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Thursday
Jan052017

The Same Rights as You and Me - Jan 5, 2017

I took the kid to see the movie Hidden Figures today. Based on true events, it's the story of Katherine Johnson and several other brilliant African-American women whose calculations for NASA in the 60's helped America win the space race. 

It was an amazing movie. I laughed, I cried, and I barely restrained myself from throwing my drink at the screen more than once. There are many rage-inducing portrayals of discrimination, as well as several more subtle touches. I had to point out to my daughter the way white people were always addressed as Mr. or Mrs. [Last Name], yet people of color were addressed by their first names, denied even that simple honorific. It's hard to watch some of the stark segregation portrayed in the film: separate restrooms, different coffee pots, separate work spaces and cafeterias. I think it would be easy to say "look how far we've come" and feel good about the progress that's occurred since the 60's. But such statements are not only naive — they're dangerous. They allow the pervasive and systemic racism infecting our country to be ignored and dismissed, and that cannot happen.

The 2016 election exposed some of the ugliness in America, but certainly not all. In many ways, the election was the equivalent of waving a flashlight over a dead body that's been lying beneath the summer sun for five days, bloating in the heat. We got a glimpse of rotting, putrid flesh, of the festering wounds and writhing maggots ... and we quickly looked away. It's too awful to bear. It makes us sick to our stomachs to think of all that decaying, cankerous flesh soiling our beautiful White House while the foul stench of vacated excrement wafts through the cabinet.

But we can't look away. Not now. Not when there's so much work to be done.

I'm going to put some links here, some resources for both education and action. It is by no means comprehensive, but we all have to start somewhere. This just happens to be where I started ...

The 13th, a documentary by Ava DuVernay that takes an in-depth look at the prison system in the United States and how it reveals the nation's history of racial inequality. Look for it on Netflix.

White Privelege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack

How to Tell the Difference Between Real Solidarity and "Ally Theater" (and why white people, however well-intentioned, need to just STFU sometimes)

So You Call Yourself an Ally: 10 Things All "Allies" Need to Know

4 Things We Should All Teach Kids About Racism Right Now

How To Easily Be a White Ally to Marginalized Communities

Explaining White Privelge to a Broke White Person

Intersectional Feminism: What the Hell Is It? (And why you should care).

Kimberlé Crenshaw's TED Talk: The Urgency of Intersectionality

Detour-Spotting for White Anti-Racists

Racial Equality Tools website (tons of great resources here)

12 Ways to be a White Ally to Black People

Black Lives Matter

The Root website

White Fragility (understanding why people turn away from racial conversations)

Syllabus for White People to Educate Themselves (this is a Google doc with tons of links to articles, resources, and books for understanding racism and how to fight it)

Weekly Call to Action Spreadsheet, with Calling Scripts, contact information for representatives and party leadership, plus lots of tips for having your voice heard.

What's Wrong With Cultural Appropriation?

Shit White Girls Say ... to Black Girls (and all of Franchesca Ramsey's videos, really)

 

I'll try to add more links as I come across good stuff, although this is probably enough reading and watching to keep anyone occupied for a while. We have to do something, people. Immediately. All you have to do is read a handful of the hateful comments people leave on Franchesca Ramsey's videos to see how shitty this country is right now. And with the incoming administration, things are bound to get worse. Evil has been emboldened by Trump's win, but if we stand up and resolve to fight, perhaps someday goodness will triumph.

We'll never be truly free until those in bondage have the same rights as you and me.

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