On Racism - Some Resources

In the related thread, I wrote:

Suggested reading: “Come All You Brave Soldiers: Blacks in the Revolutionary War” by Clinton Cox, in combination with “Frederick Douglass” by David W. Blight, “Rush” (about a founding father, Benjamin Rush) by Stephen Fried, the Chelsea House Publishers series “The Indians of North America,”
“The Year They Walked” by Beatrice Siegel, and “Sarny, A Life Remembered” by Gary Paulsen. In these books, you can see the treachery, hypocrisy and silver-tongued nature of Americans as they dealt with Indians and Blacks, including how Washington misused the Army to slaughter Indians in pursuit of getting prime real estate for himself, and how Blacks who fought in the Revolutionary War (and some in 1812) were re-enslaved, many of whom were never justly rewarded because the Continental Congress allowed slave owners to send a slave as their replacement.

So many heinous crimes by our over-glorified founders, whose motives were far more earthbound and selfish than we were taught.

If you don’t have the time or inclination to read that much (Rush and Frederick Douglass are LONG, dense, thought-provoking books), and you’d just like to get a feel for what it might be like to be on the receiving end of racial discrimination, and all the fear, anger, confusion, frustration, etc. that produces, I suggest you watch Blindspotting. You might also chuckle at the irony of the kitchen scene at the party which ironically makes Miles look like a fool before Collin realizes that it is Miles the other person speaks of and they all discuss with disdain. It is intense, with violence and swearing, and the speed-rapping can sometimes be hard to follow when it happens, but if you pay close attention you may find yourself, as I did, identifying with Collin, empathizing and, if you can allow it, shedding tears like I did. As events unfold, with the irresponsible behavior of Miles only adding to the jeopardy of Collin - who is struggling with guilt that magnifies over time - you can see that Collin is really struggling and then it all comes to a climax that is so unexpected and powerful that you hold your breath praying that it won’t all go sideways. The movie brings you to this intense moment after carefully escalating, and what comes after is…Well, you’ll have to watch.

You see - and you may well see, if you have been a victim of discrimination, as I have - through the shared experience of this film, in a way that many other films fail to capture so eloquently, what you may have been blind to in spite of your experiences.

To borrow from something my twelve-year old son wrote this week at school:
"If we find division before we ignite the fire of reunion, we will fall into the bitter cold and evil of darkness before we can spark the hope and purpose that lights the fire of reunion, the fire that will bring us warmth and light from the dark of division, the division that will bring us defeat and submission.

If we find ourselves looking at each other and seeing an enemy, the enemy that we know of as division, the fire has already been extinguished by the unforgiving winds that were held at bay by the light of hope, purpose and union."

I may be brash, candid and willing to argue, but I know the pain, humiliation, anger, confusion, frustration, sadness, etc. of discrimination (not to Collin’s degree, though), and I was raised not to discriminate. I would be very happy if this whole problem that pits “races” against each other for no reason other than fear of that which is obvious different combined with the desire to conquer it would be erased from the world.