On a web site I frequent someone recently posted a photo from an article on the san Francisco police giving some books to children. Here is the link to the article: Article
I commented on the site that “I hope they gave the kids some books on how to survive a confrontation with the pigs.” I said this in all seriousness because the police routinely kill people of color in the US. In fact, citizen survival tactics during interactions with police should be programming in libraries. Using the term pig is English in origin and has also been used to describe police since 1851.
Apart from the police brutality based on race there was also some POC on POC bullying going on in this exchange on the board.
Immediately, the person who posted the article (a professional in the same profession as me) told me that I should act professional--”Aren’t you a professional Max--we should behave as professionals!”
I’m used to getting the “professional” ad hominem from discussions with White people who will attack me with this when I say something that challenges the established White-supremacist system. Most often, these White people are ‘liberals,’ who claim to be on my side and to not be prejudiced. #microaggressions
This comment was more insidious though. This comment made me realize that this person is a gatekeeper/driver. I use these terms because people who have benefited from Affirmative Action in the past--most of them older, mentors to the newer generations--are used as gate keepers and drivers.
They discourage and actively fight against advancement of those who could create change that would challenge the White racist power structure. This is threatening to those who have achieved ‘professional’ positions, whose expertise would no longer be needed if the White-supremacist educational/professional system were dismantled and replaced with something civilized. .
These drivers I describe teach young people how to be successful in the current system that is dominated by outright racists and unconsciously biased people of all colors. They also chastise, blackball and otherwise condemn those who don’t conform to the racist system of education. #SlaveDrivers
|Locked in a box of no opportunities|
One reason there has not been any progress in education, economics and against the school to prison pipeline is insidious. It isn't because of White racists alone. It is because people who benefited from Affirmative Action are too scared and comfortable to create the needed change for those who were left behind in the barrio and ghettos. They are in denial about the system and their place in the system of oppression.
These gatekeepers will focus on ‘civility’ and ‘professionalism.’ They will say a POC is uncivil if they speak in a manner that challenges the White-racist power structure. Somewhere along the line, being civil and being professional became synonyms for servility, obedience, subservience and getting along within the status quo.
This is not the definition of civil. The English Word Civil comes from the Latin word civi--or city--being civil is the ability to get along and live with a variety of people, opinions, attitudes, etc...that come with living in the city. It is the set of skills that allows one to live among the diversity of characters in the city.
These gatekeepers are guilty of complicity and abetting the White racist power structure. They are also guilty or ruining good people’s chances at creating real change. I say this because these drivers cut people out of the mix when it comes to opportunity. They also help label good people as “angry,” “unprofessional,” and “uncivil.” This keeps them out of professional positions, where they could create some real change.
Not being angry, being professional and being civil are all requirements of a job in academia and anywhere else for that matter. This is a main reason why we have not had any change as a result of affirmative action. We are training people to be successful cogs in a system that despises us, is uncivil in a myriad of ways toward us, and murders us on a regular basis. We need to train them and educate them to be leaders for change NOT leaders within this pathological system.
|Destroy the Ivory Tower!|
Education should be liberating. It shouldn't just lead to a comfortable life, jet-setting around the country and the world to conferences for intellectual posturing that creates no real change. So, don’t lecture me about being professional--you all should be professional and challenge the system that oppresses your people so violently and so openly. But then again, you may live up in the hills somewhere where you don’t have to deal with harassment by the police, or worse--violence-- like most of your people do. When people work in the system of the status quo, they need to remember where they came from and that their attainment means much more than material success.