Universal Human Rights as a Baseline

Hi Friends,

Happy Holidays! I’m using this post to expand more on solidarity, as informed by Jesse A. Myerson’s “White Anti-Racism Must Be Based in Solidarity, Not Altruism.” All of the quotes below, unless otherwise attributed, are from this essential article, along with most of the content I’m summarizing and sharing with you.

Myerson’s article explains exactly what I was trying to express in the earlier blog post I referenced in my last update. It also touches on this idea of a baseline, which I had written about before in the context of “wondering what would happen if we approached the challenge by creating a baseline of access and opportunity that we think every community member should have (things like clean water, reliable internet, safe and secure housing, a certain quality of education, food access, etc.). And if we created that baseline and saw that some of our community members were not receiving that access or those opportunities, that we would then allocate resources to address that disparity by prioritizing those needs first.”

I should have set my baseline at universal human rights. Speaking of which, International Human Rights Day is December 10. When basic, universal human rights are seen as privileges in our society, destitution and poverty become our baseline.

Myerson explains: “But even those who sit atop the racist hierarchy are pressured and bullied into the constant battle to maintain their position. In forcing them to jealously guard their resources and power against those with less — black people, immigrants, indigenous Americans, Muslims, and ‘white trash’ — our hierarchical system makes them develop fearful and contemptuous attitudes that worsen their lives. It alienates affluent white people from their fellow Americans and humans, depriving them of fellowship and cooperation.”

White people suffer in a system of white supremacy, too. In fact, “Losing ground in America is such a scary prospect that it blinds the affluent to the goal they might achieve if they adopted solidarity: liberation from that fear.”

Which means looking beyond discussions of privilege (which divide us) and shifting to demanding universal rights for all of us. Focusing on privilege emphasizes the scarcity mentality, telling us that we have to compete with each other just to survive. Focusing on privilege produces white guilt for racial inequality, which leads to inaction. If we look at universal human rights instead, suddenly we have abundance, and fury over inequality, which leads to action. Universal human rights puts us all on the same team.

Part of this work must address the mythology of the hierarchy of human value, as Dr. Gail Christopher often describes. The idea of valuing some people over others, believing that some people should have more rights than others, is one of the barriers that divides us.

Here’s an example. Max Nisen and Quartz write “Tackling Inequality in Gifted-and-Talented Programs.” They found that “universal screening leveled the playing field for students who traditionally get overlooked in referral-based systems” for gifted and talented programs in schools. “Given how many gifted children the old regime seemed to miss, and the economic and racial homogeneity it seemed to promote, the overtime seems like it might be worth paying.” However, it was more expensive to pay for testing all of the students than it was for only testing those who were referred, so universal screening was not adopted.

If we valued every student equally, if we believed that every student deserved the same access and opportunities to succeed, we would allocate the resources (financial and otherwise) to align our actions with our values. Instead, our actions uphold a hierarchy of human value, not universal human rights, because we are operating in a scarcity mentality.

More on this next time.

Listen. Amplify. Follow.

Rethinking White Privilege and Altruism

Hi Friends,

Last time I wrote about the role of capitalism and class in systems of oppression. I’d like to connect our conversation to a more complex understanding of White privilege.

I had an awakening experience of what I have lost to white supremacy during a racially diverse discussion group earlier this year. We divided into self-identified White or BIPOC groups for breakout sessions to discuss what we like about our racial identity. In my White group, we expressed and experienced deep shame, guilt, and sadness about our racial identities. When the BIPOC group shared with the group about their discussion, they expressed joy, strength, and pride in their racial identities.

The difference in our racial identity perspective is not because BIPOC experience more oppression and hardship than White people (even though they do). The difference is that in general, BIPOC choose to create, maintain, and directly identify with deeply rooted cultural traditions and practices, whereas White people often do not, associating our “culture” with oppression, hatred, and violence against others. Our rich ancestral cultural traditions and pride and joy in that culture are part of what we have lost.

White supremacy and a capitalist economy have blinded us to what we have lost, have lured us away from solidarity with each other for human rights. White privilege has given White people the human rights that everyone deserves and has given additional advantages that no one deserves.

This approach to privilege is explained as the “Two Faces of Privilege” by David Kaib.

  • The first face “would include food, housing, clean water and air, the ability to move about the world freely, and health care.”
  • The second face “includes things that I would argue no one should ever have — the ability to rape, to sexually harass, or to shoot ‘suspicious’ people of color; the ability to dominate conversations, to pressure subordinates, or to demean or demand favors from employees, tenants, or students.”

I learned about this perspective on privilege in Jesse A. Myerson’s “White Anti-Racism Must Be Based in Solidarity, Not Altruism.” I have written before about my concerns about “society’s dependence upon charity and volunteers to meet the baseline needs of our community members who are hungry and/or without shelter” and that my “hope is for systemic change that addresses the root causes of suffering so that the charitable and volunteer work is no longer relied upon for survival.”

Myerson’s article made me think completely differently about anti-racist work because he identified that “The dominant liberal conception of white anti-racism emphasizes altruism. In this mode, white people must set aside our own self-interest in order to extend kindness to those less fortunate.”

Through my anti-racist work, I had internalized that “White people are encouraged to defer, shrink, and assist. It is not our fight, the white-altruism mode says, so we must strive to decenter ourselves and support black people’s ‘advancement’ as peripheral allies, doing what kindnesses we can to compensate them for the privileges we enjoy.”

In this way, much of our anti-racist work is tied up in White saviorism. “Without being anchored to a goal of redistributing power, altruism is often carried along by the prevailing currents of racist capitalism.” Our intent does not matter — our impact matters.

This leads us to solidarity. Myerson says “Time and again, white people acting as allies in other people’s ‘progress’ have not just failed to address racist power relations; they have entrenched white dominance. Altruism cannot be the basis for white anti-racist action. There’s only one thing that can: solidarity.” Further, “Only when white people come to see that our own liberation is bound up in the liberation of others can we achieve solidarity and have a basis for white anti-racism that does not produce the colonial outcomes generated by altruism.”

I will write more about solidarity and a baseline of human rights in my next update.

In the meantime, if you’re interested in finding ways to contribute to fundraising and philanthropy in an anti-racist way, check out Community Centric Fundraising (CCF). Their Slack channel is open to anyone, their newsletters are thought-provoking, and their “10 Principles” can be adapted to many kinds of organizations, even when fundraising is not your main focus. I would love to see these ideas applied to PTAs, for example (a girl can dream!).


Listen. Amplify. Follow. 

The Intersection of Race and Class

Hi Friends,

I have been exploring some new topics in my anti-racism self-work and one of them is how “White people” became White. My creative writing piece in my last update touched on this somewhat. The reframe, after understanding the origins of whiteness, is to see the connection with economics, with class. I had left class out of most of my work so far because much of the content I had found in anti-racist work pushed race as the single-most oppressive factor for marginalized people, so I focused on race. My mistake was in neglecting the connection between race and class, a situation I’ll be rectifying from here forward. I have not been serving you as well as I would like, so I’m here now to correct my perspective and approach. There is always more to learn!

I want to share some key takeaways from some readings from White Awake’s “Roots Deeper Than Whiteness” online course, which I cannot recommend highly enough. As you will see in the next few of my updates, it has been life-altering and significantly perception-shifting, especially about the role of capitalism in oppressive systems in our country:

The first one I want to highlight is Chris Crass’s article “Anti-Black Racism, the Minstrel Show, and the Making of Whiteness” (we read pages 22–25, but the whole thing is worth a read):

“White supremacy in the United States is primarily about organizing the economy and the political system to serve the interests of elites at the expense of the vast majority of people. White supremacy is a divide-and-rule strategy to maintain structural inequality and the logic and culture of supremacy systems that normalize and rationalize inequality.” (p.23)
“…white racist rage and white resistance to Black equality is rooted in white anger and pain for not achieving the American Dream.” (p.23)

The creation of whiteness has its roots in the desperate migration of displaced and impoverished European people who traveled or were sent (under indenture) to the American colonies. This process required assimilation, abandonment of traditional cultural practices, in the name of survival (sound familiar?).

When landed, wealthy people of European descent encountered solidarity among poor people from many different cultures, they adopted a divide and conquer solution, one that is still in operation today, to prevent the majority from rising up against the minority. They created whiteness to bestow slightly better conditions and opportunities on people of European descent and removed resources and opportunities from everyone else, creating a hierarchy of human value. This persists today.

Did you know that many southern, non-slaveholding White men resisted the Confederacy and hid from or fled the Confederate Army with enslaved and free blacks in the Deep South swamps of Georgia? (see Keri Leigh Merritt’s “War Happens in Dark Places, Too”) Connect this to the way history is taught in our country and why this narrative and others of solidarity among working people are not the stories we share with our children.

White people have been and are still morally and materially harmed by white supremacy. We all are.

This is why anti-racist activists talk about collective liberation and what they mean when they quote Fannie Lou Hamer’s “nobody’s free until everybody’s free.” Much of the antiracism narrative talks about white privilege, implying strongly that White people have something to lose by engaging in anti-racist work. It turns out that it’s more complicated than that. More on this next time.

Listen. Amplify. Follow.

Hope Not Cynicism

Hi Friends,

This message is for all of us (from SURJ), and maybe especially for all of my friends and former community members in Virginia. Please internalize the message below. Please find ways to work in solidarity with people, all people, to further this work. Please stay in this, even when things are discouraging or you’re feeling a lack of hope.

As Azza Altiraifi said in her keynote during the recent Service Never Sleeps Allyship Summit, “We cannot afford to be cynical.” She went on to say that the significant investment by those in power to convince us that things are hopeless and nothing will change is proof that hope is powerful.

You are not alone. Keep taking steps forward and find some friends to bring along. More soon.

Listen. Amplify. Follow.

Stuck (and the Way Forward)

Hi Friends,

I was moved to share some creative writing with all of you. If you want to hear it rather than read it, click here.

Stuck (and the Way Forward)

As a White person engaging in anti-racist self-work, I have learned
not to center myself,
not to cry for fear that my tears might wield power,
to internalize the emotions that this work releases, and
to bury my own needs in service of others.

Sometimes it feels like a form of erasure.
Our emotions are invalidated because someone else suffers more.
Our fears and failures are harmful to those around us
so we must minimize and hide them.
Our experiences are inextricable from our privileges.

We can start to lose our individual identities
for fear of perpetuating marginalization and hate.
And culturally, if I am not White, if White has no meaning,
then who or what am I?
Do I even have a culture? Is it one I can be proud of?
Or is my culture colonization, genocide, and violence?

The roots of White supremacy
erased our cultures and differences
to create the idea of “White” as a group of people
in order to otherize the rest of humanity.

Some anti-racist work
can threaten to do the same
when we are


in shame
in blame
in competing with each other to prove that we are not racist
in otherizing to prove that we are one of the “good ones”
that we are worthy
of love.

The only way forward, out of white supremacy
is through love
of ourselves (even when we fail),
of each other (even when we are inhumane),
of our country (with open eyes).

Allowing or participating in
the dehumanization of anyone
contributes to our own dehumanization.

White supremacy robs all of us
of our ability to love and live freely.
It divides and separates us,
surviving through hate and fear,
competition and scarcity.

We must unite, not divide.
We must seek and share the truth to empower all.
We must release ourselves from shame
lest it turn us from love to hate.
And we must seek our own anti-racist identity
that is not written by white supremacy but is
informed by our shared humanity and intentionality.

Listen. Amplify. Follow.

Hello From Colorado!

 Hi Friends,

I’m getting settled in Colorado and I’m excited to be writing to you again! Thank you for your patience during this transition.

I hope you’re all getting back into the school year well and that students are getting the support they need. I’ve been hearing through the Arlington grapevine that the new virtual learning program is not meeting student needs, so if you’re hearing the same thing, please speak up about it to the School Board, APS administrators, or the Arlington NAACP Education Committee.

In case you missed it, there was an ArlNow article by Jo DeVoe about PTA spending inequities in July. This is one type of educational equity work where your voice is needed. Partially because of that article, I have been so lucky to get connected with other PTA/private funding equity activists across the country and I’ll certainly share resources along those lines as I hear about them.

For now, please check out:
Community-Centric Fundraising and this awesome article by Vu Le. I also recommend this article by Rebekah Giacomantonio about the dangers of white-led nonprofits in this work.
Fakequity, especially the most recent two posts.
A Progressive’s Style Guide (PDF) by Hanna Thomas and Anna Hirsch.
- This awesome video about school choices that families make and the impacts on education (created by the Park Hill Neighbors for Equity in Education (PHNEE) in Denver, and applicable nationally).

I’ve been paying more attention these days to environmental racism and environmental justice efforts. If you’re feeling at a loss about climate change, maybe take your anti-racist work in this direction.

I wanted to follow up to my last post about Critical Race Theory (CRT) in schools. I found some really helpful resources that I wanted to share with you:
- David Stovall and Subini Annamma write “OPINION: Using critical race theory to understand the backlash against it” (Hechinger Report, 7/29/21), especially: “Ultimately these laws reflect a hard truth: Historical accuracy has become an existential threat to white supremacy.”
- Mark Keierleber writes “Critical Race Theory and the New ‘Massive Resistance’” (The 74 Million, 8/18/21), especially: “claims of colorblindness have been used to entrench existing racial disparities for generations.”

What challenges are you experiencing in your anti-racist work right now? I’m always happy to research and write about your perspectives and experiences — please share with me!

Listen. Amplify. Follow.

Open Discussions of Race and History Must Continue in Our Schools

Hi Friends,

I hope you’re all enjoying the summer so far! This is my last update from Arlington before I relocate to Denver, and it’s an important one.

I imagine you have heard about the angst being expressed against critical race theory and that some states have passed legislation limiting how/whether racism can be discussed in schools. Primary and secondary school curricula nationwide are already very whitewashed, so this move to further deny historical and present truths about slavery and racism is alarming.

This backlash is happening in Arlington. Conservative individuals and groups have submitted FOIA requests to APS staff members, questioning their efforts to be more inclusive and equitable in their work. Teachers have been intimidated and attacked for teaching about race and history. These white supremacist efforts serve to distract and divert time and energy away from anti-racist work.

Your voices are needed. The voices that seek to maintain the status quo or to preserve a racist society are not the majority, but they are loud and constant and growing. Anti-racist voices must be raised to remind our community and its leaders that we value the truth, we value an education for our children that helps them understand the world as it is, and that creates future adults who know how to work and live with anyone who is different from them.

Teaching children about racism does not mean making White children feel bad for being White. Criticism about critical race theory has been present since it began in the 1970s. The current backlash isn’t really about critical race theory itself, but is an example of White fragility, guilt and shame. It is a rejection of the reality of systemic racism.

My question becomes, if a person doesn’t believe in systemic racism, in which we are all indoctrinated into a culture of white supremacy by the systems around us, making each of us a victim of this ideology, then are they saying they would rather believe that only individual racism exists? In which case, they become personally responsible for every racist thing they do? (I know, it’s not that easy. Obviously, these people are GOOD people and don’t have a racist bone in their body.)

Our education system is one of the major ways we can address ignorance about racism, the truths of our history, and also how we empower our children and ourselves to take hold of the influence we have, accept that our country and our society have failings, and work together to address them. We must speak up to support the systemic changes needed in our education system (and elsewhere) so that we can rise to this challenge and so our community and leadership respond to our voices and not to voices of hate and fear and ignorance.

This need is not limited to responding to the critical race theory panic. The pandemic highlighted many of the other systemic challenges our education system faces, including student access to resources such as wi-fi at home and microaggressions and racism in schools. Some families and students saw significant benefits to keeping their students out of physical schools, unrelated to concerns about getting sick. The education system must see these realities and address them openly and consistently.

Please speak up, early and often. Thank people who you see taking steps to change the culture at APS into a more inclusive and equitable system. Reach out with encouragement and support to teachers and principals as well as administrative staff. It is not enough to only do the self-work of anti-racism. Wherever you are connected to Arlington’s schools, speak up, reach out, provide support, ask questions. Continue to show up or speak at School Board meetings. Listen to community members of color and amplify their priorities and goals. Make your voice heard.

Our voices have already made a difference. Don’t stop now.

Listen. Amplify. Follow.

Please Take Action This Coming Week

Hi Friends,

Thank you for your patience as I navigate the end of the school year and our impending move. I have some very important action items for you, taking place next week!

Also HOORAY! for Congress making Juneteenth a federal holiday! There are lots of ways to celebrate June 19 (Saturday) — check out some local options here.

Arlington County Civilian Review Board — June 22
Arlington County is creating a Civilian Review Board and needs to hear from community members who support the recommendations of the Police Practices Group
- See the Call to Action from the Arlington Branch of the NAACP and Arlington for Justice
- Sign up to speak at the June 22 Civilian Review Board Hearing

Arlington Public Schools School Board vote on SROs in schools — June 24
The Superintendent has recommended that SROs be removed from regular school presence. The School Board has been receiving pressure from community members to vote against the Superintendent’s recommendations. Please support the recommendations of the SRO Work Group and tell the School Board that you support the removal of SROs from schools!
- See the Call to Action from the Arlington Branch of the NAACP and Black Parents of Arlington, including links to all of the presentations, recommendations, and supporting documentation.
- See the statement from Black Parents of Arlington and Arlington for Justice
- Sign up to speak at the June 24 School Board meeting in-person or by phone starting June 18.

Please also remember that we share lots of great resources through social media:
Facing Race in Arlington Facebook page (managed by the amazing Leah)
White Folks Facing Race Twitter feed (managed by Emily)
- Resources and past blog posts on White Folks Facing Race (managed by Emily and Leah)

You can also sign up for regular local updates to actions and events and resources from these wonderful organizations:

Showing Up for Racial Justice (NoVa chapter and DC chapter)

Your local NAACP chapter

Arlington for Justice

Black Parents of Arlington

Service Never Sleeps

Challenging Racism

Integrated Schools (including Arlington’s chapter)

Center for Youth and Family Advocacy

Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement (VOICE)

I am so encouraged by the number of you who have reached out to tell me about the amazing work you’re doing in your communities to engage White people about becoming more anti-racist. Thank you for your efforts and for your dedication to this work! I am excited to continue to serve as a resource for any of you and I look forward to hearing more about your efforts.

My departure doesn’t mean an end, but just another beginning. The work continues! As a kind and wise friend said, “The best thing we can do to show our appreciation of Emily’s efforts in Arlington is to keep doing the work, even after she leaves.”

Change brings progress. Here’s to bringing about change, together!

Listen. Amplify. Follow.

Parents Perpetuating Segregated Schools

Hi Friends,

I hope you enjoyed my last post about Entitlement and Racist Actions. I want to follow up somewhat promptly with more content related to educational equity in particular, especially the ways in which PTAs are structured and the ways in which mostly White and privileged parents turn schools into commodities (“good” and “bad”) thereby upholding white supremacy and systemic racism.

There was a recent story about the DC Urban Moms forum and its role in perpetuating segregation in DC area schools. Vanessa Williamson, Jackson Gode, and Hao Sun write “‘We all want what’s best for our kids:’ Discussions of D.C. public school options in an online forum” (Brookings Institution, 3/29/21). For example, “a great deal of the activity on the forum is dedicated to discussing how to leverage the District’s complex school choice system to ensure that one’s children are in one of the small number of public schools deemed acceptable, a process that reinforces the District’s geographic and educational segregation.” These conversations are happening all over the country and are perpetuating school segregation. If you want to learn more about how to counteract this, check out the resources at Integrated Schools and join our local Arlington chapter.

I also want to call attention to the Virginia PTA “A Deeper D.I.V.E. Webinar: Courageous Conversations — Creating a Safe Space in our PTAs” that addresses inclusion in PTAs and some incredibly important takeaways about the challenges PTAs face and why (start the video from the beginning if it starts partway through). Please take the time to engage with this even if you’re not involved in a PTA — the insights are relevant for much broader applications.

My housing search in Denver has brought my work into my family’s decision-making process as we consider where we want to live after we move. Schools and neighborhoods are segregated there, too, and looking at the DOE data shows evidence of “white flight” neighborhoods. I have already connected with the local chapter of Integrated Schools there so I can listen and learn from people who have been doing this work for a while and who have an understanding of the dynamics. School segregation has also been evident in our conversations with realtors who discuss “good schools” — it has been interesting to push back on their assumptions and start to model another way of thinking for them.

Where can you push back on assumptions and start to question the racist systems that are in place all around us? What everyday conversations are you a part of that you can start to model something different that doesn’t perpetuate bias and discrimination?

Listen. Amplify. Follow.

Entitlement and Racist Actions

Hi Friends!

I’m sorry it has been longer than usual since my last update. I have some really important things on my mind, so I hope you make time to listen and internalize what I have to say.

First, I have been trying to identify things as “racist actions” rather than identifying people as racist. We all do things that are racist from time to time because we’re all operating within a racist system. It doesn’t make us bad people, it means that we need to continue to learn and listen and work hard to unlearn those racist biases so we can take more anti-racist actions than racist actions in any given day.

Second, our awareness of our privilege (and there are so many kinds of privilege) must also include awareness of entitlement. Entitlement and racist actions often go hand in hand, for example, in situations of resource hoarding — “I must get all of the best things.”

For example, claiming equity to further your own priorities (or get what you want for you or your kids) without actually listening to the people you claim to support is a racist action. Please revisit the article I shared by James Bridgeforth and Steve Desir called “OPINION: When it comes to reopening schools, it’s time for leaders to listen to Black families” (The Hechinger Report, 3/8/21). Please also internalize the data shown on the APS website for “Learning Model Enrollment Data” and understand that families of color in our community are showing their preferences with their enrollment choices — not because there are no seats available, but because many of them prefer for their students to learn virtually for a myriad of reasons.

Each and every one of us can identify ways in which our equity work has only extended as far as our own child or neighborhood or school community. We must choose to break past those comfort zones and listen to the priorities of those who are most affected by inequity. If we understand, for example, that some families feel uncomfortable returning their children to school buildings because they do not have health insurance and getting sick could mean financial ruin, what could we do to support universal healthcare access or health care reform? If we understand that some families feel uncomfortable returning their children to school buildings because they have lost multiple family members to covid-19, what could we do to address health care disparities and vaccine access equity? How can we change our work to focus on the challenges facing others rather than solely looking at the challenges that affect us?

Before you text your Black friend and ask them what their anti-racist priorities are, pause. Do not ask individual BIPOC in your life to educate you about racism. Look for the BIPOC voices that are already publicly available from people who have chosen to be vulnerable and share their perspectives and experiences. Seek out anti-racist organizations that have shared their priorities and goals and who welcome you to have these conversations. There are times when it is appropriate to ask individual people for their perspectives and input (as we would with someone we care about), but it cannot be about things that are easily addressed by Google (like “how can I be less racist?” or “what is it like to be Black?”). Imagine a man asking a woman to explain sexism to him when instead he could find the answers without putting her on the spot. Now imagine that happening every single day. Asking a person who you have privilege over to explain their oppression to you is a form of oppression.

BIPOC anti-racist leaders in our community are working tirelessly for change, attending all the meetings, talking to all the people, doing all the things. They need and deserve to work with community members who have earned their trust and who can be entrusted with listening, amplifying, and following their leadership and moving their goals and priorities forward. What steps are you taking, each and every day, to become one of those people? That is your goal. Your goal is not to support, not to help, but to listen (and believe them), amplify their words and actions, and to follow their leadership. When you are invited to lead by existing BIPOC led efforts, you will know that you are heading in the right direction. Don’t stop! Keep going.

I realize that waiting to be invited might feel disempowering or uncomfortable. Sit with that feeling. Understand that BIPOC leaders experience that feeling every day. While White people can never truly understand what it is to be a racially marginalized person in our society, we must be willing to experience discomfort and show compassion and empathy for fellow human beings. We must be willing to accept that we will not always get what we want for ourselves or for our kids. Expressing hate towards people who disagree with you does not move us forward — it only perpetuates hate. Shunning people who are not taking as many anti-racist actions as you are does not move us forward — it only centers yourself and your experiences. Instead, exercise your humility, your compassion, and your desire to bring as many people along in your anti-racist actions as you can. If people around you are taking a hateful path, speak up and change the conversation. Silence is complicity.

With all of this in mind, I am thrilled to endorse my friend, Mary Kadera, for Arlington County School Board. I recruited Mary to join the CCPTA Executive Board as Vice President because I am grateful for her ability to take a countywide approach in her advocacy for students and educational equity. She showed strong leadership instincts and a cool head when she was PTA President at McKinley Elementary School, which was part of a very divisive school boundary process. Most of all, I am endorsing Mary because she has shown a willingness to listen and true compassion for every student in Arlington. Voting in the Arlington County Democratic Committee’s 2021 School Board Caucus is taking place online from May 17–23. Please vote!

Many resources are below. I’m behind on catching up on all of the amazing resources I’ve been finding (and thinking about how best to share them with you), so I’m sending this now and I’ll follow up with more soon. (Freeing myself from perfectionism!)

- Theresa Vargas writes “A high school football team told adults they were spat on and called the n-word. Nothing changed until a player posted, ‘enough is enough!’” (Washington Post, 3/20/21)
- Hannah Natanson and Justin Jouvenal write “Asian student verbally harassed, spat at outside Fairfax middle school” (Washington Post, 3/25/21)

- Paul Waldman writes “The Opportunity Society” (The American Prospect, 5/1/12) — for insight into privilege.
Reimagine Safety is a Washington Post Editorial Board project.
- Kate Silver writes “A new guide leads travelers through U.S. civil rights history” (Washington Post, 3/19/21)
- Eli Rosenberg writes “‘People shouldn’t be afraid of the word white privilege’: New labor secretary talks inequality, racism and union power in first interview” (Washington Post, 3/24/21)

- Alafair Burke writes “Opinion: Who will march for Asian Americans after the killings in Atlanta?” (Washington Post, 3/17/21)
- Marianna Sotomayor writes “In wake of Atlanta slayings, lawmakers clash during emotional hearing about attacks on Asian Americans” (Washington Post, 3/18/21). What struck me in particular is the quote from Rep. Tom McClintock “‘If America was such hate filled, discriminatory, racist society filled with animus against Asian Americans, how do you explain the remarkable success of Asian Americans in our country?’ he asked, asserting that the community faces the fewest prejudice-driven attacks and makes the most income of any ethnic group. ‘Any racist sentiments, speech or act needs to be vigorously condemned,’ he continued, ‘but to attack our society as systemically racist, a society that has produced the most prosperous and most harmonious racial society in human history, well that’s an insult and it’s flat out wrong.’” The reason I share his words is because his assertions that talking about race is divisive, that people who are successful are not also experiencing racism, and that systemic racism does not exist — these assertions are also made by liberal progressives here in Arlington and stand directly in the way of anti-racist progress.
- Silvia Foster-Frau, Fenit Nirappil and Amy B. Wang write “After enduring racism in silence, Atlanta-area Asian Americans speak up” (Washington Post, 3/20/21)
- Petula Dvorak writes “Attacks against Asian Americans are up. It’s time to pay attention.” (Washington Post, 3/18/21)
- Viet Thanh Nguyen and Janelle Wong write “Bipartisan political rhetoric about Asia leads to anti-Asian violence here” (Washington Post, 3/19/21)
- Robin Givhan writes “Harris’s self-evident truth” (Washington Post, 3/22/21)

- Theresa Vargas writes “The diversity failures at the nation’s best public high school led officials to make changes. More are needed.” (Washington Post, 3/17/21)
- Laura Meckler and Douglas MacMillan write “‘There has to be an accounting’: Former AT&T lawyer says company systemically overcharged neediest schools” (Washington Post, 3/18/21)
- Donna St. George, Valerie Strauss, Laura Meckler, Joe Heim and Hannah Natanson write “How the outbreak is reshaping education” (Washington Post, 3/15/21)
- Laura Meckler writes “Nearly half of schools are open full-time, survey finds” (Washington Post, 3/24/21)

- Leslie Kaufman writes “To Fight Flooding, This City Plans to Renovate — and Retreat” (Bloomberg Green, 3/9/21)
- Kelsey Tamborrino writes “The wage gap that threatens Biden’s climate plan” (Politico, 4/6/21)

- Tracy Jeanne Rosenthal writes “The Enduring Fiction of Affordable Housing” (The New Republic, 4/2/21)
- Catherine Rampell writes “Rents for the rich are plummeting. Rents for the poor are rising. Why?” (Washington Post, 3/22/21)

- Mark Guarino writes “Evanston, Ill., leads the country with first reparations program for Black residents” (Washington Post, 3/22/21)

Listen. Amplify. Follow.