One of the first revelatory things I’d learned about race was from an old episode of This American Life that addressed the practice of Redlining. My little suburban mind was blown.
Over the last 15 years, I have been consistently inconsistent about most things in my life, but one constant has been my desire for knowledge and truth. I am always learning new things and subsequently, always being humbled. My aim today is to share *some* knowledge. I know there is a lot out there that is daunting, so I thought I’d share resources I have found to be helpful:
- Let’s start at the beginning and learn about the Origin of Race in the US
- There’s a long history of racial violence in America. Here’s a breakdown: RACIAL VIOLENCE IN THE UNITED STATES SINCE 1660
- Now, check your privilege and check out this short video from Buzzfeed News about privilege and social mobility.
- Okay, now here’s a 4-minute animation that breaks down Systemic Racism
- Michael Che succinctly (and humorously) breaks down Black Lives Matter and All Lives Matter. See? Learning isn’t so bad!
- While we’re at it, let’s take a few minutes to learn about The State of American Prisons
- How do the police in the United States stack up against other industrialized nations?
- I do believe that there are police officers who enter the job with an interest in justice and investigation. I also believe some are power-hungry and destructive. Real, revolutionary reforms need to be made. That being said, the following is a guide for Fair and Effective Policing Practices.
If looking at this list so far has you feeling a little overwhelmed and thinking something like, “This shit is HEAVY” then you are, in fact, correct. It’s the heaviest and it should not be ignored.
Moving on! Let’s talk about current events…
Last night, I wanted to learn more about the history of riots:
- An ABC News affiliate put out a helpful history lesson on riots, Understanding Unrest in America, just two days ago.
- This piece in Time Magazine was helpful as well.
- “Riots are not great solutions, but riots are usually caused by real injustices. Thousands of people do not take to the streets for no good reason. That was true during the American Revolution, and it is true today. Riots are often the desperate response of people who feel they have no other recourse. We can reduce rioting by providing better access to justice for everyone.”
- This morning, I watched this moving speech by activist and rapper Killer Mike
Let’s talk behavior:
- I read this on Slate yesterday– Police Erupt in Violence Nationwide
- And I read that while Minnesota state officials have assessed that up to 80 percent of those protesting or rioting came from outside Minnesota. Governor Walz suggested that far-right white supremacists and perhaps organized drug cartels were chiefly responsible, it’s still hard to pin down.
- A friend just shared this from Buzzfeed- Black Protesters Who Want To Demonstrate Peacefully Are Calling Out White People Who Instigate Violence
Below is an extremely helpful resource guide (tap right on the photo) from the Bureau of Fearless Ideas, a wonderful Seattle institution where I had the pleasure of tutoring for three years:
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“The constant, growing, unbearable trauma of being Black in a white supremacist country lies in the fact that you cannot heal from things that keep happening.” – @ijeomaoluo This is how we stand against and resist the murder and violence committed against black people @fearlessideas: We gathered, as we do each week, to share words and feelings. We shared words like “rage” and “sadness” and disappointment for the adults in our world who were supposed to protect us and speak up against injustice. We made wishes and plans to take care of our beloveds, to check in on them, to create spaces for our Black youth, led by other young Black student-mentors, and to rise in solidarity with the myriad Black leaders in our country who are fighting for us all. Thank you Kaz, for your words. @_mistermuffins_ . . . #racismisreal #justiceforgeorgefloyd #blacklivesmatter #antiracist
When chatting with a friend this morning, she said, “We can either create change or stay the same, but this is the time. Our window is small.” I think it has been “the time” for a long time, but she’s absolutely right about our window being small. We need to start with the information, we need to as Joan Didion said, “Read, learn, work it up, go to the literature. Information is control.”