This series on Black Life, and racial justice is barely scratching the surface. A few resources for you to begin your own inner work are linked throughout this piece, and the hope is you continue to educate yourself. As this is a foundational way to eradicate Anti-Blackness, and racism. Let’s get into it:
From Columbus statues being torn down, along with other monuments that crystalize and celebrate the dehumanizing beginnings of our nation, it’s taken some time to collectively confront the deeply problematic history. Many BIPOC have had to celebrate their heroes beyond the one page granted to their culture and history as taught in school and the history books.
2020 has exposed two pandemics, viral and racial. Both are disproportionately taking the lives of Black Americans. For four hundred years now, there have been two starkly different Americas. It is very literally Black, and White.
We want to reaffirm to you our commitment to calling out racism, systemic oppression of our communities, and right wing extremists. Period. Our families’ lives depend on it. We will not be intimidated into doing otherwise by anyone from the extreme right or from folx we still consider friends. That’s not who we are.
With protesters taking over the streets in the past few weeks following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, demonstrators have broadened their demands for justice to defund and reform police departments all over the country. With major cities like Minneapolis and Los Angeles seeking to defund their city’s police departments and allocate those funds towards departments like education and public health, the people marching the streets are pushing back on all systems of governments. Congress too, is feeling the heat— with a bill unveiled by the House and Senate Democrats. The bill, called the Justice in Policing Act, would limit legal protections for police and create a national database of excessive-force incidents as well as banning police choke holds. Locally, New Mexico looks to answer the call
Here at home the pressure on lawmakers has also been called for to institute similar measures.
With just a few days before local elections take place around the state, arch-conservative “news” outlet the New Mexico Political Journal posted this incredibly racist post about the time change. (If the link is broken good, there’s a screencap below to check out too)
Here’s the link
And also here’s a screenshot, because honestly we’ve been reporting the post to Facebook and hope it gets taken down because it clearly depicts anti-Islamic views and racist views toward people from the Middle East in general. But it’s important we document these cases of racism and call them out as we see them. Just so we’re all clear here, NMPJ is operated by former NM Republican Senator Rod Adair. According to his own About page, his publication doesn’t “tolerate racism or ethnic bigotry” but clearly they don’t understand what those terms really mean.
ProgressNow New Mexico has been working for the last few months to unravel the complicated ties that the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association (NMOGA) has with numerous outside entities working to control the narrative around extraction in the state. We’ve found heaps of evidence to support our claims that NMOGA has evolved from just another industry advocate to fully trying to change the culture of New Mexico. We think it’s important you understand why this matters so here’s our quick rundown on everything you need to know. In 2017, NMOGA Executive Director Ryan Flynn gave a speech to members where he announced his intention to make NMOGA “the most powerful organization in the state of New Mexico.” Throughout the 2018 Legislative Session, we saw record amounts of spending from NMOGA to influence policy in that, the last year of Governor Susana Martinez’s last year in office.
This week’s headlines have been absolutely dominated by the downright chilling effect of President Trump using overt, racist language about four sitting members of congress. His attempt on Thursday to walk back his endorsement of chants at his North Carolina rally of “send her back” is clearly disingenuous. The hate-filled rhetoric is out there and Trump supporters are clearly feeling free to express their own vitriol with wild abandon. Unfortunately, this appears to be manifesting itself right here in New Mexico and being encouraged by Republican candidates eyeing next year’s elections.
Chris Mathys, a self-declared “conservative Christian and supporter of President Donald Trump,” held a listening session in the small community (less than 1000 people) of Mimbres in Grant County this past weekend. According to an article in the Las Cruces Sun-News, racists sentiment were loudly expressed by many in attendance and not at all rebuked by Mathys at any point.
Yep, you read the headline right. This week, GOP Staffer, Stella Padilla, added to her own barrage of hate-fueled social media posts with a new image depicting deceased Civil War soldiers, the text above it reading: Over 620,000 White People Died to Free Black Slaves And Still To This Day Not Even 1 Thank You. (See below for original post and enlarged, *graphic* image.)
This is the same GOP contractor who sought to exploit the conditions in which asylum seekers were going to be housed in Albuquerque. After trespassing, she and GOP side-kick Dinah Vargas were kicked off the closed campus for unauthorized filming. You would think that the GOP-which has incessantly beaten the drum on Real ID initiatives, and is obsessed with people’s birth certificates would have done their due diligence to vet a prospective employee.
Barry Blitt’s New Yorker cover, “Welcome To Congress”, has gone viral and it’s no surprise why- the cover shows Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Ilhan Omar (MN-5), and Sharice Davids (Ho-Chunk Nation) (KS-3) with a crowd of brown people behind them at a door, about to walk into a room full of white men. This is a bittersweet moment for people of color across the country- until the late 1960s, ALL American citizens were not able to vote. The legal and physical battles fought to vote were (and are) hard, bloody, and racist. In New Mexico, we have taken Blitt’s concept to the max- the Roundhouse will see a lot of newcomers, mostly women of color and including the first ever Muslim to serve in the legislature, taking their seat on the House Floor. New Mexico has a long history of racism and sexism, especially during the time New Mexico was vying for statehood.
In July, a federal judge convicted Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio of willfully violating a federal order to stop using his police force to target residents based on race. Earlier this month, President Trump announced that he would travel to Phoenix, launching speculation that Trump would pardon his long-time ally. Tuesday afternoon, White House communications staff said that Donald Trump was not prepared to talk about pardoning the former sheriff. Four hours later, Trump mentioned it anyway.