Breaking Brown

Black Culture

29/09/15 Black Culture , Black News , ybw #

Israel Recruits African-American Evangelicals and HBCU Students While Simultaneously Purging African Migrants

Israel Recruits African-American Evangelicals and HBCU Students While Simultaneously Purging African Migrants

During the Ferguson protests, it was Palestinians who reached out to African-Americans with tips on protecting themselves against tear gas and state sponsored violence. Still, Israel is making inroads with African-American evangelicals, and has been quietly recruiting at HBCUs.

A Jewish charity organization, the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, has been a key player in the outreach to African-American Christians.

From NPR:

Eckstein’s organization raises more than $100 million a year. He built the charity over years of reaching out for financial contributions from mostly white American evangelical Christians.

Last year, the fellowship began approaching African-American congregations specifically. Like white evangelicals who have become ardent backers of Israel, members of the Church of God in Christ adhere to a theology that supports the country as the manifestation of a promise from God.

And from a Colorlines 2012 article:

When Vincent Evans arrived as a bright-eyed first-year at Florida A&M, the country’s largest historically black university, he knew he wanted to get involved in politics. So when an older student leader approached him one afternoon after a student government meeting to ask if he wanted an all expenses paid trip to D.C., Evans jumped at the opportunity. The trip, it turned out, was sponsored by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, the country’s most powerful pro-Israel lobbying outfit. Israel is under growing attack from Palestinian and international activists who call the country a racist apartheid state. In response, its staunchest U.S. lobby is recruiting black students as moral shields to make the case for Israeli impunity. At historically black colleges and universities (known as HBCU’s) around the country, AIPAC is finding and developing a cadre of black allies to declare there’s no way Israel can be racist.  

All this recruitment of African-Americans is happening at the same time that Israel is purging the country of African migrants. As BreakingBrown previously reported:

According to a recent report, Israelis took to the streets to protest a High Court ruling to close the country’s Holot detention center. African immigrants were rounded up and taken to the desert cage as part of the move to purge the country of African immigrants, described as “cancer” on Israeli society by Likud MK Miri Regev.

As BreakingBrown reported, in a 7-2 decision, the High Court of Justice ordered authorities to stop detaining African migrants at the Holot detention center in the Negev.

According to The Times of Israel, Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar said he could “not accept the verdict of the High Court,” since it would mean Israel “won’t have a Jewish democratic state because our borders will be overrun… with illegal infiltrators.”

Eckstein, the fellowship’s founder, attempted to neutralize any criticism of Israel’s treatment of African migrants by welcoming visitors “to a center in Tel Aviv that assists migrants seeking asylum in Israel, mostly from Sudan and Eritrea.” Still, he says, “The land is the Jewish people’s, we have a covenant.”

The NYPD, known for racially harassing black and brown men, also has a branch in Israel now.  So what, exactly, are these African-American evangelicals thinking?


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18/09/15 Black Culture , Black News , ybw #

Sagging Pants Are the New Prison Pipeline for Black Men

Sagging Pants Are the New Prison Pipeline for Black Men

by Yvette Carnell

In 2013 a black businessman rented a billboard to shame young black men who wear sagging pants. What he may not have understood at the time is that he was aiding in the push to outlaw the pants, which only leads to more black and brown men being profiled and arrested.

From The Atlantic:

As the Jackson Free Press reported, engineering student Akinola Gonzalez was stopped by college police on his school campus for walking with his pants sagging, a violation of the school’s policy. As a police report notes, Gonzalez complied with the security officials’ request to pull his pants up. But what happened afterward is an example of how such policies can become a pretext for unnecessary police entanglements.

Gonzalez reportedly failed to produce an ID when an officer asked for it (or at least questioned why he had to produce it), which led to his arrest, and later, after some other alleged insubordination, a strip search, and an overnight stay in the Hinds County Detention Center. According to an online petition from Gonzalez’s sister Dara Cooper, the police heckled him about his ability to post bond, and he was transferred the next day to a penal farm.

A bad fashion choice shouldn’t land you in jail, but that’s exactly what happened here. And that’s by design. It’s awful enough that policymakers push this sort thing, but it is even more damaging that so many of those rallying to ban saggy pants are black. You can’t be in favor of banning saggy pants while also expressing opposition to mass incarceration. That’s not how any of this works.

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27/08/15 Black Culture , Black News , ybw #

Here’s Why Race Explainers and Negro Whisperers Are a Bad Idea

Here’s Why Race Explainers and Negro Whisperers Are a Bad Idea

by Yvette Carnell

In an article posted early Thursday, I attempted to explain why Rev. Al Sharpton, and several other black pundits, are being sidelined at MSNBC.

In this nine minute YouTube video, I offer more context and a more in depth discussion on why having a racial spokesperson is detrimental to black politics.

Take the time to listen and let me know what you think:


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24/08/15 Black Culture , Black News , ybw #

Meet the Black Woman Who Is Uncomfortable Around Black People

Meet the Black Woman Who Is Uncomfortable Around Black People

A black woman who was raised in a mostly white area says she has always felt like an outsider among black people.

In a editorial for Salon, Danielle Small says she became aware of her outsider status when her hairstylist tried to give her the “black” handshake. According to Small, the handshake was a “black test” that she failed.

“It happened. I failed the ‘black’ test. My hair stylist and I were chatting while she was taking a break from retightening my locs. I made a funny quip, and she extended her palm so that we could partake in the standard Black American handshake,” Small wrote.

“In what was most likely the longest three seconds in the universe, I stared at her hand in befuddlement, trying to figure out what she was doing. By the time I realized that this was the handshake, it was too late. I tried to recover with some weird amalgamation of a fist bump and a high five, but the damage had been done. I had revealed myself to be the Carlton to her Fresh Prince.”

This “existential crisis” led Small to one conclusion: I’m uncomfortable around black people. This is a peculiar realization being that I am also a black person.”

Small says every time she walks into the barber shop where her stylist works, she feels uncomfortable that she is going to be “found out.”

In my mind when other black people see me, they’re thinking: ‘She may look black, but she’s not black black, if you know what I mean.'”

Small says she began getting accused of not being black while living in a mostly white area of Wisconsin.

“I know so many white girls that can gangsta walk better than you,” Small says she was told. “You’re not black, you can’t even dance!”

Now, however, Small says she is beginning to realize that there’s no one way to be black.

It’s taken some time, but now I’m aware that there is no ‘black test’ and that, even though I’m more Carlton than Fresh Prince, my blackness is still valid. My hair stylist doesn’t see me as some racial imposter.

What do you think of Small’s experience?

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20/08/15 Black Culture , Black News , ybw #

Applause Erupts After St. Bernard City Council Rejects Renaming Road MLK Blvd.

Applause Erupts After St. Bernard City Council Rejects Renaming Road MLK Blvd.

by Yvette Carnell

To many white Southerners, the Confederate flag is about honoring their ancestors. Yes, those ancestors fought for the right to build an empire of affluence on a pyre of black bodies, but that kinship means something to Southerners who take pride in ‘heritage’, no matter how shaming.

Ever since the Charleston massacre at AME was somehow conflated into a debate over the Confederate flag, a cadre of Southerners have rallied around their symbol. We’ve seen skirmishes, rallies, and even learned that “flag runs” are an actual thing.

What we hadn’t seen, at least until now, is backlash. It seems that residents of St. Bernard Parish in Louisiana are taking aim at the crowning glorify of African-American idols: Martin Luther King Jr.

At a St. Bernard Parish Council meeting Tuesday, the council voted unanimously  against renaming Colonial Blvd. to Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. After the vote, the audience, which was mostly opposed to the measure, burst into applause.

What did opposition to the vote boil down to? Basically, my history is more important than your history. From

White opponents tried to sidestep the proposal’s racial significance, painting their opposition as an attempt to preserve the name of a historic street that was named after its one-time Spanish colonizers.   


Rachel Bazile of eastern St. Bernard received the one standing ovation from the audience after she discussed the importance of remembering St. Bernard’s Spanish heritage and saying that keeping Colonial Boulevard was “not a racial issue.”


“History lost leads to history repeated,” she said, concluding with “God bless America!”

Understand me: Black people in Louisiana can’t even get a half mile of road named after a non-violent integrationist civil rights leader. That’s where we are. St. Bernard has its own racist history, but one has to wonder whether the symbolic attack on the Confederate flag has made white communities even more resistant to this sort of public historical integration. One question: Was it worth it?


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