Annual Fundraising Appeal

Here’s an important message to CounterPunch readers from
BARBARA EHRENREICH…

BarbaraE

Here at CounterPunch we love Barbara Ehrenreich for many reasons: her courage, her intelligence and her untarnished optimism. Ehrenreich knows what’s important in life; she knows how hard most Americans have to work just to get by, and she knows what it’s going to take to forge radical change in this country. We’re proud to fight along side her in this long struggle.  We hope you agree with Barbara that CounterPunch plays a unique role on the Left. Our future is in your hands. Please donate.

Day8

Yes, these are dire political times. Many who optimistically hoped for real change have spent nearly five years under the cold downpour of political reality. Here at CounterPunch we’ve always aimed to tell it like it is, without illusions or despair. That’s why so many of you have found a refuge at CounterPunch and made us your homepage. You tell us that you love CounterPunch because the quality of the writing you find here in the original articles we offer every day and because we never flinch under fire. We appreciate the support and are prepared for the fierce battles to come.

Unlike other outfits, we don’t hit you up for money every month … or even every quarter. We ask only once a year. But when we ask, we mean it.

CounterPunch’s website is supported almost entirely by subscribers to the print edition of our magazine. We aren’t on the receiving end of six-figure grants from big foundations. George Soros doesn’t have us on retainer. We don’t sell tickets on cruise liners. We don’t clog our site with deceptive corporate ads.

The continued existence of CounterPunch depends solely on the support and dedication of our readers. We know there are a lot of you. We get thousands of emails from you every day. Our website receives millions of hits and nearly 100,000 readers each day. And we don’t charge you a dime.

Please, use our brand new secure shopping cart to make a tax-deductible donation to CounterPunch today or purchase a subscription our monthly magazine and a gift sub for someone or one of our explosive  books, including the ground-breaking Killing Trayvons. Show a little affection for subversion: consider an automated monthly donation. (We accept checks, credit cards, PayPal and cold-hard cash….)
button-store2_19

or use
pp1

 To contribute by phone you can call Becky or Deva toll free at: 1-800-840-3683

Thank you for your support,

Jeffrey, Joshua, Becky, Deva, and Nathaniel

CounterPunch
 PO Box 228, Petrolia, CA 95558

Several months ago I attended the “State of the Black World Conference” in Atlanta Georgia. Among those present were black activists, politicians, scholars and clergy from around the globe. Even celebrities such as Tavis Smiley, Danny Glover and Chris Tucker made an appearance in order to raise the awareness of this important discussion. Although I […]

Racism and Real Estate

by Molly Secours

Several months ago I attended the “State of the Black World Conference” in Atlanta Georgia. Among those present were black activists, politicians, scholars and clergy from around the globe. Even celebrities such as Tavis Smiley, Danny Glover and Chris Tucker made an appearance in order to raise the awareness of this important discussion.

Although I learned a great deal at the conference, I didn’t actually need to leave Nashville to be reminded that for people of a darker hue, the state of the black world hasn’t really changed in many ways.

During the many speeches at the conference I was reminded of an experience just days earlier. While searching for real estate in Nashville, I encountered a pleasant and accommodating middle-aged women who showed me some property in the Belmont area. Although I wasn’t interested in the place, she seemed eager to help me locate something more suited to my taste. She assured me that her partner managed many properties and felt confident he would have something available in the near future. She promised to have him call me as soon as possible.

Before we parted I inquired as to the location of another apartment that interested me. Leaning in close and confidential she advised me to be careful because although the area in which I was looking was close by, it was still “coming around”. As my mind and heart raced, I tried to appear as though I didn’t know what “coming around” meant.

Normally among whites this coded language is clearly understood with no explanation necessary. But I wanted to hear her say it. And she did. In a sweet maternal tone she warned me of the dangers of the neighborhood because there were still a lot of “blacks” living in the area. And she did what white people often do. She whispered the word “black” as if to protect a coveted secret.

But why whisper? Was she afraid someone would hear her who wasn’t white? Was it because black people don’t know they are black? Or was it to soften her insinuation that blacks are undesirable to live with? The only certainty is that she must have felt confident that I would understand and appreciate her warning.

The next words that came out of my mouth were unplanned and untrue. I calmly replied that the particular neighborhood she alluded to would actually work out very well for me because “I am black”. And then without flinching I maintained a steady gaze and awaited a response.

She appeared nervous and confused as the flood of caveats and explanations flowed for several minutes. She clarified that what she meant to say was that the neighborhood was changing because more full time residents were moving in and renters were moving out.

She also seemed to struggle with the data I had just given her regarding my race. Did she somehow miss any signs that would have revealed my blackness? How did she not know? Although my hair is coarse and curly my skin is rather fair. She was understandably confused.

I’m not sure why I told her I was black rather than just confronting her about the damage of such a blatantly racist statement. Maybe I figured a little white lie would have more of an impact. And that by telling her I was black she might be forced to wrestle with her conscience. She had exposed her true feelings–which she was clearly uncomfortable sharing with an unsympathetic stranger. What I most hoped is that she would reevaluate the ignorance of her words and understand the devastation inflicted upon every black person when one of us white folks perpetuates the mythology of blacks as being dangerous.

For many of the attendees at the conference, this incident sums up the state of the black world. As Dr. Frances Cress Welsing, the prominent black psychologist suggests, the best thing whites can do for non-whites is to tell them what we (whites) say when they aren’t around. This way we all know where we stand.

A few minutes later my cell phone rang and it was the real estate woman calling to let me know that she had already spoken to her partner. As it turns out, he had no available apartments and nothing coming up in the near future. I thanked her for letting me know where I stood.

Molly Secours is a writer, activist and videographer. She can be reached at mollmaud@earthlink.net