I often say that I’ll never run out of things to write about relating to racism. It seems everywhere you turn there’s another incident that (depending on your starting point) makes you feel terrible, drop your jaw in amazement, or tut in sad resignation. Some of the topics covered in this month’s roundup fall into one or more of those categories. Ready to dive in?
1. Tara Jaye Frank: 5 Steps We Must Take To Truly Create An Inclusive, Representative, and Equitable Society by Tyler Gallagher
I follow Tara Jaye Frank on LinkedIn and Twitter, and I’ve always found that what she says has merit and value, so I was delighted to see this interview with her.
“If diversity is about being seen, and equity is about being valued, I see inclusion as feeling respected — for who you are, what you know, and what you can do. I want all people to feel respected, and that requires a whole lot of intentionality on the part of all leaders. Leaders need to be more intentional about how they engage people and how they show up for others.”
2. Afrophobia. Yes, It’s a Thing by Clay Rivers
Who knew there was another name for anti-Black racism? Clay Rivers did, and in this article, he tells us all about Afrophobia (no, not unreasoning terror about Black people’s hair), and suggests ways people can choose to fight it.
“Black folks are adept at reading body language. Over these last 400+ years, our survival in America has relied heavily upon our ability to read white people’s intent. Not too long ago, the wrong move at the wrong time could get us killed.”
3. Racism is still an everyday experience for non-white Australians. Where is the plan to stop this? by Fethi Mansouri
Sometimes it’s tempting to think of racism as a problem only where we are, but it’s a global phenomenon. This article gives insight into how racism looks in Australia, and the huge amount that still needs to be done to dismantle it.
“Even more shocking is our collective failure to develop a credible strategy to address the root causes of racism – be it against Indigenous peoples, refugees, temporary migrant workers or other minority groups.
We remain incapable of even talking about the racism in our midst, let alone what should be done to stop it.”
4. Smith? Check. Now Clean Up the Rest of Your Hot Mess, AMPAS by Catherine Pugh Esq.
Catherine can be relied on for legally sound takes on how to fix racist systems, like her article on the police, featured in a previous round-up. Here she points out the hypocrisy inherent in the the reaction to “the slap”. The full article is worth a read and if you’re so minded, check out her tweets and the ensuing discussions.
“That is what I do for you here, in thirteen movements of 240 characters each. It would appear that as long as you do not slap the Academy with them, you are free to tweet, chat, post, email, fax, snail mail, Instagram, upload, and all around harvest them at will. The goal? To form a simple, unified, and impossible to ignore decree:
The Academy is playing fast and loose with the rules. We see you. #MakeThisMakeSense because if you cannot, we will make sure the world sees you too.”
5. Disrupting Narratives: Why Rosemary Campbell-Stephens MBE has no time for ignorance by Claire Walsh
Rosemary Campbell-Stephens is the creator of the term “people of the global majority” and always has views on racism worth hearing. This interview makes good reading.
““Globally, these groups currently represent c. 80% of the world’s population making them the global majority now. With current growth rates, notwithstanding Covid-19 and its emerging variants, the global majority are set to remain so for the foreseeable future. Understanding this may ‘shift the dial’. It certainly should permanently disrupt and relocate the conversation.””
6. Racism in Passive Voice by Decipher City
The question of agency is important in understanding how systems and people create false and racist narratives, as this author explains:
“Bringing the focus back to the racism actually requires that racism written about in an active voice because first and foremost, speaking in passive voice absolves abusers — in their mind. After all, anyone could be burning Black communities to the ground. Anyone could be failing Black students. Anyone could be rapidly displacing Black people from their homes. The ambiguity of the passive voice that allows the atrocities to continue, and for society to claim willful ignorance.”
7. It’s our responsibility as white LinkedIn users to normalise antiracism conversations by Philip Mix
What must an advocate for anti-racism and would-be ally do? Philip Mix lays it out clearly.
“My white colleague’s choice not to contribute derives from systemic privileges of skin colour power, including in individuals’ day-to-day decisions. Terence Channer’s friend’s choice not to contribute derives from systemic inequities and inequalities, and their consequential implications for individuals’ day-to-day decisions. The differences for the choice-makers are undeniable.”
8. When a Company's Big BUT Blocks DEI Efforts by Theresa M. Robinson
Blaxhaustion author Theresa M. Robinson now has a newsletter, The Real DEIL, and it contains real talk about racism. Here, she unpicks the trend of advocating kindness, and shows how that approach completely fails to make companies do the work.
“Advocating “kindness” rather than working towards equity and inclusion is a way to explain and justify why a company has NO DEI strategy.
Unfortunately, we’re not hearing any explanation for how these companies are executing on their "kindness strategy."”
9. Anti-Racism: Does It Matter? by Shereen Daniels
Here Shereen Daniels, another of my favorite LinkedIn reads for straight talk and good sense, highlights the fact that some labels don’t help us fight racism; in fact, they may hinder efforts to recognize everyone’s humanity.
“Calling white people “allies” reinforces a sense of saviourism, implying that my anti-racist endeavours are to ‘help’ those unfortunate souls born with skins darker than mine. Trust me, white people don’t need any encouragement to do this.”
10. These Black Women Introverts Explain Why So Many Others Dread Returning To The Office by Dana Brownlee
I’m part of the duo featured in this article by Dana Brownlee about the intersection of being Black women introverts. Hint, it’s not always easy, as Lisa Hurley points:
“If one is quiet, perceived to be ‘anti-social,’ or not the first person to speak up in meetings, and—it must be said—Black, one is considered to be angry, unintelligent, unpromotable, not a team player and not a culture fit.”
Want to diversify your news coverage? Emily O. Weltman of Collective Flow Consulting (a patriarchy-busting coop, among other things) shared this list on LinkedIn earlier this month. https://coflowco.com/
“Black women journalists are often subjected to a double marginalization because of both - their race and gender. The Coalition For Women In Journalism pushes for racial diversity within the journalism and media industry in the US, and across the world. Find below a list of select women journalists who have made their mark on the media landscape through their powerful words and fierce reportage.”
Happy reading! Feel free to share which article you liked best, and why.
© Sharon Hurley Hall, 2022. All Rights Reserved.