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    Guilty Verdicts Bring Relief in Police Killing of George Floyd

    I can understand how being told to be less white hits you in your identity, because I was told be less Black.

    Internationally recognized cross-cultural trainer Kathleen Dameron.

    “The past weeks have been very traumatizing for African-Americans because it’s Derek Chauvin, who is supposed to be on trial, and yet they were talking about the victim’s life,” said International Diversity Expert Kathleen Dameron.  

    (San Bernardino, Calif.) Black Americans celebrated this week’s three guilty verdicts in the Derek Chauvin murder trial, hopeful that Minnesota jury’s votes to convict the former policeman for killing George Floyd signal a new era in American justice.

    In previous cases of Black people killed by police, it was rare for an officer to be charged with any crime, let alone convicted of murder. And in most cases, the Black victims were scapegoated as though they were to blame for their own murders, explained International Diversity Expert Kathleen Dameron, a Black American.

    “As soon as the jury convicted Chauvin of murder, there was an enormous sigh of relief in the African-American community,” she said.

    “The trial has been hard to watch.  It was very traumatizing for African-Americans because it’s Derek Chauvin, who was supposed to be on trial, and yet they were talking about the victim’s life,” said Dameron, a corporate diversity trainer withoffices in San Bernardino and Paris.

    “Why did they have to talk about George Floyd’s life?  Why did they have to talk about his health?  He was not the perpetrator, and yet the defense argument was that he was inherently not worthy of living because he may have done this,or he may have done that.”

    Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer, was convicted of second-degree unintentional felony murder, third degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter for pinning Floyd’s neck to the ground for 9½ minutes while Floyd pleaded, “I can’t breathe.”

    Floyd’s death was filmed by horrified bystanders, who repeatedly told police that Floyd was no longer moving and pleaded with them to check his pulse and resuscitate him, according to court documents.

    Video of the incident led outraged viewers to rally against racism and police brutality throughout the United States and Europe.

    Dameron said the way police violently responded to protests following Floyd’s death, and the convoluted jury-selection process made people question the U.S legal system and America’s commitment to justice.

    “And the image of George Floyd being crushed by someone with a smirk on his face, that was seen literally around the world,” she noted.

    Acquittals would have further traumatized Black people, said Dameron, who has more than 30 years’ experience training American, European and Asian executives worldwide.

    “If the jury had acquitted the cop, it would have been absolutely devastating for what’s left of the legal system in the United States, because we have so much footage of George Floyd coming out of the convenience store, standing handcuffed, not resisting. We have pictures and videos of what happened from the front, from the side, from the back. You have so many people trying to point out that the man’s life is in danger and he’s not dangerous.”

    “He’s on the ground, handcuffed with two policemen on his body. Where is the danger?  Where is the need to kill him?”

    Before the verdicts, there was a “high level of anxiousness in the Black community around a possible acquittal despite world-wide witnessing and condemnation of the murder,” Dameron explained.

    “That’s because of the U.S. track record of acquitting police despite live video footage since the Rodney King beating,” she said.

    Many Americans and citizens of many countries, as well as Black people who protested against police killing Black people with impunity, are both surprised and pleased at the verdicts.

    “George Floyd’s life cannot be restored, but at least the cop who killed him is being held responsible this time. Let’s hope the guilty verdicts are just the beginning of justice for Black people in America, and not a unique occurrence” she said.

     

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    Reparations Finally Comes to America

    The Dameron family 1965 in E. St. Louis, IL. Barbara, Carl T., Crystal (baby), Denise, Carl and Kathleen. “We we integrators,” said Katheleen Dameron.

    “When you look at the history of redlining, the history of denying Black people and Native Americans the right to housing, this is a significant step in saying, ‘Yes, we did do wrong,’ and when you do someone wrong, you apologize and you make amends,” Dameron said. “That is the beginning of the healing process.” 

    (Paris, France). A Chicago suburb recently became the first city in the United States to agree to pay Black residents reparations for slavery and past discriminatory policies and practices.

    That decision shows that some communities are beginning to recognize and acknowledge the harm caused by America’s systemic racism, an expert on race relations said.

    “It’s a historic decision to do this, and we’re hoping that this is the beginning of people being able to open their minds, open their eyes to what’s happened in the past and the consequences today,” said Kathleen Dameron, an internationally recognized cross-cultural trainer.

    The City Council of Evanston, Illinois, recently voted to distribute $400,000 in housing assistance and mortgage relief to eligible Black households. The city will provide $25,000 for down payments on houses or property, home repairs, and interest or late penalties on property in Evanston.

    To qualify, residents must either have lived in the city between 1919 and 1969 or be a direct descendant of a black Evanston resident from that time. Those who experienced housing discrimination in Evanston after 1969 are also eligible.

    The $400,000 comes from a $10 million reparations fund created in 2019 using tax money from the city’s recreational marijuana program.

    “When you look at the history of redlining, the history of denying Black people and Native Americans the right to housing, this is a significant step in saying, ‘Yes, we did do wrong,’ and when you do someone wrong, you apologize and you make amends,” Dameron said. “That is the beginning of the healing process.”

    Even though $25,000 is not enough to pay for a house, paying reparations is still important for the city, said Dameron, a Black American now living in Paris.

    “It’s not reparations in the sense of, ‘We denied you a house, so we’re going to give you a house now,’ but it is acknowledgement of the damage done, of the impact on the generations of that damage,” Dameron said. “It recognizes and it acknowledges that we did harm consciously, in policy, in law and in practice and we’re seeking to recognize it and to make amends.”

    Dozens of other U.S. cities are also considering reparations. On March 29, Providence, Rhode Island, released a 194-page report on racism, another step in the city’s efforts to pay reparations to Black and Native American residents.

    Dameron said that getting national reparations or getting some areas to agree to reparations is still a difficult process.

    “One of the problems we have is that there are some people in the United States – and this happens consistently across the United States – they would rather close the swimming pool and have no swimming pool in the community than to have Blacks have access to the swimming pool, so as desegregation started throughout the South, public swimming pools disappeared, public parks disappeared,” she said.

    “Some people thought, “I’d rather have nothing than have Back people share in this,” she said.

    “That mentality makes it extraordinarily difficult to say, ‘We did you wrong. As human beings, we did not give you a fair environment. We persecuted you. We banned you. We burned your houses down and we killed people.’ ”

    So even though Evanston is making amends and recognizing and acknowledging that they caused harm, “that acknowledgement is still difficult for many Americans to make,” Dameron noted.

    Dameron is currently leading a series of seminars on “Healing the Collective Trauma of Racism.” In her sessions, she helps participants recognize the difference between interpersonal and institutional racism.

    Participants  build a feeling of community and energy to create social justice.

    To introduce people to her sessions, she is offering a free, self-paced, one-hour course. You can learn more by going to www.KathleenDameron.com

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    Should America “be less white” Is Coca-Cola’s Training Right?

    I can understand how being told to be less white hits you in your identity, because I was told be less Black.

    “I understand people’s anger at being told to be less white,” said internationally recognized cross-cultural trainer Kathleen Dameron. “Be less white. What are the qualities?

    “I have a lot of empathy for people being told to be less white,” she said. “I know it hurts. As a Black child and as a grown-up, I have been told to be less Black, straighten your hair, dress to look like a nice corporate person. I can understand how being told to be less white hits you in your identity, because I was told be less Black.”

     

    (Paris, France)   Americans should not get upset over reports saying Coca-Cola was asking its employees to “be less white” as part of its mandatory diversity training.

    “I understand people’s anger at being told to be less white,” said internationally recognized cross-cultural trainer Kathleen Dameron. “Be less white. What are the qualities?

    “Be less oppressive. Where’s the problem? Listen more. What’s the problem? Be less defensive. where’s the problem?” she asked. “But people get upset the minute they hear, ‘Be less white,’ because it hits them in their identity. It hurts and they reject it.”

    Dameron said it might be more effective to say, “We’re asking you to create a JEDI society, to create Justice, Equality, Dignity and Inclusion.”

    The training course at the center of the Coca-Cola backlash was titled “Confronting Racism.” It advised whites to listen more and be less oppressive, less arrogant, less certain, less defensive and less ignorant,” according to the New York Post.

    Coca-Cola denies that it was part of their required training.

    “That’s not the point,” said Dameron, who has more than 30 years’ experience training American, European and Asian executives worldwide but is not involved in the disputed training.

    “Coca-Cola should have said, ‘We are committed to a fair, equal workplace environment,’” she explained. “It’s not corporate training that makes workplaces fair. It’s offering equal pay and equal opportunities for hiring and advancement regardless of race or gender. That’s how you change.”

    Dameron understands why the issue triggered some people’s emotions.

    The Dameron family 1965 in E. St. Louis, IL. Barbara, Carl T., Crystal (baby), Denise, Carl and Kathleen. “We we integrators”

    “I have a lot of empathy for people being told to be less white,” she said. “I know it hurts. As a Black child and as a grown-up, I have been told to be less Black, straighten your hair, dress to look like a nice corporate person. I can understand how being told to be less white hits you in your identity, because I was told be less Black.”

    Dameron is currently leading a series of seminars on “Healing the Collective Trauma of Racism.” In her sessions, she helps participants recognize the difference between interpersonal and institutional racism and build a feeling of community and energy.

    To introduce people to her sessions, she is offering a free, self-paced, one-hour course. You can learn more by going to www.KathleenDameron.com

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