Our nation’s founders, however, assumed that the freedom of individuals to pursue their own ends would be tempered by a “public spirit” and concern for the common good that would shape our social institutions
~ Claire Andre and Manuel Velasquez
Markkula Center for Applied Ethics
Santa Clara University
Yesterday was a difficult day. I’m reading “How to Be an Antiracist” by Ibram X. Kendi. I’m on Chapter 5: Ethnicity.
“Ethnic racism is the resurrected script of the slave trader.” . 58 of 307
“The racializing serves the core mandate of race: to create hierarchies of value.” p.61 of 307
“…confusion and hurt on both sides.” p. 68 of 307
I’m trying to understand how to be supportive of the Black Lives Movement, yet this chapter, on Blacks disrespecting other Blacks based on geography, ethnicity, was quite depressing. The message, of course, is that these are learned feelings based on the policies created from years ago in the slave trade. Especially since, in the chapter on “Biology,” the truth is [p.52]:
And that I have always believed. Unfortunately, the policies of our world have created and are created from a mirage based on the myth of race.
And that brings me back to this idea of a “public spirit” for the “common good.” To the idea that though we strive on our own as individuals, we are also interconnected as communities, locally and globally.
…I am tired of mourning.
I am tired of protesting.
I am tired of crying, screaming, and fighting for justice.
I am tired of asking, begging, and pleading for equality.
I am tired of waiting.
I am tired.
I am tired.
We are tired.
~ Zipporah Ridley, I Am Tired, SCU/Markkula Ethics Center
I can’t imagine, knowing and learning more about the policies and the histories of Black people, that “tired” is exhaustion. It’s time for communities to think as such: we are together and must support each other. Follow the link for Zipporah Ridley, I Am Tired to find resources to help for yourself and your community as we work together to make changes.
I found the Markkula Ethics Center to include much information about the idea of supportive and ethical communities: How To Use the Site
One such article is from Anthony Hazard, who asks in Answers and Action: Confronting Structural Racism,
What does it take for non-Black people to squarely focus on this country’s murderous and racist origins, and what does that mean for us in the 21st century?
He points to understanding that history in a public issue of The Journal of American History: Historians and the Carceral State. Read the social media and what people in the movement suggest: Do the research. Understand how the issues developed from the policies that have created the state of unequality in our country.
Set some goals for action [see my post on some suggestions]. If you want ideas now for public safety and police reforms, see President Obama’s New Era of Public Safety Toolkit.
Act in your community locally. Connect globally to find places like the Markkula Center and others to help with creating new policies and structures in our social fabric so all of us are safe with opportunities to succeed. All Americans.
We, as humanity, have problems we need to solve — from government and economics to climate and health– working together locally and globally provides us with the people, ideas, and creativity to solve them.
I, too, am tired, but I believe in the public spirit that makes our country great.
What will you do for our public spirit?
Geeky Gramma ~~
Retired Middle School Language Arts Teacher ~~
Writer and Thinker