State Senator Kevin Parker calls out white privilege: Caught on video

The media is reporting this as an “anger problem” on behalf of African-American, NY State Senator Kevin Parker. I see the event as an example of absolute, cozy, white privilege, which hammered on the sentiments of one black man, until he rose up to speak on behalf of a brother.

Watch the video. (A good place to start is about 18 minutes in.) What do you think? Please consider watching it more than once, and thinking about exactly when the Chairman, State Senator Carl Krueger (D-Brooklyn), should have interrupted the speaker…

Start at 18 minutes in.

Kimberly’s analysis:

Congratulations to NY State Senator Kevin Parker for being so brave, and willing to take emotional risks, that he called out racism and white privilege when he saw it.

Senator John DeFrancisco was expressing white privilege, trying to pretend that being the first person in his family to go to college is the same as being black in America. That is a fraudulent argument, and bound to pain folks who have been oppressed due to racism.

The Chair, and the rest of this hierarchal, patriarchal, status-quo committee, which exists placidly within our racist society, created the conflict by not having the good sense and good manners to shut DeFrancisco up when he started on his twisted line of reasoning, dismissing the black experience of Mark O’Luck, and suggesting that the black experience in America was equal to his own.

And, what, what do you think that the white State Senator was badgering the black State Senator about? About a blog post from February 2009, where Mark O’Luck is alleged to have blamed something on “people with connections”, which was a subtle way of saying people who are rich and privileged. State Senator DeFrancisco was trying to make sure with his badgering, aggressive, and condescending questioning, which critiqued O’Luck’s previous expression of injustice, that if DeFrancisco gave Mark O’Luck a place at the table, Mark O’Luck would never dare try to point out injustice, white privilege, or the gentlemen’s agreement again.

Oh, this is all so classic. This conflict happened because DeFrancisco was playing all the tricks of the powerful to suppress any hint of racism, and beat down anyone who might dare speak up. And while Mark O’Luck was trying to patiently swallow it and get by the nomination process, Kevin Parker couldn’t hold back the truth anymore.

I think this video is beautiful. It shows what happens in our society over and over again, when black people finally get to a place at the table, and the white people forbid them to express any bit of the pain of their story and struggle.

It is also telling about who was right and wrong, that the person in the hot seat, being goaded by John DeFrancisco, was NOT Kevin Parker, he was Mark O’Luck. And, Mr. O’Luck was smart enough, and patient enough not to buckle under DeFrancisco’s grilling. Yet, Kevin Parker had the empathy to care about the injustice being done to Mr. O’Luck, and Kevin Parker had the courage and articulation to stop the meeting from condoning DeFrancisco’s privileged and racist behavior. Many thanks to State Senator Kevin Parker — no matter what his past faults may be — for having the courage to stand in the place where he is and demand justice!

Thanks to Capital Tonight for posting the youtube.

One Response

  1. […] State Senator Kevin Parker calls out white privilege: Caught on video […]

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