Author's Note: This Week's 5 is a weekly collection of stories designed to provide insight into how racism works and serve as an easily accessible resource for people trying to have nuanced discussions about these issues. For more explanation on how This Week's 5 works and descriptions of each of the categories, click here.
Overt: Let the mainstream narrative of racism tell it and you'd think all white supremacists are poor and uneducated. Yet, if you dig even a fingernail below the surface, you notice that many of these virulent racists have college degrees and well-paying careers. They hold positions of influence in their communities. That they spend so much time propping up "forgotten" white people as human shields speaks volumes on the classism within the white supremacist movement, but that's a discussion for another time. Read more from Vice News.
Institutional: The prison industrial complex is both very complex and very simple. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been doing a dizzying series of legal gymnastics to give his Justice Department more power to deport Brown immigrants. He is also one of the most beloved, if not THE favorite politician of the prison lobby. While it's easy to get bogged down in the details, the end result of every move he makes is obsessively consistent: more arrests, more incarceration, more deportations, and more profits for the prison industry, all on the backs of vulnerable minorities. Read more from Vox.
Critical Race Theory: White people have been weaponizing calling the police on Black people since the police became a thing. It's one of the oldest forms of white privilege, exploiting society's presumption of white innocence and Black guilt. What's different now is that we have more video evidence than ever. Every day, we can watch white privilege play out in real time, often in the most sinister ways. Yet, the fact that we have to have debates because a large swaths of people will deny and/or defend the flagrant racism in these videos is a damning commentary on white privilege in itself. Read more from The Root.
History: May 15, 1948 is known to many Palestinians as the Nakba, or "Catastrophe." It marks the beginning of an ethnic cleansing campaign that displaced over 700,000 Palestinians and destroyed more than 500 villages, all for the creation of the state of Israel. 70 years later, Palestinians live under the occupation of the Israeli military in what many consider the largest open air prison in the world. This past week, scores of Palestinians commemorated the anniversary of the Nakba by staging a peaceful protest for their right of return. 60 were killed while a couple thousand more were injured for essentially getting too close to the fence for Israeli snipers' comfort. If you're wondering about the casualty count on the other side, let's just say it rounds much closer to 0. Read more from Al Jazeera.
The Fragility Breaker: White supremacy doesn't have a political affiliation. Just because you call yourself an ally doesn't make you above reproach. If you're using your self-proclaimed status as an ally to lord power over people of color, shamelessly appropriate other cultures, or even give yourself a pass for outright racist behaviors, 1) You're just a practitioner of white supremacy by another name, 2) We see you, and 3) Do better or get out of the way because we have enough to deal with without entertaining your performance art. Read more from The Grio.