We’re often told that time heals everything. In regard to our collective fury over racism in America, that sentiment certainly seems to hold true. Just look at our support of the Black Lives Matter movement: In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, the approval of BLM jumped significantly across the nation. But it didn’t last long. Now, only one year later, multiracial support of BLM has dropped, with white people showing the sharpest decline.
If we’re committed to raising anti-racist kids—and we are—we must keep the conversation going. We must continue to hand the mic to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color and listen while they speak their truth.
Here are 12 powerful and unforgettable takes from around the web, each reflecting on race relations in America.
“Mariel Buqué, a psychologist who focuses on intergenerational trauma, said that for Black people, water represents ‘one of the largest collective traumas we have experienced in the Western Hemisphere.’
Fortunately for me, both my mother and father learned how to swim, so they worked at dismantling that dangerous legacy; as a mother, I understood that it was my obligation to do it for my son, as well.” —Imani Bashir, The New York Times
“Implicit bias is basically the unconscious associations we make when we see repeated messages about who’s on the upside of power and who’s on the downside of power…
It’s an issue that’s been amplified during the pandemic, thanks to screen times that have doubled from a year earlier. So when kids watch a group of friends who are all white, a science club that has only one girl, or villains who are consistently people of color, they begin to see that as a normal reality… ” —Heather Greenwood Davis, National Geographic
“I knew when my wife got pregnant, we’d face challenges like any new parents—and probably more as queer parents. But I didn’t know we’d be hit with a life-threatening pandemic, one that has laid bare all the ways our country is failing all of us, but especially those who face barriers to accessing health care and employment, including queer Black and brown women.” —Noelia Rivera-Calderón, Refinery29
” …I realize how little will I have to partake in discussions about racism that center and cater to whiteness: what white people don’t know; what they’re uncomfortable with; what they refuse to see or recognize or speak out against. There will always be those who doubt or deny the racism, othering and fetishization that dehumanizes us, the violence that threatens us. At what cost, I wonder, do I continue to exhaust my own finite resources running after them, hoping to reach them? Have I not lost enough precious time and energy to white supremacy?” —Nicole Chung, Time
“I ached for Black heroes, real and imaginary, to prove that my experience was not a unique one, that I was not alone in a world in which I was darker than many of my peers. I was old enough to know that being Black meant being different, but too young to understand how my race would impact every aspect of my life.” —Ashleé Clark, Salon
I ached for Black heroes, real and imaginary, to prove that my experience was not a unique one, that I was not alone in a world in which I was darker than many of my peers.
“For me, growing up as a multiracial Latina, the sting of microaggressions, my family’s emphasis on the ‘white’ part of me, and passive racism were part of the daily routine. I would have to choose whether to “stir the pot” by pointing out biases to my own family or letting things slide for fear of confrontation with those I loved.” —Melissa Guida Richards, The Everymom
“As I head back to work this fall, I’m trying to balance caution with fear—particularly in how I approach Asian hate with my kids. We’ve talked about how differences can sometimes breed misunderstanding, but I’ve shielded them (for now) from the more violent turns the stories can take. Maybe I’m still holding out hope that when they grow up, they won’t need to internally deliberate about whether to wear a hat or color their hair to hide their heritage.” —Connie Chang, InStyle
“By nine months old (prime time for peekaboo), babies begin to react to ethnic differences. That’s around the age when they start developing ‘stranger anxiety,’ and their hearts actually beat faster when they come into contact with people they don’t recognize. If that stranger has markedly different skin, hair, and features from Mom or Dad, their little hearts might thump harder with apprehension.” —Uju Asika, Mater Mea
“[Black educators] took a holistic approach to teaching—honoring Black life, with all its beauty and contradictions, and nurturing the ambition of their students, even when the lesson had nothing to do with responding to whiteness or anti-Black violence. In my classrooms growing up, we had to study and enact anti-racism, certainly. But we also had to know that our worth and our offering to the world, and to ourselves, was much more than that.” —Jarvis R. Givens, The Atlantic
“I honestly cannot ever recall seeing an Asian American even smile once in any television show or movie or music video. And I certainly never saw an Asian depicted outdoors. Imagine going your whole childhood and never seeing anyone who looked like you smile? Look around us—just about every hurt we see in the news is caused by a person’s lack of curiosity about their fellow human beings, a lack of wonder.” —Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Cupcakes and Cashmere
Imagine going your whole childhood and never seeing anyone who looked like you smile?
“Black, Latino and Asian families will concede that school-by-Zoom can be a hot mess. Decades of federal neglect of broadband, as well as struggles by districts to roll out technology in a timely manner, have meant that students have been shortchanged at various points in the last year. But these families are also realistically assessing the risks they and their children still face from Covid—and the long odds of proper ventilation and mitigation in the oft-neglected school buildings in their communities.” —RiShawn Biddle, The New York Times
“For Black women to truly have rest and wellness, we need allies to support us in dismantling systems that have us running in all directions; who treat their children and families with humanity, dignity, and respect. No tokenism. No B.S. They need white parents and POC parents to examine their internalized racial superiority and anti-Blackness and not spill it onto their children, into the schools, and more. They need allies who will fight for Black history to be taught in school (and not just during Black History Month). Plain and simple, they need allies who will help to undo racism as it appears across our culture in all aspects of life. When more allies appear, Black women can rest and do less to protect their own.” —Erin McIntire, The Everymom