Setting up bee hives at D-Town Farm in Detroit. The Detroit Black Community Food Security Network runs D-Town Farm, teaches gardening skills, and educates about the food system. They also work on policy change and dismantling racism to build food security in Detroit’s Black community. Photo courtesy of Detroit Black Community Food Security Network.
By Beverly Bell, Tory Field, and Deepa Panchang
A shovel overturned can flip so much more than soil, worms, and weeds. Structural racism – the ways in which social systems and institutions promote and perpetuate the oppression of people of color – manifests at all points in the food system. It emerges as barriers to land ownership and credit access for farmers of color, as wage discrimination and poor working conditions for food and farmworkers of color, and as lack of healthy food in neighborhoods of color. It shows up as discrimination in housing, employment, redlining, and other elements which impact food access and food justice.
Many people involved in creating food – from Haitian tomato pickers organizing in Florida, to Native Americans saving seeds in Arizona, to Black Detroit residents growing gardens in fractured neighborhoods – are simultaneously chipping away at structural racism. In the Harvesting Justice series we touch on many of these issues, starting with a look at African-American farmers and what they doing to win justice in the food system.
“We as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values…when machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism and militarism are incapable of being conquered.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr., April 4, 1967 Continue reading
Alleges African-American and disabled students systematically targeted, rights violated
- Common Dreams staff
The U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday sued the state of Mississippi, the city of Meridien, the county and several state agencies, alleging they “help[ed] to operate a school to prison pipeline” that routinely violated the rights of African-American children and children with disabilities in the city of Meridien. Continue reading
Common Dreams staff
The American Civil Liberties Union has released thousands of emails from a former Arizona legislator which they say prove that the controversial Arizona immigration law SB1070 was racially motivated. The slew of emails sent or forwarded from former Senator Russell Pearce (R), architect of the law, promoted discrimination and racial prejudice and lied about immigration issues, ACLU contends. Continue reading
National Catholic Reporter
By Alex Mikulich
It is a sign of the times that the Trayvon Martin case is waning away from public attention, and that the U.S. Catholic bishops have not addressed the fundamental issues of racial justice at stake for the nation. A failure to address the social structures and culture that is death-dealing for African-American and Latino men and women in America — the context for the Feb. 26 killing of Martin — is a “supreme dishonor to the Creator” in terms of the most basic tenet of Catholic social teaching: that we are all made in the image and likeness of God. Continue reading
Pax Christi USA
More than 40 national Catholic leaders and prominent theologians at universities across the country released a strongly worded open letter today urging “our fellow Catholics Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum to stop perpetuating ugly racial stereotypes on the campaign trail.” Continue reading
Pax Christi USA
Dear Pax Christi USA Member,
As a Sister of Notre Dame de Namur (SNDdeN), I am humbled to join the ranks of the outstanding leaders who have served as executive director of Pax Christi USA. I look forward to the challenge and to working with you as we approach the 40th anniversary of the Catholic peace movement in the United States. Continue reading
Just South Quarterly
By Omar Hassan
Omar Hassan came to the United States from Somalia in 1996 to apply for political asylum. After an immigration judge denied his application, his case was on appeal for 14 years. During that time, he worked 12-hour days as an electronic technician in Austin, Texas, and Phoenix, Arizona. In October 2010, he was suddenly picked up and detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for five months. Since his release, he has been living at Casa Marianella, a homeless shelter for immigrants in Austin, Texas, begun in 1986 by the Austin Interfaith Task Force for Central America. Continue reading
Picture by World Coalition Against the Death Penalty under a Wikimedia Commons Licence.
Posted by Jody McIntyre
A man has been on ‘death row’ for twenty-two years. He was found guilty of killing a law enforcement official loyal to the state. The weapon used was never found. There is no physical evidence, no DNA evidence, and seven of the nine original witnesses later withdraw their statements after admitting to being coerced by the police. One of the remaining two has remained silent for two decades. The other is suspected by many of committing the crime himself. Despite everything, the black man on death row is executed, murdered, by a cocktail of lethal drugs. Continue reading
By Thelma Mejía
TEGUCIGALPA, Aug 22, 2011 (IPS)
The first world summit of people of African descent, held in the city of La Ceiba on Honduras’s Caribbean coast, ended with a declaration calling for the fight against racism to be included in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Continue reading