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April 15, 2011

VOL. 3 Edition Number 39

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The Power of Everyday People

Photo courtesy of David Sylvester

Merchants in an African village stand proudly in front of their storefront called “Niggers” . This is a powerful story about the impact of the “N” word in Africa and other places worldwide.

Page 1 The Populace Now

What’s Inside This Issue? Cover Page Photo: African Merchants outside of storefront Patrick A. Sellers Publisher Not

Even in African the “N” Word has Impact pg. 2

Systematic Racism pg‟s. 3 & 4

Bobbie Collins Editor-In-Chief Jeremi Baker Technology


Gender Roles and Identities pg. 5

Discord Within Political Parties pg. 6

David Sylvester, Patrick Sellers, William Vann III, Buffy Griffin Bobbie Collins

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Page 2 The Populace Now

Even In African the “N” Word has Impact By David Sylvester, A Pennsylvania Correspondent My name is David Sylvester and I re-

them asleep! (Talk about living up to

cently completed a charitable bicycle trip

or in this case down to a stereotype.)

in Africa, riding over 7,000 miles from

I asked the guys what was up with the

Cairo, Egypt to Cape Town, South Africa.

store name. After hearing my obvious

The trip made me the first, and only, Afri-

non-Malawian accent and figuring out

can American to cross two continents on

that I was from America, the man

a bicycle. I have plenty of great and fasci-

thumped his chest proudly and said

nating stories.

“P-Diddy, New York City! We are the

Many are funny, others bittersweet, some are poignant, but all are entertaining. Surprisingly one story has stood out and if it was not for the fact that I have a picture of it, many would never believe it;

niggers!” My first reaction was to laugh because many things when isolated can be very funny, but it quickly dawned on me that this was so not funny at all. It was pathetic.

and it is for that reason that I am sharing

I did these bicycle trips across the USA

it with you. While in Lilongwe, Malawi, I

and through the „Mother Land‟ in honor of

came across a store by the name of

one of my good friends, mentors, and fel-

“Niggers” —that‟s right “Niggers”! The

low African American, Kevin Bowser, who

other riders, who were all white, could

died on 9/11. Here I am, a black man, rid-

not wait to inform me of this to see my

ing across the world on his bicycle in honor

reaction. Initially, I thought that it was a

of another black man, riding „home‟ and

very bad joke, but when the other riders

what do I see?? Some Africans calling

were adamant about the existence of the

themselves Niggers! They were even so

store, I had to see it for myself. What I

proud of it they put it on their storefront to

found was a store selling what the owner

sell stuff. When I relay the story to folks

called “hip hop” style clothing. It was

back home in Philadelphia, most of them

manned by two gentlemen — one of

will laugh too and rationalize it by saying

“well, we can say it to each other” or “there is a difference” or even “they just spelled it wrong. It should have been “nigga‟s” or “niggah‟s”. Gee, like that would make a difference. The issue is not the spelling. I was wrong. We are wrong. There is no justification for an infraction of this magnitude. The word and the sentiment behind it is flat out wrong! We have denigrated and degraded ourselves to the point that our backwards…. (Continued on page 8)

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Page 3 The Populace Now

Systematic Racism By: Patrick Sellers, an Illinois Correspondent We live in a society that prides itself

ing the "status quo” or making

on diversity. Ours is a country that

sure that one group of peo-

clings tightly to the premise that all

ple can remain ahead of an-

men are created equal.

other. Therefore, in such cir-

“We hold these truths to be selfevident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

can thrive. Laying the Foundation What is the first thing that this official is going to do? He hire like-minded people, peo-


ple who will do all that they

sounds good in songs, but in actuality, this is not the case at all. I am a product of small town America and within the confines of many small towns, my home town included, there is an underlying current of systematic racism.

But it is also

or she is going to go out and

All of that looks good on paper and

Not only

cumstance, systematic racism

can to ensure the success of the task . Every level of the office, from the secretaries to

Systematically Implemented

the janitors will support the initiatives at hand. Once every department is equipped with hand chosen and not necessarily the most qualified people; the structure of systematic racism can

Certainly, I can only speak from my

take its course.

experiences and from my own perspec-

The next thing that will be done is the

tive, but I am sure that many will agree

recruiting of business owners in order to

with what I am going to say and many

use economics deprivation as a means of

will disagree. There are "powers that

social control. This will be an easy sell

be," like the good ol‟ boy network, the

because some of the business owners in

in-crowd, all of which are entities that

small town America are in line with main-

administer systematic racism. When

taining the status quo anyway.

people are put in positions of power, and that position and power allows them the freedom to alter the livelihoods of others, then racism can and does come into play. For instance, let‟s say that a person

In many small towns, the businesses are owned by the same family for many years. They are cornerstones of the economic aura of small town America. How will these businesses contribute to the task? Some of these businesses will util-

in power is an elected official. He or

ize deceptive hiring practices; making

she may be a firm believer in maintain-

sure to keep minority employee numbers

at a bare minimum. Other businesses may practice unequal treatment of business constituents; refusing to do business with minority business owners, in hopes of starving out that business is the objective. Next on the agenda is to alienate one side of a town from the other. The old cliché of “Those people from the other side of the tracks” really hits home with me because I was one of those people. Out of sight out of mind sums it all up. Highways are set up to bypass those sides of town; reinvestment funds are not used to develop those sides of town. When you factor in all other variables such as crime rates, dropout rates, early pregnancies etc… you can see systematic racism at its best. This brings up next the dilemma of

Page 4 The Populace Now

Systematic Racism By: Patrick Sellers, an Illinois Correspondent dividing the divided. Turning minorities against one another has been a tact used since the days of slavery in this country and is still being used today. I know you are probably asking the question, "What does this concept have to do with systematic racism?" If you think about it, a city official, business leader or some other member of the “in-crowd� befriends some key figures in the minority community, then those key people will defend them against any back-

systematic racism can literally run itself. The Impacts of Systematic Racism The affects of systematic racism can be seen throughout small town U.S.A. I look at the town where I live and how systematic racism has played a major role in everything from the deterioration of the minority community to the economic perils of the

The sense of hopelessness that systematic racism places on its victims is spell-

tween members of the minority community

binding. And it takes a heavy toll on the

thus dividing an already divided community

moral and spiritual decay of affected com-

even further.

munities. In other words, people just plain

of the deal. Every person connected to this web of deceit uses their power to persuade the masses. Local television, newspapers

give up. How can you pull yourself up by your own boots straps when you are denied

The powers that be have literally interjected themselves into every aspect of the

in a negative light. The goal is to change

economic, social, cultural and spiritual

individual that has a liberal sense of equality.

The entire system that has been created within small town America and its effects on its unlucky citizens is kept silent from the rest of the world.

Think about it,

the minority community. In my own home town, I see the affects of systematic racism clearly. Riding through our predominantly African- American 3rd ward, I see the hopelessness on the faces of eyes as the strong iron fist of systematic racism continually crashes down upon them daily. "Things will never change" or "That's just the way things go around here" are familiar responses I've heard during conversations of friends and colleagues. This leads to the final point of social


and radio stations often portray minorities the mindset of the

and overly expose the wrongdoings of

the people. I see the weariness in their

minority people.

lash. This process drives a wedge be-

Last but not least comes the social part

the wrongdoings of their counterparts

paradigms that make up small town America. Combine this with the elitist attitudes and arrogance

how many times have you heard the de-

that many of them possess and they be-

scription of a suspect in a crime on televi-

come the embodiment of systematic ra-

sion or radio? I am sure that you have

cism. The entire system that has been cre-

heard negative descriptions or insinua-

ated within small town America and its

tions multiple times. Here's the catch: you

effects on its unlucky citizens is kept silent

can always tell when the suspect is a mem-

from the rest of the world. How? Let's take

ber of the majority, because his or her eth-

a look. If many of the media sources in

nicity is never mentioned. These little omis-

small town America are a part of the sys-

sions are by design. They help to keep sys-

tem, it is unlikely they are going to report

tematic racism in place. Once the pieces

any wrongdoings of that system. No, they

are all put together, then the machine of

are going to make sure that they cover up

conditioning. I think of social conditioning as a prison for the mind. People who have been taught to think a certain way will only think that way. Systematic racism thrives off of this concept. As long as certain people are made to think of themselves as inferior beings, that is how they will act and feel. This entire process plays right into the hands of the administrators of systematic racism and they use it to remain in power. The strategies remains the same. The only thing that changes are the players in this deadly game. The new players are granted special privileges or underhandedly elected into office to ensure the ongoing process of systematic racism.

Page 5 The Populace Now

Gender Roles and Identities By William Vann III, a Michigan Correspondent In this day and age, the structure of

behavior and the study of "Sexual

the family does not look like it did 60

Cells." Furthermore, when the hu-

years ago. Gender roles and identities

man anatomy is studied, secondary

can be the topic of conversation for

gender characteristics such

some who look at the status quo as a

as height, muscle tone, and skin

beacon of light that tries to rank and

tone are usually used when factor-

file others into certain pecking orders.

ing in consideration of gender roles.

These soul searchers could just want to

Social scientists may want to exam-

grade and fit themselves into a certain

ine to what extent secondary gender

order or they may play a bigger role in

characteristics play a part in a per-

the scheme of things.

son's decisions regarding gender

This issue of gender roles and identities is not a new one. Biblical text and Ancient Greek scrolls speak of

roles and how they should be identified.

theme alone may serve as a pillar for

Last but not least, social scientists

the phenomena and how it was per-

must study the spiritual and mental

ceived. Right or wrong, good or bad,

health of an individual who claims to be

law-makers and other top officials are

in a crisis when it comes to gender roles

hit with court cases that may compro-

and identity. Childhood experiences and

mise how we interpret gender, mar-

exposure, and even abuse of any kind

riage and the raising of children. With

may contribute to the crisis for any hu-

all the controversy of "Nature vs. Nur-

man being.

ture," social scientists must study the

in all romantic or intimate relationships,

evolution of "A-Sexual Cell Behavior"

there seems to be a dominant person

before they even began to study human

and a passive person. This emerging

It may be safe to say that

social scientists to help families that are traditional and those that are nontraditional, navigate in this changing world we live in. In essence, social scientists must continue to understand more about human behavior. After all, we have only been studying and recording human behavior for roughly 6011 years.

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The Populace Now

Page 6

Discord within American Political Parties By Buffy Griffin, A North Carolina Correspondent

Political parties originated for the Unite States back in the 19th century and the term party is now applied to all organized groups seeking to gain political power. It's been an ongoing struggle of which party will gain the most power ever since, not that there wasn't any struggles for power before's just more structure/organized now compared to back then. With all the ongoing problems in Amer-

political power/backing for feature elecparticular political party? Persons within each party seem to see an opportunity to create a resolution with his/her own idea of how “a plan� should

tions in his/her favor (power vs. progress), which makes us wonder who's best interest is really at hand. Decision making isn't always a simple

ica, such as lack of healthcare and lack

be carried out, which in my opinion,

task, but when you have a room filled

of jobs leading to a weakening economy,

brings much discord and unwillingness

with intelligent individuals, all suppos-

more homelessness, etc, why have we

to compromise. So we have discord

edly wanting what's best for the body as

not seen any significant improvement in

within each party and discord between

a whole, it should not create such a

such a long time? What is taking our

each party all of which causes delays for

lengthy brain freeze. Our world is con-

leaders years, decades and in some in-

resolutions of any kind. And, the more

stantly and no party should be afraid to

stances centuries to find a resolution

Democrats and Republicans play tug-of-

try something new. Each party should put

that best works for us as a whole rather

war with one another, each boasting that

aside petty differences and accept that

than for a few select?

their idea is better suited for the con-

the best idea isn't going to come from

stituents, the longer it takes to resolve

the same party all the time. It's not a

urgent matter(s) at hand.

competition when we can all benefit. Our

Everyone seems to agree that some level of change is needed, but no one seems able to agree on what the best

In addition, we have long waits resolv-

leaders should also realize that just be-

route is to take. It's also agreed that it's

ing any one problem could be that nei-

cause it worked back then doesn't mean

impossible to please everyone; But, how

ther side wants to be held responsible

it will now, (in fact, some things hasn't for

hard can it be to find common ground

for a failed plan of action regarding the

quite some time). In fact, several things

beneficial to the people as a whole (free

peoples best interests. Others, may be

are broken and in dire need of fixing.

from bias) rather than what's best for a

more interested in pleasing those with

Even In African the “N” Word has Impact (Continued from page 2) mindset has spread like a cancer and infected our source, our brothers, our sisters, our Mother Land. I have traveled all over the world

when others said “hey nigga what‟s up”

The bottom line is this I rode over

allowed others to see it and ultimately

12,000 miles on two continents

that when I purchase CDs, DVDs, T-shirts

through 15 states and 13 countries and

and other stuff, I enriched it. I now see

broke two bikes in the process, to get to

the error in my ways and I am so sorry

a store in AFRICA called niggers. I am

black men and women.

willing to step up and admit my part in

and have never seen a store by the name of “Jew Devils”, “spic bastards”, “muff divin‟ dykes” or anything like that-—only the store niggers! I am to blame for this. Every time I said the word I condoned it, by not correcting others or rationalizing it gave it respectability, by looking the other way

The flame that we called entertainment, that was only to warm and entertain us, now engulfs us and scorches our own self-esteem. If a child only knows to refer to men and women as niggers, bitches, pimps and hoes, then what is he/she to grow up thinking of themselves and others as he/she gets older?

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the havoc that we have wrought on our mindset, but I think that we all are to blame.

The Populace Now Volume 3 Issue 39  

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