Tag Archives: race

Emil Guillermo: What if we had instant replay for the “games” we play in real life? The example of Kennesaw State.

It started in football. But now in most sports, the replay is the insurance policy against bad judgment.

So why not in life?

I’ve long advocated taking video of anything that might have the hint of sparking some transgression, just to keep all participants smiling for the camera.

But here’s an instance recently at Kennesaw State, a public university outside of Atlanta, where a white administrator clearly has little patience for a black student.

 

She’s on leave while the school investigates.

 
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Emil Guillermo: Going back to Indiana? NOT. The pendulum continues to swing on civil rights in America.

The late Michael Jackson sang that song about Indiana. An oldie but goodie.

Going back to Indiana?

The answer now is an unqualified,  “HELL NO!”

Jackson  was from Gary, which is practically Chicago, and a real indication of how segregated the state remains today. More black and urban to the north, more white and ag to the south.

Now Gov. Mike Pence has signed a controversial new law that some say is a revival of Jim Crow.

It’s called “The Freedom of Religion Restoration Act,” and critics say it provides the cover for legal discrimination against more than just religion.

Those who defend the law readily say it’s a way to show concern with same-sex marriage. Those against the law say it creates the opening to discriminate against others. Don’t think it won’t happen.

Now what about the other 19 states with these so-called “religious freedom” laws pending?

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This MSNBC map shows the full list of 20 states that have ventured into this arena of legal discrimination:  Indiana,Idaho, Arizona, New Mexico, Kansas, Oklahoma,Texas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Florida, South Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

All the states I won’t be visiting anytime soon.

Now you see how important a tiny little thing like a commemoration of Selma was.

Just as we lurch forward, there are forces that would have our  progress recalled.

And now, we really are going backwards.

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Emil Guillermo: Haters will be haters? I’ll have my race conversation VENTI, please; Why racist “micro-aggressions” may necessitate Starbuck’s “micro-engagements.”

I know you’re grumpy in the morning. But is there really any reason for the backlash against a company that for once is trying to exhibit a little corporate responsibility?

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When I first heard of CEO Howard Schultz’s idea, I at first was as snarky and as skeptical as the next guy. But his sincere belief of trying to change the country “one cup at a time” with an attempt to engage on race is pretty daring. And right.  When I think of the last racist transgression I encountered, it’s always some passing remark that no one thinks twice about. Except the person of color. They’re called “micro-aggressions.”

They’re really snap judgments. Racist ones.  And people of color experience them all the time. All the time.

How do you cut them off at the pass?

Maybe Starbucks’ “micro-engagements” are the best way?  No one expects you to go deep all the time on race. A little passing acknowledgement of the issue, may slowly nudge us all to a different level in the discourse. It just may build the empathy we should all be seeking. But it starts with conversation. Why wait for the next major race news story? Start with a small positive engagement.

You can always pass. Politely say, “No thanks.” But it’s an opportunity to chat while waiting. Or to chat while sitting at a table.

Go ahead and dis the idea. But that just says something about the “post-racial” society, doesn’t it?

But maybe this is progress. Suddenly, I’m seeing all these odd-coffee mates on the same side. Even The Nation has something negative and snarky to say about this.

Now this is odd: the left and the right on the same side on a race issue?  Are they steaming about not buying SBUX before the split? They might as well talk while having their venti latte.

See how to have a real race conversation in my piece here.

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Emil Guillermo’s Amok PODCAST: Todd Endo calls in from Selma about being at the 50th anniversary of the historic marches

toddendomarchingAsian American activist Todd Endo was in Selma 50 years ago, just as he  was at the march on Washington in 1963 to hear Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech.  (I took this photo of him at the 50th anniversary of that march in 2015).

This weekend, Endo called in from Selma where he attended the big anniversary of the marches there.  We talked about what he felt then and now,  about what he saw, and the Asian Americans at the event, including a Chinese American who was also at Selma in 1965.

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