133: Answering Your Questions about "Color Blindness" and Racism // Dr. Lucretia Berry and Jasmine Bradshaw
It has been a heavy few weeks here in the United States, as our country as been rocked by the murder of George Floyd, and people have taken to the streets and to social media to express their anger – and also to listen and to learn from one another.
Maybe you’ve felt anxious, overwhelmed, heartbroken, confused, humbled, frustrated, or scared. Or maybe, like me, you’ve felt ALL of that.
That’s why I felt it was so important to continue our conversation about racism on the podcast this week by inviting back two women who have profoundly impacted my life and taught me so much over the past year, Dr. Lucretia Berry of Brownicity and Jasmine Bradshaw of the First Name Basis podcast.
I got to know these two brilliant mothers and anti-racism educators when they each came on the podcast last year (epsiode 101 and 113), and I’m so grateful that our friendships have deepened since that time and they have continued to teach me "off the air" about these super important topics that are dramatically impacting our country right now.
Because we have a relationship of trust, I have been able to ask them my uncomfortable and uninformed questions, and having those heartfelt conversations has taught me so much and, really, changed my life.
Today, I am asking them YOUR questions, which I’ve gathered from emails and messages I received after these two ladies came on the show. I grouped similar questions together, and then chose THREE that we will focus on today:
1) If children aren't "color blind," why don't my children ever describe people by the color of their skin?
2) I have a Black friend who says he/she has not experienced racism, so it’s hard for me to believe what I hear about racism in the news. Should I listen to my friend, or should I listen to the voices of the media?
3) Is ‘reverse racism’ real?
If you are interested in seeing the video of the three of us talking together and hear our entire conversation, which was actually an hour long, I have posted that on YouTube.
As you listen to this episode, I hope that you will imagine that I am inviting you into my home to sit with me and be taught by two of my dear friends. That is truly how I think of all 3 in 30 episodes, but especially this one, and I’m so grateful to be part of a community where we genuinely listen, learn, and seek together.
1) Children won’t discuss what they don’t have the language or the permission to describe. Give them the language by teaching them about melanin and describing the different hues of humanity, and try not to react uncomfortably to conversations about race with your children.
2) Listen to people's experiences and anecdotes, but also dig into the research and the history of systemic racism in this country, and remember that this is not just about overt discriminatory acts; it’s also woven into our country’s major institutions and policies and the way they are enforced.
3) "Racial prejudice" is real and can be harbored by anyone of any race, which is not okay. But the concept of “reverse racism” is not legitimate because racism is "prejudice plus the systemic power to protect or reinforce that prejudice."
Many thanks to this month's sponsor, Bravery Magazine, an incredible quarterly print publication for girls and boys ages 5-12. Each issue is centered around a strong female role model and includes original stories, fun DIY's, activity pages and more.
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**I apologize for mispronouncing Maya Angelou's last name in the original posting. This has been corrected for new subscribers.