Collective Action

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The Weaponization of Whiteness in Schools; It’s Time to Recognize and Stop the Pattern

by Coshandra Dillard |  Fall 2020
Typically, the weaponization of whiteness happens this way: There is a demonstrated sense of entitlement, anger and a need for retaliation, feigned fear and, finally, white fragility. It’s easy to recognize this pattern when it’s caught on video. We can observe for ourselves racial slurs, exaggerated fear and the privilege of whiteness forcefully taking up space. But when we publicly shame white people caught on video or demand severe penalties for their transgressions, we are individualizing racism rather than seeing how it can easily manifest in any white person because of how whiteness works in our society.
TAGS: [Collective Action] [2020’s] [White Supremacy] [White Privilege] [White Culture] [White Fragility/Tears] [Systemic Racism] [Teachers] [Tips-Dos/Don’ts] [Black Lives Matter] [-ing While Black] [White Defensiveness] [Calling Police] [Economics] [Assumptions] [Individual Change] [Latino/a] [Accountability] [Policing]

Ghosted by Allies: Why BIPOC Still Can’t Trust White People with Social Justice; We Always Knew Last Summer’s Allyship Was Fleeting

by Angie Franklin | February 2021
We all knew it was coming. I’d venture to say every single Black person in America not only knew it was coming but was actively waiting for it to happen. After the black square badge of anti-racism, the allyship die-off was not surprising, nor was it a new experience for us. What was new was Black Lives Matter and social justice going viral. All of a sudden people gave a fuck about us — or acted like they did — because it was trending and the perception of white people teetered on whether they showed public support for Black lives. … Few people are willing to consistently rub against the grain, bring up conversations about race with family, speak up for co-workers, step back or resign when a BIPOC person is more qualified, or question the status quo. Maybe they could do it for a week, or a few weeks, but six months later? Apparently not. The ghosted allies are those who spoke out against police brutality and murder, posted videos protesting in the streets, shed tears in their stories, followed as many Black accounts as they could find. This group was, for a moment, utterly shook by the reality of racism. But what they didn’t realize was their bewilderment — their shock — in waking up to what Black people go through every day in this country and have for hundreds of years was what added a real insult to injury.
TAGS: [Collective Action] [2020’s] [Social Justice] [Black Lives Matter] [White Fragility/Tears] [White Defensiveness] [White Privilege] [Advocacy] [White Supremacy] [Anti-Racism] [Policing] [Microaggressions] [Denial] [White Blindness] [Accountability]

Racism and ‘Years of Bullying’

by Jeffrey R. Young  |  February 2021
Dena Simmons, a prominent researcher of social-emotional learning, resigned from Yale University’s Center for Emotional Intelligence last month due to what she calls a pattern of behavior by some colleagues that left her feeling “tokenized, undermined and bullied.” The final straw for Simmons happened in June, during an antiracism town hall sponsored by Yale’s Child Study Center. Several people Zoombombed the event, yelling and typing racial slurs into the chat directed at Simmons. She quickly logged out of the forum, but colleagues encouraged her to return, and after she did, more unidentified participants attacked her with further racist comments.
TAGS: [Collective Action] [2020’s] [Silencing POC] [Systemic Racism] [-ing While Black] [Black Lives Matter] [White Supremacy] [White Culture] [White Privilege] [Social Justice] [Advocacy] [Teachers] [Tips-Dos/Don’ts] [Indigenous]

Big Racial Gap in Suspensions Revealed in Falmouth Public Schools

by Jennette Barnes | February 2021
Students of color in the Falmouth Public Schools received 45 percent of the suspensions in the last school year, even though they make up only 21 percent of the student population. The Falmouth School Committee examined the data Tuesday, following recent complaints about racial disparities in school discipline. School Committee…
TAGS: [Collective Action] [2020’s] [Systemic Racism] [Teachers] [Indigenous] [Accountability] [White Supremacy] [White Privilege] [White Culture] [Black Lives Matter]

How Public Schools Fail to Recognize Black Prodigies

by Donna Ford | February 2021
The No. 1 reason for the underrepresentation of Black students in gifted education is the lack of teacher referrals, even when Black students are highly gifted. I definitely think stereotypes and biases hinder educators from seeing Black students’ gifts and talents. In most schools in the U.S., if you are not referred by an educator, you will not move through the identification pipeline for gifted education programs and services, as well as Advanced Placement. It starts and it stops with teachers. This is why Black families have reached out to me. They’re saying, “This predominantly white-female discipline” – meaning teachers – “is doing my child an injustice.” They’re saying, “I’m frustrated, I don’t know what to do other than pull my child out and home-school.” You don’t see a lot of Black home-schooling. If the parents are able to do it, they have the means.
TAGS: [Collective Action] [2020’s] [Teachers] [Tips-Dos/Don’ts] [Systemic Racism] [Implicit Racism] [Advocacy] [Environment] [History] [Black Lives Matter] [White Privilege]

Mississippi School Asks Students to ‘Pretend’ to Be Slaves and Write Letters About Their ‘Journey’ to ‘Family Back in Africa’

by Zack Linly | March 2021
I don’t understand these “educators” who insist on taking slavery—the most brutal, cruel, and inhumane thing America has ever done to an entire race of people whose freedom, heritage, families and humanity were stripped from them—and turning it into some Sesame Street-ass game or activity that trivializes the centuries-long practice. Just last week, I reported on a school in Delaware in which kindergartners were being taught yoga positions that mimicked the way enslaved people were positioned on slave ships.
TAGS: [Collective Action] [2020’s] [Slavery] [Teachers] [Black Lives Matter] [Systemic Racism] [White Blindness] [White Culture] [White Privilege] [White Supremacy] [History] [Microaggressions] [Tips-Dos/Don’ts] [Accountability]

What Do We Do About John James Audubon?

by J. Drew Lanham | Spring 2021
The founding father of American birding soared on the wings of white privilege. The birding community and organizations that bear his name must grapple with this racist legacy to create a more just, inclusive world. Last summer, the Sierra Club denounced its first president, John Muir, as a racist unworthy of organizational adulation. Muir is a founding father of the American wilderness movement; he also characterized Blacks as lazy “sambos” and Native Americans as “dirty.” The National Audubon Society followed suit, stating that Audubon, too, was a racist. He enslaved at least nine people. He mostly referred to them as “servants” and “hands,” but never seemed especially concerned that the people helping him could be bought, sold, raped, whipped, or killed on a whim. Then again, relatively few men of his time did. Presidents did not. Why would he? Audubon’s callous ignorance wouldn’t have been unusual for a white man. It would have been de rigueur—an expectation of race and class that he enjoyed.
TAGS: [Collective Action] [2020’s] [Slavery] [History] [White Supremacy] [White Culture] [White Privilege] [Accountability] [Systemic Racism][-ing While Black] [Environment] [Myths] [Black Lives Matter] [Indigenous] [Implicit Bias] [Cognitive Dissonance] [Art & Culture]

Slavery Yoga Was Taught to Kindergarteners in Delaware for Black History Month. No, Seriously.

by Zack Linly | March 2021
Just Saturday, I wrote in a report that “It’s about time we have a serious conversation about how a lot of white teachers have no business whatsoever teaching Black students.” I based this statement on three separate stories—all of which occurred during this Black History Month—involving white teachers being racist while downplaying and/or distorting narratives around American racism during lectures to their students. Well, now there’s a fourth story—one that doesn’t necessarily feature educators denying the cruelty of slavery; they just made a fun game out of it which parents are rightfully calling “culturally insensitive, offensive” and “disturbing,”
TAGS: [Collective Action] [2020’s] [Teachers] [Slavery] [Black Lives Matter] [Systemic Racism] [White Blindness] [White Culture] [White Privilege] [White Supremacy] [History] [Microaggressions] [Tips-Dos/Don’ts] [Implicit Bias]

American Churches are Apologizing for a Centuries-Old Injustice That Still Reverberates Today; How We Can Start to Undo the Damage

by Melissa J. Gismondi | September 2018
In 2016, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) repudiated the historic “doctrine of discovery.” Although it might sound benign, the doctrine was the pernicious theory that Christians could claim and conquer land inhabited by non-Christians. It helped justify and promote the violent colonization of indigenous lands throughout the Americas. This summer, the Assembly followed up on that repudiation by issuing a report outlining specific actions the church can take to grapple with the doctrine’s legacy. They include official acknowledgments before meetings of the indigenous nations on whose land the meeting is taking place, as well as more discussion of indigenous theologies and educational resources on the doctrine.
TAGS: [Collective Action] [2010’s] [Indigenous] [Faith-Based/Spiritual] [History] [Systemic Racism] [Justice System] [Denial] [White Culture] [White Supremacy] [White Blindness] [Accountability] [Economics] [White Privilege] [Role Model] [Strategies] [Tips-Dos/Don’ts]

How the History of Blackface Is Rooted in Racism

by Alexis Clark | February 2019
Blackface began in the US after the Civil War as white performers played characters that demeaned and dehumanized African Americans. The portrayal of blackface–when people darken their skin with shoe polish, greasepaint or burnt cork and paint on enlarged lips and other exaggerated features, is steeped in centuries of racism. It peaked in popularity during an era in the United States when demands for civil rights by recently emancipated slaves triggered racial hostility. And today, because of blackface’s historic use to denigrate people of African descent, its continued use is still considered racist. “It’s an assertion of power and control,” says David Leonard , a professor of comparative ethnic studies and American studies at Washington State University. “It allows a society to routinely and historically imagine African Americans as not fully human. It serves to rationalize violence and Jim Crow segregation.”
TAGS: [Collective Action] [2010’s] [History] [Systemic Racism] [Civil War] [White Supremacy] [White Culture] [White Privilege] [Art & Culture] [Assumptions] [Myths] [White Blindness] [Social Justice] [Economics]

Introduction

Definitions

Facts rocks with sun

Facts

Maps

Assessment Tools

History

Appropriation / Aggression

White Privilege / Supremacy

Slave Owners Are in Your Pocket

Public Displays

Performance Art

Workshops

Freedom and Justice Crier

Activist Resources

Dear White People

Being Allies

James, Rachel, Dragon

Reparations

Three Candles

Spiritual Foundations

Dear White People

Being Allies

James, Rachel, Dragon

Reparations

Three Candles

Spiritual Foundations

Slave Owners Are in Your Pocket

Public Displays

Performance Art

Workshops

Freedom and Justice Crier

Activist Resources

Assessment Tools

History

Appropriation / Aggression

White Privilege / Supremacy

Introduction

Wood Stack Definitions Menu

Definitions

Facts

Maps

Dear White People

Being Allies

James, Rachel, Dragon

Reparations

Three Candles

Spiritual Foundations

Slave Owners Are in Your Pocket

Public Displays

Theater PTown

Performance Art

Maze

Workshops

Freedom and Justice Crier

Activist Resources

Assessment Tools

History

Appropriation / Aggression

White Privilege / Supremacy

Introduction

Wood Stack Definitions Menu

Definitions

Facts

Maps