I have been racking my brain on what to write (if anything) to address the tragic death of George Floyd, among many others. Words have escaped me, which is rare. I have experienced so many emotions, but they all seem so secondary and insignificant in comparison to the realities of those who have been on the receiving end of racial injustice. That’s because they are.
I am writing now because silence on the part of white people has been the problem for too long. America needs to wake up, and part of waking up is pushing through the discomfort and not continuing to turn a blind eye to what’s happening right now.
For white people, I believe that the best place to start is to dedicate time to listen, learn, and love. All of my content is dedicated to an inside-out wellbeing journey, and part of that journey is realizing the blindspots that we didn’t know existed. Going from non-racist to anti-racist is an inside job first. It takes examination of our biases and actions and a deep dive into the history of racial injustice and white supremacy in this country.
I am dedicated to keep fighting alongside all of my sisters and brothers for the equality that God designed in us. In reality, we are all made in His image and the value of every life is the same.
I recommend beginning the journey with a focus on listening. Shhhhh just listen. By consciously silencing our own agendas and truly listening to others, we can begin to develop empathy and understand the world through someone else’s eyes. My hope is that the below list of podcasts offers some historical perspective to the events of the past couple of weeks and sparks a conversation or a new way of thinking that helps us all move forward together.
The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them.
Ralph G. Nichols
SCENE ON RADIO: SEEING WHITE
“How Race was Made” (28 min)
Host John Biewen begins this episode with excerpts of a talk by Suzanne Plihcik of the Racial Equity Institute. She says, “We need to know how we got this thing called ‘race’ if we’re gonna understand racism.” Where did the idea of “race” come from? What is it based on? Biewen reports on the history of how “race” became a construct.
“A Decade of Watching Black People Die” (22 min)
Hosts Shereen Marisl Meraji and Gene Demby discuss how these stories of police brutality directed towards black people keep repeating themselves. They wonder aloud, when will things change and what will make them change.
Host Shaun King tells the stories of injustice racism and corruption but also gives his audience actionable steps to fight back. In this episode, he looks back nearly 100 years ago to when the black community of Tulsa, OK was destroyed by terrorists and tries to unpack why we are still dealing with some of the same issues today.
Historian and activist Shaun King talks about what everyone can do to change the systems that result in police brutality and mass incarceration. Instead of thinking of it as one large system, he says, it’s imperative to understand it’s 30,000 microsystems. Big change can happen when you focus on the local level.
THE FORUM ON WORKPLACE INCLUSION
Host Milagros Philips, author of 11 Reasons to Become Race Literate delves into the idea of colorism. She looks at it from two perspectives: First, the history of colorism and second how that history affects organizations today. Finally, she explains how simply being aware of colorism can change the way you do business.
“The Big Question” (40 min)
Host Reni Eddo-Lodge, author of the book Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People about Race addresses her feelings about a question she frequently gets: “As a white person, what I can do to help race relations.” She also interviews two guests to get to the heart of what they’re doing.
WE LIVE HERE
“Desegregation Through the Ages” (33 min)
This podcast focuses on the issues of race, class and power in St Louis. This episode tells the story of the longest-running school desegregation program in the country and how it’s affecting the students. Even with the best intentions, the community still struggles with providing a welcoming environment for all students.
“At the Table and Dismissed” (28 min)
This Missouri-based podcast focuses on Dr. Will Ross. As a child, he experienced firsthand the disparities in health care based on race and finances. Today, he has made a commitment to address those differences. This episode tells the story of what he tried to do in St. Louis and how (and why) things didn’t turn out as he had hoped.
This New York Times produced series marks the 400th anniversary of the first slaves being brought to Virginia. Through interviews and archival audio and writings, the five episodes examine the legacy of slavery in the United States.
“A Weekend of Pain and Protest” (36 min)
This episode from the New York Times is a real-time account of what happened over the weekend from reporters on the ground in the 72 hours after George Floyd died in police custody. At minute 11, the episode includes a particularly moving conversation between three African American men in Charlotte, North Carolina: one 45, one 31 and one 16 years old.
THE DIVERSITY GAP
Host Bethaney Wilkinson interviews Dr. Beverly Tatum, author of the book “Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria and Other Conversations about Race.” They discuss how the question we should be asking is not “Is someone racist” but rather “Are they actively anti-racist.” They also share concrete ideas on how to build a diverse community.
UNLOCKING US WITH BRENE BROWN
Host Brené Brown speaks with one of the country’s leading voices on what it means to be an anti-racist. As he says, it “requires persistent self-awareness, constant self-criticism and regular self-examination.”
Originally published at https://www.alexismaida.com on June 4, 2020.