Episode 1: Woke in Review

In the first episode of Bold & Bawdy we talk about the importance of staying woke, especially in today’s America. Trump’s coming into the presidency has awaken and embolden the spirit of racism in this country. We take a walk through the history of oppression that blacks have faced and highlight many of the events that are oddly similar to what is happening today in 2018.  

 

So what is woke?

Staying woke comes from “stay awake,” and it means to stay informed of the shitstorm going on in times of turmoil and conflict, specifically on occasions when the media isn’t focusing on the real issues.

We did some research to give you a recap of the history of systemic injustices and America’s commitment to keeping racism alive. It is said that “America’s original sin is racism.” The history of blacks in America started with slavery, followed by Jim Crow laws, then segregation, and then to today’s not-so-invisible hands guiding housing and education policy, the wage gap, health disparities, how banks give loans. And we can’t forget police brutality, food insecurity and disinvestment in black and brown communities. You can read this article about overt racism.

In history, the most overt acts of racism happened during the Jim Crow era (1877- 1950’s)

Lynching was a socially acceptable way to resolve anything and everything whites were angry about in relation to the free blacks. In the south, people were blaming their financial problems on the newly freed slaves that lived around them. From 1882-1968, 4,743 lynchings occurred in the United States, these are only the recorded numbers but we know that many were never recorded. You can read more in this NAACP article.

Another act of overt racism was the Race Riots. They are described as a “pattern of racial violence” that emerged in which white mob assaults were directed against entire Black communities. They were caused by a great number of social, political and economic factors. Joseph Boskin, author of Urban Racial Violence observed that there were certain general patterns in the major twentieth century race riots, we summarize them below and you can access the original article here for more.

  1. In each of the race riots, with few exceptions, it was white people that sparked the incident by attacking Black people.
  2. In the majority of the riots, some extraordinary social condition prevailed at the time of the riot: prewar social changes, wartime mobility, post-war adjustment, or economic depression.
  3. The majority of the riots occurred during the hot summer months.
  4. Rumor played an extremely important role in causing many riots. Rumors of some criminal activity by Blacks against whites perpetuated the actions of white mobs.
  5. The police force, more than any other institution, was invariably involved as a precipitating cause or perpetuating factor in the riots. In almost every one of the riots, the police sided with the attackers, either by actually participating in, or by failing to quell the attack.
  6. In almost every instance, the fighting occurred within the Black community.

 

The importance of social media

“Historians of the 1960s talk about how the media of the time helped establish a “new common sense” about race in America. I think the new common sense being established now is that   racism and the struggle against it do not exist somewhere in the distant past; racial activism didn’t end after King and the Black Panther Party. Technology has helped make today’s struggle feel both different from and continuous with the civil rights era. All the terror and greatness we associate with that moment is right in front of our faces, as near to us as our screens.” You can read more in the Wired article.

We talk about the role that social media plays today in allowing us to stay informed and how it is an effective way to stay connected to the cause. It also provides a platform to expose those that are racist.

 

Things we need to stay woke about in 2018

We wrap up the episode by highlighting many of the areas that should be on your stay woke list.

Immigration

  • ICE scandals including the arrest of 2 American women for speaking spanish in public and the 1500 undocumented children that are unaccounted for since they were taken in from the border

Wypipo

  • So we just calling cops on everyone?

Nationwide trend of police militarization

  • Images on the news of police wearing helmets and masks, toting assault rifles, and riding in mine-resistant armored vehicles are not isolated incidents
  • Unjust killings of black people by police should have been enough to prompt significant, nationwide reforms years ago. But it hasn’t been enough. Read more here.

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