Bakari Sellers Definitively Explains Why Blackface is Racist
"I think that many times white people do not understand what blackface means," Sellers said.
The photo on Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam's medical school yearbook page of a man in blackface and another man dressed in a KKK costume is sparking a national conversation. The racist act of wearing blackface goes back to the mid-19th century. It's 2019 and Black people still have to explain why it's offensive.
Bakari Sellers represented South Carolina's 90th district in the lower house of the state legislature from 2006 to 2014. Sellers became the youngest Black politician in the country at age 22.
He explained on CNN's "State of the Union" what white people don't understand about blackface.
"First we have to say that Democrats and Republicans alike have problems with race in this country," Sellers began. "We can say that Republicans have more of an issue, but that doesn't matter. Racism is in the fabric of the United States of America."
"And when you see those images," he continued. "You see the KKK, and the KKK just brutalized, raped, lynched, pillaged many African-Americans not just throughout the south but across the country."
"I think that many times white people do not understand what blackface means," he explained. "When you have your son going out in blackface for a costume or your son goes to prep school or elite day schools and they dress up in blackface, basically it means you're calling me n***er."
"The reason why I say that is because blackface goes back to the mid-19th century where people were dressing up showing them to be lazy, to be ignorant, hypersexual and to be all-out disrespectful to our culture."
"So when I see images like this, it harkens on the fact we have a serious issue with racism in this country. But governor Northam, even as a Democrat, doesn't understand his own actions. And it's very traumatizing when we sit here and critique it, because I'm like — can people just not be racist?"
That is why people are calling for Northam to resign.
CNN 02 03 2019 bakari youtu.be
Ana Alvarez, a substitute teacher, asked the student why he continues to live in the U.S., "if it's so bad here."
"I've got a message for all of the women and girls like mine who have to deal with garbage like this every day: I've got your back," Gov. Gretchen Whitmer tweeted.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) gave her first annual address to the state on Tuesday focusing on infrastructure, education and bipartisanship to reach effective solutions. But a local TV station chose to focus more on Whitmer's curves in her dress. It's "a cheap, sexist and indefensible shot at a strong woman in leadership," said State Democratic Party Chairwoman Lavora Barnes.
"It's unconstitutional to detain people just because of their language, accent, or color of their skin," says the ACLU.
Ana Suda and Martha Hernandez, American-born Latinas, are suing US Custom and Border Protection (CBP) officers for racial profiling.
They were detained at a gas station convenience store in Havre, Montana, last year, by an officer who asked the women where they were born after hearing them speak Spanish.
"Lynching is a dark, despicable part of our nation's history and I'm hopeful this measure will swiftly pass the House," Sen. Kamala Harris tweeted.
It's 2019 and lynching still hasn't been properly outlawed. A bill, introduced by Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Tim Scott (R-S.C.), was cleared on Thursday in the Senate to make lynching a federal crime. The measure will now go to the House. Harris, Booker and Scott are the only Black members of the Senate.
Harris tweeted on Thursday:
BREAKING: Our anti-lynching bill, which would make lynching a federal crime, just unanimously passed the Senate. Lynching is a dark, despicable part of our nation's history and I'm hopeful this measure will swiftly pass the House.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) February 14, 2019
It's outrageous that lynching still isn't considered a federal crime. Congress tried and failed near 200 times between 1882 to 1986. About to ask the Senate to unanimously pass our anti-lynching bill. Let's right this wrong.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) February 14, 2019
Congress has tried more than 200 times to pass an anti-lynching law, but has failed. The Senate passed a resolution in 2005, apologizing to lynching victims.
The bipartisan bill acknowledges the harms of lynching, which is a form of domestic terrorism, and the federal government's failure to stop it.
It defines the crime as "the willful act of murder by a collection of people assembled with the intention of committing an act of violence upon any person."
In December, the Senate also passed the bill. But it was days before the 115th Congress went out of business, and the measure never reached the House floor.
"It's not the first time we've come down to this body to try to right the wrongs of history," Booker said on the Senate floor.
"For too long we have failed, failed to ensure justice for the victims of history and failed to make clear in the United States of America, in this great country, lynching is and always has been not only a federal crime but a moral failure."
According to the NAACP, "From 1882-1968, 4,743 lynchings occurred in the United States."
"Of the total, 3,446 of the victims were Black, accounting for approximately 72.7 percent; and 1,297 were white, which is 27.3 percent."
"These numbers seem large, but it is known that not all of the lynchings were ever recorded," the organization stated.
Family and friends said the apology was insulting, and that Timothy Caughman's death was their "life sentence."
James Jackson, 30, a white supremacist, killed Timothy Caughman, 66, a Black man with a sword. Jackson was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.
His apology: "I just wanted to apologize to everyone who has been negatively affected by this horrible and unnecessary tragedy. If I could do it all over again, this never would have happened."
Caughman's friends dismissed the apology, as fake.
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CNN analysts April Ryan and Don Lemon were up in arms over Sen. Kamala Harris' ethnicity.