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Color blindness epidemic in NM

Around the hood many believe Bernalillo Democratic Party Chair Bill Peifer’s color-blind comments last week, while very offensive and demeaning, may actually be a clue as to why a Democratic-majority state Legislature failed to provide funding to the state’s African American Performing Art Center. It had no problem appropriating funding from the budget for both the Hispanic and the Native American culture centers. And it is not the first time in a session the Legislature has totally dismissed projects and/or items specific to the black community. The center bears the name of the House majority leader who happens to be black. Sorry, my bad, that’s right, you’re color blind.

While hanging out at A Better U, the word on the streets is that during UNM’s search for a new head men’s basketball coach not one black coach was included within the list of potential candidates. And furthermore, that no black administrators or faculty were even casually offered the opportunity to provide input within the selection process of a program manned more than 50 percent by African American students. Two questions were posed that merit mention: (1) Would this have occurred if there were more African Americans working within the UNM Athletics Department and/or men’s basketball? (2) Is UNM, which still does not have a black person sitting on its board of regents, making greater efforts to eradicate institutional racism on its campus as the school promised following hazing incidents aimed at black students two years ago? Sorry, my bad, that’s right, like the Bernalillo Democratic Party and the New Mexico State Democratic Party, you’re color blind.

Has anyone noticed that a great amount of the ART project construction emphasis is near and around the Confederate monuments in Old Town? The same monuments that Mayor Richard Berry promised the Albuquerque African American community he would remove or modify over two years ago. And while some still insist these monuments represent New Mexico’s heritage, the fact remains that this commemoration is sponsored by the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV), an organization that has been directly tied to the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacist organizations throughout its history. Yet, when completed, ART will bring all visitors and residents of the state right to a commemoration of one of this nation’s most atrocious acts against humanity: slavery of black people. Oh, I’m sorry, my bad, like Bernalillo Democratic Party, New Mexico State Democratic Party and the University of New Mexico, the Mayor’s Office and city of Albuquerque are also color blind.

With the APS 2016—2017 (school year) coming to a close over the next few weeks headlined by high school and middle school graduations, many in the African American community are interested in the plans of the APS Board (of Education) to address discriminatory disciplinary practices throughout the schools in the district prior to the beginning the next school year. Many groups, including Black Parents of New Mexico, have been urging the APS Board to look into the disproportionate number of as well as the severity of expulsions and suspensions administered to African American students.

Throughout the nation this practice is the catalyst of the prison pipeline that plagues the family and youth while deteriorating life at large for all of society.

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This past February a more progressive mindset appeared to have been elected to the board, a mindset that should embrace the belief that everyone deserves a fair shot at a decent, fulfilling and economically secure life. However, I must note that traditionally progressives do not believe race is endemic to the American experience, and furthermore, there is not one black person sitting on the school board.

Oh, I’m sorry, my bad, like the Bernalillo Democratic Party, the New Mexico State Democratic Party, the University of New Mexico, the Mayor’s Office and city of Albuquerque, and joining the list, APS, you’re all so, so, color blind.


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