from the world's big
The year 2020 will go down in history as one that shook our inner and outer worlds.
Seldom are these conversations actually anti-racist.
Though race and racism are at the top of Americans' public discussion, most white parents don't talk about those issues with their kids.
8 powerful voices share what it's like to be black in America, and why white people must break the racist status quo.
- Black communities have been telling the nation, for more than a century, that they have been targeted, beaten, falsely accused and killed by the police and other institutions meant to protect them.
- They have not been believed until recently, when the rise in camera phones and social media finally enabled them show and disseminate proof.
- Even after the video of George Floyd's death on May 25, 2020, there remains defensiveness and denial among white Americans and institutions—a defensiveness that prevents change to the root of the problem: systemic racism. In this video, eight powerful voices share perspectives on being black in America, and why white inaction and white politeness must end.
Remaining silent is being complicit.
- Protests around the world are demanding an end to police discrimination and violence against black citizens in America.
- Author and activist Dax-Devlon Ross offers advice on how white people can help during this moment.
- Ross's suggestions include thinking and voting locally, supporting black-owned businesses, and practicing self-reflection.
EarthRise Podcast 89: An Honest Conversation About Race (with Dax-Devlon Ross)<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="df8a1046109cc2c6805707d2c808f656"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/lLW74j9fvFE?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><h3>Think locally</h3><p>Do you know your local sheriff? We focus on big-ticket races. Down-ballot candidates are often skipped; otherwise, people choose an incumbent without further investigation. Ross believes it's essential to know who's running your neighborhood. Do they have a history of abuse? (<a href="https://8cantwait.org/" target="_blank">This resource</a> could help you find out.) Researching candidates for sheriff, judges, and other regional offices is important for changing the narrative. </p><p>We must also hold regional leaders accountable. For example, Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti has taken a lot of heat this week. When he was voted into that office in 2017, only <a href="https://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-ln-los-angeles-mayor-election-turnout-20170321-story.html" target="_blank">20 percent</a> of the eligible population even bothered to cast a ballot. Today Garcetti <a href="https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-06-03/protests-demanding-racial-justice-gain-momentum-across-l-a" target="_blank">announced</a> that up to $250 million will be diverted from the police budget to address health care and education issues in the black community. That's a good sign, but we have to remain vigilant during its implementation, especially when considering the <a href="https://la.curbed.com/2020/1/7/21054171/measure-hhh-first-project-open-homeless-housing" target="_blank">ongoing failure</a> of the $1.2 billion homeless initiative passed in 2016. The effects of this week's protests need to be continually fought for until they're realized. </p><h3>Support black-owned businesses</h3><p>On his Netflix show, "Trigger Warning with Killer Mike," the rapper <a href="https://kulturehub.com/killer-mike-black-owned-business/" target="_blank">tries to support</a> only black-owned businesses for a day. It's not as easy as it sounds. Ross found the humor in the episode, but ultimately, "it was also tragic." </p><p>Earlier this week, the LA Times published <a href="https://www.latimes.com/food/story/2020-05-31/black-owned-restaurants-in-los-angeles" target="_blank">this list</a> of 85 black-owned food services and restaurants. Ross takes it a step further: Who's your financial advisor? Your banker? Lawyer? If you own a business, how does staff diversity look?</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Maybe add some folks of color to that list of people you want to talk to. Sometimes white people implicitly assume 'white is right.' And a lot times white people are right. I'm just asking them to break it up a little bit, and think, 'How can I support businesses that are POC-owned and -led?'"</p><p>Considering how disproportionally blacks are being harmed during this pandemic—<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/01/business/economy/black-workers-inequality-economic-risks.html" target="_blank">skyrocketing unemployment rate</a>; higher death rates in the <a href="https://hbr.org/2020/05/the-disproportionate-impact-of-covid-19-on-black-health-care-workers-in-the-u-s" target="_blank">health care sector</a> and <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-04-14/covid-19-is-hurting-black-americans-more-in-almost-every-way" target="_blank">general population</a>—economic support is more important than ever. <a href="https://webuyblack.com/" target="_blank">We Buy Black</a> is a great resource. </p>
Demonstrators attend a "Sit Out the Curfew" protest against the death of George Floyd who died on May 25 in Minneapolis whilst in police custody, along a street in Oakland, California on June 3, 2020.
Photo by Philip Pacheco / AFP<h3>Do the inner work</h3><p>"What's coming up for you?" Ross requests that you investigate previous relationships, incidents, and mindsets around black people. Has one bad interaction colored your thinking on the race? If you've used isolated experiences to dictate beliefs, you need to rethink your biases. </p><p>Education is paramount. Ross mentions a white friend who recently learned about <a href="https://daily.jstor.org/the-devastation-of-black-wall-street/" target="_blank">Black Wall Street</a> while watching an episode of "Watchmen." At first, his friend thought it was fake. After researching the incident after he was furious over his ignorance. A century later, Human Rights Watch <a href="https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/09/12/us-how-abusive-biased-policing-destroys-lives" target="_blank">found</a> police abuse centralized in the exact same region of Tulsa. You can't change what you refuse to investigate. Change begins when you explore your implicit bias.</p><p>If this week has taught us anything, it's that we desperately need to change. And then keep going, and going, because America's horrific record—our tragic present—is on full display. Turning away any longer would be criminal. The can has been kicked far too long. </p><p>--</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://derekberes.substack.com/" target="_blank">Substack</a>. His next book is</em> "<em>Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy."</em></p>
Numerous U.S. Presidents invoked the Insurrection Act to to quell race and labor riots.
- U.S. Presidents have invoked the Insurrection Act on numerous occasions.
- The controversial law gives the President some power to bring in troops to police the American people.
- The Act has been used mainly to restore order following race and labor riots.
Photo by © CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images
Colorado National Guard troops during the Ludlow strike. 1914.
Credit: Survey Associates, Inc.
National Guardsmen in South Los Angeles, 30 April 1992.
Photo credit: HAL GARB/AFP via Getty Images