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The ability to feel empathy is shaped by our genes, and empathy is pretty fucking important.

by Sherronda J. Brown and Lara Witt Whiteness is nothing but power. It was given and attributed to some and then many, for the sake of creating an all-consuming, capitalist, cisheteropatriarchal white supremacy. Systemic power, passed down from generation to generation and woven into the fabric of our world, built in through legislation, behaviors and biases, wealth and economic opportunities, geographical location, and culture, all become the lifeblood of parasitic whiteness. Hierarchical social structures like white supremacy, patriarchy, and capitalism, depend entirely on the maintenance of that power. White people, through a series of tools, including the idea that whiteness is all at once the neutral embodiment of human existence and not a privilege in the least, continue to benefit from hundreds of years worth of colonization while Black, Indigenous and people of color continue to hold less power than they do and therefore lack access to opportunities and foundational aspects of human existence — including physical autonomy. Colonialism was rooted in denying humanity to millions, it justified centuries of violence. And white supremacy as we know it today was planned and maintained by people at all levels of society, it creates racial disparities in homelessness, racial health disparities and the racial wealth gap. Whiteness and white people like to frequently remind us of their power without ever discussing it openly or with intent to dismantle white supremacy. No, if anything, whiteness is the one thing—no matter how poor, no matter how angry, no matter how sick they are—white people still have their skin. While there are subtle exertions of white supremacist power—especially popular amongst liberals and within democratic party leadership—there are also very obvious examples of the ways in which whiteness has made white people less empathetic resulting in the systematic harm of Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC). If white people do not view BIPOC as human through a series of dehumanizing tactics and tools, then has their power given them a sadistic pleasure in seeing our bodies harmed? It would be fair to argue that they do.
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For all the clamor and the rush to post, protest, and support undocumented people, there are millions of immigrants whose experiences have been erased from the story.

Earlier this week, Donald Trump’s administration announced its decision to rescind the Obama-era policy of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, shaking the nation’s immigrants, especially the 11 million undocumented people. The decision will allow renewals until March 2018 for current DACA recipients to work or study in the US, but the administration will no longer consider new applications. Since then, tweets and posts have flooded social media and people scrambled to change their profile pictures to say, “I stand with immigrants”. Demonstrations were held, reactions have come from members of Congress and prominent religious groups. The decision was even met with a bipartisan-sponsored revival of the DREAM Act, pushed for by Sens. Durbin (D-IL) and Graham (R-SC). Yet for all the clamor and the rush to post, protest, and support undocumented people, there are millions of undocumented immigrants whose experiences have been erased from the story. They are those at the intersections of identities that further marginalize and disadvantage. They are the poor, they are Black, they are trans, they are disabled, they are refugees. They are those whose features and skin tones don’t match the ones on brochures or fliers that activist groups pass out. They are the ones whose stories are not the “rags-to-riches” narratives that appeal to donors. They are the ones already most at risk for deportation. They are the ones who are forgotten. For decades the US has peddled the myth of a meritocratic Land of Opportunity. The lie was spread that if you only work hard enough and pull yourself up, then you too can make your life better. This great U.S. tradition is co-opted and continued by the media in portrayals of undocumented immigrants.
Related: DON’T MOURN DACA JUST YET

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