What I’ve Been Reading

I have spent the last few weeks reading more, learning more, and figuring out what else I can do. Here are some of the articles I have read that I think you may find interesting.

First, this twitter thread by Michael Harriot talking about #blacklivesmatter with data and directly answering some “counter arguments” to the movement that are meant to derail and gaslight.

Second, why It really is different this time. A compilation of two dozen experts explaining why this movement is growing and how there is optimism, for some, in how things can change.

Third, if you’d rather watch a video, Trevor Noah’s monolog about #blacklivesmatter and the social contract we all have in society is an excellent start.

Understanding Defunding/Abolishing the Police

Confessions of a Former Bastard Cop – this is an excellent article written by a former police officer about how much of his role as a cop does not require a fire arm and in those instances he had the least amount of training to help people.

This twitter thread by Gabrielle Blair (aka Design Mom), is fantastic. It goes through her process of figuring out why we should defund the police and talks about ways in which changes can be made and new community based organizations could be created. I highly recommend the twitter thread because she links to data and articles. She has also put the entire thread on her blog as well as on her instagram page, if you prefer to read that way.

An opinion article looking at how people, specifically white people, now view how the distraction theory of politics works, as well as the notion that police lie, a lot.

Trevor Noah has an excellent video talking to many experts on Defunding the Police movement.

John Oliver also has a segment on Police in his Last Week Tonight show.

What is Privilege?

A post by Lori Lakin Hutcherson explaining white privilege to a white friend. She goes through examples of what types of privilege you may have and how those make it easier for you to move through the world as compared to someone who is Black.

This is a heartbreaking story of Nicole R. Fleetwood on how her son is treated when walking to school. Raising a Black Boy Not to Be Afraid. These types of implicit biases from white people toward Black people cause harm and are fixable.

A story from a white woman who had a large black poodle that was often mistaken for a black man in her car and the encounters she had with police because of this dog.

Amber Ruffin shares a lifetime of traumatic run-ins with police.

Implicit Bias

I was hoping this article on Implicit Bias had clearer takeaways of what does work to change minds. It is, however, important to know what doesn’t work in changing someones mind about their implicit bias. Companies (and people) should be working on coming up with strategies to figure out how best to take into account implicit biases. The example of teachers grading without knowing whose paper it is, and orchestras doing auditions without knowing who is playing are great. In science, I envision double-blind peer reviews and tenure evaluations. All of these things are possible if planned and prepared.

Concrete Steps – What can you do now?

Obviously there are a ton of resources for learning and engaging in being anti-racist. I shared a few in a previous post of people, specifically on Instagram, that I have been following who are educators in this movement.

If you have young kids, Sesame Street did a Racism Town Hall on CNN. You can watch the entire episode on that link.

Danielle Coke on Instagram @ohhappydani has a wonderful graphic talking about our different spheres of influence and how you can work to be anti-racist.

So, I ask what are you doing to enact change?

What things do you see your workplace doing to help listen to and value other voices?

I’d love more resources, so if you have an awesome article, a person you follow who is putting out great ideas, or anything you think is cool and helping this movement, will you send it our way? Thanks!

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