// you're reading...

Humor

White, Black American groups ‘swap’ summer interns

See the original article here.

CHICAGO, IL — When Tyrone ’2-Tall’ Griffith walked into the National Committee for Social Elevation (NSCE) Chicago office on the first day of his summer internship in June, the 34-year-old black man from Chicago’s crime-ridden Englewood neighborhood was startled by what he saw.

“I never saw so many Whole Foods bags in my life,” he says. “Everywhere you look, there’s a grocery store selling fresh fruits. As a black man, I thought to myself, ‘This is not good news. How am I going to work here for the next six weeks?’”

After stepping back into his building to catch his breath, Tyrone decided to return to his desk.

“When I came back, I met NSCE spokesperson Juliette Walters and she took me out to lunch. Immediately, I was impressed by her level of knowledge about the ‘hood and the way she made me feel extremely welcome.”

Nearly a month later, Tyrone describes his internship with NSCE as “the best experience of his life.”

“I never had the chance to get to know white people and their well-intentioned communities from the inside,” he says. “By sharing

Tyrone in a position of traditional Black prayer

an office with them, I’ve been struck by how they’re always trying to do good things for the new generation in rough inner-city neighborhoods by telling us we have the power to become whatever we want.”

One of the biggest changes to Tyrone’s daily routine, he says, is his “addiction” to websites like The New Yorker and other publications that use the Oxford Comma.

Another change is the addition of someone he calls “a new and understanding friend,” James Carson, a 21-year-old white intern with The Black Civil Rights Group (BCRG), a pro-black organization that advocates for 50% less gentrification.

James and Tyrone are among 10 promising people — five whites and five blacks — brought to Chicago this summer by a group called Building A Really New America which, according to its mission statement, “introduces a radically different approach to bridging socioeconomic gaps, one that does not actually solve institutionalized inequality.”

Instead, the group offers what it calls an “in-your-face program” that wants participants to focus on meeting and actually not being afraid of people from other backgrounds, rather than “being endlessly cautious about a certain group of people for fear that they might remind us of certain historical grievances and demand, well, you know.”

James says he doesn’t pretend he’ll be able to solve the socioeconomic disparity between whites and blacks, but believes person-to-person programs like this are the only way to hide the problem under a rug.

“Smarter, wiser, and more accomplished people than Tyrone and I have tried to settle the problem and failed,” he says. “Politicians cannot do what Tyrone and I have done — establish a close friendship that introduces him to gluten-free foods, for example.

James is a third-year student from Chicagoland’s affluent Lake Forest suburb majoring in History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Science and Medicine and minoring in Human Rights at the University of Chicago. Before that, he spent two and a half years as a volunteer neighborhood patrolman. Tyrone says it would have been nearly impossible for their friendship to have taken hold in the southwest side of Chicago.

“Before I came to the program, if you told me a volunteer patrolman would be working closely with me, I would’ve been like, ‘Hell naw man! How am I going to deal with him?”

“As a black man, I only saw white guys in fancy dress shirts driving their cop cars all over. I wondered, ‘What if he patrolled in Englewood? What if he was the one who punched me in the chest after handcuffing me for looking suspicious? What if he shot one of my other suspicious-looking friends?”

“But when I started talking to James and getting to know him, he started telling me about his life and what socially-elevated life is like. At that point, I started seeing a different angle about white people and the cops. I saw that he was a hero and helped save a lot of people. He probably saved some black people.” [Editor's note: He most certainly definitely did, no doubt about it.]

For James, working with blacks at BCRG was less jarring, he says, because of his cultured lifestyle.

James, in a position of traditional White privilege

“My family lived just north of the South Side. We had a black friend or two, so the food, clothes, and culture feels very familiar to me,” he says.

On a typical day, Tyrone and James do what most Chicago interns do — compile portfolios, attend meetings, and help keep the copy machines running. But the two have a more ambitious goal than most summer interns. They are working on a joint social media project, perhaps a shared Twitter account at first, where whites and blacks can tweet at each other “through a safe medium without the risk of gun- or drug-related violence.”

Having just earned a degree in Computer Science from Robert Morris University in the Loop, Tyrone plans to remain in Englewood and grow his project with James into something bigger and, eventually, more hip. His dream is to launch a website or app where joint white-black innovations can be ‘crowd-applauded.’

Although they’ve grown close over the past month and pledge to stay in close touch, neither James nor ’2-Tall’ want to be residents of the same neighborhood. They are firm believers in a small and healthy dose of urban gentrification and socioeconomic disparity.

“I’m a black man,” says Tyrone. “I want to live among my people in an environment that honors my history and culture. And James’s grandfather who once lived just north of the South Side had a dream that his children would live in an all-white neighborhood. There is no reason these two dreams should be incompatible.”

See the original article here.

Author’s note: Condescension can indeed be just as vile as traditional forms of racism or discrimination.

Sami Kishawi blogs at Sixteen Minutes to Palestine.

Did you like this? Share it:

Discussion

99 Responses to “White, Black American groups ‘swap’ summer interns”

  1. You can post on the versatility for the blog. You might discuss it's rare. Your blog specifics/benefits will increase your endorsers. Axia Login

    Posted by Axia Login | August 3, 2013, 7:50 am
  2. This is a great post, it was very informative. I look forward in reading more of your work. Also, I made sure to bookmark your website so I can come back later. I enjoyed every moment of reading it. Need micro workers

    Posted by Need micro workers | August 4, 2013, 4:04 pm
  3. Very nice post even i would say that whole blog is awesome. I keep learning new things every day from post like these. Good stuff! Pogo Login

    Posted by Pogo Login | August 4, 2013, 4:48 pm
  4. Hello to all I can not realize how you can add your internet site in my rss reader. Help me, please..
    Metlife Dental Login

    Posted by Metlife Dental Login | August 5, 2013, 2:46 pm
  5. A standard penetration test is a way for scientists to get an idea of how resistant the soil in a certain area is to the invasion of water. The tests conducted on the sample are usually unaffected by the disturbance of the soil. Access to the APU Login

    Posted by Access to the AP | August 6, 2013, 5:40 am
  6. I am going to share this information with some of my selected friends, as you are providing a very nice information to everyone, this is a great place with tons of information all together. Ally Auto account information

    Posted by Ally Auto account in | August 7, 2013, 4:51 pm
  7. Very good informative post that you have shared and thankful your work for sharing the information pdf version now available

    Posted by pdf version now avai | August 7, 2013, 6:45 pm
  8. Quality articles is the important to attract the people to pay a visit the website, that�s what this web site is providing.
    Acces to the ATT Mail Login page

    Posted by ATT Mail Login page | August 8, 2013, 1:31 pm
  9. Thank you for sharing superb informations. Your website is very cool. I'm impressed by the details that you have on this web site. It reveals how nicely you understand this subject. Bookmarked this web page, will come back for more articles. You, my pal, ROCK! I found just the info I already searched everywhere and just couldn't come across. What a great web-site.
    http://www.rebelmouse.com

    Posted by www.rebelmouse.com | August 9, 2013, 9:34 am
  10. It’s hard to find knowledgeable people about this topic, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

    Posted by NattyShirts | August 15, 2013, 4:03 am
  11. Excellent understand personally, This is just what We needed. Cheers regarding expressing this excellent write-up! That's very intriguing Smile I like reading in addition to We are always trying to find beneficial information similar to this! to visit on
    project management software
    Cloud computing salesforce
    Cloud Development
    Cloud salesforce

    Posted by webseo | August 22, 2013, 8:55 am
  12. I thought this article was very informative. Very resourceful. Has anyone tried out the Galaxy Note 3 <a/>

    Posted by @Mobileteksters | September 4, 2013, 4:35 pm
  13. I only saw white guys in fancy dress shirts driving their cop cars all over.

    Posted by Long Chiffon Dresses | September 12, 2013, 2:44 am
  14. Always Real estate houses is evergreen houses and nice design real estate good topic discussion

    new ranch homes in wake forest nc

    Posted by stevengiles | September 28, 2013, 7:20 am
  15. We're hoping to dedicate as much time as we possibly can towards the completion of stable versions of geospatial tools for Drupal. We have a few sponsors helping us out already, but need some more help to fully realize our goals.

    Posted by máy tập cơ bụng | October 9, 2013, 5:16 am
  16. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.

    Posted by máy tập cơ bụng | October 13, 2013, 11:06 pm
  17. Great post! I really appreciate that you have made the post available , and the rest of this site is also in a high quality.

    Posted by canon 70d review | October 22, 2013, 8:39 am
  18. Thank you for your information. I love to read it much. Real estate course course

    Posted by Thanh cong | October 25, 2013, 4:40 am
  19. Thank you for your helps.. Youtube repeat loop youtube

    Posted by Fstyle.sg | October 25, 2013, 4:45 am
  20. Good works. I read carefully your post and find out it's wonderful. Motorola monitor

    Posted by Baby monitor | October 25, 2013, 5:08 am
  21. Nice. You've worked hard to help others. Jobs for 15 year olds here

    Posted by teens | October 25, 2013, 5:18 am
  22. In truth breathtaking job with the blog. I do approximating your stiff exertion and will hang around for more post from you as post gave me delight and gives some helps to do same work right here. Thanks a lot…………………………

    Posted by dissertation writing | November 4, 2013, 3:15 am
  23. Awesome stuff.Thanks for sharing.I would like to bookmark this page. Real estate course property agent course Singapore

    Posted by Summer Monitor | November 5, 2013, 4:04 am
  24. Good works. I read carefully your post and find out it's wonderful. Real estate course Real estate Course Colintan

    Posted by loop youtube | November 5, 2013, 4:38 am
  25. Great article. I love to read it. Jobs for 16 year olds Click

    Posted by 15 jobs | November 5, 2013, 4:42 am
  26. Thank you for your information. I love to read it much. Fashion magazine <a href="http://fstyle.sg” target=”_blank”>http://fstyle.sg

    Posted by Website designer | November 5, 2013, 4:54 am
  27. Really rich content and very useful information. I found my problem’s solution starting over here. I exceedingly advocate his/her machinery by means of the valuable enlightening information. Thanks a lot………..

    Posted by ssl vpn | November 17, 2013, 3:09 pm
  28. I liked this blog. Please share your ideas about ideal fitness equipments. I need a equipment for my sister as soon as possible.

    Posted by blasting company | November 30, 2013, 2:18 am
  29. I have found this article very exciting. Do you have any others on this topic? I am also sending it to my friend to enjoy your writing style. Thanks for sharing.

    Posted by security tool | December 2, 2013, 1:33 pm
  30. I just can’t stop reading this. Its so fresh, so filled with updates that I just didn’t know. I am delighted to see that people are in fact writing about this subject in such a elegant way, presenting us all diverse parts to it. You’re a fine blogger. Please carry on with it. I can’t wait to read what’s after that homehealthcarehealthcaresystem.co.uk

    Posted by wellcome | December 7, 2013, 7:44 am
  31. I am find information on this topic as I am working on a business project. I am find information on this topic as I am working on a business project. Thank you posting relative information and its now becoming easier to complete this project.

    Posted by jual sprei | December 11, 2013, 12:17 am
  32. We offer taxi service from London Gatwick airport to Heathrow Airport, London, all over uk. We offer cheap minicab service and airport transfers from London Gatwick Airport.

    Posted by London Gatwick | December 13, 2013, 5:28 pm
  33. Thanks for posting this informative article which I have been searching on some days. This is a good read for me.

    Posted by spräcka berg | January 30, 2014, 2:10 am
  34. According to experts, the battle against acne can be won by 25% through proper diet.

    Posted by mylink | February 16, 2014, 3:07 pm
  35. Very nice post even i would say that whole blog is awesome.

    Posted by αλόη βέρα | March 13, 2014, 6:20 pm
  36. This is a nice car. I liked it.

    Posted by Rock Splitting | March 18, 2014, 5:19 am
  37. Few things make you look more professional than a long-sleeved shirt and tie. I wonder how it would look a printed t-shirts company added a little flair to that though.

    Posted by Frank | March 24, 2014, 4:21 pm
  38. Researchers looked Dentist tips at physical activity levels, Doctor tips dietary intake and body mass index.Doctors tip Then they comparedDrugs for Health that information with kidney stone development.Doctor GuidanceAccording to the data,Cosmetic Tranning women who reported the lowest physical activity levels experienced decreased risk of kidney stones compared with inactive women. “As activity increased, the risk of incident stones continued to decline until plateauing at a decrease of approximately 31% for activity.the authors explained. There was no correlation between exercise intensity and kidney stone development. As dietary intake increased, kidney stone risk rose by as much as 42%.doctors Kidney stones were also more prevalent among subjects with a higher BMI.

    Posted by Dentist tips | April 3, 2014, 4:30 am
  39. Very interesting

    Posted by Aiport Taxi | April 5, 2014, 11:41 am
  40. I have wondered hearing about this great institution. I hope i will find more interesting posts here in near future.

    Posted by Diamond Prices Value | April 9, 2014, 1:12 am
  41. Salads are great appetizers and snacks during Healthy Food celebrations. Creating homemade salad recipes will save you time and money. Moreover, it's an opportunity for you to boast your culinary creativity.

    Posted by Healthy Food | April 17, 2014, 10:07 am

Post a comment

Connect With Us Ya Hmeer!

resume resume

Recent Posts

So, Who’s the Threat to America Again?
August 20, 2012
By Guest
Where Do We Keep Islamophobia?
August 15, 2012
By Shubnum
Lobbying Versus Advocacy
August 1, 2012
By Mehrunisa
On the destruction of Speaker’s Corner
July 17, 2012
By Abubakr
Stateless & Speechless, A Palestinian Regains Speech
July 12, 2012
By Hanitizer
White, Black American groups ‘swap’ summer interns
July 10, 2012
By Guest
The Costs of Stripping
June 25, 2012
By Mehrunisa
Be The Fundamental Pizza of a Man
June 25, 2012
By Guest
In US, They Want Fun, Fun Fun
June 23, 2012
By Sana
I Ain’t Afraid of No Regime
June 15, 2012
By Husam
ADC: Arab American Professionals’ Gateway to DC
June 12, 2012
By Hanitizer
Influence And Freedom
May 23, 2012
By Guest
Will Sacha Baron Cohen Bring His Muslim Bashing To An End?
May 22, 2012
By Hanitizer
On Chafed Oddballs, Siberian Socialites and Missed Opportunities
May 5, 2012
By Guest
A Single Roll of the Dice
April 23, 2012
By Guest