Posted in Social Justice

Being a Better Ally

I had planned for another post to go up yesterday and decided against it. It didn’t feel right with everything happening right now. The racial injustice in our country has always been there, but now those of us who don’t experience it on a daily basis are watching it with our own eyes play out almost daily.

So instead, I’m going to put out a list of resources for white allies to help educate yourself on the best ways to support people of color and to advocate for anti-racism in America. As a teacher, educating and providing resources is my superpower. However, despite all the work I’ve personally been doing to educate myself, I will not pretend I am an expert, so I want to direct you to more knowledgable people.

It is important to remember that it is not the job of people of color to educate us and tell us what they need us to do. We need to educate ourselves and figure out the best ways to be allies and use our privilege to elevate oppressed voices and stories.

1.) Sign this petition for George Floyd here:Sign petition

2.) Here are some articles I have gathered from multiple sources to start your education:

Frances E. Kendall, How to Be an Ally if You Are a Person with Privilege

Peggy McIntosh, White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Backpack

Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Case for Reparations

 Ali Michael Org, 10 Quick Ways to Analyze Children’s Books For Racism and Sexism,

Allan Johnson, Excerpt from Privilege: Power and Difference

Margaret Biser, I used to lead tours on a plantation.  You wouldn’t believe the questions I got about slavery.

Holy shit, being an ally isn’t about me!, Voices of WOC & Allies  

Levana Saxon, Allyship and Accountability Glossary

Ryan Struyk, Blacks and whites see racism in the US very very differently

Matthew Hughey & W. Carson Byrd Born that Way: Scientific Racism is Creeping Back Into Our Thinking

NPR: Michael Martin, Fear of the Black Man, How Racial Bias Impacts Crime/Labor

Ernest Owens, 10 Messages of Wisdom We Need to Give Black Youth Right Now

Alexis Madrigal, The Racist Housing Policy that Made your Neighborhood

Goyette and Scheller, 15 Charts that Prove We’re Far From Post Racial

Julie Turkowicz, A ‘Historic Moment’ for Native Americans

Nicholas Kristof, When Whites Just Don’t Get It, Parts 1-7

Joy Sewing, Marrianne Williamson Asked White People To Apologize. She Got It Right

Tara Bahrampour, They Considered Themselves White, But DNA Tests Told a More Complicated Story

Ibram X Kendi, Who Gets to Be Afraid in America?

3.) Here are some books on race and white privilege that are recommended (Links are to Amazon but please consider purchasing local is possible):
Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race
 by Reni Eddo-Lodge

Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot by Mikki Kendall

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Olu

Trigger Warning with Killer MikeThe New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

Witnessing Whiteness: The Need to Talk About Race and How to Do It  by Shelly Tochluk

The Emperor Has No Clothes: Teaching About Race And Racism To People Who Don’t Want To Know by Tema Jon Okun

4.)There are a lot of great social justice documentaries out there. Two of my favorite dealing with race are:

The 13th- Netflix

The Innocence Files- Netflix (This one is not directly about race, but it is a huge theme throughout and eyeopening/heartbreaking in some episodes)

Again, while I have done a lot of work in this area, I am by no means an expert and would love to hear what other resources you would suggest. Leave a comment or send me a message. The reality is we all have some work to do, and this is just a small starting point.

Posted in Social Justice

Why Silence Won’t Work

Credit: Flikr: Mafal_dark

I am a teacher to beautiful, diverse children. All of which have a different story as to why they are here in the United States. Some are uplifting, some stories are heartbreaking. However, their stories do not matter to me, they are in front of me every day and I love them.

I wake up worried every day for my students, friends, and partner. The President’s recent remarks are firing up the White supremacists and bringing up racism in even some of the most well-intentioned people. This means more acts of hate will be committed and already have. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar is already receiving death threats and I feel this is just the beginning.

Recently, I had to watch “The Color of Fear” which was a documentary made in 1994. This documentary showed a group of men of varying races sitting and talking about race. While made in 1994, the conversation was still the same as it is today. Spoiler alert: The white man who claimed at the beginning not to be racist, was the most racist. Cue images of every person who has ever said the words “I don’t see color” popping into my brain. The fact that we are still having the exact same conversation in the United States is infuriating to me. It is also heartbreaking that one of the Black men states, “I know I will not see a change in my lifetime.” Sadly, he’s probably correct. And guess what? We are all complicit in the ongoing racism on some level.

Every time we don’t engage in conversation with that blatantly racist colleague, family member, or friend we are complicit. Every time we see or hear a stranger say or do something that is clearly racially driven and we don’t do anything, we are complicit. Every time we do not acknowledge our own privilege, we are complicit. Every time we don’t self-reflect on our own biases and behaviors we are complicit.

This isn’t just about race either, it’s all of the marginalized communities. We all have a role in healing this country and advocating for the people who do not have a voice and advocating for those who are tired of trying to reeducate White people. It’s no one’s job but those in the privileged group in our country to use their voice and reeducate friends, family, and colleagues. I don’t mean arguing with every person on the internet, that is fruitless. I mean having real conversations with people and calling out racism and microaggressions when you see them. Also, taking the time to reflect on your own biases, misinformation, and microaggressions. We ALL have something to work on.

Silence is no longer an option. Standing on the sidelines and hoping it fixes itself is no longer an option. It never has been an option, but more than ever for the safety and sanity for our country it is important.

**Sidenote: I’ve started using “United States” to refer to our country. America (North and South) is the continent, which means everyone on this continent is American… not just the people who proudly scream about being an “American” and that everyone should go back to where they came from.