SOCIAL CHANGE REQUIRES UNDERSTANDING AND EMPHATHY
On Sept. 28, the Wisconsin Assembly decided to gag teachers and hog-tie school districts by voting to prohibit schools from full discussions about racism and sexism. Wrong? Absolutely.
Assembly Bill 411 is an effort to put a lid on our schools to having students grapple with racism and sexism which are so much a part of our history and our society.
Discussions involving Critical Race Theory has only been taught in colleges. Children are not being taught the complex theories of CRT in our Wisconsin schools or those in Virginia (even though their Republican for governor lied when he said they were).
We as adults need to be educated about Critical Race Theory. Everyone has a race. Racism is the fact that ‘White’ means ‘normal’ and that anything else is “less than” different. The first step towards combating structural racism is acknowledging its existence.
For Caucasian people, talking about race may be uncomfortable. Discussions of race in America may center around the protection of White feelings. It is okay to admit there are times when the United States has not been fair.
Don’t believe that our country needs a strong leader who will protect our children from having to deal with racism. Banning certain books and articles will only make our children narrow minded in their thinking. When a government has dictatorial power it can only lead to Fascism.
Social change requires making some noise. As with Black Lives Matter, activists are going to hold all influencers — allies or otherwise – accountable. White people have to accept that anger is a natural response to being systematically oppressed. It can be an effective tool.
Societies do not, overnight, completely erase everything that happened 200 to 300 years prior or even 500 years ago in the case of our Native Americans. Racism is everywhere. People of color experience Frustration and Anger. They are Silenced, Talked Over, and Ignored. Every one of these emotions are felt painfully every single day by racial minority groups in our country.
It’s up to all of us to continue the conversation by listening and empathizing. This includes discussion with our children and allowing our schools to teach accurate American history. Be a part of the solution by changing perceptions for the betterment of ‘us’ all.