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CBC: Remains of 215 children found buried at former B.C. residential school, First Nation says

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Preliminary findings from a survey of the grounds at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School have uncovered the remains of 215 children buried at the site, the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation said Thursday.

The First Nation said the remains were confirmed last weekend near the city of Kamloops, in B.C.’s southern Interior.

(cont.)

White Supremacy is a disease in every place where white people are present. There’s no changing of behavior or systems without acknowledging that fact first, regardless of how uncomfortable it makes you feel.

Facts don’t care about your feelings.

 

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France is giving the United States another Statue of Liberty.

Another symbol of liberty to a country that’s still oppressing its people.

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NYC has another Statue of Liberty on the way. France is sending us a smaller version to be placed on Ellis Island just across the water from Liberty Island where the original stands as a beacon to freedom…or something.

This new bronze statue, nicknamed the “little sister,” is one-sixteenth the size of the world-famous one that stands on Liberty Island.

“The statue symbolizes freedom and the light around all the world,” said Olivier Faron, general administrator of the CNAM [National Museum of Arts and Crafts]. “We want to send a very simple message: Our friendship with the United States is very important, particularly at this moment. We have to conserve and defend our friendship.”

(cont. CNN)

If you want to put a symbol of “freedom and light” anywhere, it shouldn’t be in the United States.

If you want to give the Statue of Liberty to the United States all over again anyway, give it in the spirit with which it was originally intended in the first place — as a gift to celebrate Black Americans.

I grew up with the Statue of Liberty as a symbol of hope and freedom for immigrants. “Give us your tired, your poor…” and all that, but Lady Liberty had been there for twenty years before those lines by Emma Lazarus were inscribed onto a plaque and installed at the pedestal. The Statue of Liberty is a symbol of immigration (the voluntary kind, not the shackled and chained way most Black people got here) for two reasons. One, immigrants latched onto the massive sculpture, which is understandable because she was the first image of New York for most European immigrants arriving by boat on the way to be processed at nearby Ellis Island. Two, the creator, Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi, pitched the idea to raise funding from Americans in the most general terms of “liberty” without specifically referencing Black Americans. His plan worked since the United States did indeed agree to pay for the pedestal if France paid for the actual statue, but it was a pivot away from the original idea.

Édouard de Laboulaye was a French abolitionist and it was he, along with his social circle of abolitionists, who conceived of a massive gift to present to the United States after the Civil War — once slavery was outlawed. The proposal of Lady Liberty initially held broken and shackles to signify the broken chains of slavery instead of the tablet she holds today. The chains eventually made their way into the final version down around her feet, the original significance lost to most people and barely noticed.

The years immediately following the Civil War were filled with promise for Black Americans and de Laboulaye wanted to recognize that. We made great strides in education, civic engagement, and politics, but the South regained its footing and struck a compromise in the 1876 Presidential Election that saw federal troops removed from the Old Confederacy. Black people were back in chains, invisible shackles placed on our communities through coalitions built between lawmakers and law enforcement, private businesses and private citizens. When Bartholdi finished Lady Liberty, there was no way to “sell” the idea to the United States as a celebration of slavery’s end. Black America hated the idea, because we were being oppressed, terrorized, and murdered, and White America would’ve scoffed, because they were doing the terrorizing. She was pitched as a symbol of liberty, immigrants saw her as the first welcoming image of the United States, and then the government solidified that feeling by using words from Emma Lazarus.

Today, it’s more important than ever to remember why the Statue of Liberty was conceived in the first place, not a symbol of general liberty and freedom, but as a symbol of Black liberty and freedom. We are still fighting to have our history accurately taught in schools. We are still fighting to be the country de Laboulaye thought we were becoming when slavery ended. And we are still fighting to live up to the promise Lady Liberty has symbolized to millions of immigrants. This little sister will probably be all over the news as we get closer to July 4th, so whenever you see her, make sure you remind somebody that the Statue of Liberty was supposed to be a gift to celebrate the end of slavery, but the US put Black people back in chains too quickly for her to actually symbolize liberty and freedom for us.

 

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The Root: In the Heights and the Erasure of Dark-Skinned Afro-Latinx Folks

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In The Heights, the highly anticipated TV adaptation of the hit Broadway musical from Lin Manuel Miranda, directed by Jon M. Chu, dropped its trailer over a year ago and folks had questions.

In sum: Where are all of the leading dark-skinned Afro-Latinx folks?

Granted, the trailer (and film) showcased Black dancers and there were certainly Black women in the hair salon, but where are the dark-skinned Black Latinx folks with a storyline? After all, this film is placed in Washington Heights, N.Y., right?!

(cont.)

How hard is it to just say: “We didn’t intentionally cast light-skinned Latinos, but subconsciously we had an incorrect/misinformed image of what Latino looks like and didn’t realize our idea of who best embodied a character excluded Afro-Latinos.”

I can’t believe Melissa Berrera said with her whole chest that there were a lot of dark-skinned people in the audition process but she and the rest of these beige Latinos were the people who embodied the roles the best.

Sis, you embodied the roles the best because the casting team had an image of what Latino looks like. Because that’s what Latino always looks like in popular culture. Everybody at *my* Dominican barber shop would fail the paper bag test so I know what Upper Manhattan looks like and who embodies these characters. Most of them do not look like JLo.

 

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Chicago Tribune: Two Black students won school honors. Then came the demands for a recount.

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At first, it seemed a joyous occasion. There was an audible gasp in the room, then boisterous cheering and applause when the announcement was made: Ikeria Washington and Layla Temple had been named 2021 valedictorian and salutatorian for West Point High School.

The president of the local NAACP in West Point, Mississippi, Anner Cunningham, smiled as the two young women, both standout students, were photographed. “It was a beautiful and proud moment to witness two young, Black ladies standing side by side given such honors,” Cunningham said.

But almost immediately, parents of other students near the top of the rankings raised questions about who should have been honored. Within days, and breaking with long-standing tradition, West Point High School decided to name two valedictorians and two salutatorians — with two white students, Emma Berry and Dominic Borgioli, joining the Black students who had already been named.

(cont.)

Two white kids got slightly higher grades in easier classes than the Black kids who excelled in AP classes, so they complained to their parents.

Because white mediocrity will find a way to weasel its way alongside Black excellence every single time.

If you run a mile in six minutes and I run a mile in six minutes and 15 seconds carrying a 50 lb sack on my back, yes you finished first, but my time was much more impressive, and the rules of the race say I get bonus points for the extra weight so I win the trophy.

You *chose* to run that race without the weight, forgoing the bonus points, because you thought you could finish so much faster than me that you would win even with my bonus.

But you didn’t. Because I’m better than you. You don’t then get to cry until you get a trophy too.

 

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