I’ll bet Dr. King was turning over in his grave

I’ll bet Dr. King was turning over in his grave

MLK Day 2 in 2018

 

We all know by now that President Trump referred to Haiti and various African nations as “shithole countries” last week. As Trump himself might reflect, that was “very bad.” But I have come to expect those racist remarks from him.

 

What angers me is that the nephew of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who was at the White House on Friday when Trump signed the proclamation honoring King, only called Trump “racially ignorant and racially uninformed.” Huh? What in the world was he doing there? And it wasn’t only him. Trump was surrounded by African Americans, who were dutifully smiling and happy. All I can do is <face slap> and wonder what were they thinking?

 

King’s nephew, Isaac Newton Farris, Jr., also said that he doesn’t think Trump is racist in the traditional sense. Pardon me? Just what constitutes being a racist in the traditional sense? A physical threat? A term worse than shithole? The “N-word”? What?!

 

The King Center’s chief executive, Bernice King, is the daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. She said this: “Trump’s election could be a blessing in disguise. This is the opportunity for America to correct itself.” She must be kidding.

 

As an advocate for racial justice for over 30 years, I would have gladly canceled that trip—taken a huge pass and not shown up at all. It would have made an important point—that I could not stand next to a racist and smile. Dr. King’s relatives should be called on the carpet for taking part in the ceremony. I would have made it very clear that our President is racist and that words are very important. Then I would have stayed home and cried at what this country has come to under this despicable, and most definitely, racist person.

 

Susan Graham

President

Project RACE

 

Photo credit: CNBC.com

What’s in a name?

What’s in a name? Mucho

by Ruben Navarrette, Jr. 

 

I’ve heard it all now. It seems that Americans have come full circle on matters of race and ethnicity. What was once considered a liability is now thought to be an advantage.

Sixty years ago, as my parents’ generation was growing up in the cities of the Southwest — from McAllen, Texas, to Carlsbad, N.M., to Tucson, Ariz. — it was not uncommon to run across Hispanics who yearned to be white. And why not? Back then, Hispanics were second-class citizens. They were picked on, warehoused in segregated schools, excluded from most colleges and kept away from the best jobs. White people had it easier.

So Hispanics anglicized their names — Maria became “Mary,” etc. They tried to lighten their skin by rubbing lemon juice on it. They stopped speaking Spanish. They moved into predominantly white neighborhoods where they were the only Hispanics on the block. All to be accepted in the mainstream. That is when you knew you had arrived, when people saw you as white.

Now, in an age when Colombian-born Sofia Vergara is the highest-paid actress on television, Dora the Explorer is ubiquitous, and corporations spend billions of dollars every year trying to tap into the $1.3 trillion that Hispanics spend annually, there are signs that some whites yearn to be Hispanic.

Que?

This trend is showing up in, of all things, the names that parents decide to give their children. These days, many white parents are avoiding names such as John or Mary and giving their children Hispanic-sounding names such as Diego, Maria, Juan or Isabella. Other popular names for children include Santos, Carmen, Sierra and Luis.

According to Latina Lista, a Dallas-based news site, a new study of children’s names by Belly Ballot, a social-media baby-naming website, found that white parents are trying to give their kids some ethnic flavor. When asked why, some parents cited shifting demographics and the fact that the United States is unmistakably becoming more Hispanic. The parents said they felt their children’s future would be brighter if their kids found it easier to “fit in” with changing surroundings. The new mainstream, it seems, will flow right through Hispanic America.

One mom from Tennessee told a reporter she thought giving her daughter a “Latino name” would help her make friends, and have a better profession given that “her future bosses will be Hispanic.”

There is also another reason, a more cynical one. Whereas my parents’ generation was not exactly welcomed on college campuses in the 1950s and ’60s, my children are growing up at a time when there are tons of scholarships and grants reserved for Hispanic students, and many colleges and universities have aggressive affirmative action programs.

According to the Latina Lista article, there are parents who feel that giving their kids a Spanish name will allow them to apply for scholarships and grants that were intended for people who don’t look anything like them. I’m skeptical this may be a huge trend. We may be talking about a very small group of opportunists.

But for anyone who thinks this way, whom do they think they’re fooling? These people do know that they’re encouraging their children to commit a fraud, don’t they? Impersonating a Hispanic. Why, it ought to be a crime.

All kidding aside, these programs did not come easily. They are the result of hard-fought battles during the civil rights movement. The fact that some people think they can be manipulated for their benefit is a sad indicator that the system of racial and ethnic spoils needs to be fixed or scrapped altogether.

For now, I’ll just revel in the thought that, for all they went through and endured in a darker era, my parents’ generation of Hispanics — because of stories like this — is getting the last laugh.

 

Ruben Navarrette is a syndicated columnist with the Washington Post Writers Group. Email:ruben@rubennavarrette.com.

Source: Fresno Bee

 

Multiracial Time: The Multiracial Advocacy Blog

“The time is always right to do what is right.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.
1929-1968, Civil Rights Leader

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