Avoiding ‘Whataboutism’ in Discussions of Race

by James Ross |  June 2023
As we struggle today with a multiplicity of critical racial justice issues, we cannot afford to engage in whataboutism. Of course, we should be concerned about children’s access to education elsewhere. Yet, that is separate from the urgent reality that state legislatures throughout the United States are working to restrict what teachers can say and the educational outcomes they can seek – and even how students should “feel” – in courses in which race is an essential component of the discussion, such as history, civics, and literature. If we seek justice, we must focus.
TAGS: [Individual Change] [2020’s] [Teachers] [Tips-Dos/Don’ts]  [Social Justice]  [History] [Whataboutism]

Racism and Health: Racism is a Serious Threat to the Public’s Health

CDC Website | Date Unknown
Racism is a system consisting of structures, policies, practices, and norms—that assigns value and determines opportunity based on the way people look or the color of their skin. This results in conditions that unfairly advantage some and disadvantage others throughout society. Racism — both interpersonal and structural – negatively affects the mental and physical health of millions of people preventing them from attaining their highest level of health, and consequently, affecting the health of our nation. A growing body of research shows that centuries of racism in this country has had a profound and negative impact on communities of color. The impact is pervasive and deeply embedded in our society—affecting where one lives, learns, works, worships and plays and creating inequities in access to a range of social and economic benefits—such as housing, education, wealth, and employment. These conditions—often referred to as social determinants of health—are key drivers of health inequities within communities of color, placing those within these populations at greater risk for poor health outcomes.
TAGS: [Strategies] [Health Disparities] [Economics] [Systemic Racism] [Housing] [Employment] [Social Justice] [Politics] [Black Lives Matter] [Indigenous] [Asian] [Latino/a]


James Forbes’ Ode to Juneteenth Calls on Americans to Embrace the Promise of Freedom

by Yonat Shimron | June 2021
(RNS) — The Rev. James A. Forbes Jr. was already an adult when he first began to understand the significance of Juneteenth. It was his wife, Bettye, whom he met in the early ’60s when they were both students at Howard University, who helped him gain an appreciation for the commemoration.
She had grown up in San Antonio, Texas, where each year on June 19, Blacks across the city celebrated their freedom with pageants, parades, performances and other public events in city parks.
TAGS: [Individual Change] [2020’s] [Black Lives Matter] [History] [Civil War]  [Policing] [Police Shootings] [White Supremacy] [Systemic Racism] [Social Justice] [Slavery]

In Memoriam: I Can’t Breathe

by Renee After | May 2020
I am angry. I am anguished. I am heartbroken. I am hallowed out.I am sick and tired of police needlessly killing black and brown people. Some police still see black men as threats, to brutalize, to contain, to remand. They have stereotyped our grandfathers, fathers, husbands, sons, and nephews, as monsters, subject to violence and death. They have killed our grandmothers, mothers, wives, daughters, and nieces. Every time I watch the video of George Floyd’s death, my heart weeps. Who in their right mind, kneels on another human’s neck and ignores desperate pleas of “I Can’t Breathe”? Where is the humanity of these white police officers? Policing should not be predicated on brutal force and a complete disdain for black life. White supremacy has no place in the criminal justice system, in government, in the White House, in the United States. Black lives matter every second, every minute, every hour, every day. A memoriam list of those unarmed black and brown people killed by the police, sheriff Deputies, and security guards.
TAGS: [Racial Terrorism] [2020’s] [Black Lives Matter] [Policing] [Police Shootings] [History] [Systemic Racism] [-ing While Black] [Justice System]

The Racist Roots of American Policing: From Slave Patrols to Traffic Stops

by Connie Hassett-Walker | Updated June 2020
Outrage over racial profiling and the killing of African Americans by police officers and vigilantes in recent years helped give rise to the Black Lives Matter movement. But tensions between the police and black communities are nothing new. There are many precedents to the Ferguson, Missouri protests that ushered in the Black Lives Matter movement. Those protests erupted in 2014 after a police officer shot unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown; the officer was subsequently not indicted.
TAGS: [Strategies] [2020’s] [Policing] [Slavery] [Black Lives Matter] [History] [Systemic Racism] [White Supremacy] [White Culture] [White Privilege] [-ing While Black] [Civil War] [Racial Covenants] [Politics] [Justice System] [Police Shootings] [Implicit Bias]

How Textbooks Taught White Supremacy; A Historian Steps Back to the 1700s and Shares What’s Changed and What Needs to Change

by Liz Mineo | September 2020
Yacovone, who co-authored “The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross” with Henry Louis Gates Jr. in 2013, is now writing “Teaching White Supremacy: The Textbook Battle Over Race in American History.”
The Gazette interviewed Yacovone about the origins of his research, his findings, and why he thinks it’s necessary to teach the difficult story of slavery and white supremacy and their legacies.
TAGS: [Strategies] [2020’s] [History] [Slavery] [Denial] [White Supremacy] [Systemic Racism] [Social Justice] [Black Lives Matter] [Civil War] [CRT]