20-30m – Read this article Business Insider article from Shayanne Gal , Andy Kiersz , Michelle Mark , Ruobing Su , and Marguerite Ward curating 26 charts that explain some of the current issues and consequences that stem from racism. Visit the hyperlinked articles and their hyperlinks to gain understanding for the very real present day problems caused by anti-Black sentiment.
15-20m – Read the above Business Insider article and visit at least 2 of the hyperlinks. Or, continue the journey above.
10-15m – Learn about the catch 22-ish balancing act between Plenary Power and Self Determination in the ongoing fight for Native American rights in the US in this Minority Rights Group International article on Native Americans.
5-10m – If you only have 5-10 minutes, read about Anti-Mexican racism in this History.com article. Be sure to read to the end. You don’t want to miss learning about Sylvia Mendez. Like Ruby Bridges, she too is still alive and can be found on social media platforms.
0-5m – If time is tight, think about one person you know who does not look or identify like you do. Reflect on whether or not their life experiences are more like yours or unlike yours.
Southlake School District and Banned Books
Hearing about the Southlake school district’s plan to ban any diversity issues saddened me. Finding myself on a Texas politician’s banned book list gave me a myriad of other feelings. Both incidents made me realize that, as a country, we are not in line with our forefathers’ vision. If we pledge that our country should be one nation with “liberty and justice for all”, how can we also refuse to shine a light on the things that move us toward that “more perfect union” goal?
If I can’t talk about being born in a Negro hospital or being the first generation of post Jim Crow children in America, does that mean that those things never happened? And if I ignore that part of my history–of OUR history–does that negate the ravaging effects of those inequitable systems?
Silence and Inaction Are Not an Option
Racism is not something we have the luxury of ignoring. Talking about it does not divide us, but refusing to talk about it will continue to be the wall that keeps us from ever reaching our potential as a nation. Just like a husband and wife experience childbirth from very different vantage points, so do diverse peoples in this country have different stories to tell.
In the chapter of Finding Your Blind Spots on Bias and Cultural Expression, I talk about practicing acceptance. How can we practice acceptance if we are unwilling to hear the truths of another?
Stories matter. Acceptance matters. Liberty and justice for each of us matters. Keep doing what you can to respectfully civilly and empathetically shine a light on the truths that impact us all. Because truth–or the lack thereof–impacts us all.