As I watched this video, I noticed myself holding onto some of the VERY views that these eight black young men were talking about people around them having. Despite my conscience effort to battle my own internal racism, intertwined with my deep sadness about their experiences, I found myself trying to find reasons to justify why I didn’t have to believe that this is the norm for our young Black men.
Think back to your own internal reactions while listening to their stories.
Were they all what you would have hoped them to be?
When it comes right down to it, want to believe that the institutions and communities that we are part of: school, family, church, municipality, sports team are not fundamentally racist. But what I think these young men are getting at is that they are and without some acknowledgement and shift, they will remain so. For those of us who hold influence in these institutions, by our being part of the community and wanting the best for them, it is up to us to name the racism and to our damnedest to shift our perspectives. It is not about attacking individuals, but it’s about the insidious nature of racism that manifests itself in so many ways, even in ways that are intended to be positive.
This is one of the best videos I have seen that tackles this struggle of Black students. I know it exists at the school my daughters attend and I am sure it exists in many of your schools. Please pass it along, encourage folks to watch this video, follow @colorlines to keep up with the series and engage in some good conversations that hopefully lead to change.