Wise in 2011
|Born||Timothy Jacob Wise
(1968-10-04) October 4, 1968
Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
|Education||B.A., Political Science|
|Alma mater||Tulane University|
|Occupation||Anti-racism activist, writer|
|Spouse(s)||Kristy Cason (1998â€“present)|
|Children||2 daughters, Ashton & Rachel|
|Parent(s)||Michael Julius Wise
LuCinda Anne (McLean) Wise
When you allow racial disparity and institutional inequity to affect one part of the country, eventually it’s coming back to get everyone.
There are lots of research, of course, saying that a vast majority of us have been exposed to racial biases and stereotypes and, to some extent, we’ve internalized them, because that’s so ubiquitous. That’s why I’m so bored with the conversation about who’s a racist and who’s not.
Sadly, whites are rarely open to what black and brown folks have to say regarding their ongoing experiences with racist mistreatment. And we are especially reluctant to discuss what that mistreatment means for us as whites: namely that we end up with more and better opportunities as the flipside of discrimination.
Being asked to describe what ‘post-racial’ means is a bit like being asked to describe a leprechaun, cold fusion or unicorns: we know what is meant, but, if we are willing to be honest, we also know that none of the four describe something real, something tangible, something true.
Only blacks can play the race card, apparently; only they think in racial terms, at least to hear white America tell it.
Progress is always relative: to the oppressed, it can only be viewed as an all or nothing deal – if oppression continues, even in a modified form, then the system must still be attacked until that injustice is eradicated.
In short, and let us be clear on it: race is not a card. It determines whom the dealer is, and who gets dealt.
Too often, systems of oppression turn those who are the targets of the oppression against one another.
Here’s the reality. The image of a white Jesus has been used to justify enslavement, conquest, colonialism, the genocide of indigenous peoples. There are literally millions of human beings whose lives have been snuffed out by people who conquered under the banner of a white god.
Precisely because white denial has long trumped claims of racism, people of color tend to underreport their experiences with racial bias rather than exaggerate them.
To believe that the United States is post-racial requires an almost incomprehensible inability or unwillingness to stare truth in the face.
Sadly, if President Obama is willing to ignore the pain of race-based discrimination and injustice so as to make whites comfortable – and this, after he has already been elected and the campaign is long over – then the likelihood he will ever speak the truth about these matters, let alone address them, shrinks to nearly zero.
For people of color – especially African Americans – the idea that racist cops might frame members of their community is no abstract notion, let alone an exercise in irrational conspiracy theorizing. Rather, it speaks to a social reality about which blacks are acutely aware.
Children are free moral agents and have a right to be exposed to a range of beliefs well beyond the rigid doctrinal confines of their parent’s faith, and we have an obligation to insist that they be so exposed, at least in public schools, if not elsewhere.
Violating the 4th Amendment guarantees against illegal searches and seizures is not the way to solve crime problems.
If you want to know if racism is a problem in your country, you might not want to ask white people.
I don’t think the job of the antiracist is to convert the far-out heathen racist, or give them their ‘come to Jesus’ moment, as it’s called. They’ll either have those or they won’t, and usually, when they have them, it’s not because of something someone said per se; it’s because of some life crisis that makes them rethink.
Jesus was not born in a manger in central Pennsylvania. He was a man of color. And the fact that we have represented him for centuries literally as a white man speaks to the entire history of white supremacy.
It’s hard to say when or if we will actually arrive at that place called ‘post-racial’, or, better yet, post-racism.
As a writer, there are times when you have something to say, and yet no particular ‘hook’ upon which to hang the missive you are burning to release.
Old white people have pretty much always been the bad guys, the keepers of the hegemonic and reactionary flame, the folks unwilling to share the category of American with others on equal terms.
Our failure as a society to properly acknowledge and confront the psychological, social, and political effects of white privilege has perpetuated racial inequality and race-based political resentments.
Mass media over-represents persons of color in negative ways, especially as criminals, relative to the share of crime actually done by such persons.
If we don’t figure out a way to create equity, real equity, of opportunity and access, to good schools, housing, health care, and decent paying jobs, we’re not going to survive as a productive and healthy society.