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Sikivu Hutchinson's blog

The Obamas’ Race to the Bottom

by Sikivu Hutchinson

Michelle Obama’s recent speech on the anniversary of the Brown decision gave every indication that she understands structural racism and injustice in education. However, her husband’s Race to the Top program has “opened the floodgates to privatization, dumbed-down curricula, and a permanent regime of high stakes testing which undermines teacher creativity and guts teachers’ unions.”

The Sterling Shuffle: Unpacking White Jewish Racism

by Sikivu Hutchinson

For the moment, a Jewish sports franchise owner is the most prominent racist in the United States. Donald Sterling’s conduct serves are a reminder that “the illusion of lockstep black-Jewish solidarity on liberal political coalition-building has long masked the reality of white Jewish privilege and investment in white supremacy.”

The Souls of Black Boys

By Sikivu Hutchinson

Black males are now down to about 1% of current UCLA freshmen. It's neoliberal California, where black boys are destined for marginal labor if they're lucky or pipelined to prison if they're not. Still, community activists in Los Angeles are fighting back, trying to nurture and prepare the next generation of black organizers, scholars and intellectuals.

In Cold Blood: The Murder of Renisha McBride

by Sikivu Hutchinson

The 19-year-old Black woman had just gotten a job at the Ford Motor Company when she was shot in the face with a shotgun by a white homeowner after seeking help after a car crash. Her killing “is part of a long legacy of black female murder victims who have been devalued in a misogynist apartheid system of state-sanctioned violence that thrives on the urban/suburban racial divide.”

Public Enemy or Talented Tenth? The War Against Black Children

by Sikivu Hutchinson

Blacks are the scapegoats for America’s failure to keep pace in the world. “For a nation brainwashed into believing the U.S. is an exceptionalist beacon, the underachievement of black students has become both shorthand for and explanation of its low standing in academic rankings.” The truth is, America programs Black kids to fail at every level of the education system.

Walking on the "Wild Side"? 20 Feet From Stardom & the Black Female Gaze

by Sikivu Hutchinson

Who will tell the story of the Black female back-up singers that shaped generations of Black and cross-over music? A new documentary titled 20 Feet From Stardom makes the attempt. “20 Feet” captures the deep travesty of obscurity, marginalization and, often, poverty, that these pioneering artists faced.”

Mad Science or School-to-Prison? Criminalizing Black Girls

by Sikivu Hutchinson

Studies show that Black children do not commit more offenses in the classroom than whites and Latinos. Nevertheless, “in many American classrooms black children are treated like ticking time bomb savages.” Black girls are suspended from school more than any other ethnicity – except Black males.

Prison House of Textbook History: Remembering the Chicano Blowouts

by Sikivu Hutchinson

1968, the year of the biggest high school walkout in U.S. history, was not so different than the present. “Then, as now, there was no room for analyses of sexism, racial apartheid, heterosexism, and patriarchy and how our lived experiences diverged from the corrupt pedagogy of the American dream.”

Wages of White Affirmative Action: Predatory Lending & The Ghetto

 

by Sikivu Hutchinson

Whites are “returning” to South Central Los Angeles, the place they left for the suburbs in federally subsidized waves generations ago. The lure: cheap housing in neighborhoods savaged by color-coded lending policies. And so it is that whites whose exit from South Central was smoothed by racial advantage, return in the same way. White dislocation is called a tragedy, while the uprooting of Blacks is dubbed “gentrification.”

The GOP’s Tired, Poor Huddled Masses

 

by Sikivu Hutchinson

Having based much of American exceptionalist mythology on the cult of white immigrant “values” – and the matching slander that African Americans are values-poor – the Right will increasingly “ratchet up classic divide and conquer narratives tied to bootstrapping and a racialized mythos of hard work.” That suits many Latinos just fine. “Despite being of mixed black, Asian, Indian and European ancestry the majority of Latinos in the U.S. identify racially as white.” Plus, “Latino parishioners are fueling a resurgence of Pentecostalism in the U.S. and filling in the gaps of an aging white demographic in decline.”

White Picket Fences, White Innocence

 

by Sikivu Hutchinson

The whole country was taught the intrinsic goodness of Dick and Jane, the freckled young picture book stars of the American dream. A more ancient social primer informed us of the inherent criminality of kids with names like Trayvon. George Zimmerman, the watchdog of a gated community, “was upholding the time-honored tradition of white homeowners’ associations that protected white communities from dark interlopers.” His “lesser white status” as a person of partial Latino ancestry, “is part of what legitimized Zimmerman’s self-defense claim.”

God’s Body, God’s Plan: The Komen Foundation Furor and Abortion as Black/Latino “Genocide”

 

by Sikivu Hutchinson

Money and religion make strange bedfellows. The most right-wing forces in U.S. politics have cultivated Black and Latino allies to label abortion rights advocates as nothing less than enemies of God. Yet, “It is precisely because of right wing opposition to universal health care coverage that Black, Latina, Asian, and Native American women are more likely to rely on the wraparound health care services that Planned Parenthood provides.”

Black Scholarship, Non-Theism and Radical Politics: Where are the Writers?

by Sikivu Hutchinson

To hear white institutions tell it, Black non-theists have nothing important to say about the human condition. But, in fact, “Black secular humanist critical inquiry stretches back to Frederick Douglass's era to the Harlem Renaissance and into the 1960s Black Power movement.” Such thinkers have been central to “a tradition of Black liberation struggle against white supremacy.”

The Christian Fascists’ Personhood Campaign

 

by Sikivu Hutchinson

Once again it’s time to play Nina Simone’s “Mississippi Goddam.” On November 8, the state’s voters will decide an initiative aimed out dismantling Roe vs. Wade. “The most flat earth reactionary segment of the pro-death anti-choice movement wants to circumvent constitutional protections for abortion by conferring personhood on fertilized eggs.” In principle, women who violate the “inalienable rights” of their own eggs might be liable for murder.

LAUSD’s Apartheid Hall of Shame, Part 2: A View from the Classroom

by Sikivu Hutchinson

The Black student “push-out” phenomenon is directly related to Black mass incarceration. Studies show that “African Americans go to the dean’s office for less serious offenses than do Latinos and whites.” Disruptive behavior is in the subjective perception of the beholding teachers, some of whom “go off about ‘these black kids’ and what are you going to do with these black kids ‘cause I can’t teach in my classroom with these black kids going out of control.” Predominantly Black schools and faculty are often no better. “South L.A. schools with significant or majority black faculty and administrators are just as culpable.”

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