“People know about the Klan and the overt racism, but the killing of one’s soul little by little, day after day, is a lot worse than someone coming in your house and lynching you” Samuel L. Jackson
Jackson’s statement succinctly states how racism affects people.
Imagine how this feels, being bombarded with these messages from toddlerhood to adult. I can tell you, firsthand, it stirs up shame, embarrassment, anger, fear, and conflict.
Now imagine that your children go through the same kind of racism, much more covertly these days as well as overtly, and you can see how one could feel negatively about themselves and those who are racist.
My son, who just returned from college in Colorado to California last month, experienced stares, glares, and questioning looks when he and his friend stopped at gas stations and in towns through Utah. No tattoos on arms, neck, face, no ‘gang attire,’ just ordinary college kids who are six feet two, with light brown skin.
One of their friends, in another car, had to stop on the side of the road to let his car engine cool. A car passed by, the occupants yelled “Go back to Mexico.” He’s not from Mexico, he’s from Oregon.
This scene didn’t bother my son too much, he said, because he sees these remarks as ignorant. “Their behavior says more about them as human beings, than about me.”
This was not the worse example, just the latest.
We need to counteract racism at every level.
We need, as parents, neighbors, communities, church members, schools, to do our part in eradicating racism, if we are to live in a better world.
The article below is from Jason Low, of Lee and Low Publishers. He gives some valuable resources, to discuss and think about.
The following is a note from our Publisher, Jason Low, published in this month’s e-newsletter:
It’s been a hard few weeks for those of us following the news out of Ferguson, Missouri. While the exact details of Michael Brown’s death remain unknown, we can already see how this latest incident fits into a larger narrative in this country in which people of color are routinely discriminated against and subject to violence based on the color of their skin. Healing and change cannot begin until we as a country acknowledge the role racism plays not just in events like Michael Brown’s death, but in the everyday lived experiences of the 37% of America that is not white.
From a distance, it can seem like our book-filled corner of the world doesn’t have much to do with Michael Brown’s death, but we know better. The need for more diverse books…
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1 thought on “Thoughts on Ferguson and Recommended Resources”
Thank you for the reblog, Mona. Lee and Low is a great publisher so it is not surprising to read their thoughtful words.
I feel for your son and friend’s experiences. Although I’m white I’ve heard enough xenophobic comments due to my foreign accent to understand the challenge of being ‘different.’ It is worse for people of color and it is unacceptable. Most people agree that educating against racism starts at birth. I have great hope with younger generations who are much more open to diversity.