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Things White People Can Do To Promote Racial Justice

missy

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"
Dr. Stroman said, "This is no time in particular for white people to feel shame, blame or guilt. Anger is real. But we can't move forward, we can't collaborate if we're stuck in that mindset."






Stroman teaches the acronym ACT: Acknowledge the injustice; Community organize; and Take heed of the past.

"We can't move forward until we understand what happened in the past. And that's why we are where we are today," Stroman said.
She suggested the books, "White Fragility"; "White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack" and "The Color of Law" as a primer on how inequity in America became systemic.

But, she also warned to be careful with the language we use, like white friends calling their closest black friends to ask if they're okay in this moment.



"Don't ask that question," Stroman said. "Because no, we're not okay. Ask if we're safe. Just do a check-in. But don't ask the question, 'are you ok?' because it gets us right back into that space of trying to explain what's going on and what are feelings are."

And with emotions running high in daily protests in central North Carolina and beyond, ABC11 photojournalist Dearon Smith eased from behind the camera with a question about his own tense confrontation with a black protester this week.

"He basically looked at us and said we don't understand," Smith explained, unsure of what to say back.

"So there's grief right now and a lot of pain and anger," Stroman said. "So as opposed to going toe to toe with this person who is very emotional, you can look at him in the eye and say, you're exactly right. I don't understand. I have not lived in your shoes. I have no idea what you're going through. But I'm here to learn.""
 

Rhea

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I keep seeing stories and little squares on instagram calling to sign petitions to defund the police and I want to ask about this. I don't wish to be attacked, I'm trying to understand.

I dated a policeman years ago. The area in which I lived at the time didn't pay them very well ($22-$23k about 15 years ago if I remember correctly), training was quick (6 weeks), and the police were expected to put their lives on the line. I don't know if this is still the case, looking it up very quickly $38,000 USD yearly salary seems going rate for the first couple of years on the job. That seems very low, but I don't know if my google search was accurate or current.

How does defunding police help? I always thought higher salaries to attract people and providing more training equalled better employees. Paying people enough that they are invested and committed to their jobs without having to worry about how to pay their rent seems smart. Defunding the police seems counter-productive and counter-intuitive.

Are these square saying what I think they are? And how would that actually work in making the police better at their jobs and accomplishing goals of acknowledging and correcting racial bias?
 

LLJsmom

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This is an interesting read. Some things I agree with and some I don’t, but I found it informative and helped me understand a little bit better an experience I do not live through. I appreciate the depth and honesty of the author.
689CBAF0-D5CB-43A8-A43C-EA0417E8BD05.jpeg
 

JPie

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Slight thread hijack, but here’s one for Asian PSers.

http://instagr.am/p/CA_qv_NApRS/
There’s no denying that Asian culture is racist. My parents are definitely prejudiced against black people, and my aunt is the most racist person I know in real life. She says things as hateful as any white supremacist, except it’s coming from the mouth of a little old Chinese lady. I have work to do on my family and myself.
 

missy

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missy

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JPie

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I think it's important for everyone to know about the history of policing in America.

From Eastern Kentucky University:

TL;DR Version
  • Modern policing in the South was born from the Slave Patrol. Slave patrols had three primary functions: (1) to chase down, apprehend, and return to their owners, runaway slaves; (2) to provide a form of organized terror to deter slave revolts; and, (3) to maintain a form of discipline for slave-workers who were subject to summary justice, outside of the law, if they violated any plantation rules.
  • Following the Civil War, these vigilante-style organizations evolved in modern Southern police departments primarily as a means of controlling freed slaves who were now laborers working in an agricultural caste system, and enforcing “Jim Crow” segregation laws, designed to deny freed slaves equal rights and access to the political system.
  • In the North, policing was born from industry elites oppressing laborers and protecting their enterprises while making the state pay for it under the guise of "the collective good."
 

Calliecake

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I came across the following meme this morning.

It was a picture of a young black teen looking downward and sad, holding a sign that said:

Dear White People, Please quit using Dr. King as an example of a peaceful protest.... you shot him too.
 

Jambalaya

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I read this whole thread last night, including the linked articles. Finally went to bed at 4.30 am! Very interesting material in the links. Thank you, all.

Police brutality and the killing of George Floyd aren't a surprise to me. I wish they were. But how entitled and privileged do you have to be/feel, to think that you'll get away with it scot-free even though you're being filmed killing a Black person???

And that woman in Central Park...there are no words. Just no words.
 

Jambalaya

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My own thought is that we will never achieve racial equality until society is completely integrated. That is, Black/brown/biracial/white all together in the same neighborhoods, schools, and communities. My own town is horribly divided - predominantly Black areas, white areas, Latinx areas...awful. Until children grow up together from their earliest days playing/working with people of all races, I feel that white people - as the current majority - will always "other" POC.

I can't help reflecting that of all the white people I know who loudly denounce racism, I don't know any who date or marry Black people or live in areas with many Black residents.

The Tulsa massacre...wow. Count me as another person who hadn't heard about it.
 

Jambalaya

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Missy, I love that speech you just posted. He is so right! There can only be conciliation, not re-conciliation.
 

Jambalaya

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What actions will you take today to fight racism?

I believe it's really important to learn, read, and listen as much as possible. I'm going to order the book whose cover was posted here, "How to be Less Stupid About Race," and I'm going to buy and read a book by a Black author who I hadn't previously heard of. (There was a list in one of the links.)

I say "a" book and not "lots of books" only to break down my learn, listen, and read mantra into manageable chunks. It's much less intimidating to say "I will read one book" than "I will familiarize myself with the entire canon of contemporary African-American literature"!
 
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Jambalaya

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Maybe we could start a book thread dedicated solely to contemporary authors of color? I suggest Black authors, since this is the most pressing issue right now. I suggest authors from a list in one of the links, and not super-well-known authors like Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou, Alice Walker, or Zora Neale Hurston.

Maybe we could agree on one book, and all read it and discuss?

I'll try to find the list that I'm envisioning from one of the links in this thread that I saw last night.
 

TooPatient

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Again, busy with school so forgive me if I am slow to respond or miss a comment.

One thing DH and I did to educate my stepdaughter on this topic was to really educate her. We used documentaries including various travel things (with plans to go see in person) showing the statues and monuments that are now coming down in many areas. They were great conversations on slavery, reconstruction, segregation, etc. It also allowed for discussion about how even if something is "common practice" or "acceptable" it is not necessarily right and how individuals were able to work together to make changes despite the people who were so well respected they had statues made. We taught the good things individuals did and the bad -- making sure that the we talked about how good did not make up for the bad.

Remembering history is such a powerful thing. Our country actually did those things. People here tolerated or participated in them. How did that happen? Why? How did people make a change? So many good topics to teach!


Another thing that comes to mind is serious conversations anytime she repeated jokes from school about how that is not funny. Her friend who is X, Y, or Z said it? Fine. They are whatever the culture was in the joke and can say that if it is comfortable for them. Her repeating it is wrong. How would she like if other people made a joke about her culture? There were a couple of school assignments we also excused her from as they made jokes of parts of different culture/religions. Not ours, but accepting such an assignment is not okay to us.

Teaching our kids is so important!
 

Jambalaya

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Found it: It was posted above.

"Start by reading or listening to Black authors like Audre Lorde, Ijeoma Oluo, bell hooks, and Ta-Nehisi Coates."

I hadn't heard of any of these authors.

I'm gonna fix that.

ETA: Realized I had, in fact, heard of some of their works, such as "So you wat to talk about race?" (Oluo.) And on reflection, I had heard of bell hooks and Ain't I A Woman?

I would like to read fiction by contemporary Black authors. Seems like The Water Dancer by Coates would be a good choice. Has anyone read it?
 
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Dancing Fire

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Remembering history is such a powerful thing. Our country actually did those things. People here tolerated or participated in them. How did that happen? Why? How did people make a change? So many good topics to teach!

Teaching our kids is so important!
Agree! IMO, We shouldn't remove the Confederate monuments. That's like erasing part of US history. Are history teachers gonna skip the Civil War?
 

Dancing Fire

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You can teach about the civil war without leaving up statues that honor it. Do we need to have a statue of Hitler to teach about the Holocaust?
That's different b/c he was a dictator. That decision is up to the citizens of Germany. So should we also remove Prez. Truman's monument since he killed so many Japanese in WW II?
 

JPie

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Not sure if this has been shared already, but this IG account is a great resource for learning how to be anti-racist.


@rachel.cargle
 

Matata

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Not sure if this has been shared already, but this IG account is a great resource for learning how to be anti-racist.
Thanks for posting that @JPie. I just now gave a quick look and I like what I saw. She doesn't let anyone off the hook and I like that and I like that she does it succinctly.
 

nala

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@nala Would you mind sharing the source of/link to that chart please? If it’s “controversial” at all, I can link you to a LT posting and you can send it to me that way. I would just like to read more context around it. Thanks! :wavey:
Hi. I just saw this article on yahoo that also explains the graphic. E34DCBBA-53EF-4893-83D4-532C0A6E16FE.png
 
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