaughter of women and children....

On December 29, 1890, my grandmother, Sophie, was a 17-year-old student at the Holy Rosary Indian Mission, a Jesuit boarding school just a few miles from Wounded Knee. She was called out with the rest of the students to feed and water the horses of the soldiers of the 7th Cavalry that had just rode on to the mission grounds chasing down survivors that had escaped the slaughter. My grandmother recalled seeing blood on their uniforms and she overheard them bragging about the mighty victory they had just scored at Wounded Knee."

I offer this perspective on "Thanksgiving Day" to my students -- they almost always respond with silence. I always wonder what they are thinking. How many of them, I wonder, think I'm crazy and/or an asshole for suggesting that they reject observance of this national holiday. How many of them don't know what to think, but in the end, settle on denial as the most favorable choice. I know that at least a few of them embrace the view -- and at least one of them told me recently that he read a blog that said words like "settlement," "expansion" and "removal" (as in "Indian Removal," for example) mask/conceal the true nature -- the essential reallity -- of the events to which they refer: centuries of genocide -- a holocaust of indigenous people in which ordinary people of all races and national origins -- that is, our ancestors -- directly and indirectly participated in/ carried out and/or directly and indirectly benefited from.

A holocaust that you and I continue to benefit from in the present day.

As the homes in which we sleep, the shopping malls we visit, the schools we attend, the churches in which we worship, the parks in which we picnic rests on stolen land...

Land soaked in the blood of indigenous people that resisted genocide --- a land on which a fraction of that population continue to unconsciously resist just by surviving and consciously resist through the unrelenting pursuit of social, political and economic justice (-- an estimated 90% of the indigenous population depleted as a result of European/U.S. American genocide).

So, most of the time -- I tell the person who wishes me "Happy Thanksgiving" that I'm not into the "Thanksgiving" thing and I offer a quick explanation of why that is -- I can't celebrate national denial of mass murder, mass rape and land theft in the form of a holiday and a family meal -- I mean think about that...


A celebration of food and family where one gives thanks for benefits reaped from mass murder, mass rape and land theft??

Another blogger declared, "Happy Thanksgiving! Pass the genocide gravy."
(I'm not feeling the representation of indigenous people in this cartoon but I appreciate the point of the blog post)

Most of the time, the person will reply to me by saying something to the effect of "yeah, I know, that's why I just 'give thanks' for family (etc etc)"

For many years the aforementioned response from these good people sat well with me. For a few years I may have even uttered a version of those words mySelf.

This year, though.. I finally got it (or came close to getting it).

The very act of asserting one's ability to ignore or overlook or attempt to overcome. the centuries of atrocities the "Thanksgiving Holiday" commemorates and denies and commercializes -- is the very manifestation of the privileges wrought by the near annihilation of indigenous people.

Fuck that -- you can keep that Kool-Aid.

Yesterday, I wondered (just as I have many times before) -- what do indigenous people living on and off reservations do on "Thanksgiving Day"... do they give thanks? If yes, what do they give thanks for?

Tim Wise's superb blog post addresses the subject of U.S. American holocaust denial from another angle here.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Israeli high school students imprisoned for refusing to join Israeli army

& Read more here:
The imprisoned youth are refusing to join Israel's army -- the military force used to occupy Palestine (unofficially since the post-WWI era/1918 and officially since 1948, the year the state of Israel was established), and thus, continue the history of depriving Palestinians of their rightful claim to their ancestral lands; supress its independence movement by depriving innocent civilian children, women and men of food, water, and fuel (more on this issue); and to commit other horrific acts of violence against Palestinians.
(After World War I, the British government/British imperialists literally gave Palestine to European Jews -- a clearly unjust political act that is the source of the violence in the region to this day).
A quote from one of the jailed Israeli youth:
[unable to upload pic]
Name: Omer Goldman
Location: Tel-Aviv, Israel
Age: 19
“I believe in service to the society I am part of, and that is precisely why I refuse to take part in the war crimes committed by my country. Violence will not bring any kind of solution, and I shall not commit violence, come what may.”

If you believe these young people should not be jailed for refusing to fight in an imperial war -- a war that perpetuates the Israeli government's history of depriving Palestinians of rights to their ancestral lands, full citizenship rights, and the right to live free of armed government aggression


Name: Raz Bar-David Varon

Location: not given

Age: 18

"I wasn’t born to serve as a soldier who occupies another, and the struggle against the occupation is mine too. It is a struggle for hope, for a reality that sometimes feels so far away. I have a responsibility for this society. My responsibility is to refuse.”

Varon calls the Israeli soldiers terrorists because they:

-- dro[p] bombs on people in Gaza or on the West Bank from his fighter plane;
-- demolishes homes;
-- shoo[t] at people and sows fear and enmity;
-- enforc[e] a tyrannical, undemocratic military regime;
-- rul[e] over (nearly) all aspects of the lives of three and a half million Palestinian men and women;
-- stan[d] guard at the army checkpoints which seriously limit Palestinians’ freedom of movement;
-- ente[r] people’s homes (with state permission) in order to conduct searches at any hour of the day or night;

-- humiliat[e], at a whim and unsupervised, old people, children, men and women...

p.s. :) Varon's gender is not given -- I'm guessin' this person is "family;" if not, this person does gender-nonconformity very well.

p.s.s. My teaching related workload has has had me singularly occupied since my last blog -- I won't be able to blog much (or perhaps, at all) until mid-December. will blog regularly after this date -- so visit again soon!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

1st Black president kills racism dead?

From Michael Eric Dyson's "Race, post race
Barack Obama's historic victory represents a quantum leap in the racial progress of the United States." 

Please read the full text here.

"Contrary to many critics, his [Obama's] election does not, nor should it, herald a post-racial future. But it may help usher in a post-racist future. A post-racial outlook seeks to delete crucial strands of our identity; a post-racist outlook seeks to delete oppression that rests on hate and fear, that exploits cultural and political vulnerability. Obama need not cease being a black man to effectively govern, but America must overcome its brutal racist past to permit his gifts, and those of other blacks, to shine.

Our belief in Obama must become contagious; it must spread and become a belief in other blacks who have been quarantined in racial stereotype. Regarding Obama as an exceptional black man -- when he is in fact an exceptional American -- hampers our whole nation's desire to clear the path to success for more like him. Obama is not the first black American capable of being president; he's the first black American who got the chance to prove it.

We should not be seduced by the notion that Obama's presidency signals the end of racism, the civil rights movement, the struggle for black equality or the careers of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. A President Obama would not have come to be without the groundbreaking efforts of Shirley Chisholm, [black woman who sought the Democratic nomination in 1972, first black woman elected to Congress] and especially Jackson. Obama is able to be cool and calm because leaders like Sharpton, at least in the past, got angry.

Obama is likewise the beneficiary of Frederick Douglass' eloquence and sense of struggle, Booker T. Washington's self-reliant uplift, W.E.B. Du Bois' brilliant unmasking of racial hierarchy, Mary McLeod Bethune's imperishable desire for education, Ella Baker's tactical and strategic energy, Malcolm X's will to literary reinvention and Martin Luther King Jr.'s soaring oratory and ultimate sacrifice.

Obama is the latest link in the chain of progress they all forged in the struggle to improve the U.S. by improving the condition of black folk. Obama will move in exactly the opposite direction: As president, he will improve the condition of black folk because he improves the nation. That is a sign of his calling as a national leader, not a black leader. Or, in the adjectival way we measure racial progress, Obama is not a black president, but a president who's black.

As a black man, I feel indescribable elation and pride to be an American on this day. Black folk have told our children a useful lie in the past: They could be anything their minds and talents permitted them to be, even president. Now we can stop lying and start working to make sure that Obama is only the first of many more -- presidents, astronauts, governors, senators, theoretical physicists, baseball commissioners, NASCAR drivers, Olympic swimmers or whatever other pursuit we can dare to imagine.

One of the greatest effects of Obama's becoming the most powerful man in the world is the incalculable psychic boost it gives young black egos that take shape in the glare of TV screens that project his face and words around the globe. But the real miracle may be that Obama's presidency persuades Americans to take for granted that a talented black person, if trusted, can do a great deal of good for the country. Even before he swears his oath of office, Obama has served the nation in heroic fashion."

Michael Eric Dyson, a professor of sociology at Georgetown University, is the author of many books, including "Holler If You Hear Me," "Is Bill Cosby Right?" and "I May Not Get There With You: The True Martin Luther King Jr."

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


It's a new dawn!

It's a new day!

It's a newLife! 

For US ALL!!!!!!

Thank you for Loving Us, and now for Leading Us, PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


The Republican Party...

"The Republican Party is a coalition of racists, sexists and homophobes."

                            -- observed by my friend Nick.

Monday, November 3, 2008

For many, the voting right is still a white right

Like in the Bush-Kerry election of 2004, and the Bush-Gore election of 2000 (and numerous presidential elections since the abolition of slavery in 1865), in the 2008 Obama-McCain election there are a flurry of organized attempts to strip people of color -- in particular -- of their voting rights.

The Associated Press writes:

"In the hours before Election Day, as inevitable as winter, comes an onslaught of dirty tricks — confusing e-mails, disturbing phone calls and insinuating fliers left on doorsteps during the night.

The intent, almost always, is to keep folks from voting or to confuse them, usually through intimidation or misinformation. But in this presidential race, in which a black man leads most polls, some of the deceit has a decidedly racist bent."

Read the rest of the article here.

To resist racist campaigns to stop people from voting, and to help people who do not have the means to get a polling station so they can cast their vote tomorrow -- CONTACT YOUR LOCAL OBAMA CAMPAIGN OFFICE TO PARTICIPATE IN EFFORTS TO DRIVE PEOPLE TO VOTING STATIONS AND DO OUTREACH IN A SWING STATE (if you're near one). You can find your local Obama Campaign office here at

Watch the 11 minute video clip below from the documentary film "Unprecedented: the 2000 Presidential Election" to learn more about the successful Republican and corporate alliance to strip Florida's Democratic voters -- mainly African Americans and elderly Jewish people -- of the vote in 2004 -- the election that stole the presidency from Al Gore in order to give the office to one of the world's most dangerous international criminals: George Bush. 


Wrongheaded human beings can steal most things from most people.

But they can never. steal Our Hope.

GO OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I hope I will be calling you "President Obama" after tomorrow.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

McCain supporter says "No Candy for kids of Obama supporters!"

Appropriated from the blog site of Aunt Jemima's Revenge.

Isn't a common Republican/neo-conservative trope "don't punish the sons for the sins of the father."

If today's white folks aren't to blame for their ancestor's racist practices -- then why blame the youth who did not choose their parents or their parents political beliefs:)

This candy bigot would make a great prison warden I think:)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Brown & Black Folks' Burden: a conversation at The Kitchen Table

I hate this image. I hate what it signifies... what it represents.
No... it's not hate I feel... it's fear. And sadness.
This morning, I read another important blog post entitled "Bearing the Burdens," which is a commentary on two male white supremacists recent plot to assassinate Senator Barack Obama. The blog post is by Kitchen Table writer, Dr. Yolanda Pierce.

Please read the original blog post to which I responded here.

I thought it useful to share my blog comment with you (I will update the post by adding a link that defines/further explains the concept of U.S. neo-imperialism -- if I can find out):

Dr. Pierce,
Thank you so much, again (and over and over), for providing new perspectives on issues that pervade mainstream media discourse.

You have given me many new things to think about -- racist-xenophobic "he's a terrorist that pals around with terrorists" accusations vs. present day and historical U.S. American terrorism carried out through white supremacists.

White U.S. Americans really have inherited a history -- particular to them as white people -- that has left so much blood on their hands -- not because they themselves committed the mass murders, the mass lynchings, the mass rapes -- but because they are the beneficiaries of that brutality -- brutality that is absolutely central to the power and privileges that they unknowingly access everyday as white people -- brutality that is absolutely fundamental to the United States government's supremacy in the world today.

And your questions -- your questions are so powerful -- they really resonate with me: why must black people and people of color in general bear the burden of "responsibility for positive change and growth" in the U.S. Why do so many black people and people of color have to die in order to resist oppression... in order to liberate themselves -- or in the process of seeking liberation (cuz we don't always get it, right).

Great questions. Thank you for giving them to me.

The perspectives you share here have influenced the way I also see the U.S. government's military activity in the present and the privilege and power of being a U.S. American.

The U.S. is, indeed, the wealthiest and most powerful country in the world. And as you well know -- as the Kitchen Table blog testifies to over and over again -- not all people living in the U.S. wield the same brand of power and privilege as a U.S. American/permanent resident of the U.S. -- most of us are involuntarily and voluntarily complicit in the oppression of so called "Third World" people/people living in low income countries.

The U.S. government -- in Afghanistan and Iraq -- continues to engage in what I view as the legalized, government terrorist killing of civilians to achieve neo-imperialistic aims (such as the establishment of economic power/dominance in a region). In Afghanistan and Iraq, the U.S. gov't wages a war of "liberation" on brown bodies -- many of them innocent of "terrorist" crimes. And those violently resisting or non-violently enduring the U.S.'s neo-imperialistic war -- they too bear "so much responsibility" -- too much responsibility -- "for positive change and growth in" their own countries.

I believe your important and insightful questions also apply to the suffering and deprivation of resources that brown and black people experience and endure so that most U.S. Americans (and all people living in so called "First World"/high-income countries) can access the privileges of running water, electricity, gas powered cars, cell phones, IPODS etc., -- "why must" their "bodies... always have to serve as pedagogical sites; why are we always tools of liberation and resistance? Why is the fight for human freedom disproportionately borne by those who have been most denied that full humanity?"

Your next statement also applies to worldwide power imbalances as well: We "live in a country in which white Americans" and U.S. Americans of color "have disproportionately benefited from the uncompensated labor of black" and brown people in countries populated by severely poor people around the world -- including countries like Afghanistan and Iraq [I am aware that these countries include a significant middle class but it is important that these regions also include a large number of extremely poor people -- poor in a way that *most* (thought not all) U.S. Americans will never know/experience].

[UPDATE: In this way... all U.S. Americans/permanent residents living in the U.S. -- particularly middle and upper class people and most especially the millionaires and billionaires who comprise the U.S.'s (and the worlds) wealthiest 10% -- we all have blood on our hands... the blood of brown and black people oppressed, suffering and assassinated by the U.S. government's neo-imperialist/globalization driven wars and economic imperialism in overseas regions carried out through the corporate exploitation of overseas laborers so we U.S. Americans/permanent U.S. residents can comfort ourselves with countless luxuries (that we do not realize are luxuries!).

Most of us take these luxuries for granted -- the luxury of turning on a faucet, for example, that will provide us with water to wash our hands or shower (perhaps with organic designer soap that 100s of 1000s of people living in the U.S. and millions of poor people living in other countries could never afford), or the luxury of flipping a switch to brighten a room. Or the luxury of sending text messages through a cell phone (or sending emails through a Blackberry or sidekick) .

Cell phones use a mineral called colton, which is mined in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The mining of the colton that makes our cell phones work yields profits that fund a still raging 3 year civil war in the Congo. In "Guns, Money and Cell Phones" Kristi Essick says that "more than 20 international mineral trading companies import [colton and other] from the Congo via Rwanda."

Your cell phone and mine has blood on it.

Yet, I am unwilling to give mine up even though I don't need it -- not really.

And I feel guilty about that, which is the least I could do considering unknown numbers of people were murdered, so I could enjoy the privilege of having a cell phone. Feeling guilty for the privileges and power one access at the expense of other people is not necessarily a bad thing.

Guilt is useful if we use it to admit complicity in oppression -- both voluntarily and involuntary -- and take responsibility for what we know we do and what we don't know we do to oppress other people. Guilt is useful if we reject defensiveness and denial [common, unproductive reactions in people who are told they are complicit in race, gender, class (etc.,) oppression] and instead use the new knowledge to grow our consciousness of anti-oppression issues and reduce our participation in oppression in the ways that we choose to. If you are a U.S. American/permanent U.S. resident -- it isn't possible to completely eliminate one's participation in the oppression of poor people around the world. For example, if you live in the U.S. it would be difficult to avoid eating food that was cooked using electricity, or sitting at a table in a fast food restaurant that wasn't wiped down with a rag dipped in running water.

We can, however, give up some things -- like our cell phones, our we can bike/take public transportation even some of the time instead of driving. We can choose to eat less meat products and more vegetarian products (being able to choose what we want to eat is another largely unrecognized privilege -- millions of people can't choose the foods they eat because they must eat what's available to them. Many Haitians, for example, eat rice today, rice tomorrow, and rice the day after that... rice is their only meal -- really). We can decide that a diamond ring engagement is not that important after all -- not when the slave labor and murder of people living in Africa was used in the process of getting that diamond on someone's finger (and no -- I don't believe the diamond industry can guarentee that the diamonds they sell are not bloody no matter what popular media institutions -- led by the rich friends of rich people who run the diamond industry -- want me to believe).

More importantly, we can seek change on the level of policy making/government and in corporate U.S. America. For example, we can organize a group of people -- no matter how small -- to demand that the Senator in our state use her/his power to demand that Congress/the president force corporations to stop using the labor of children overseas and start paying overseas workers a decent wage (so children wouldn't have to work to supplement their parents' meager wages). We can demand that corporations stop using violence and encouraging the use of government violence to discourage overseas workers from organizing unions. ]

Again, thank you for this blog post.

Monday, October 27, 2008

McCain: NOPE!

I just had to share:)

Thanks to one of the most fabulous, super intelligent, and witty blogs ever -- Aunt Jemima's Revenge -- for permitting me to appropriate the image.

white woman cries "black man wolf" -- Ashley Todd & the racist victimization/demonization of black men

Very recently, Ashley Todd, a 20 year old white woman, falsely accused a black man of carving a "B" into her face -- the "B" is for "Barack Obama" -- and raping her because she had a McCain sticker on the bumper of her car.

"When men rape women of other races and ethnicities, it is more often a white perpetrator raping a woman of color..."

But these facts are not the beginning and end of the story linked to and implied by Ashley Todd's false, racist-sexist accusations against a fictitious black man -- and in a sense, all U.S. American black men.

I will update/complete this blog post in the next few days.

For now, read excellent analysis/blog commentary on the Todd incident here.

Todd did not miss a beat in invoking racist characterizations of white women as victims, black men and black people as victimizers -- she got it all in there -- the racist characterization of black communities as "bad neighborhoods" and the racist-sexist stereotype of the black male rapist -- a racist-sexist stereotype that acquired ubiquitous (or nationwide) power -- not coincidentally --  in the aftermath of slavery's abolition and survives into the present day. 

The racist-sexist stereotype of black men as rapists, drug dealers, drug users and all around model criminals encourages and justifies individual acts of racism -- such as a white woman grabbing her purse when a black man passes her on the street -- or enters an elevator :) Racist-sexist stereotypes of black men, black women, Latinos and Latinas also encourages and justifies the high number of police cars overseeing black and Latino/a neighborhoods -- no matter what the dominant income status of the community (I don't mean to imply that class status should make exempt a person of color from being targeted for racism. It is important, however, that a black and Latino/a person's economic status does not diminish their experience of racism in this instance). The fact that 73% of all drug users are white, and most drug dealers are white, and that white people are 4 times more likely to be physically assaulted by another white person than they are a person of color, and that white men & white boys are responsible for committing most violent crimes in the U.S.  -- the fact that most acts of sexual and gender violence against white women and girls are committed by white men and white boys  that they know *does not* change the fact that most white women and white girls fear sexual/gender violence from black men and teenaged black males. 

Most rapes, in fact, are committed by people (typically men) who belong to the same racial group as the rape victim/survivor. The Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center observes that "when men rape women of other races and ethnicities, it is more often a white perpetrator raping a woman of color...."

(If you're a white woman reading this blog entry -- before you ask me for "proof" of white women's racist fantasies about black men -- ask yourself -- and give an honest answer -- who do you imagine will rape you or rob you? What is the race and gender of the person the person that you fear will rape you or rob you?) 

None of these facts changes the racist behavior of the vast majority of law enforcement officials, the racist, over-representation of blacks as the agents of violence in the media, or many white people's  (individual) racist belief that blacks are pre-disposed to criminality. 

Cops don't step up their patrolling of suburbs -- the assumed bastions of peace and tranquility -- because no girl or boy has every been beaten by their alcoholic/drug abusing parents in the suburbs, or beaten by a classmate, or sexually molested in the suburbs, or raped by a gang of white boys in the suburbs... that's never happened -- because the suburbs are safe.

Of course domestic, sexual and physical violence happens in the suburbs -- most suburban violence occurs inside the home not in the street where police can see it (if they were even there to see it in the first place) or a neighbor could witness it to alert the media. Social workers don't visit the homes of solidly middle and upper class parents -- they don't remove the children from upper and middle class homes. However, the homes of poor and working-class people -- mostly black and Latino/a homes but many poor & working-class white homes as well -- these homes, these parents, these children are subject to intense state scrutiny, which is why most of the children in foster care are black, the 2nd largest number are Latino and a minority of of foster children are white -- the vast majority of all of them removed from poor and working-class homes. Again, I'm not saying that poor and working-class children should not be removed from abusive/violent homes -- I am saying that state supervision should be equitable. What the state does to/for poor and working-class youth it should also do to/for middle and upper class youth. Right now, what exists is a foster care system that engages in blatantly classist and racist practices -- another example of institutionalized classism and racism -- that is tolerated by middle and upper class people -- because middle and upper class people believe both consciously and unconsciously that poor and working-class people deserve that kind of treatment -- because "they" are not as well-behaved, hard working and moral as middle and upper class people.

I digress.

Police don't patrol 4 year colleges and universities -- institutions -- communities -- that enroll predominantly white middle class students who frequently drink underage, and drink excessively -- a drinking rate that are linked to the highest instances of acquaintance rape. College aged white men drink more than any other racial/age group. College aged women are, in fact, more susceptible to sexual violence than any other age group. In fact, white men drink and drug more frequently than white women and women and men of color. And lets not forget college aged students' drug use -- no police officer is present to observe the bong hits of a white middle class college student. 

(For more statistic-based information on the relationship between racism, sexism, prison and drug laws go here.)

There is no increase in the arrests of white men and women who use drugs and deal drugs. There is no increase in police shootings of white men (I am not saying there should be) but unarmed black and Latino men are gunned down time and time again because police officers -- most of them white -- believe that these men had guns when, in fact, they did not. Tim Wise raised the same point in 2001 when he cited a "Washington University in St. Louis found that the mere presence of dark skin increases the probability that an object... will be misperceived as a weapon." 

Not once, in U.S. history -- recent or past -- has a police officer been convicted and sent to prison for murdering an innocent black man, black women, Latino and Latina -- not once.

So, the conscious or unconscious racist belief that black and Latino men are dangerous -- excessively dangerous -- addicted to danger and violence even -- that racist belief makes police officers of all races -- but significantly, mostly white police officers -- far more likely to use excessive force on black man or Latino -- and black women, Latinos, and especially since 9/11, Arab-Americans, Arab immigrants and men and women perceived to be of Arab descent. Police officers are far more likely to beat members of the aforementioned groups to death and/or murder them because of racist stereotypes.

That is real. 

And the experience of inequality and violence in the context of law enforcement is a major, defining difference between those who have white skin privilege and those who do not have white skin privilege.

(Here are some video recorded words from the Wise on white privilege and the historical creation of whiteness. He also discusses how a white person can "challenge whiteness" or resist at least some of the unearned benefits they receive because they are white, and thus, resist complicity in the racist oppression of people of color as a white ally in the struggle against racism.)

White men and women are not arrested, imprisoned or beaten as frequently as black men, black women, Latinos and Latinas and murdered by police as frequently** as black men and Latinos because the stereotype of a violent criminal/drug user/drug dealer does not fit their image -- straight, white Protestant men are model citizens -- model "Americans" -- and middle & upper class heterosexual Protestant white women are the symbol of all that is feminine, pure, moral and safe -- unless, of course, that straight Protestant middle or upper class white woman finds feminism -- then she's a man-hating "bitch" or has more power than most white heterosexual men then she's a dyke like Hillary Clinton.

So, Ashley Todd's false rape accusation and false accusation of physical assault should not be dismissed as the raving of a "mad" woman (Todd says that she carved her own face and accused a black man of that crime and a rape crime because she suffers from a mental illness), or an "isolated incident" -- because there is a long history of white women accusing black men of rape and physical assault in the U.S. -- and a long history of white people believing these false accusations, which led far too many whites to terrorize entire black communities in the form of genocide -- that is, all out vigilante/illegal murders of black children, women and men, lynchings, organized rape campaigns and racial profiling in response to these false accusations -- and white people could torture, murder and rape black men, women, and children with impunity -- without concern of legal consequences. Until the 1960s, almost all white judges refused to convict and imprison white men arrested for lynching and raping (etc.,) black men, women and children.

**Re: racist police murders -- I use the term "frequently" because I do not know of any instances since the 1980s where a white man or white woman was wrongfully murdered by police officers -- if you know of any instances where this occurred, please share them.