Black History Month: Marsha P Johnson

Click To Tweet

 

Marsha “Pay it no mind” Johnson was a trans woman and LGBT liberation activist born in August of 1945. Marsha is widely cited as being instrumental in starting the Stonewall Riots in response to the arrest of another Black activist, Stormé DeLarverie during the raid.

Marsha P. Johnson worked tirelessly to further civil rights for the LGBTQ community, cofounding Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries* (STAR) with another POC trans woman, Sylvia Rivera. The organization worked to house homeless LGBTQ+ folks, establishing the STAR house initially as a parked truck trailer in a Greenwich Village parking lot.Eventually Marsha Johnson and Sylvia Rivera managed to secure a building, 213 Second Ave., to act as their STAR house. Marsha, known as the house’s “Drag Mother,” worked to provide previously homeless transgender and gay youth a home, food security, and safety.

Marsha didn’t stop there though, she continued to work with other civil rights organizations, notably, working as an AIDS activist with ACT UP, as an organizer and  marshal until her death in 1992.

While the official story presented by the police and medical examiner states that Marsha died of an apparent suicide, many in the community believe she was murdered.

*The term transvestite, while the original name of the group, is considered inappropriate to use today and should be avoided. The correct terminology as it is used now is “transgender”

 

Aila Moireach is a social justice writer and educator. You can find her on facebook, or on her blog http://ailamoireach.com.

Black History Month: Latasha Harlins

Hey FAM! Every week day this month, we’ll be posting a brief biography on a figure in Black history.

Latasha Harlins was a 15 year old girl Black girl murdered in a convenience store in Los Angeles. Her murder, 13 days after Rodney King’s beating, and the murderer’s subsequent slap on the wrist contributed to tensions leading to the LA Riots.

Soon Ja Du, a 51 year old convenience store clerk assumed Latasha Harlins was attempting to steal a bottle of orange juice, despite Latasha having the money to pay for it in hand. Mrs Du reacted by grabbing Latasha’s sweater and backpack, and assaulting her.

Latasha fought back in an attempt to get away. As she stepped back, Mrs. Du threw a stool at her. Latasha bent over to pick up the orange juice that had fallen to the ground, when Mrs Du snatched it from her hand. As Latasha turned to leave, Mrs Du reached under the counter for her handgun and shot Latasha in the back of the head from three feet away.

Mrs. Du was arrested and claimed self-defense, however her testimony was contradicted by both eye witnesses, and the security camera.

Mrs. Du was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in the murder of Latasha Harlins, which carries a maximum sentence of 16 years. While the jury recommended the maximum, Judge Joyce Karlin claimed “mitigating factors” and sentenced Mrs. Du to five years probation, 400 hours community service, and a $500 fine. Judge Karlin is quoted as saying Did Mrs. Du react inappropriately? Absolutely. But was that reaction understandable? I think that it was….this is not a time for revenge…and no matter what sentence this court imposes Mrs. Du will be punished every day for the rest of her life.”

This sent a clear message to Los Angeles’ Black community that to the white justice system, Black lives did not matter.

#sayhername

 

 

Aila Moireach is a social justice writer and educator. You can find her on facebook.

What Does Transgender Mean?

Hey FAM!

On this week’s Social Justice installment, we’re going to discuss Trans issues. We’re going to touch a bit on the Transgender community and some of the ways they are marginalized by cisgender folks.

Let’s start with a few definitions:

Gender: A social construct that allows individuals to make logical assumptions about someone based on cues such as appearance, mannerisms, presentation, clothing, speech patterns, name, and other cues.  Often, this is “assigned” to an infant at birth based on their genitalia (when those genitalia are unambiguous).  On an individual level, gender is an emotional, mental, and social state that is influenced by a number of factors, including genetics, society, neurochemistry, upbringing, exposure to media and academia, as well as other nonspecific factors.  Often, this term is conflated with ‘sex‘ as a way to differentiate “how someone feels” from their genitalia.  However, genitalia, chromosomes, and assigned birth gender have no scientifically provable bearing on one’s gender.  Only people have a gender; genitals, objects, actions, media, and other such items are not gendered.  Society may at large may associate them with a particular gender, however these associations are a function of a strong bias towards binary gender, and to a greater degree, gender essentialism.

Gender Presentation: How any individual represents their gender through mannerisms, appearance, name, and other nonspecific factors.

Gender Binary: The concept that only two genders exist, male and female, and that all other genders are invalid, made up, fake, or some other similar term.

Gender Essentialism: The practice or idea of boiling down an individual to so-called “essential” qualities associated with the gender they are, or present as. Examples include reducing an individual to their genitalia or secondary sex characteristics, to a biological function (such as pregnancy/birth or menstruation), to a societal role (housewife/homemaker, breadwinner, think 1950s americana), or to another lesser quality to remove the complexity and abstraction of the individual.  This is harmful not only in trans discourse, but also in feminist discourse in that it is often sexist as well as cissexist.

Transgender or Trans: (adjective) Transgender is an umbrella term for anyone who is not the gender doctors assigned when they were born. This includes binary and non-binary genders and identities as well. This is an adjective (not a noun) and should never use the -ed or -ism suffix. While you may see trans folks refer to themselves as “a tran” or “a trans” or “the trans” colloquially (and often in jest), much like with racially-charged language be sure to avoid mimicking the usage of the trans community as a cis individual.  Generally one should refer to binary trans folks as “trans men” or “trans women” as the term “trans” is an adjective, similar to blonde, white, fat, disabled, or neurotypical.  Specifically, using the terms “transman” and “transwoman” (note the lack of space) implies that these individuals are fundamentally “not” members of their gender, by creating a fully new term rather than applying an adjective to said gender.

Non-Binary: (adjective) Sometimes shortened to NB, or enby. This is an umbrella term for folks whose gender doesn’t exist within the gender binary. They aren’t “men” or “women,” but often have identities such as agender, gender-fluid, etc. If you think of gender less as a binary and more as a big ball of wibbly wobbly gendery-bendery stuff,* then non-binary folks are somewhere in said ball.  Sometimes this term is shortened to NB, or “enby” by members of the community.**

Cisgender: (adjective) Anyone who is the gender they were assigned at birth. Also referred to as “cis <insert gender here>” such as cis man or cis woman. Borrowed from latin, where it is the opposite of the prefix “trans”. This word follows the same grammatical rules as transgender, and should never have the -ism, or -ed suffix attached.

AMAB/AFAB: Abbreviation for “assigned male at birth” or “assigned female at birth”; this is an abbreviation often used by/around trans people to avoid harmful or misgendering language such as “born <insert different gender here>” or “<insert different gender here>-bodied”.

Deadname: A trans person’s deadname is the name they were assigned before their gender became known. It is incredibly problematic to use this name, or to ask about it. Using it suggests that you don’t respect a person’s declaration of their authentic selves, and also runs the risk of potentially outting them.

Misgendering: The act of referring to someone using terms, implications, imagery, or other communication that expresses or implies that they are a different gender than they are, or are not genuine about their identity.  While it may be easier to understand this as “a different gender than they *say* they are” that language implies that an individual’s gender is invalid and based only on that individual’s opinion and that they do not have the agency to know their own gender moreso than society (or simply another individual).  While this can be as simple as using the incorrect pronouns, it can also be less obviously done via explicitly avoiding using a gendered or genderless pronoun to indicate a trans individual, preferring to use their name (or worse, their deadname) even when it is grammatically awkward or conversationally inappropriate. 

Dysphoria: This is the distress a trans person experiences as a result of the gender they were assigned at birth. Not all trans folks experience dysphoria, and for those who do, the degree to which they experience it may vary. Historically ‘gender dysphoria’ was the medical term for the condition of being transgender, much like how homosexuality was considered a mental illness in the socially unaware days of yesteryear.  As of the release of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (or DSM-5 for short), this is no longer the case.

Intersex: Intersex refers to a person who has a body that does not fit society’s binary definitions of male and female. This includes variance in chromosomes, hormones, secondary sex characteristics and sexual and reproductive anatomy (sometimes referred to as “ambiguous genitals” at birth).

Cissexism: The discrimination of the dominant group (cis folks) against the oppressed group (trans folks) based on the quality of being trans, or having one or more qualities associated with trans folks, or the assertion/implication that trans folks are inferior to cis folks.

Folks: An easy-to-use genderless reference to a group of individuals.  Sometimes used in text as “folx” in the LGBT community to be more inclusive, and as a nod to the role of the internet and social media in modern LGBT culture.

TERF: “TERF” is an abbreviation for trans-exclusionary radical feminist. TERFs are a hate group and are known for doxxing (tracking down and publishing private information about), harassing, and excluding trans folks from spaces (including LGBT spaces). For more information, check out: Cathy Brennan is a Fake Goth. Originally coined by trans activist and historian Katarina Rose around 2008 as “Trans Exterminatory Radical Feminist” in an effort to describe a subset of radical feminists who, under the guise of “gender critical” arguments, seek to exclude trans women from feminist and female-only spaces, and to a greater extent, to eliminate the acceptance of trans women as women entirely.  Over time, TERFs have (largely successfully) rebranded as “exclusionary” but given their stated goals, this term is not entirely accurate.

Still with me? That was a whole lot of definitions, and they may be hard to remember, but it gets easier, I promise!

The problem of transphobia or transantagonism, like sexism, racism, ableism, or classism, is a systemic one. Under the theory of intersectionality, first coined by feminist Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989, various oppressions can not be understood independently of each other. You can’t separate the oppressions of being a woman, a person of color, of being poor or being trans. They’re intertwined and they act on each other frequently compounding the trauma and oppression and magnifying it. For transgender folk, this manifests in the way stigma and transphobia drive other oppressions like class and gender.

Transgender folk are more likely to experience family rejection and homelessness. The 2015 Transgender Survey asked respondents a series of questions relating to their immediate family’s support of their gender. They found that of respondents who were out to their immediate families:

  • 10% reported a family member was violent toward them because of their transgender status.
  • 8% were kicked out of their homes
  • 10% ran away from home

Trans folks experienced considerably higher rates of psychological distress as a result of the social stigma and rejection by their families.

 

  • 40% of transgender folks who responded to the survey have attempted suicide in their lifetime, compared to 4.6% of the US population as a whole.

Homelessness was a struggle for many of the respondents

  • 30% experienced homelessness at some point in their lives
  • 12% experienced homelessness in 2015 because of being transgender
  • of that 12%, 26% avoided staying in a shelter because of fears of being mistreated as a transgender person.
  • of those who did stay in shelters, 70% reported harassment, physical and sexual assault, or being kicked out because of being transgender.

Transgender folks are more likely to be victims of violence or harassment:

  • 46% of respondents experienced verbal harassment in the year predating the survey (2015)
  • 9% of respondents reported being physically attacked for being transgender in 2015
  • 47% of respondents were sexually assaulted at some point in their lifetime
  • 54% experienced some form of intimate partner violence.

Transgender folks are often discriminated against when attempting to simply exist in public. 31% of respondents to the survey experienced some form of mistreatment while in a place of public accomodation:

 

Should Republicans have their way and manage to completely defund Medicaid and Planned Parenthood, trans folk stand to suffer as well — low income trans folk, just like cis women, rely on Planned Parenthood for reproductive health. In many states, Planned Parenthood is the only option trans folk have for access to hormone replacement therapy and other trans related healthcare. Many trans folks avoid seeing doctors for fear of being mistreated as a trans person, or because they could not afford too.

So what can we do to support our trans siblings?

I’m so glad you asked!

The most important thing we can do for our trans siblings is listen.

When our trans siblings tell us that our pink pussy hats hurt them, we need to take them off.

When our trans siblings tell us that our insistence on associating genitalia with femininity excludes them, we need to find new symbols.

When our trans siblings tell us to use their pronouns, we need to do it without question.

When our children and loved ones tell us they are transgender, we need to support them.

We need to donate to Planned Parenthood’s HRT program, and to the Trans Lifeline.

When our politicians try to limit our trans siblings’ access to bathrooms and healthcare, we need to pick up our signs and march with them.

Remember Martin Niemoller’s famous words:

Then they came for me and by that time no one was left to speak up Click To Tweet

For more in-depth terms, and additional resources, check out these links!

A Glossary of Terms — Transstudent.org

Gender is messier than a singular point on a two-dimensional line

Trans Feminism: There’s No Conundrum About It

*Doctor Who reference because why not?

**There is some controversy as to whether or not it is appropriate for cis folk to use the term enby. While the term is generally accepted by the non-binary community, it is vital to always respect individuals and their choice of terms when referring to them.

I would like to give a heartfelt thanks to Bronwyn Sperling, Ian Pinsker, Alaura Mae, and Tawny for their significant contributions to this piece.

If you are trans and living in the United States or Canada, the Trans Lifeline was created by trans folk for other trans folk. They are a free, 24 hour hotline that can be reached at (US) 877-565-8860, or (Canada) 877-330-6366. You matter, and you are loved.

On The Unity Argument

Good Morning FAM!

The admin team has decided to start introducing weekly social justice posts! On these posts, you’ll be introduced to a new topic, and have the opportunity to ask questions.

FAM is committed to working to make this a group that welcomes marginalized voices as equally as it does privileged voices. We realize we’re not there yet, but we’re going to keep trying!

Our first topic is The Unity Argument.

Throughout FAM’s history, we’ve repeatedly seen people make use of an argument for unity. While we can all agree that a unified front is far more difficult to tear down than a divided one, the way in which this argument pressures marginalized voices to silence is actually the opposite of unifying.

Throughout history, marginalized folks have continuously had to put their concerns and their fears on the back burner in an attempt to help further social justice. What this looks like is Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) often staying quiet and feeling excluded from movements that are centered around white folks and white experiences. One example of that is the pink pussy hat.

To understand why this is so problematic we have to acknowledge and agree on a couple basic facts.

  1. Trans women are women.
  2.  BIPOC women are women.
  3. Not all women have pussies
  4. Not all pussies are pink.

While the creators of the movement certainly didn’t intend for their hat to be exclusionary, it ultimately was because it ignored those basic facts. It isn’t enough to simply say that our intent is good, if we ignore our impact.

We have to consistently choose to listen to marginalized voices when we organize movements and engage in activism. We have to specifically ask ourselves “this feels like it is in line with my experience. Is it in line with the experiences of BIPOC? Does it make room for trans women? Non-binary folk? Does it make space for folks with various disabilities, including mental health issues? Is it accessible to the poor?

If it is inaccessible to the poor, it is neither radical, nor revolutionary. (source unknown) Click To Tweet

By not taking steps to make sure we are being inclusive, we become the real perpetrators of divisiveness – we end up excluding folks from a community where they actively belong.

I’m sure you’re thinking “But it’s just a hat! Why are we getting all up in arms about a hat when there’s other terrible stuff happening?!”

And you’re right. There’s lots of terrible things happening in this country and around the world that we need to fight. Perspective is important.

So let’s look at it from a trans woman or a BIPOC woman’s perspective for a moment:

Trans women and BIPOC women want to participate. They’re disproportionately affected by a lot of the policies we’re fighting against. They face the most discrimination, and the most violence. They’re more likely to face poverty, and to lose access to things like healthcare. Trans women and BIPOC are more likely to face things like sexual assault, police brutality, or murder. Their voices are not only important, they’re essential to the cause. They have an intimate understanding of the ways the current system is harmful in a way that white or cisgender folks don’t and can’t.

A movement that excludes them, but claims to be for them isn’t helpful, because it ignores the realities that marginalized folks face. It ignores the valuable insight that folks who have experienced the oppressions we’re fighting could provide.

Sure, there are other things we need to focus on. One person brought up the plight of undocumented folks fighting deportation as an example. Undocumented folks aren’t usually white. We can’t effectively fight for them without listening to, and including their voices in our movement. Oppression is often interconnected, and we can’t fight one without fighting them all.

At the end of the day, it is a hat. And wearing a different colored hat, or not wearing one at all, isn’t nearly as damaging as excluding those that we should be centering in our activism.

 

Featured image is “Come Together” By Karen Loew

 

Social Justice – Part One

Alright folks! Let’s talk about racism! It is an insipid oppression that permeates our entire society and colours all of our conversations, and our lives. It can be hard to recognize for white folks, and harder to live with for BIPoC. In this series of posts, we’re going to address all kinds of topics (in no particular order):

Defining Racism
8Defining whiteness
Defining internalized racism
Defining White Supremacy, and the Default Man
The illusion of a post racial society
Intent versus Impact
Identifying overt and subtle ways in which we can all be problematic, including a lesson on listening to BIPoC voices and including us in conversations, implicit bias, microaggressions and racial slurs that have crept into our language, tone policing
Understanding Militant BIPoC rage using bell hooks essays
Identifying strategies we can use to help fight racism from the ground up, both working inside and outside the system, and through interpersonal connections and discussions
Handling call outs
White Guilt/White Fragility and how it doesn’t help us
Healing from toxic whiteness, surviving in a racist society for BIPoC and self-care to avoid burnout

First, we need to define some terms. You can check out the original social justice primer post (we’ll be posting here on the site soon), but I’m going to redefine the terms here as well.

Racism: Racism is defined as prejudice plus privilege. It refers to a system of oppression that limits the voices and abilities and opportunities and safety of Black, Indigenous and People of Color and their communities. It is NOT the same as prejudice, as it requires the backing of that system of oppression and a degree of privilege, not just power. A good example of this is an employer/employee situation.

If I, as a person of colour, were to fire you, a white person from your job for being white, that would be prejudiced, but it would not be racist. Why? I don’t have the systemic power as a person of colour that my white employee would. The system isn’t designed to protect me, it is designed to protect my employee as a white person.

If the roles were reversed, as they often are in our society, the white employer would only have to find a coded reason for firing the BIPoC employee. For BIPoC phrases like “unprofessional” which unfairly targets Black folks for their natural hairstyles, or “not a good fit for the team” are often used to hide the implicit biases, for which there is little recourse in a system designed to provide the illusion of living in a post-racial society, without actually discussing or tackling the core issues behind it. Here’s a really great link to content that explains how we define racism, and why the typical colloquial definitions don’t address the whole issue, for those of us who do better in comic form:

Why Using the Dictionary Definition of Racism Just Doesn’t Work

For those of us who prefer a more academic approach to understanding concepts, here’s a great link to a paper by Caleb Rosado of the Department of Urban Studies over at Eastern, that explains how power and prejudice combine to form racism:

http://www.edchange.org/multicultural/papers/caleb/racism.html

Because racism always has a systemic aspect, and ultimately defines a pervasive societal oppression, it differs from prejudice. Anyone can be prejudiced, but only white people, as the dominant voices in our society can actually be racist. BIPoC can be prejudiced, but they lack the systemic privilege that is necessary for something to be racist, which is why reverse racism is a myth. It is actually in and of itself an inherently racist argument that continues to force the illusion of equality when it hasn’t been achieved yet.

https://mic.com/articles/140882/what-is-reverse-racism-here-s-why-it-doesn-t-actually-exist-in-the-united-states#.mWxTfgcr6

So now that we’re on the same page about the definition of racism as prejudice plus power, we already have a tool in our belt for dismantling it: We need to cancel out privilege. The best way to do that, is to include BIPoC in our discussions on policies that we implement to make sure that our voices are heard and given priority on matters that disproportionately affect us. More on that later.

Defining Whiteness

Another key aspect to understanding racism is understanding whiteness. There is no white culture. We can have Scottish culture, American culture, Czech culture, German culture, English culture, but we do not actually have white culture.

Whiteness is a social construct designed by rich slave owners who wanted to create infighting between the lower socioeconomic classes in order to prevent indentured servants from joining with black slaves in revolt against them. They opted to encourage white folks to align themselves based on race, as opposed to class.

Here’s a really good video explainer that does a good job of explaining this concept:

http://fusion.net/video/366531/how-rich-america-made-up-whiteness/

So if we can redirect ourselves and address our focus on fixing the damage done, dismantling racism, and putting our allegiances where they belong, in uniting with BIPoC to fight for equality, rather than stepping on BIPoC backs, we are going to be far more effective in not only dismantling class oppression (which we will talk about in another primer) but fighting the core systems in place that lead to the election of people like Trump, that ultimately protect the haves from the have-nots.

Internalized Racism

This section is primarily for BIPoC, and I’d like to ask that white folks read to understand, ask questions, but don’t offer opinions here. I’ll explain why in another section.

Internalized racism is the internalization of racist ideas or views by BIPoC toward our own communities or ourselves.

To bring a personal touch to this, I can talk about my own experiences of internalized racism:

I’m half Scottish, and half Lebanese/Palestinian. Throughout my life I tried really hard to align myself with my Scottish side more than my Lebanese/Palestinian side. As a kid I used to try to hide the fact that I’m not 100% white because I was afraid that people would mistake me for one of those people. I obsessed about scented lotions and shaved off my arm hair and put great effort into developing my accent and verbal languages so that I sounded like my white friends. I refused, outright, to eat foods I had loved because I saw them as too ethnic – there would be only hamburgers and French fries and pizza for me, no shawarma, no warak h’aneb, no kibbe b’laban. That was what those people ate, not what I eat. I refused to speak Arabic in public. As I got older, I made it a point to wear make up and try all sorts of home “remedies” to make myself look whiter.

I had essentially internalized attitudes that Arabs were a backwards people who smelled funny, were hairy, talked funny and ate a lot of weird food, and that white was best. I adapted myself to fit in more with white people so I could separate myself from my own culture and avoid racism, and I was rewarded for it with white friends who would make racist comments and then remind me that don’t worry, I’m not like those people.

This is an unfortunate side effect of racism – we, as BIPoC learn to be ashamed of our cultures and ourselves, and do whatever we can to align ourselves with our oppressors in an attempt to survive, and it is problematic.

Many BIPoC go through this stage, and it is a hard one to overcome, but it is important that we learn to embrace our own cultures, if we’re going to heal and work toward a future where we are treated justly.

Here’s another story about someone else’s experiences with internalized racism:

On Internalized Racism: 4 Lessons I Learned as an Undercover Asian

Defining White Supremacy:

White supremacy, defined, can be a difficult concept to grasp. Loosely, it is the idea or belief that white people are morally, ethically, and in all ways superior to everyone else. However, there is also a systemic aspect to it, and it is one of those things that is so ingrained into Western culture that we can sometimes perpetuate it without really seeing it.

While very, very few white folk would actively argue that their whiteness makes them superior to the rest of us, the concept of white supremacy is still perpetuated through media representations and our language.

White skin dominates fashion runways, it dominates our television, our advertisements, our make up and clothing industry (ever notice how bras and make up often come in “nude” which looks remarkably like white skin?). White is held up as the standard for beauty.

White is seen by society as a symbol of “good” and Black as a symbol of “evil.” We talk about things that are blacklisted and whitelisted.

Studies have shown us college professors are more likely to respond to students they see as white, and employers are more likely to hire and promote white men compared to BIPoC.

White folk also perpetuate white supremacy without realizing it in the way we address BIPoC bringing up racist microaggressions that we face. We’re often asked to adjust our tone, or told that our experiences of racism weren’t actually racism, and are frequently accused of playing the “race card.”

The implicit belief behind statements like that is that white perception is the only perception that matters, even if that’s not the intent behind these statements. White perspectives and opinions, especially those of white cisgendered, heterosexual men become the default. This is the default man concept, and a further example of white supremacy, that white is default, and everyone else is “other.”

Ultimately, the only people who can decide if something hurts are the people being hurt, and it is everyone else’s job to listen and adjust and learn.

When we are in school, we learn about history from a white perspective. This is obvious when people talk about Martin Luther King Jr. and the end of racism. People frequently trot out MLK quotes they learned in school as a way to speak out against what they perceive as violent riots by the Black community. We are taught that he was a strong believer in non-violence, and so we never hear about how he once talked about how “Riots are the language of the unheard.” We don’t hear about his raging against the white moderate, or the evils of capitalism or militarism, because those views don’t fit in with the white supremacist narrative.

http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/riot-language-unheard-9-mlk-quotes-mainstream-media-wont-cite

Here’s a list of ten insidious ways that white supremacy is perpetuated within our society:

10 Insidious Ways White Supremacy Shows Up in Our Everyday Lives

The Illusion of A Post Racial Society

In school, we often hear that racism died in the sixties. We learn about how Black people got equal rights, and we are all encouraged to pat ourselves on the back for a job well done.

But that’s an illusion. We may tell ourselves that we live in a post-racial society, but we don’t. We live in a society where racism is a taboo subject, and discussions of the very real, very valuable cultural differences between our various communities are silenced with “but we are all the same!”

Racism is still a very real problem for us, and its effects still hang over us like a really thick, noxious fog. While white folks can walk around with respirators, us BIPoC are choking.

Our society still treats black bodies like they’re disposable. Police brutality still disproportionately affects the Black community more than any of us.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/study-finds-police-fatally-shoot-unarmed-black-men-at-disproportionate-rates/2016/04/06/e494563e-fa74-11e5-80e4-c381214de1a3_story.html

Black folks are more likely to face harsher criminal charges, are more likely to be convicted on weaker evidence, and are more likely to face longer sentences than their white counterparts. They’re more likely to be stopped by police for traffic violations, more likely to sit in jail while awaiting trial, are offered worse plea deals, and are more likely to be arrested for drug use than their white counterparts.

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/crime/2015/08/racial_disparities_in_the_criminal_justice_system_eight_charts_illustrating.html

People with “ethnic” names on their resume are also less likely to make it to the interview stage, and even less likely to be hired, despite anti-discrimination laws:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/black-sounding-names-study_us_561697a5e4b0dbb8000d687f