Writing, raging, and activism

I am a writer and a ranter. Because I have no self-control, each post–with the exception of the occasional poetry/fiction post–will be limited to 1000 words or less. Topics vary between daily observations, micro-rants, and the discussion of writing and publishing.

215 thoughts on “Writing, raging, and activism

  1. kknevels says:

    Ms./Mrs. Olivia Cole you have officially earned yourself another fan. I happened to see your article on my FB page. I read it and shared it. I’m not one to comment on the article I read, most aren’t worth commenting on but yours I had to. I started reading the comments and yes my blood started to boil by the remarks of the insensitive people who don’t know how to just sit back and let other enjoy some good reading. I commented and read some more and commented and read some more. I would like to thank you for your take of the matter and standing up for black women when the stupidity hit the fan (twitter coments, etc). I’m an educator and the advisor for BSU. As a Black women who teaches at an “under privileged” school, as some would call, It is tough getting these boys/girls to understand the importance of being black in America. Sometimes I’m the only positiveness that these young people get to talk to. It does take a toll on me at times but it’s shows like BLACK GIRLS ROCK that empower me to continue the good fight. After reading your article I was once again given conformation that I’m where I need to be to help my students see pass their circumstances and help make a difference in their lives. I can’t wait to read more of your blogs. Blessings unto you my sistah (and yes i said sistah lol)

    • oliviaacole says:

      Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing these beautiful reflections with me. I appreciate it so much. Let’s continue to make change. Together!

    • Allen Guess says:

      I want to respond to your assessment of ‘The Best Man Holiday ‘. I salute you on your comprehensive beat down of USA Today’s tweet, pigeon holing the movie as “race themed”. It reminded me of “race records”, back in the 50s, and 60s. In almost similar fashion, as the movies you speak of, Black music had all the earmarks of what you express in your message. Only the racism was deliberately overt. Black music’s “success” depended on the artist’s ability to “crossover”. If the song was accepted by the white listening audience, you know you made it. What is so sad is, there was so much really good Black music that was ignored by the music powers that be, because it was either too soulful (Black), too provocative, or thought to be just not suitable for white listeners. (And let’s not forget about payola.) The best a Black singer/writer/composer could hope for, in many cases, is if a white artist would “cover” their music. “Whiten it up” for better acceptance and sales. Anyway, your article took me back to a time that in it’s own way speaks to what you are admonishing today. The bottom line, your clarity is off the map! You are, and deserve to be one of the people in this country, to participate in the national conversation on race. The conversation everybody talks about having, but they just never seem to make it to the table.

    • Digna Cole says:

      I am actually writing to respond t your article dated 07/28/14 which discusses the lack of “color”, or should I say people of color in the movies and on television. Unfortunately, people have sort of adapted to this norm, and simply want to have some avenue of theatre in their lives, so they watch, and they pay for the suttle ,be not so suttle insults that are thrown our way. I do believe, that if people started objecting louder, and not paying for these deletions of our existence, maybe Hollywood may get the hint.

  2. YOU seriously rock with that powerful, poignant article regarding Black Girls Rock. The fact that you have much opportunity & choice to bask & take full advantage of your White privilege without blinking an eye & you decided to basically say “Eff that!” Brave, just brave. I tip my “pump” off to you! THANK YOU!

  3. Tina Brown says:

    Dear Ms. Cole,
    I loved your piece on Black Girls Rock. So well written and articulated. I look forward to reading more of your work. Thank you for being an ally to Black women everywhere. Voices like yours need to be heard.

    Sincerely,

    Tina Brown

  4. AWESOME!!!!!! The whole article was right ON. You said what you had to say POINT BLANK PERIOD and it was RIGHT ON. Some people you will just have to break it down and lay it all out for them for them to see the BIG PICTURE. Well written. I never follow your article before .. BUT .. I am now.

  5. ezellam says:

    Bravo! Well done. Thank you for explaining what seems to be so very hard to explain and even harder to understand… and doing it so well. You Rock!

  6. Very inspiring and intelligent conversation(s). Thank you Olivia! As a fairly new Mom and a not so young jazz trumpet player who has traveled the world a few times over, I have a few perspectives and insights that I’ll get into another day. Memoir materials! What I am really interested in right now is a book list for 3-6 (ish) year olds that hips them to being open-minded and creative in their ideas of how the world looks, despite the media in their own lives. There are great books we’ve found in Europe that make things less taboo, like the poop book and the sex book- seriously,( I guess when you are in an educated society, things can be a bit looser) but I think we need more conversation starters along those lines.
    Looking forward to your recommendations. We are a TV /ipad free house so far but we do let the little one watch some good quality( that includes the music TOO) stuff here and there.
    Thanks!
    Ingrid

  7. ammamama says:

    I love your Huffington Post piece! You rock and God bless you <3

  8. djhurley says:

    Olivia dear you freakin ROCK. Such an amazingly honest, and human response to something that shouldn’t be a topic of discussion in 2013. I look forward to reading more.

  9. Absolutely loved your column. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!

  10. Hello, Ms. Cole, a CSU student forwarded your piece to us here in the Dean’s Office at Chicago State University. It was a well presented piece and the reflection was good.
    I simply want to offer that many people do not understand race. Race is a social construct that awards privileges based on skin color. To be Black in the U.S. reflects both race and culture. To be white in the U.S. reflects race only. No one has a problem with a program that states: Irish Rock or Italians Rock or Lithuanians Rock or Danes Rock. These reflect nationality and culture, not a status of privilege. The issue is with “white.” Those who argue from the perch of whiteness are ultimately arguing about maintaining privilege. That is what is the problem. Those whites who may have been offended about a program about Black girls rocking have confounded the pride of culture with an identification with privilege. Most celebrate culture. In fact you will see many cultures at a St. Patrick’s Day parade and I have seen Black people with “Kiss me I’m Irish” t-shirts. This suggests a celebration of culture. Celtic Woman suggests a celebration of culture and pride the same way that Black Girls Rock suggests culture and pride. In contrast, white indicates a pride in being privileged, not a pride of culture.

  11. ennaytee says:

    I love you. And that’s pretty much it.

  12. Checking you out on HuffPost LIVE!!!

    Great Stuff OLIVIA COLE!

  13. tunsteele says:

    So appreciate your comments about how hard it is for many white folks to see beyond race even though they are so ready to claim ” I don’t see skin color,”. While I’ve yet to see Best Man Holiday, I so relate to your comments about shared aspects of our humanity
    despite one’s race. And to accept that racial lens & scripting are also how we experience life is an important awareness as well. As you highlighted, there continues to be a plethora of all white casts in US films without any mention of the narrowness of this betrayal both racially & even ethically from a white and Latino perspective. Trying to avoid the ” undiscussables” about race have us as Americans to
    missing out on richer & deeper relationships across racial lines along with colluding & reinforcing the on going problems of our racism.

  14. Ms. Cole,
    I just read your blog regarding USA Today’s tweet about The Best Man Holiday. All I can say is WELL DONE! You managed to strike a mighty blow with precision, tact, and eloquence. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

  15. Great post! The “Holiday” movies concept was universal and had nothing to do with race. A good movie is just that…a good movie.

  16. brownbabe says:

    Good Morning Olivia!

    I came across your HuffPo piece on The Best Man Holiday after having the same discussion with a coworker yesterday. I was intrigued by your commentary, then I read the Black Girls Rock piece and was hooked; so I had to swing by the blog to check out some more. Kudos to you, for your awareness of self and the world we live in, and for taking the time to share that awareness with others – even if that means holding up the mirror for them to take a look and do some reflection on things they otherwise would not have taken the time to see. Looking forward to more!

  17. Greetings Olivia,
    I just shared your article on my Facebook timeline. As a woman of color, I truly thank you for expressing the thoughts of so many. Today as a flower is a “flower” regardless of color, I pray that one day people will be seen as “people” regardless of color (or race).

  18. Olivia,

    Thank you so much for this! A friend of mine shared your blog post with me on Facebook and it resonated so much with me that I just had to come here and say ‘Thank you! Thank you! Thank you, sister!’

    It is a travesty to simply stand by and let USA Today’s erronous description be perpetuated. ‘RACE-THEMED’ indeed! (Code for so many hidden messages). Thanks for nullifying these two words that would have had the power to reduce a beautiful movie with such poignant universal themes of love, family, friendship, honour, fidelity, financial wellbeing, fertility, faith….I could go on and on.

    I guess for me the lesson is that we must not only take responsibility for how we tell our stories but also teach/correct other people when they tell it the wrong way. Thanks again! P.S: With your permission, I’d love to share your article on my blog. More people need to hear/see/feel/taste the truth of your words!

    A new fan of yours,
    Juliet

  19. i read your article in huff post entitled “why the best man holiday isn’t race-themed”…which led me to your blog.

    i’m a proud new fan of yours!

    this current post made me chuckle because i, too, lack self control, and it’s pretty easy to find myself in the middle of a rant. i can’t tell you how many times i’ve gone from “simple FB post” to full out blog post and or journal entry.

    thanks for confirming that it’s okay to rant. :)

    -ronetta

  20. THANK YOU!!!! Your my new friend in my head! Thank you for your excellent comments on race! #newfanforlife

  21. Maa’am! Amazing! More to come – but yes, you did that!
    What city and state are you based out of?

  22. MADAME,
    Living in France I read your comment about the concept ” RACE THEME ” in the Huff, i would like to tell you ” MERCI Madame, chapeau bas!!”

  23. Your blog came across my newsfeed today and I curiously clicked, having no idea what to expect. All I can say is ‘WOW’. Thank you for your clear, succinct, and powerful messages. As a woman of color, I truly appreciate your well-rounded and fair approach to all of these issues. You’re a phenomenal writer and true agent of change. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    Sincerely,
    Your New Fan :-)

  24. I admire u. U r changing the mindset of the World n my Generation. Thanx!

  25. theglove813 says:

    I just read your post about “Hunger Games and The White Imagination” off the Huffington Post. I think the usage of “white imagination” is completely absurd. As if all white people share the same collective conscious of imagination. I almost never imagine skin color when I read, unless clearly stated in text or I’m given context that leads me to believe a character is of a certain race.
    I still have yet to see the newest Hunger Games, but what matters to me is the correct portrayal of characters. And for me Rue was characterized perfectly in the first installment.
    All this to say that as a white person, as I know you are as well, I don’t share imaginative hindrances, and I think generalizing a collective imagination between white people is just as racists and ignorant as what you wrote about in your article.

    • oliviaacole says:

      My friend, when you make statements that say acknowledging a white supremacist culture is “just as racist” as something that actually is racist, you are doing the world a disservice. Put your thinking cap on. If this doesn’t apply to you, then use it to teach those it DOES apply to.

  26. dasrhapsody says:

    Hello Olivia,

    I just want to say that I have now read three of your articles that have made their way onto my Facebook feed, and EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM has given me life! You are a phenomenal writer that touches the heart of the problems you write about without all the unnecessary accouterments. I am no longer satisfied happening upon your articles on facebook, and will now be searching them out because you have something amazing to say and I am loving every word.

    Thank you!

  27. A. Brown says:

    Olivia, you are yet another born-with-a-silver-spoon, sheltered white liberal who feels guilt for the privilege that you don’t feel you deserve, so you pathetically kowtow to a demographic that you have never lived amongst and demonize those who you think are just like you. It’s not your place to speak for anyone else, including white people who have had the misfortune of living as a white minority amongst a black majority- something you most likely will never have the integrity or courage to do, despite admitting that mental growth is accompanied with ‘growing pains’ and that you will come out ‘bumped and bruised’- in this case, LITERALLY.

    Just a helpful note- you are royally embarrassing yourself by so openly expressing how out of touch with reality you are. Not just with your suggestions that white people are never victims of racial hatred, but also with your laughable-to-the-point-of-stomach-pains claim that public schools glorify white historical figures and paint them as benign.

    Another note- your desperate kowtowing to blacks does not earn you any respect with them. They will pat you on the head like their pathetic pet that you are, but they will never respect you. You’re a joke to everyone except for fellow clueless, sheltered whites.

  28. I had just happened to stumble on your article about beetie and the hunger games and white imagination a few days ago as well as the open letter to the 3 white students today. And i just want to say that you are AMAZING!!!! I just subscribed and I will read your older posts too!

  29. I saw your post on Huffington and immediately had to come over to WordPress and follow you. Great, great job! I’m a philanthropist/activist by nature as well, always good to meet another kindred spirit:)

    – Rakhi

  30. Your Huffpo article displayed breathtaking ignorance.

    It is an insult to Reason itself to suggest that a white person doesn’t know what it’s like to be discriminated against on the basis of race.

    As a white professor would I make my black students “feel uncomfortable” by dredging up the black racism, and yes black privilege, i experienced in my youth growing up in a black neighborhood? NEVER. It’s childish in the extreme to bring it up.

    It doesn’t matter what race you are, a professor has no business thinking it’s his/her duty to “make you feel uncomfortable,” especially if it has nothing to do with the course.

    And no, Ms. Cole, the purpose of college is not to make you feel uncomfortable. The purpose of college is to prepare you to function in a career where you will be working with people of all races on a common goal.

    Try pulling off this “make you feel uncomfortable” crap in the work environment and we’ll see how long you last at that company.

    The fantasy world of college is the only place where this kind of politically correct nonsense has a home.

    “A whining, crying race may be pitied but seldom respected.” –Booker T. Washington

    • Sheila Sims says:

      You said it best, black privilege, but only in THAT neighborhood. That is why we tend to live in segregated neighborhoods because the world does not welcome us.

    • oliviaacole says:

      “Black privilege”? Giordano, are you out of your tiny little mind? “politically correct nonsense.” You reveal yourself, sir.

      Here. Read this. I hope it helps.

      http://www.amptoons.com/blog/files/mcintosh.html

      • Yes, black privilege. You know perfectly well what I’m saying. Also “brown” privilege, “yellow” privilege, “red” privilege, “white” privilege etc., etc..

        My point is that it is absurd to characterize whites as the only segment of humanity that hasn’t experienced racism, and that hasn’t had the experience of being dominated by another race that has power or ‘privilege’ over them.

        Have the guts to directly address what I’m saying. I’m not going to read someone else’s diatribe. If you really think my mind is tiny it should be no problem for you.

        And what exactly do you think I’m hiding that, in your mind, I accidently “revealed”? That’s a silly little argumentative ploy that neophytes employ to grant themselves a facade of intellectually superiority. It doesn’t wash.

    • oliviaacole says:

      The notion of black privilege is absurd when discussing the way racism and privilege operate on a fundamental level in America. I linked you not to “someone else’s diatribe,” but to a well-respected resource on dissecting white privilege and the ways in which it manifests itself.

      Don’t talk to me about guts, Giordano. It’s silly. We’re talking about white Americans, and it’s not “absurd” to suggest white Americans have never been oppressed or experienced systematic racism. It’s the truth. Deal with it.

      You know what doesn’t “wash,” Giordano? Your entire argument, which barely exists. You come here ranting and raving about the horrifying oppression that white people have faced, yet you haven’t provided a single shred of evidence. Your name-calling is adolescent and does little to conceal your White Whine.

      If you’re serious about understanding white privilege and the way it operates, I encourage you to read Peggy McIntosh’s white privilege checklist. If not, I’m not sure what you’re doing here other than to have a tantrum, which I urge you to take elsewhere.

      • I’ve already read a great many writings over the decades on the subject of ‘white privilege,’ Ms. Cole. Not once have I read one that I would characterize at ‘well-respected.’ They have all contained the same mindset that you expressed in your Huffpo column. The bottom line with all of them, whether explicit or implied, is “hey whitey, it’s payback time.”

        That is exactly what I experienced growing up in a black neighborhood. That sick attitude. That self-defeating, sick form of racism. I also experienced it at work — direct threats of physical harm simply because I was white. When I moved into management I had a discussion with a black employee who later thanked me, with tears in his eyes, for helping him see that not everything bad that happens to him is because of white racism. Finally there was a softness in his countenance that I had not seen previously. I have hope that the bitterness that had been programmed into him might be completely exorcised someday

        You don’t cure white racism by swinging the pendulum to the other side and hounding a student simply because he has white skin. The problem should be addressed with an appeal to reason, not a blow to the head with a self-righteous, one-sided, accusatory sledgehammer.

        What do you propose to do to cure the racial bias that exists in whites AND blacks? Do you honestly think that professor’s approach will produce a net positive for race relations?

        My DIRECT experience with race relations tells me it is destructive. It only makes a white person feel unjustly accused, and a black person falsely justified in blaming his/her problems on white racism.

        Attitude is everything. If your attitude is that all your problems are caused by someone else, you’re chances of succeeding in any area of life is greatly diminished.

    • steelo5555 says:

      Very well stated. I can tell you I am what this author would label a “priveleged” white male. Let me tell you, I work my ass off to pay my bills. I do not feel bad that I have a job, I do not feel bad that I have a nice house, I do not regret eating steak once a week. You know why? Because my white wife and I have EARNED IT. In high school I attended a mostly black school and was ofter roughed up and didnt eat lunch because it was taken from me. Now I see these same bullies working at 7-11 living in slums…I do not owe these people a damn thing because I worked hard to be where I am today. This authors notion that because I was born a white male, I DESERVE to be made uncomfortable and scourned is a completely inane point.

  31. Sheila Sims says:

    Ms. Cole, I read with keen interest your article about the students who are suing their black teacher. Your comments are so on point. Some of my close friends and I talk about white entitlement from time-to-time. I have said that I don’t feel sorry for white people who are not as successful as they want to be because the world we live in is structured for them to succeed. I have had to fight for everything that I have earned. I recall when my daughter was born, I had moved from Atlanta to a smaller town. I had applied for a job for which I was qualified with a brokerage firm. I showed up early for my appointment and was professionally dressed. A white woman answered the door of the office and asked could she help me. I gave her my name and told her why I was there. She appeared to be visibly startled. I do not have a name that can identify me as being black or white. Once she recovered she told me that the position had been filled. This was only 15 years ago. I have heard white men having conversations with the fathers of their friends. Have so-and-so call me when she graduates (from high school!), I’ve got a job for her in my office. She can answer phones and run my office and I’ll pay her $40,000/year. I am 51 years old and inspite of the fact that I am a college graduate, I didn’t earn $40,000 per year until I was in my mid-forties! I have had white people say to me, “You’re so articulate!” Well, I am college educated so it should be no surprise. As a child my mother also set the example early. She only was able to take a couple of college courses but let my sister and me know the value of education. My sister and I are both first generation college graduates. I grow weary of first being evaluated as a person based on my color and then being thought of as an acceptable type of black person. A few months ago I was walking in a crosswalk entering a Wal-Mart with my daughter. There was a driver who kept edging into the crosswalk so I stopped walking and asked him if he was just going to hit us. The white male driver yelled out from his windows, “Get outta the way you ole, n*****!” I was furious and was waiting outside the store for him. I have not been called this to my face in 33 years!! How dare he call me this insulting word!!! I could go on and on….So wow, just because these students have been uncomfortable over a short period of time, they are suing! Some whites have tried to make me uncomfortable for my entire lifetime. I was first called the n-word by a white man when I was five years old. I didn’t know it was a deragatory term, but I knew that it wasn’t a nice word, because I felt bad because of the look on his face as he said it…This is one of the reasons we do affirming types of things such as “Black Girls Rock” because we have to celebrate ourselves. The white world usually acts as if we don’t exist so they shouldn’t be bothered that we are doing it for ourselves. Btw Republicans, racism doesn’t exist……for you……ecause most of you are white males, and if you’re a white female, you’re probably married to a white male so racism doesn’t touch you either. I am sorry that this is so all over the place. There is so much that I want to say…51 years worth of it!!!

    • oliviaacole says:

      Sheila, thank you for taking the time to share your insights here. They are valuable. “Some whites have tried to make me uncomfortable for my entire lifetime.” This exactly. So many white people are furious that their ideologies are not being catered to in every arena, as they are used to. It is time for them to see the world as it is.

  32. Larry McBean says:

    Olivia. Are you not able to see how you yourself are guilty of the same kind of bias or racial discrimination you charge those three students with? And by extension you apply your bias to all the white race in America. In effect you are claiming that you know, without knowing me, that I am racist, a member of the oppressive class, or insensitive to any suffering by minorities. And how do you seem to know that about me? Because I am white. Kinda the same attitude I have seen among some anti-Obama citizens. They claim they can tell he is lying because his lips are moving. One indicator of racism is deciding that all people of a particular race have the same characteristics. Unless you have personal met and judged every white person in America, you cannot claim we are all guilty of any racism without you being racist yourself. My white 11 year old grandson plays equally well with various races. At what age will you judge my innocent grandson as being a racist or racially insensitive? BTW, regarding your claim of “white privilege.” For several generations my family has lived a pretty modest standard of living. I expect my grandson will also. Apparently our “white privilege” got lost in the mail long ago. Can you help us find it? While you are looking, you should also consider if you really do resent the strong white influence that has shaped America. People are sneaking INTO America. They are not sneaking OUT of America. I also don’t see you being so unhappy with modern America that you are leaving, nor are the millions of “oppressed” minorities trying to leave either. Odd isn’t it.

    • oliviaacole says:

      Larry. Do some reading before you come here spewing your bile.

      http://www.amptoons.com/blog/files/mcintosh.html

    • Mr. McBean, your comments make perfect sense. Any Psychology 101 student (and court of law for that matter) knows that it is irrational to accuse someone of something for which they are not personally responsible. Such an accusation is made all the more grievous when it is done simply on the basis of skin color.

      The question naturally arises as to why someone would engage in such behavior. What is their motivation? Unless they are truly suffering from a psychosis, the only explanation that makes sense is that they don’t want race relations to improve. But why would they not want race relations to improve? The most likely answer is that they have a vested interest.

      A wise black man once said, “There is a class of colored people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs, partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs.” –Booker T. Washington

      So the ultimate question becomes, what political ideology benefits the most by dividing the populous into classes and groups and pitting them against each other? History has the answer – Communism.

      Nelson Mandela, in his manuscript titled “How To Be a Good Communist,” wrote, “The goal of Communism is a classless society based on the principle: from each according to his ability and to each according to his needs. The aim is to change the present world into a Communist world where there will be no exploiters and no exploited, no oppressor and oppressed, no rich and no poor. Communists fight for a world where there will be no unemployment, no poverty and starvation, disease and ignorance. In such a world there will be no capitalists, no imperialists, no fascists. There will be neither colonies nor wars.”

      Yet Communism has been one of the most skilled sowers of discord and disunity, blood-thirsty agents of genocide, flagrant violator of human rights, and imperialistic forces in human history.

      We would do well to learn the lessons of history and recognize when we’re being manipulated by those with ulterior motives.

      Fomenting irrational bitterness and resentment between races is a recipe for disaster.

  33. My father worked for Xerox for over 30 years. During that time he was frequently involved in hiring of new employees for his division. According to my father, the company has had a long standing policy of actively recruiting and hiring minorities, especially blacks and women. All things being equal between prospectives, the company preferred to hire the minority candidate.

    Many (MANY) universities have policies in which, in order to maintain diversity, minority candidates are preferentially selected over white candidates. Also, more university scholarships are available to minority candidates than to white candidates, even those minority candidates coming from affluent homes. This is an important factor in this day and age of rapidly escalating costs of post secondary education, and especially when so many students are saddled with greater and greater amounts of student debt.

    At my high school, black students were considered popular and worthy of emulation. They were involved in cheerleading, orchestra, athletics, acting… They were certainly not oppressed. Students who were bullied and socially isolated (from the black students, as well) were much more likely to be white. Including myself.

    I have been taught by black teachers and professors, both male and female. In medical school, I was taught by a black surgeon. One of my mother’s closest friends is a black Dean of Students for a medical school. We have a black president of the United states. A black First Lady. Black generals. A black Secretary of State.

    Before moving out of the country, I lived in Skokie, Illinois, a very integrated middle class family-oriented community. On my street lived African Americans, Jews, Asians, and WASPs. There was no “white flight” and there was a general sense of mutual respect.

    So – I’m sorry, folks. It’s hard for me to find it within myself the feeling that blacks, in general, have such an uphill battle. Poor blacks? Definitely. Inner city ghettos? Of course. But this is an economic issue to a much greater extent than it is a racial issue. As far as black immigrants from other countries? It has never been easy to be an immigrant, to learn a new language or culture. But middle and upper class blacks born and raised in the USA? It seems to me that they have it good.

    • It always strikes me funny when someone non-black has the arrogance to call something “easy” for blacks born in this country. What you fail to realize is that even blacks born in this country were born into racism. So even though I am college educated, well rounded, can speak more than one language, aid my community, pay my taxes, obey all laws and have never been arrested….I still have to work twice as hard to be considered ALMOST as good. I pay for the negative images of blacks plastered on the news, I pay for every negative action ever done to the white lady at my job by another black person. So when you say we have it EASY….I laugh. Right in your face.

      • oliviaacole says:

        I couldn’t have said it better, Kelz.

      • Not once did Janice say that blacks have it “easy.”

        Her argument is that in this day and age it is not as much of an uphill battle as many are trying to portray it.

        Everyone faces challenges and setbacks in life. If blacks hear a constant drumbeat of “white privilege,” they will have a more difficult time distinguishing between the normal challenges of life and the difficulties truly caused by racial bias. Their attitudes will be negatively shaped, and that will add yet another burden to their psyche as they attempt to overcome the negative stereotypes you eloquently outlined.

    • oliviaacole says:

      This comment is disgusting for a myriad of reasons. In fact, I almost reported it is spam.

      Read this and check your privilege, Janice. http://www.amptoons.com/blog/files/mcintosh.html

  34. Olivia, I just finished reading your article on why “Black Girls Rock” is necessary. All I can say is well done and thank you. Clearly articulated, and extremely thorough. I see why it ruffled feathers. However, most of the people screaming that foolishness about having a special organization for white people don’t know why there were special organizations for black put in place to begin with.

  35. Hello again, Olivia. Hope you’re well. Just wanted to make sure you saw the following essay. I know you’ll have something to say about it. Cheers!

    http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2014/1/the-good-white-folksoftheacademy.html

  36. shunpwrites says:

    Olivia, I appreciate your take on the issues & even more than that I appreciate the grace under fire that you show when invective is hurled your way!

  37. my5string says:

    Hey there Olivia, being somewhat new to following your post I have taken time to read some of the older blogs. It’s clear to me that there are those whom may never grasp hold, and understand your mission. This makes me to respect you even more to have the courage to continue your journey. Push forward young lady and know that there are those that are listening to you. I appreciate what you do!

  38. Your “Why I’m Not Here for #WhiteGirlsRock” blog post has blessed me immensely. I’m officially a fan, and I think you should soooo go on tours and speak (first stop: Vanderbilt University *winkwink*) !! Thank you for sharing these wise words.

    • oliviaacole says:

      Thank you so much for reading, Jordaan! This comment is, itself, a blessing, and I thank you for leaving it. Stay tuned for my novel, which is out next week! I think you’ll like that too ;)

  39. Vanity Gee says:

    Olivia,

    Thank you so much for your words and contributing polarizing and provoking thoughts to the blog world! I look forward to reading more of your posts!

    messofitall.wordpress.com

  40. steelo5555 says:

    The problem with your blog is that this “teacher” teaches English 101, not racism 101. This professor has had multiple complaints from other students and is often perceived as mocking and rude by students brave enough to ask her a question. This lady is obviously a nutcase. Btw: How much is the ACLU paying you

  41. steelo5555 says:

    Perhaps you should give your job to a lesser qualified minority. Then justice would truly be served, wouldn’t it?

  42. K GO GO says:

    Love your blog, keep up the work…

  43. I read your blog on “How to Train Your Dragon 2″ and I can’t believe you express such shock and dismay over the color of the Villian’s skin ! Seriously !? The Director is an openly Gay man who has admitted his agenda in introducing a Gay charachter in a childrens movie ! I do not oppose Gay and Lesbians . However I DO oppose ADULTS pressing thier views in a childrens movie ! A childs sexuality should be left to develop as nature will , but it is too often influenced by adults and society , much the same as the “Racism” you so often rail against . How about we as adults let children be children and stop bashing what you hate. Try promoting what you love and see how your children respond ! As far as DuBlois’ villian goes….what color would you have suggested ? Animated movies have often relied on light vs. dark in the struggle between good and evil . Its so simple a child can understand it…..or maybe you just missed the point ?

  44. Olivia Cole, Whites are UNDERrepresented in positions of power. Why you do not talk about the Jewish privilege?

  45. bet85 says:

    Olivia, I just found your blog and I was immediately impressed. I dinnae care if you rant, I rant myself :) I also am engaged with activism on occasion and I do consider myself an occasional genius :) it is great to find a kindred spirit in those regards :)

    I do however spread the occasional nonsense, but I shall make an exception this time, I shall give you some of my obscure knowledge (like a link to one of my favorite writer’s essays :) and you can tell me what you think :) ) here it is :) http://flag.blackened.net/liberty/moorcock.html

    You have just gained me as a follower Olivia and all you did was be yourself :)

    Shade and sweet water :)

    The Bjorns Who Are One

  46. Olivia,
    Your article is right on! Thirty years ago my husband and I began our search for books and dolls that reflected a positive image. It was apartheid on the toy shelves and a sparse representation of children’s books in our major chain stores. There began my mission to create an authentic true-to-life doll Black doll that looked like my daughter Niya. (See below). Even today, parents of color report the same plight. Why aren’t more Black and Brown dolls available on the mass market? Could it be that the buyers of the major toy chain stores are biased? We’ve created a whole line of beautiful and brilliant dolls that reflect the children of the world and still no licensing deal. Still no manufacturer. Started our own toy company in 1990 to produce the first Niya doll but haven’t been able to raise enough funds for the doll line, yet. Our children deserve to see their beauty and brilliance reflected in the toys they play with and I am on a mission to help make it happen! Black Dolls rock too!

  47. oliviaacole says:

    Completely agree that this problem extends to the toys and games that are marketed toward children, Darla. Have you heard ever heard of the Brown v. Education “baby doll test”? I’ll likely be blogging about it soon, so stay tuned.

  48. Olivia,
    Absolutely! Very familiar with the Brown v Education test…Kiri Davis’ test, CNN’s test and my own focus group research. Our children are constantly bombarded with negative images and messages that reinforce the old adage: “If you’re black, get back, if you are brown, stick around and if you are white, you are right!”

    This “self’ hatred” issue starts early in our girls; add to that the “sexualization” message that’s perpetuated in the media, Madison Avenue, beauty pageants, and, yes in many of the dolls that populate the toy shelves…and then you begin to see why it’s been such a challenge to get the NiyaKids doll line to the market place.

    Let’s have a conversation off-line about the “baby doll test”…as a Mom/Inventor of a multicultural doll line, I have quite a bit to share on this subject.

    Keep on keeping on!

  49. I have read through several of your blogs, I don’t know if it is how you really are but you come a cross as a man hating racist. If people want equal rights I am all for that, however the political correctness affirmative action crowd wants to push one group down because that group had pushed another group down in the past. That is not equal. If I were to propose a group called N.A.A.W.P. (the National Association for the Advancement of White People) I would be decried as a racist or a white supremacist. Yet not only is there a National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, but there is a long list of organizations that are dedicated to the betterment of one group of people based on them being “minorities”, until DR. Martin Luther King’s dreams are realized we will not be truly free, however when they are realized we will all be equal and there will no need to describe people by their race. We are all humans, skin color is not anything more than just that a physical description not a qualification to do anything, or a justification to feel a certain way. Do not ask me to feel guilty because of your prejudiced perceptions of me based on skin color. I am a human the same as you are. The only difference is I truly don’t care about what “race” someone is, I only care about that one persons actions.

  50. oliviaacole says:

    *yawn* Check your privilege at the door. Use this to address your privilege:
    http://www.amptoons.com/blog/files/mcintosh.html

  51. oliviaacole says:

    “A man-hating racist” lmao What a joke, Bill. Check your privilege at the door. Here, this well-known checklist by Peggy McIntosh will help:
    http://www.amptoons.com/blog/files/mcintosh.html

  52. I totally agree with you 100%. Ppl need to realize that every person is an individual and until then, racism will exist.. That woman is guilty of the very thng she supposedly condemns

  53. Wanting to guilt white ppl for ppl they never did is probably the absolute worst way to help fight racism.

  54. things they never did*, sorry for the typo

  55. steelo5555 says:

    Very well stated. I can tell you I am what this author would label a “privileged” white male. Let me tell you, I work my ass off to pay my bills. I do not feel bad that I have a job, I do not feel bad that I have a nice house, I do not regret eating steak once a week. You know why? Because my white wife (omg…I’m sure the athor will condemn this) and I have EARNED IT. In high school I attended a mostly black school and was ofter roughed up and didn’t eat lunch because it was taken from me. Now I see these same bullies working at 7-11 living in slums…I do not owe these people a damn thing because I worked hard to be where I am today. This authors notion that because I was born a white male, I DESERVE to be made uncomfortable and scourned upon is a completely inane point. This lady is the worst kind of racist.

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