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Momentum
A blog from Medium about the fight against anti-Black racism.

Forever trying to escape the racist tropes of Black people being viewed as scary and menacing

Photo: Edgar Chaparro/Unsplash

I’ve heard it all. And if the past designs the future, I expect to hear it all again:

“We need someone to stand by the door.”

“You’ve done time, right?”

“Hey, we’re having trouble with this guy. You can take him.”

“Don’t hurt me; I don’t have any money.”

“Man, you’re big. People must be scared of you.”

Being the recipient of such discrimination is taxing.

Black people have tried tirelessly to counter negative stereotypes while witnessing the threads of racism continuing to infect future generations.

Nice to meet you

I recall many instances when someone used my size and skin color to satisfy…


A Florida officer getting 12 years in prison for planting drugs on suspects triggered me and probably you too.

A police officer makes a traffic stop. Photo: Getty Images

Being pulled over by the police scares me to death. Long before Philando Castille, Sandra Bland, and Walter Scott — all Black people who wound up dying after a traffic stop-— became national news, a cop switching lanes to drive behind me used to make my heart skip a beat. But being stopped is just the tip of the iceberg. Black folks often get framed during these stops. And as I was reading the recent story of a cop that, this past July, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for planting drugs on motorists, I was triggered. …


Photo by Brett Sayles from Pexels

#StopAsianHate is our fight too because the fight is against White supremacy.

We gathered in the living room of our Airbnb, eyes fixed on the screen. It’s a 2021 graduation and while his school is in Florida, we were in Kentucky, with the rest of his peers scattered around the country. The speakers all donned masks with varied levels of outward disdain or pride. It’s Florida. You never know with them. One White face after another graced the stage, and made some generic remarks about success, the future, and how honored they were to usher in another class of leaders…


Let’s Unpack This

It’s strange to witness politicians support Cuban protests while railing against Black Lives Matter.

U.S. Rep. Carlos Gimenez (R-FL) speaks at a Cuban freedom rally near the White House on July 26, 2021 in Washington, DC. Cuban activists and demonstrators held a rally to urge the American government to intervene in Cuba to support human rights and end Communism in Cuba. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

As an anti-racism writer, it’s striking to purview how often people push back against the cold, hard facts of how Black people are treated in this country. It’s becoming even harder to ignore as Cubans, both foreign and domestic, fight against mistreatment from Cuba’s government. Politicians like Sen. Marco Rubio and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis openly supported those protestors in a way they don’t and generally aren’t expected to do for Black people.

For those who don’t know, Cuba has been dealing with civil unrest for more than a week. Jorge Felipe Gonzalez, writing for The Atlantic, said the country’s…


My birth certificate lists my race as White, but I’m not.

The author’s birth certificate lists him as White. The author, however, self-identifies as South-Asian. What’s going on here?

Technically there are no White people who look the color White. There are no Black people either who look the color Black.

But there is a story of Black and White people. One of the greatest stories ever told. A story originating in Europe. Brought over to the land we now call the United States of America. The European settlers started living this story.

In this hard-to-believe story, a turbaned and bearded man with heritage from India is labeled in the late 20th century as White.

This bizarre fantastical story became the foundation for a new nation. The lighter-skinned settlers…


It turns out I wasn’t nearly as woke as I thought

Photo: Daria Nepriakhina/Unsplash

When I was single and new to Toronto, my main activities consisted of swiping on dating apps and complaining about how frustrated I was with dating apps.

I went through the familiar cycle of obsessing over photos, bios, matches, and openers, then getting frustrated and deleting every dating app on my phone, then getting bored and downloading them all again.

At the height of my swiping days, a friend told me about a disturbing study from OkCupid. It showed that people of color experience extreme bias on dating apps, receiving substantially fewer right swipes and matches than white folks. …


THIS IS AMERICA

My parents turned the racism around us into a game to help us cope

“Holiday Inn — Vincennes, Indiana.” Image: Jordan Smith/Flickr

Hillenbrand Industries is the holding company for two operating businesses. One is Hillrom, which operates in the health care industry, selling and renting hospital beds, furnishings, and other hospital accessories. If you’ve ever needed to spend a night in a hospital, chances are you’ve slept in one of their beds.

Hillenbrand’s other operating business is Batesville Casket Company. Although the name is probably unfamiliar to most people, Batesville is the largest coffin manufacturer in the country, controlling nearly half the U.S. market. Funerals may be uncomfortable to discuss, but it’s a $20 billion industry.

No matter what anyone tells you…


ACROSS THE POND

Renaming J’Ouvert rum doesn’t change the fact that Killmonger woulda beat his ass

Michael B. Jordan at the 2020 NAACP Image Awards in Hollywood. He is working to rename a rum brand that he purchased. Image: Getty Images

The popular African American phrase coined by Zora Neale Hurston “All my skinfolk ain’t kinfolk” was dramatically expressed in the behavior of actor Micheal B. Jordan when he launched his Caribbean rum brand J’Ouvert. Yes, he did an about-turn and apologized when Trinidad-and-Tobago-born Nicki Minaj suggested he change the name of the rum, but the revelation of Jordan’s mindset is clear.

Jordan is a Black capitalist, and for millions of Caribbean people in the islands and the diaspora, he’s the worst kind — a colonizer.

Jordan wanted to bottle and gift-wrap African Caribbean culture characterized by exclusion, enslavement, rebellion, extermination…

Momentum

A blog from Medium about the fight against anti-Black racism.

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