Read Joe Feagin's "White Terrorism: The Ordeal of Black Philosopher George Yancy" at Racism Review

An excerpt:

"On Christmas eve in 2015 the leading Black philosopher and New York Timesopinion writer, George Yancy, penned a poignant “Dear White America” article in the Times. Yancy bravely sought to encourage each white reader to, as he summarizes in his disturbing new book Backlash

risk yourself, to undergo a process of moral and existential perplexity” and to assess very deeply what being white in America means. He also sought action from white readers, calling for “a refusal to lie, a refusal to live another day within a white supremacist system where Black people and people of color continue to be oppressed. . . . I wanted you to tell the truth to yourselves and tell it to others."

Keep reading...

ASDIC Executive Director's Letter to the Editor of the Star Tribune

Here's the link to the Star Tribune's Letters page, where ASDIC Executive Director Okogyeamon's letter to the editor appeared in response to a racial profiling incident at a Philadelphia Starbucks. The letter is copied below.


Racial bias training can’t just be left as local endeavor

In response to “A better way to respond to implicit racial bias” (April 26, by Duane Johnson), I am concerned about his recommendation that “Starbucks should have given district stores an option on how they can address racial bias training.”

This pushes responsibility to the local level without considering local capacity. There is no guarantee that Starbucks store managers will know where to start. It’s Starbucks’ corporate responsibility to help local leaders identify community resources and provide guidelines about what managers should look for in quality training. Corporate also could provide online support, such as readings and podcasts by national experts.

I agree with much of Johnson’s analysis and don’t expect much from Starbucks’ “one afternoon of racial bias training.” Eliminating bias and overcoming racism is transformative work, and transformation doesn’t happen in an afternoon. This work takes a commitment of time and of heart. Education is necessary but not sufficient. A big part of transformation is caring about people and the issue. It’s about relationships and sharing stories. That’s the work that is local.

Herbert A. Perkins, St. Paul

The writer is an anti-racism educator.

ASDIC Board Chair's Letter to the Editor of the Star Tribune

Here's a link to the letter written by ASDIC Board Chair Scott Russell.

You can also read a more in-depth response to the Op/Ed on his blog, Healing Minnesota Stories. The letter is copied below.

According to Austin, some of his neighbors asked him: “What exactly have the Dakota Indians done that is a positive contribution to all Minnesotans? What is the heroism or accomplishment that we are recognizing in order to justify renaming the lake to Bde Maka Ska?”

What a painful question. The Dakota people faced genocide here. The U.S. government broke treaties, left Dakota people starving and provoked the war of 1862. The United States, at Minnesota’s urging, exiled the Dakota from their homeland. Alexander Ramsey put bounties on Dakota scalps, resulting in the indiscriminate deaths of Dakota and other Native Americans. It’s a horrific history.

In subsequent years, through boarding schools and other U.S. assimilation policies, we tried to destroy the Dakota and other native languages, cultures and religions. As a nation, we still struggle with everything from removing offensive Indian mascots to being honest about our history.

It is ludicrous to ask what heroic acts the Dakota have done. It is heroic that the Dakota and other Native people have survived at all. Yet here they are, trying to preserve their traditions, standing up for water and environmental protection, and looking out for seven generations into the future.

Scott Russell, Minneapolis