Dan Zane on race relations

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amanitamusc
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Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 3:32 am

Dan Zane on race relations

Post by amanitamusc » Thu Oct 04, 2018 3:29 pm

I met this guy while working at recording studio in the 80's.He was a rocker but now writes and plays children's
music.I would call this recent article by him "Don't call the Police"But he says...... :twothumbsup:
IT’S CARNIVAL TIME!!!

An already festive neighborhood is about to get even more festive…but these suggestions for white folks are good all year round.

Claudia and I live in a predominantly Caribbean Brooklyn neighborhood and it’s a rich scene – the people, food, music, and street energy are beautiful. We feel honored to live among the Haitian, Jamaican, Trinidadian, and Guyanese (to name a few) communities.
White folks have been in the mix to a small degree for a while but the numbers are growing quickly. New apartment buildings are springing up almost over night on every block and this will certainly lead to an even greater demographic shift. There will be plenty of white folks living in a predominantly black neighborhood, many for the first time.
Here are a few suggestions (a highly incomplete list) for our new white neighbors…

1. HANG OUT, GET TO KNOW PEOPLE –
I can speak for myself. I didn’t grow up with the tools to help me interact naturally in spaces where the people didn’t mostly look like me. I was uptight, uncomfortable, and culturally unaware. The best way for me to learn how to hang out was…. to hang out. It was explained to me that reaching out was not something that white folks were famous for but that this was critical if I were to find happiness here and it quickly became fun to be a part of things (of course!).
I also needed to do more than just shoot the breeze. I needed to read about the history of race and racism in America and become involved in antiracist activity. The more I did this the more relaxed I was able to be in places where people didn’t all look like me. This was a step towards gaining a sense of humanity, something I couldn’t quite access in all-white environments.
2. TRY ALL THE FOOD YOU CAN AS OFTEN AS YOU CAN.
This is an easy one. Food and music are great doors to walk through when it comes time for us to learn about each other. I’ve been intimidated more than once trying to navigate Trinidadian food (for example) in a near by take-out place but people are almost always helpful and the payoff is huge – awesome meals and a chance to help support the local economy.
3. DON’T CALL THE POLICE UNLESS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY – There was a white dude on our block who didn’t like the volume of the music that some neighbors were playing in front of the building he lived in. He yelled down asking them to turn it down because it was making it hard for him to read. They suggested he come downstairs to talk about it. He felt threatened and called the police.
Like me, this neighbor had grown up believing that the police were friends, there to help solve problems. What he didn’t know was that black and brown people have a very different relationship with law enforcement and that his simple call could have become a dangerous situation for his music-loving neighbors. It happens frequently when white folks call the police about “quality of life” crimes. This is particularly true in so-called gentrifying neighborhoods. When people talked about the guy they always asked the same question “Didn’t he know he was moving into a Caribbean neighborhood?”
4. LISTEN UP, READ UP, AND LEARN ABOUT THE NEIGHBORS –
I grew up in New Hampshire and there was no doubt in my mind growing up that I was a hayseed, a hick, as provincial as they come. My education was the typical Eurocentric type so I was in no way ready for the multicultural world I eventually found myself in. My friend Mike Feldstein helped me see that I was caught up in a racist system that could thrive as long as people like me didn’t understand white supremacy. Once I knew this and could see it for what it was I could begin to try and examine my white conditioning and feed my head with some new information. The opportunity to live in a Caribbean neighborhood and learn something new every day about island cultures is mind-boggling. I feel like I’ve had two lives in one lifetime!

5. DON’T CALL THE POLICE UNLESS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY –
It definitely bears repeating. When it’s 3am and sounds like the neighbors back yard party is taking place in your dining room and the beat of the Mario De Volcy classic Carnival song Yo Bay Limye A - https://www.youtube.com/watch… - is sending your 2 year old to a state of heightened ecstasy while you just want quiet…don’t call the police. The party will end. The music will stop. The coals in the grills will die down. And when the daylight does come maybe it would be good to get to know the neighbors a little more so next time you’ll be invited!

6. SAY HELLO AND SMILE –
I know this is complicated and often easier for me as a man but I hear from many of my female friends who smile their way through the neighborhood that it’s totally possible and it changes everything. I’ve been asked many times why we white folks don’t acknowledge the people around us when we walk down the street in black and brown neighborhoods. I know for much of my life my conditioning had me scared and uptight in settings where I wasn’t in the majority. I had so much internalized bias that I couldn’t relax at all!
I needed to take a hard look at it, understand it, and begin to make the small efforts to change my conditioning and start to connect with my fellow humans. I know for myself that if I didn’t make a deliberate choice to work on them, my biases would be controlling my thoughts and emotions to this day. My friend Akaya Windwood suggested treating everyone as if they were my cousin. This is one of the best techniques I’ve ever heard of for starting to get comfortable in this beautiful multicultural world of ours…

7. DON’T CALL THE POLICE UNLESS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY –
If people are smoking weed on your steps, grilling chicken close enough to your windows that you’re smelling every piece, hanging out in their car chatting and texting in front of your house, opening the hydrant next to your car - in other words living life in a way that might intersect with yours but not line up with your vision for that moment - …don’t call the police.

8. SUPPORT LOCAL BUSINESSES –
In September of 2017 The New York Times published this: “Black families in America earn just $57.30 for every $100 in income earned by white families, according to the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey. For every $100 in white family wealth, black families hold just $5.04.”
We have a very big piece of the pie, people! I’ve found that making a deliberate effort to support black and brown businesses not only feels like a tiny step in the right direction in terms of equity but it leads to awesome clothing, haircuts, beauty and health products, legal advice, art, food, home improvements, etc. In other words, everything. And my life gets better as a result.

9. DON’T CALL THE POLICE UNLESS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY – As I said in the beginning, Carnival Time is here and so are the police. I’ve heard several stories from my neighbors about incidents in which revelers are unfairly brutalized. Given the overall nature of police conduct in New York I believe the stories are true. Rather than offer law enforcement any reason to confront your neighbors, sit back and relax and learn to love the music, food, chaos, energy, and the nutty, glorious, unpredictable nature of it all. You moved into a Caribbean neighborhood and it’s time to party…

10. AND HERE'S A BIG ONE: IF YOU DON'T LOVE BLACK PEOPLE AND BLACK LIFE, IT'S PROBABLY BEST NOT TO MOVE INTO A BLACK NEIGHBORHOOD.

A COUPLE TAKE AWAYS…

The book called “So You Want to Talk About Race” by Ijeoma Oluo is an incredible introduction for anyone wanting to go deeper in their understanding of race and racism. http://www.ijeomaoluo.com/

Constructive White Conversations is an easy entry point for anyone wanting to sit with other white folks and get into some real talk that can lead to a greater understanding of the nature of racism in America and our place in it all. There are gatherings every month in New York and Connecticut. Check out the website for one near you. https://www.constructivewhiteconversations.org/

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Queequeg
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Re: Dan Zane on race relations

Post by Queequeg » Thu Oct 04, 2018 4:11 pm

That's great advice. The problem is that most of the people moving in are on the urban striver trip and too caught up in themselves to notice what's going on around them. Their mindset is, "Give me convenience or give me death. Or at least a studio apartment for under $2500 within a 40 minute commute to Midtown." They might vote Democrat and like the idea of diversity, along with the cache of saying, "I live in Flatbush (Crown Heights is the next neighborhood)" and all that, but just wait until they have school age children and the Mayor wants to integrate their schools. Oh, boy. Then you see who they really are. Also relevant.

See also:
http://www.thefader.com/2015/01/23/snl- ... al-anxiety


Hilary Clinton put her Campaign Headquarters in the middle of this ridiculousness. I have no doubt that the white privilege bubble of transplant white Brooklynites (in contrast to these guys. And these guys. And these guys. And these guys.) played a huge part in the idiocy and arrogance of her campaign.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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