The answer isn’t looting, no. The answer isn’t rioting, no. But the answer also isn’t preaching to black people about “black-on-black” crime without full acknowledgment that most crime is intraracial. The answer is not having a higher standard for the people than for the police. The answer is not demanding that black people get mad about and solve the problem of crime in Chicago before we get mad about the slaughter of a teen boy just outside St. Louis.

We can be, and have been, and are mad about both. Violence is the effect, not the cause of the concentrated poverty that locks that many poor people up together with no conceivable way out and no productive way to channel their rage at having an existence that is adjacent to the American dream. This kind of social mendacity about the way that racism traumatizes black people individually and collectively is a festering sore, an undiagnosed cancer, a raging infection threatening to overtake every organ in our body politic.

— Britney Cooper- “In Defense of Black Rage” (x)

(Source: miltonsong)

Poverty and racism, etc. are not poorly designed systems. They are systems working exactly as they were designed. In order for rich people to continue to amass wealth, poverty has to exist. In order for white people to have racial privilege in the US, slavery had to happen, genocide of indigenous people had to happen, and the exploitation of all people of color had to happen (and has to continue).

Poverty and racism exist to serve those in power, and ultimately, as long as we are taking our cues (and capital) for from those in power, we aren’t changing a thing. For example: if your vision is to create a social venture that provides a product to ‘the bottom billion’ and not to, say, eradicate slavery, wage slavery, and other worker exploitation that keeps the bottom billion at the bottom, then ultimately you’re not designing to resist poverty. You’re designing very well-thought-out bandaids.

— Janani Balasubramanian, "It’s Not You, It’s The System: Design and Technology for Social Good" (via ethiopienne)