Exploring antiracism

News | July 9, 2020

The deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery are among recent deaths prompting protests and calls for a hard look at how systems and institutions in America exempt white people from regularly facing and addressing the harm of racism and what it means to both black and white lives. These resources are for the St. Paul community to work together in seeking a more just world, where systematic racism becomes unwound and ultimately ended.

The books, and others on race, are available in the St. Paul Book Corner. To order, message Karen Holden at bookcorner@stpaulqc.org. A complete list is available at stpaulqc.org/book-corner.

Read this

White Fragility: Antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility and allows us to understand racism as a practice not restricted to ‘bad people.” Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue.

How to be an Antiracist: Antiracism is a transformative concept that reorients and reenergizes the conversation about racism—and, even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. In How to Be an Antiracist, Ibram Kendi takes readers through a widening circle of antiracist ideas—from the most basic concepts to visionary possibilities—that will help readers see all forms of racism clearly, understand their poisonous consequences, and work to oppose them in our systems and in ourselves.

The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson and Rafael Lopez: There will be times when you walk into a room and no one there is quite like you. There are many reasons to feel different. Maybe it’s how you look or talk, or where you’re from; maybe it’s what you eat, or something just as random. It’s not easy to take those first steps into a place where nobody really knows you yet, but somehow you do it.

Watch this

Just Mercy: After graduating from Harvard, Bryan Stevenson heads to Alabama to defend those wrongly condemned or those not afforded proper representation. One of his first cases is that of Walter McMillian, who is sentenced to die in 1987 for the murder of an 18-year-old girl, despite evidence proving his innocence. In the years that follow, Stevenson encounters racism and legal and political maneuverings as he tirelessly fights for McMillian’s life. A powerful story. Available through multiple streaming services.

Listen to this

“Ingrained Injustice” podcast: How did racism get embedded in the structures of society and become so invisible? Different speakers, from a comedian to a historian to a poet, discuss hard realities. Listeners get a taste of how errant headlines shape public perspective, why racism makes our whole economy worse for all people, and the impact when white people insist on calling the police about black people doing everything things. The podcast is part of the TED Radio Hour series on NPR, and can be heard at https://n.pr/30OI16R.

Consider this

Support any number of black-owned businesses in the Quad Cities. Eat an incredible meal from Bayside Bistro or Taste of Ethiopia, get your family photos taken by Coach Cross Photography, go for a haircut at Joe’s Barbershop. Think of every effort as an investment in the black community. See the list at bit.ly/2B8XxiR.

5 Comments on “Exploring antiracism”

  • Michelle Campbell

    July 15, 2020 at 4:28 pm

    I am so grateful to be a part of a congregation that is openly tackling anti-racism. This is hard work to look in the mirror and see how we have benefitted from systemic racism and change what we say and do and the way we think, but it is the right thing to do. I appreciate the resources shared here, much appreciated as I attempt to build an anti-racist high school classroom.

  • John Horn

    July 13, 2020 at 5:19 pm

    According to the “Read this” list above, racism is in my DNA. Making this birth defect of mine “ultimately ended” is proving to be a bit of a problem. I’ve tried “reorienting,” and masking, but phooey, I’m still fragile. Hmm…

    • John Horn

      July 14, 2020 at 8:38 am

      The issue is not George Floyd. The issue is the attempted destruction of the miracle of America’s founding… a founding based on an idea that all are created equal, and are free, as endowed by God. SPLC should vigorously resist attempts at destroying this miracle.

  • Reid Schroeder

    July 12, 2020 at 6:55 pm

    Gosh I always thought that choosing a business based on the skin color of the proprietor was racist. Thanks for clearing that up. While we’re at it shouldn’t we seek a more racially diverse membership and staff at St. Paul?

  • Sarah Thomas

    July 9, 2020 at 7:14 pm

    I recently heard that striving toward antiracism is similar to constantly exercising a muscle to keep it healthy. The comment was most likely on NPR.

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