Posts Tagged ‘racism’

Anoka is So Not Post-Racial

Minnesota Public Radio has a story on the secret racists of the Twin Cities and how they’re not comfortable voting for Barack Obama.

For those who don’t think race will be a factor in this year’s election – you only need to listen to George Ziegler, a semi-retired barber from Anoka.

“I wouldn’t vote for that n—-r,” he said. “I wouldn’t vote for him. No way in heaven’s name would I give him a chance to take my vote and go in there. I’m smarter than that.”

This is the kind of shit that makes me want to stay as close to the city center as possible. This is the kind of shit that you think, at the very least, that people have the good sense not to say out loud. To a reporter, no less! And so it still surprises me, and scares the shit out of me.

United Food and Commercial Workers Union rep Bernie Hesse has this to say about the membership. Note that his union officially backs Barack Obama.

I also think with some of the older members, it’s a thing of entitlement. And they don’t think of it as race but think of it as, how dare a young black person run for president? He hasn’t put his time in, and why is he entitled to this?

“Entitled”?! *head explosion*

So is it better for folks like George Ziegler to be up front about their racism or for folks to be sneaky about it? Ron Walters, a political science professor at the University of Maryland who studies race and politics, says plenty of folks are sneaky about their racism.

“People may have a racial motive, but they may say that Barack Obama lacks experience,” he said. “So they may use any pretext not to vote for him and support him when the real reason has to do with race and not something else.”

I never have a good answer to my question. And I’m staying the hell away from Anoka.

Rainbow Families Facilitating Four-Part Discussion of Racism and White Privilege

It is hosted by Rainbow Families, but it looks like the gay part doesn’t come in until the end.

This is a topic that people are typically very afraid to discuss. Partly because younger folks tend to think it’s not really a problem. Partly because we’re afraid to offend someone. Partly because we just don’t know how to talk about it. So if you’re at all interested in the topic, I strongly recommend giving it a whirl.

Critical Dialogues: An Examination of Racism and White Privilege in Our Community and Our Families

A four-part training and discussion series addressing issues of racism and white privilege in our community, and in our organization. Each session builds on the other so you must be able to attend all four sessions to participate.

Part One – Monday, September 15, 2008, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
View Jamie Washington’s keynote address from the 11th Annual Rainbow Families Conference in 2006, and critically examine dominant/subordinate group issues in terms of our identities as we commence to challenge racism.

Part Two – Monday, October 6, 2008, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Join in a discussion of three short articles addressing issues of racism and white privilege, along with a brief training segment. Address how these issues impact our lives, our community, and Rainbow Families.

Part Three – Monday, November 3, 2008, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
A facilitated discussion on how to talk to kids about racism and white privilege.

Part Four – Monday, December 1, 2008, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
A final meeting to discuss how we can apply what we have learned to our own lives, to Rainbow Families, and to the LBGTQ community as a whole. This session is very applied and engaging, so feel free to bring example or scenarios that you would like to share regarding these issues.

RSVP: If you are interested in this FREE four part series, please contact Abby at or 651-644-4848 x200 with your name, email address and/or phone number.

Location: Rainbow Families office, Griggs Midway Building, 1821 W University Avenue, #109, Saint Paul, MN 55104

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