American History or Political Stunt?

Earlier this month, 14 Republican state attorney generals signed a letter to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona stating that public schools should not receive grant funds to teach about critical race theory. The so-called concern stems partially from research and new findings of the role of slavery in the formation of our country.

Think about what we have learned just this year about racism and our society. Are we more “woke” as we discover new information about the role of slavery and those kept in servitude and isolation?

It makes me think that Black Lives Matter is more than a movement focusing on police brutality. In reading articles in the acclaimed 1619 Project of the New York Times, I’m struck by the amount of history missing from my education. The most recent 60 Minutes broadcast told the story of Black Wall Street in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Another example of events ignored by educators, historians, and those whom we look to for leadership. I find credibility in that people of color are helping revise the story of the impact of slavery on our country, and they do it with a unique perspective.

I am disgusted by the political divide that continues to permeate more and more elements of our communities. Apparently, these attorney’s general believe they can gain favor and political support by playing the race card. Their letter was blatantly political and should not be a factor in the decision of those education professionals.

..that’s 30, We can learn from this.

Is it over yet?

J

I watched the inauguration of President Biden and Vice President Harris. I also watched the departure of Former President Trump and his family.

I’m feeling a sense of relief in that everything will soon return to some level of normalcy. I feel safe that this new administration is in the hands of experienced leaders and people who will put the country first.

I may not agree with everything this new administration will do, but I feel it will be thought out and not a knee jerk reaction to social media. I’m also relieved to see a very diverse group of people appointed to key administration positions. Gone are the family influencers, the yes-men, and those with racist tendencies and special interests.

But I’m afraid it’s not over yet. As I write, news that the Articles of Impeachment will be sent to the Senate next week for a trial. To say we live in tumultuous times is a vast understatement.

Will the Senate convict? Should he be held accountable? If they don’t convict, what message does that send to those who stormed our Capital?


Healing the deep divisions in our Republic will take understanding, patience, truth, and love of the neighbor.

For now I plan to reread the elegant words of Amanda Gorman.

“The new dawn blooms as we free it

For there is always light,

if only we’re brave enough to see it

If only we’re brave enough to be it.”

…that’s 30 for this week.

What will your Legacy be?

“Every generation leaves behind a legacy. What that legacy will be is determined by the people of that generation. What legacy do you want to leave behind?”

John Lewis

Watching news coverage on the passing of Congressman John Lewis this quote really made me think.

What will our Legacy be?

Congressman Lewis spent his entire adult life fighting for equality. He has been called the conscience of Congress. It strikes me that his death comes at a time when our country is examining our collective conscience. What will our legacy be?

For me this is not an easy question to answer. I need to reflect on it without stating the first thing that comes to mind. I would love to learn how your would answer this question. Please leave your comments below and indicate if you are willing to have them made public. Thank You.

Issues of Racism Survey Results Part 2

While the numbers reported in Part 1 of the survey results provided some understanding of the Issues of Racism, today, we examine some of the voluntary statements from our respondents.

On the question “Which statement best fits your current thinking on racism?” many offered additional comments, which give depth to better understanding how many of us are thinking and an opportunity to reflect on what others think. Here are a few unedited comments.

“It appears Covid -19 has caused white Americans to stay in place long enough to see what has been happening for decades. The history of America needs to be accurately taught and portrayed in the news/media.”

“Racism isn’t new. It’s just being filmed.”

“As a woman of color, I am well aware of racial issues. However, I have begun reading White Fragility and am now learning about how white people are socialized. This new information has opened my eyes to a different perspective.”

“Through a book I’m reading, I’m learning about the subtle ways in which most white people actually enjoy white privilege more than they even realize.”

“My parents were both Holocaust Survivors and did slave labor for the Nazis. I have always believed in giving back, am Jewish, and a ten year Rotarian. A lot of anti-Semitism is jumping on the back of anti-racism, and it is so wrong too.”

“Until governments (National, State, local) make a change, until we remove the hate citizen upon citizens, we cannot let this rest.”

“While aware of all of the issues facing us and supportive of the changes, I’ve become more consciously aware and even more vigilant of my own thoughts, feelings, and actions to support ending racial disparities and injustices.”

“My opinion has not changed since George Floyd was murdered. I think racism is as bad as I’ve always thought it to be, which is extreme, horrible, and systemic in our country.”

The next question was “Thinking of the last few months, what have you learned about your attitude regarding other races?” This question elicited some thought-provoking comments.

“I have not been aware enough of how badly some races have been treated. I find myself wanting to be more friendly to people who are different than me in appearance.”

“I need to think through the impact of things more closely.”

“That I’m not a racist and don’t like being pegged as one simply because I’m white.”

“I have learned that people around me say racist things, and I have ignored them in the past. I now find myself better equipped to speak up for POC as I learn and listen more.”

“I have learned that I cannot dismiss other people’s feelings. There are racists (not just about skin color, but gender identity, religion, you name it) out there — a lot of them — trying to figure out the best way to get them to listen and become more tolerant. It is a long road, but if we don’t try to do it now more than ever, it will revert back to what we are working to erase. We need this all to be remembered, taught in school, talked about with friends, family, the media. If we don’t it has a good chance of disappearing, and those that are marginalized in our community will continue to feel the hate and fear every day of their lives.”

“I have taken The Episcopal Church’s anti-racism training, Seeing the Face of God in Each Other, more than once. I’ve said I’m going to keep taking it until I get it. I can now say I’ve experienced white privilege and have my whole life. If anything has changed is my support for reparations has gotten stronger and my total support for a Truth and Reconciliation process in the USA so we can overcome the long shadows of slavery and the genocide of Native Americans.”


Summary

These comments most certainly demonstrate some of the feelings and self-awareness of this most critical issue. Helping each other learn, understand, and heal is something we all can do.

As a final part of this effort, we will post comments readers submit in an effort top continue the dialog. What can you add?

…that’s 30 for today.

Issues on Race, Survey Results Part 1

Thank you to all who provided input for this survey. Full disclosure; professional pollsters may argue the statistical accuracy of this survey. However, I believe we gathered some insightful comments of 81 people across the US, Australia, New Zeland.

As you will recall, the purpose of the study is to inform, share, and build community. With that in mind, let’s review the highlights.

56% of all respondents said that their personal opinion or awareness of racial issues have changed in recent months.

When asked which statement best fits your current thinking, 29% said This might be the time we make critical changes. Followed closely by 22% who said they were open to learning about the impact on others by racism, and 18% said they are learning about the implications for people of a race other than their own.

Many of those completing the survey offered suggestions for educational material about the cultures of other races. Some of the suggestions are:

Books
White Cargo by Don Jordon and Michael Walsh

White Fragility


Me and White Supremacy


Waking Up White

On-Line Resources
21-Day Racial Equity Challenge


Humanitarian Disaster Institute


Black Business.Com

Video
PBS Civil War Reconstruction Era a 4 Part Series


The Film “13”


Jim Crow of the North PBS


We wanted to know if the following sectors were doing a good job.


Statement: Our nation’s elected leaders are doing a good job addressing racism. 6% of all people said they agreed, while 84% disagreed or strongly disagreed.


Statement: Our religious leaders are doing a good job addressing racism. 21% agreed and, 55% disagreed or strongly disagreed.


Statement: Our corporate leaders are doing a good job addressing racism. 15% agreed or strongly agreed and, 51% disagreed or strongly disagreed. Interestingly 33% were unsure.


Statement: Our judicial system is doing a good job addressing racism 69% disagreed or strongly disagreed and, 23% were unsure.


Many of those completing the survey offered some comments and suggestions. In Part 2 We will review some of their thoughts and insights. Stay Tuned.

…that’s 30 for today