White Folks Facing Race: Where Our Work Is
[This is part of my White Folks Facing Race series, originally written on May 13, 2020 to an email group created for community members in the Washington, DC area.]
There are so many articles and resources about Ahmaud Arbery, but I wanted to share this one, from Wes Moore, “We almost didn’t hear about Ahmaud Arbery. These stories must not go untold.” This is where our work is.
Related to that, I’m very excited to share an amazing document called “Continuum on Becoming an Anti-Racist Multicultural Organization.” This is such a great resource for clearly describing what it means to be at each of these stages, and what improvements are needed. Please find ways to apply this to any relationship you have. It’s particularly helpful in illustrating that “good/bad” or “not racist/racist” binary is not the right way to look at the interactions and structures around us. As with many things, it’s a continuum, and we must make sure that we are traveling along it in the direction of progress. If you ever wanted a blueprint for how to dismantle systemic racism, this would be a great start.
I’m also excited to share a new podcast from Bryan Jackson, who I connected with in his previous work with Arlington’s Offender Aid and Restoration (OAR), who is now focusing on fathers of color and healthy parenting. It’s called Dad Genes: Exploring the DNA of Healthy Fathering.
I appreciated Monica Hesse’s recent article, describing a relevant crossover in the language being used about “Believe women” (which has been altered by detractors to “Believe all women”) and “Black Lives Matter” (which was shifted by many to “All Lives Matter”).
- Robert DesJarlait wrote about why the Land O’Lakes maiden is not a stereotype.
- I have probably shared this before, but it’s wonderful and needs to be revisited from time to time. Sam Dylan Finch wrote “9 Phrases Allies Can Say When Called Out Instead of Getting Defensive”
- Katti Gray wrote about how black communities can resist the pandemic, a great discussion of systemic racism in health systems and the legacy of health issues for many black Americans.
And for everyone’s awareness, there is a lot of help being offered in Arlington County, including food assistance for anyone quarantined or unable to go out to get groceries for any reason.
Please stay safe and healthy. Think about how new levels of awareness and willingness to help each other and collaborate could end up being a positive lasting impact of this crisis. This is not a short-term problem. We have opportunities to make the long-term outcomes an improvement over what we had before. Let’s keep seeing the potential — try not to get bogged down. Take care of yourselves and each other.
Listen. Amplify. Follow.