Monday Reading List: Unpacking Charlottesville as an Educator

After this weekend's tragic events in Charlottesville, it is important for educators and professionals to understand the downstream effects of White supremacy and racism, in both their classrooms and in our public institutions writ large.

Erika Sanzi of Good School Hunting addresses the elephant in the room for White educators:

I can’t think of a more quintessential example of privilege than being able to take a vacation from the hate that is on on the march in Charlottesville this weekend. And the truth is, I don’t want to stop thinking about it. In fact, I want to make more people think about it. The images coming out of Virginia are a huge wake up call to all of us who haven’t raised our voices enough, as white Americans, to condemn and fight against the hate that others who look like us feel emboldened to spew in the public square and on television in 2017. The hatred that would drive someone to drive a car, full speed, into a crowd of people (photo below). We are so quick to rail against ISIS without a second thought so how is this any different? ISIS plows vehicles into crowds of people too. ISIS hates Christians and these white supremacists in Virginia hate Jews. And Blacks.

As Philissa Cramer at Chalkbeat points out, other prominent educators joined Sanzi's chorus:

Many decried the white supremacists who convened in the college town and clashed with protesters who had come to oppose their message. Some used social media to outline ideas about how to turn the distressing news into a teaching moment. And others took issue with President Donald Trump’s statement criticizing violence “on both sides,” largely interpreted as an unwillingness to condemn white supremacists.

While former United States Education Secretaries Arne Duncan and John King both condemned the Nazism and White Supremacy on display, the current president and his administration continue to blame the violence "on many sides."

Alicia Robinson warns America not to let its darkest days obscure the fact that most of our days are "Grey Days":

The grey days are the days when people upholding white supremacy don’t tell us where to meet them but show up in a million subtle and covert ways ... It’s not everyday that white supremacists come after you with tiki torches or drive through a rally opposing injustice. But it is everyday that white people can do more to stop supporting white supremacy and the white patriarchy. I sometimes wish some of my white progressive, liberal colleagues would stop trying to organize and march and just adjust the little things they perpetuate in everyday life that collectively make it okay for people who call themselves white supremacists to commit the acts they did in Charlottesville yesterday.

In that spirit, I tweeted a series of suggestions for White professionals who are returning to work today. Larry Ferlazzo was kind enough to "Storify" that tweet thread on his blog.

In addition, there are many resources on the web, which are aimed at helping educators to discuss racism, American history, privilege, and discrimination. Here are a few:

 

 

Perhaps more than anything, strive to be a compassionate human today ...