And Responses That Foster Transformation

Surrounding ourselves with like-minded people may feel good, but it doesn’t create social change. If we expect to dismantle racism we have a very specific job to do: effectively talking with others about racism, especially those with whom we disagree. Racism skeptics tend to be people with racial privilege, and since we are more likely to be influenced by our same-race peers, that means the majority of this work is up to white people.

Understanding common fallacies in reasoning can help us generate responses that guide our racial peers into mindset change. The chart below uses examples of common reactions…

My black teenage daughter asked me to share this post of hers with you.

Dear Non-Black Teens of America,

These past few days you have caused me so much additional pain. It’s indescribable. Seeing your sudden interest through your posts on social media about the injustice in this country is infuriating to me. It is not that I don’t want you speaking out about injustice, it’s just that your sudden interest does not match the character you’ve shown me in real life. It really shouldn’t take another murder of a black person for you to recognize that our country is…

Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) will soon enter our communities as part of a presidentially mandated “mass round up” of our undocumented friends and neighbors. This is not a drill.

“A lot of folks think that there will be an easy way to resist ICE enforcement or to respond to ICE enforcement in a way that prevents the unjust detention of their neighbors. Unfortunately, the way ICE operates is really complicated and unpredictable.” (Katie Miller, CASA).”

As an untrained bystander you could actually make things worse by trying to interfere with ICE operations. But there are things you can do.*


  1. I promised not to say anything.
    My kid made me promise I wouldn’t contact parents or teachers about the fact that other kids freely use the n-word several times per day, in front of my child, who is black. Why would I promise such a thing?
  2. It would be mishandled.
    The adults in charge have a proven track record of mishandling racially sensitive situations at school, leaving my child in an uncomfortable spotlight and making us wish we hadn’t brought it up in the first place.
  3. My kid’s peer relationships would suffer.
    No one likes a tattletale, especially in Junior…

Thoughtful decision making about where to spend money is a critical way white people can participate in effective and accountable cross-racial collaboration for racial justice (i.e. allyship). So why wait for the New Year to add this practice to your list of resolutions? Today, the fourth day of Kwanzaa, is the perfect day to start making wise investments for a better world.

Kwanzaa is a celebration of African heritage that spans over seven days, each of which is dedicated to reflecting on a core African principle for creating healthy communities, families, and individuals. The holiday is particularly appealing because it…

It’s Thanksgiving in the U.S., so you’re probably busy getting ready. As you check off the many items on your to-do list, don’t forget to add these important actions every antiracist can do this Thanksgiving and beyond:

Get Educated: Part of fighting white supremacy is dismantling false narratives like those depicted in the familiar image below. No one expects you to be as skilled as Franchesca Ramsey in her spectacular Everything You Know About Thanksgiving is WRONG but you can still do your part to decolonize Thanksgiving by helping to re-educate people in your circles of influence. …

Still nursing a hangover from Serena’s big upset, my family decided to try and shake it off with a friendly doubles match. As my husband, myself, and our two daughters approached the courts we were stopped in our tracks by a loud, hissing voice:

“Pick another role model, girls! Pick ANYONE but Serena Williams!”

The words were spat at my eleven and fourteen year old daughters with such contempt that I was taken aback. It took every ounce of control I could muster to remain unphased in my reply to the angry white lady: “I couldn’t disagree with you more.”

In my former life as a relationship researcher I spent a great deal of time listening to couples describe the root of their conflicts. When couples were probed about what typically started a fight, the wife often claimed that her husband made empty promises about things he’d do and then pretended to forget. The husband, on the other hand, blamed her incessant nagging on his lack of motivation and the ensuing fights.

This difference in perspective is referred to in the interpersonal communication literature as “punctuation,” and it helps explain why two people in the same relationship view the start…

Beginner’s Guide to Black History Month

Grab a pen and paper and set a timer for three minutes. Now list ten historical black Americans including his or her major contribution to our country. Don’t list anyone who is currently alive, and leave out any musicians or athletes. You may not include Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, or Sojourner Truth.

If you’re a non-black person who was educated in the US, it’s unlikely that you are able to crank out a robust list of highly influential historical black Americans (not including entertainers or athletes) without having to really

Carrie Hutchinson

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