Tag Archives: racism

12 Reasons Ending Racism is Good for White People

It’s a familiar bleeding-heart refrain sung in support of liberal initiatives, or to push back on conservatives: “Millions will suffer/are suffering! We can’t let this happen!” Lately we’re singing it a lot in response to hot topics like police shootings, poverty, the GOP’s proposed healthcare bill, and DeVos’s education budget. I was particularly struck by…

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The Dirty Secret of Racism: It Hurts White People Too

Imagine you work hard your whole life: at school, work and home.  You win some and you lose some, and at times it feels like there’s more losing than winning.  Life’s not easy, but you hang in there and follow most of the rules.  Some people are less kind than others, and your interactions with…

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Dismissal of the Women’s March and #BLM Uncovers Why They’re Needed

Mere days have passed since the historic global Women’s March, and one of the topics buzzing around social media is the discontent some non-participants felt about the event. One view is that the march was unnecessary because women have all the rights we need and the only thing stopping us is ourselves. While not surprising,…

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Six Ideas Progressives Need to Get Clear in a Trump World

This didn’t feel like an election. I’ve voted in elections and weathered their results, for better or worse, for 28 years. This felt more like a relationship breakup, or the death of a loved one. I’ve also weathered those – the shock, betrayal, grief, anger and disorientation. The waves of shifting emotion punctuated by brief…

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Let Go of Perfect and Wear the Safety Pins Already

A week has passed since the election, and there’s been lively debate among progressives about whether or not to wear safety pins.  Initiated by an American living in the UK, the safety pin spread there as a protest against the BREXIT vote and the xenophobia it represented.  On this side of the pond, liberals have…

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Leading in the Age of Trump and #BlackLivesMatter

With the election just a couple of weeks away, one thing seems certain regardless of the outcome: It’s tough being American right now. Anxieties and tensions are high, and most of us feel threatened by the political rhetoric and what’s at stake, not to mention regular news about police shootings and other violence. As we…

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Let’s Get it Right: Bigotry is Not Racism

The word “racist” is getting a lot of air time lately.  From Donald Trump to Black Lives Matter and the latest police shooting of an unarmed Black man, accusations of racism abound.  But there’s an important distinction missing from these accusations that’s keeping us stuck and stoking anger: bigotry is not racism. In my work…

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How I Learned To Love Black People: Confessions Of A Good White Person

I read the title of this piece and feel uneasy. I can already hear the voices of my confused friends, my protesting colleagues and the bigots.  I’m writing it anyway.  More honesty is what’s needed to heal and move forward, and honesty requires courage. On paper I look like a model “Good White Person.” I’ve…

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6 Reasons Why “All Lives Matter” Is Neither Fair Nor Helpful

One week: Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Dallas.  Finally, the number of White people moved to action against racism is reaching a tipping point, yet tired clichés like “violence isn’t the answer” and “we must unite” threaten to keep us stuck.  “All Lives Matter” is perhaps the kindest and least helpful of these clichés, to the…

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To Assimilate, or Not to Assimilate

I recently had lunch with a dear friend and colleague who used to be my mentee in a former role.  We celebrated his recent professional success, caught him up on mine, and explored next steps after he completes his master’s in public health. The topic of race came up a few times — he is…

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