Friday, July 8, 2016

Annals of Summer: Racial Violence

Everyone's probably noticed that things with race-related shootings are really terrible right now. This particular flare-up hits home: Philando Castile was shot and killed by a police officer here in the Twin Cities. The confrontation began as a routine traffic stop.

As much as we wish they would, shootings like this one are not going to stop happening.  All of our systems in the United States privilege white citizens over brown and black ones, and our long history of racial segregation and oppression leads to trauma and fear and continued violence.

Because the problem is so big, it's hard to figure out what to do.  My reaction in times like this is to focus on my professional training, which is as a teacher. I try to engage my students and my own children, pictured above, in frequent conversations about race, racial violence, and privilege.  "I know this stuff," my oldest said this morning when I talked again about whiteness, blackness, and fear.

"I know," I said, "but it's just that as a white boy, you have a very big responsibility to work for change."

We all do, really. What are my next steps?

1 comment:

mm said...

I do believe that the conversations we have about race and, indeed white privilege in our classrooms.