Donald Trump’s election and Philando Castile’s death have made me realize how little I know.
I’m 55 years old, and I feel like a kindergartener, just beginning to learn about the world I live in. So, what am I doing now? I’m starting to learn, just like a kindergartener, about the world I live in and what I can do about it.
I need to learn how to work with others, those who aren’t like me, who are a different race, ethnicity, religion, country of origin, or gender identity. The first thing I need to learn about is my own bias and racism. I’ve got a lot to learn, a lot to do.
WHAT TO DO:
Tonight, I’m going to hear about a new coalition in Minneapolis, United in Love & Action: A Response to Hate, Bigotry and Misogyny
Tomorrow, I’m going to an Immigrant Solidarity March March! United vs Trump, Solidarity w/Immigrants)
I’ll keep going to the periodic conversations started by community group, Falcon Heights We Can Do Better, that began after Philando Castile was fatally by a police officer in Falcon Heights. At last week’s conversation about implicit bias, moderator Dr. Nadarajan (Raj) Sethuraju got the mostly white audience to talk about our own bias.
I still haven’t gotten to a Standing Up for Racial Justice meeting, but they’re on my list. SURJ
SURJ resources include how to talk about race at Thanksgiving
Thinking and talking to other whites about race may be the most important thing we whites can do. Whites were the single biggest group to vote for Trump. We need to talk.
Scared about talking about race? Check out Jay Smooth’s TEDX Hampshire College talk, How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love Discussing Race.
What else can you do? Be intentional about how you spend your money.
I’m joining the December 5th Injustice Boycott. Organized by New York Daily News senior justice writer Shaun King, this will be a nationwide consumer protest against police brutality, racial violence and systemic injustice in America.
Some people are also boycotting the Trumps’ businesses.
I’m trying to go to expand my world, to go more places where I am not in the majority, to see and understand more of the world we live in.
Check out the Somali Museum in Minneapolis, which may be the world’s only museum devoted to Somali culture.
Stop for coffee at Golden Thyme Coffee in Saint Paul
Eat lunch or dinner or order holiday catering at Breaking Bread in North Minneapolis, Afro Deli in Minneapolis or Saint Paul. CHeck out some of the many great Asian or Mexican restaurants along University Avenue in Saint Paul and Lake Street and Eat Street in Minneapolis.
A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota This compilation, edited by Sun Yung Shin
MARCH, this graphic novel trilogy by Rep. John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell is absolutely worth reading. A National Book Award winner.
The Warmth of Other Suns, a National Book Critics Circle Award winner by Isabel Wilkinson
Green Card Youth Voices won a Gold Medal Award for Best Multicultural Nonfiction Chapter Book, from the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards
Citizen: An American Lyric, Claudia Rankine (I’m reading this award-winning book now)
The Latecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir, Kao Kalia Yang (on my list)
Anishinaabe Syndicated: A View From the Rez, Jim Northrup
Rez Life David Treuer (on my list)
Intent vs. Impact: Why Your Intentions Don’t Really Matter, Jamie Utt, Everyday Feminism
White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh, The National Seed Project
The Case for Reparations, Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Atlantic
Standing Rock Syllabus
Movement for Black Lives platform
I know I’m just starting to learn to see the world as it is. I’m learning.
And I’m taking to heart what Jay Smooth said in his TEDX Hampshire College talk. Prejudice isn’t like tonsils — you can’t get your prejudice taken out once and be done with it. Instead, prejudice is like little pockets of plaque that need daily brushing and flossing. I brush my teeth every day, it’s habit, and I need to get in the habit of thinking about prejudice every day.
13th, Ava DuVernay documentary about the 13th Amendment. Watch it!
We Should All be Feminists TEDX, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (I also loved her The Danger of the Single Story)
Silence Isn’t Always Golden TEDX, Kat Morgan
How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Loved Discussing Race TEDX , Jay Smooth
Black History Mini Docs these 90-second mini docs, will whet your appetite for more depth.
Starting with local groups–
MicroGrants offers strategic $1,000 loans to low-income people of potential in Minneapolis.
Support Louis Hunter. More than 200 people have been arrested in the Twin Cities protesting the killing of Philando Castile. Philando’s cousin, Louis Hunter, is the only protester who has been charged with a felony. Louis is facing up to ten years in jail.
International Institute of Minnesota works with refugees and immigrants, helping them get resettled and launch their new lives in Minnesota
Green Card Voices uses digital storytelling to share immigrants’ first-hand stories
Behind the Blue Line is an interview and photography project that shares real stories of police brutality, abuse and misuse of power in Minnesota.
Standing Rock Stop the Dakota Access Pipeline
ACLU and MN-ACLU
Southern Poverty Law Center
Shaun King, senior justice writer, New York Daily News
Movement for Black Lives
(Photo credit for the crayon photo: Aaron Burden)