On a Friday
Drumroll Please!

Not the Usual

It's Monday. Usually I'm here bright and early on a Monday . . . to help you Start Your Engines. But I'm not feeling much like that today, really.  It's just feels too dark right now. (Even though the sun is shining brightly in my corner of the world this morning.)

I'm just too sad.
And too tired.
And it doesn't feel right . . . to Start Your Engines and all.

But I will do this instead.
I will encourage you to pay attention.
To listen.
To learn.

It's time we . . . 

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"Every time we turn our heads the other way when we see the law flouted, when we tolerate what we know to be wrong, when we close our eyes and ears to the corruption because we are too busy or too frightened, when we fail to speak up and speak out, we strike a blow against freedom and decency and justice."
        --- Robert Kennedy

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If you, like me, live a life of privilege, I encourage your to do something right now to understand your privilege. Open your mind to seeing and accepting what life gave you . . . just for being born white. Educate yourself. Open yourself. 

Start here.

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Then read.

Don't know what to read? The NYTimes published An Antiracist Reading List over the weekend. (If you can't read the article, let me know and I'll figure out another way to send you the list of titles.)  Ibram X. Kendi put this most excellent list together.  He is a professor and director of the Antiracist Research & Policy Center at American University, is the National Book Award-winning author of Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America and the newly-released How to Be an Antiracist.

I've just started reading his How to Be an Antiracist, which is apparently sold out of most major online book stores at the moment.  (I had no trouble purchasing and downloading the ebook version, however.)

I'd also recommend Robin D'Angelo's excellent (and brain-exploding) book White Fragility. And also The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson. I read both last year -- and still think about them nearly every day. They are powerful books that will challenge your world and the way you think it works.

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And listen.

We need to listen to new teachers -- to the voices of people with lived experiences of racial oppression, people whose realities are different from our own. It's not easy to do this -- it's painful to learn how the systems really ARE rigged and to understand how complicit we are in perpetuating these systems. But it's important that we do it.  It's the only way anything will change.

Maybe start by listening to Brené Brown's Unlocking Us podcast this Wednesday. Her guest is going to Ibram X. Kendi -- and I can't wait.

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Put your money where your mouth is.

There are always multiple ways to support a movement. Maybe you aren't ready to pound the pavement in protest -- but maybe you can make a donation in support of organizations who are trying hard to make a difference and fight racism.  Here are a few to consider:

Southern Poverty Law Center

ACLU

Black Lives Matter

Color of Change

Equal Justice Initiative

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One more thing . . . Here's a list of 75 Things White People Can do for Racial Justice. This article was published on Medium. I don't have a paid subscription to that service, but I do know they allow a few reads for non-subscribers each month. It's a new month -- so check it out.

Bottom line: There are lots of things we CAN do for racial justice. I hope you'll join me and . . . do something.

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"Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better."
          --- Maya Angelou

 

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