I just wanted to share some of what we have been doing in light of the movement against racial injustice. Please feel free to comment and add to these lists if you like. Included are a few photos I took of some of the protest art in our town. (The two pieces below are by my dear friend Alana Dill @alanapaints)
White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
White people in North America live in a social environment that protects and insulates them from race-based stress. This insulated environment of racial protection builds white expectations for racial comfort while at the same time lowering the ability to tolerate racial stress, leading to what I refer to as White Fragility. White Fragility is a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves. These moves include the outward display of emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and behaviors such as argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium.
How to be an Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi
…I didn’t realize that to say something is wrong about a racial group is to say something is inferior about that racial group. I did not realize that to say something is inferior about a racial group is to say a racist idea. I thought I was serving my people, when in fact I was serving up racist ideas about my people to my people. The Black judge seemed to be eating it up and clapping me on my back for more. I kept giving more.
13th a 2016 documentary by Ava Du Vernay (on Netflix) which examines the role of race in the justice and incarceration system in the United States. It was both fascinating and disturbing. I highly recommend you watch it if you haven’t already. It was an eye opener and history lesson. We were all struck by how much we are not taught about the truth. We are given the shell and headlines without the substance and guts of many decisions made in this country.
The Obama Foundation Town Hall Reimagining Policing in the Wake of Continued Police Violence moderated by Campaign Zero co-founder Brittany Packnett Cunningham with President Obama, Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, President of Color of Change Rashad Robinson, Minneapolis City Council Representative Phillipe Cunningham, and MBK Columbus Youth Leader Playon Patrick. This is another “highly recommend” because the discussion covers many layers of the issues from political, economic, and societal standpoints. One of the take-aways for me was the “8 Can’t Wait” reform agenda that mayors across the country are being asked to adopt. These are eight police policies that reportedly can reduce police brutality by 72%.
The Wrap Allies Unite Fixing a Broken System and Using Your Platform for Change moderated by Sharon Waxman with Emmanual Acho, Maya R. Cummings, Tika Sumpter, and Adam Platzner. This podcast came recommended by my amazing niece who works for The Wrap and was excellent in that the topics covered the influence of Hollywood, celebrities, and the media on racism. I specifically learned a lot from Emmanual Acho and Maya Cummings. Another “highly recommend.”
A group of Alameda high school students jumped into gear quickly and organized themselves in the most mature and productive way. They formed alameda.blm.protest. Of course, the social media format meant for a swift build-up of support. I don’t know who these kids are, but they are so impressive! They have already organized multiple events that have included hundreds, if not thousands of people from our little island. Peaceful, thoughtful, well organized protests that have included speakers, rallies, donation drives, and an energy that has motivated our whole town. We joined in the major event last week that involved a car caravan, with hundreds of cars crossing our island for hours with banners, horns, and unity against police brutality and racism. Thanking my children for making the signs, getting us out of the house, and recognizing the sense of urgency this movement has. It was magnificent. We were so moved to be in the midst of people of all colors and ages making a commitment to keep our community loving and safe.
Donating can often be intimidating in these times of crisis. Who, where, what? These are some of the choices our family has made.
Black Lives Matter From their website: #BlackLivesMatter was founded in 2013 in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer. Black Lives Matter Foundation, Inc is a global organization in the US, UK, and Canada, whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes. By combating and countering acts of violence, creating space for Black imagination and innovation, and centering Black joy, we are winning immediate improvements in our lives.
The Loveland Foundation From their website: The Loveland Foundation was established in 2018 by Rachel Cargle in response to her widely successful birthday wish fundraiser, Therapy for Black Women and Girls. Her enthusiastic social media community raised over $250,000, which made it possible for Black women and girls nationally to receive therapy support. Black women and girls deserve access to healing, and that healing will impact generations.
The Loveland Foundation is the official continuation of this effort to bring opportunity and healing to communities of color, and especially to Black women and girls. Through fellowships, residency programs, listening tours, and more, ultimately we hope to contribute to both the empowerment and the liberation of the communities we serve.
Campaign Zero From their website: Funds donated to Campaign Zero support the analysis of policing practices across the country, research to identify effective solutions to end police violence, technical assistance to organizers leading police accountability campaigns and the development of model legislation and advocacy to end police violence nationwide.
American Civil Liberties Union From their website: Black people are being murdered and brutalized by police with near impunity. Act with us to end police brutality, demand racial justice, and defend our right to protest. Your donation will fuel our legal battles and urgent advocacy efforts.
Reclaim the Block From their website: Reclaim the Block began in 2018 and organizes Minneapolis community and city council members to move money from the police department into other areas of the city’s budget that truly promote community health and safety. We believe health, safety and resiliency exist without police of any kind. We organize around policies that strengthen community-led safety initiatives and reduce reliance on police departments. We do not believe that increased regulation of or public engagement with the police will lead to safer communities, as community testimony and documented police conduct suggest otherwise.
I look forward to sharing a cup of decaf with you all as we learn more and continue fighting for change.