A humble list of resources and black American perspectives

Posted: June 2, 2020 in novel, toil & sound, creative writing, short fiction, writing life

[You can read Part 1 of 2 here]

Racism in America is like dust in the air. It seems invisible…until you let the sun in.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

No matter a person’s political affiliation (is there any such thing as an apolitical adult anymore?), they are likely to have one of four frames of mind about rioting:

  • they understand it and condone it as a last resort of communicating outrage;
  • they understand it but don’t condone it;
  • they try to but don’t understand it and don’t condone it;
  • they willfully remain ignorant and don’t take the time to try and understand it

The common denominator with all of these mindsets is that they belong to people who believe that rioting is not an ideal method of communication.

1000

photo credit: Ryan Michalesko/The Dallas Morning News via AP

Today (and in the coming weeks, months, and lifetimes), white Americans have yet another opportunity to choose a riotous or non-riotous future:

  • The status quo (which continues the unending cycle: invisible racism turning into visible racism, which leads to peaceful protests that often turn violent, followed by blaming and distracting from everything but the root cause; the last phase of the cycle is apathy)
  • Change:
    • Most importantly, learn what it means to be an ally. As my friend Melissa Roshan says, LISTEN! Assume only one thing: that you don’t know a goddamned thing about the daily injustices of systemic racism. Take action based on cues from people of color.
    • Support and volunteer for political candidates who increase diverse representation in government, as my friend Dan Knewitz has been doing in Minneapolis for several years.
    • Donate to organizations like Ethel’s Club so that the voices will be given to “artists, creators, and practitioners working to empower people of color… doing positive work in their communities.”
    • Donate to after-school programs or schools with missions like Comp Sci High in the Bronx, where my old friend John Campos and the team of educators have made advancements in career opportunities through educational accessibility for under-served populations.
    • No White Saviors
    • The Conscious Kid
    • Brittany Packnett
    • Austin Channing Brown
    • The Loveland Foundation
Comments
  1. Larry M. Bradshaw says:

    Well written and thoughtful. As the Peter Paul and Mary song goes, “when will they ever learn.”

    • Now is the time to learn! It’s a challenge to both you and I (liberalized former teachers) to figure out what MORE we can do to help other white folks to see a tiny fraction of the invisible racism that our black brothers and sisters experience on the daily. Let me know if you have any resources you think I should add to my list.

  2. Dani says:

    “… learn what it means to be an ally.”

    This. Yes.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s