Word Winding

attempting to spin cacophony into sanity

Archive for the tag “teenagers”

Question #15: How to oppose racism toward teenagers?

(This post is part of a series for July 2013 entitled “Question Month.” Read the intro to the series here.)

My Facebook post earlier today:

“Question No. 15: Is there anything I can do directly for teenagers in particular to actively oppose racism?

“(Yes, I’ll be working off my list from Question 14 for awhile, with maybe the occasional unrelated question fitting in from time to time.)”

Teenagers. Blithe and sullen, innocent and jaded, materialistic and altruistic. They are both sides of every coin, though not often in between. Grey areas are for adults.

Teenagers recoil at the slightest hint of judgement and blossom just as readily without it. They are brilliant and energetic and focused. Their brand of wisdom could change a thousand worlds.

Teenagers require nothing more than the benefit of the doubt.

And that is all it would have taken for Trayvon Martin to be alive today.

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I have no easy answer yet. This is no easy question. But teenagers of all stripes, I know which side on which to err: I promise my assumption will be that you are good, and kind, and much loved.

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I love them as little ones, and will love them just as much as teenagers.

Question #14: In search of the right questions to combat racial injustice

(This post is part of a series for July 2013 entitled “Question Month.” Read the intro to the series here.)

My Facebook post earlier today:

“Question No. 14: What are the right questions to ask in the face of racial injustice so blatant it is difficult to breathe?”

In case you have been living blissfully unaware, take a look at the following:

http://www.slate.com/articles/life/florida/features/2013/oh_florida/zimmerman_reaction_in_florida_history_of_shameful_jury_decisions.html

http://awareofawareness.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/dear-america-its-not-you-its-me/

http://gawker.com/the-zimmerman-jury-told-young-black-men-what-we-already-770650992

http://www.standingonthesideoflove.org/blog/grieving-for-trayvon-all-over-again/

Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

What can I personally do in my community to reduce racism?

Is there anything I can do directly for teenagers in particular?

In what ways am I complicit in allowing racism to exist in my presence?

Is there a tangible way to participate in the national protest of the Zimmerman verdict in balance with my regular obligations?

Who are the most influential racists in my community (specific prominent people as well as groups), and can they be swayed or are we just waiting for them to die out?

In what arenas is racism most destructive, and which fall closest to my skill set?

How can my privileged status (white, highly educated, financially stable, physically/mentally/emotionally healthy, gifted with supportive family and friends) be useful and not a barrier to collaboration?

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This I know: immeasurably precious though he is, my son’s skin does not make him more deserving of life and justice than any other.

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