Somehow, despite it seeming like only yesterday that I was headed to Madison, Wisconin to visit the capitol building with my 4th graders on the last day of school, it is already the middle of July.
It's not that I haven't been reading, really. It's not that I haven't been challenging myself intellectually or working to stay informed on current events and issues in the world of politics and education. Rather, what's consumed me most has been the continuing stream of violence perpetrated against people of color in support of white supremacy. I'm talking of course about the shooting in Charleston, SC, that took 9 lives, but I'm also talking about the wave of church burnings and threats made to black congregations around the country. I'm also talking about the continued abuse and killing of black children at the hands of police. I haven't been writing about these things in this space, though.
A big reason for this is that is that there has been a tidal wave of great writing in response to these latest bursts of a long-burning fire. There is simply nothing that I have to add to the subject that hasn't been said time and time again by someone who finds themselves on the receiving end of white supremacist oppression daily (as was pointed out in the case of folks like Jon Stewart and Tim Wise by my colleague Walter Bond). With that in mind, I thought I'd share an article that's been making the rounds on social media since it was published about a week ago.
John Metta's article, "I, Racist" speaks to the limitations of discussing race with white folks (especially in the north) - why, in fact, he most often opts out of conversations about race with white people. Metta points to the limitations and outright fallacies of our conversations about race, summed up in the observation that "the entire discussion of race in America centers around the protection of White feelings." Take a moment a moment to read it, if you haven't already.