Two Pandemics One Answer

Video of the below letter being read on June 5, 2020: https://youtu.be/7ZEMwAgeJyc

I have been asked numerous times by my white peers “what can I do?”, “How are you feeling?”. I have received the calls and the texts only to reply with a thank you, not answering the phone due to not wanting to be the black-sounding board for white allyship. Many of my white friends know why I am not answering; if you’re friends with me, you’ve learned I tend not to bite my tongue on racism, especially with those I love and care about.  

I’ve been silent on social media, no surprise, I do not even post about my children or birthdays, etc. on social media. I tend to go months without a post and miss many messages on all online platforms. I prefer a phone call or some other interpersonal form of communication.

I’ve recently received what I call “pain marketing”, where white school and org leaders do a call to arms if you will, asking for funding as our black and brown children are pimped out, white leaders facilitating and inviting folks to racial healing circles; ironically an indigenous practice at the core. Instantly frustrated and disgusted at the capitalization of our communities based on our anger, terror, fear, sadness, anguish, hopelessness, and despair. Leaders like this come a dime a dozen, copy, paste, repeat leaders perpetuating systemic racism, cloaked in coined words like decolonization, diversity, equity, inclusion, hiring “teachers that mirror our scholars” (with no safety), racial bias, and let’s not forget “urgency.” Regurgitating what has been learned as they stepped on the black and brown backs of myself and peers, cleaning up their messes, parading us in front of commissions and funders on visits, but never putting us in the rooms or taking us to the dinners after, never paying equitable wages or recognition for the work they have appropriated and that they receive millions of dollars in funding for. The reality is that these copy, paste, and repeat leaders have to be stopped and exposed. There are so many leaders that you all can think of that meet these same criteria. Will you protect me when those who feel threatened by this message come for my livelihood? Will you pull funding and be harsher on us for speaking our truths? Will you demand that these leaders work with the same urgency and fervor to eradicate their racist ways as they do when pimping out our black and brown children? 

See, there are two pandemics, one has been going on for centuries, and almost no one has blinked an eye at it while it has been persistent and consistent and happening daily; racism. While the other happens every 100 years or so, natural, depending on who you ask, and has had a much swifter action towards it daily, and folks cannot stop batting their eyes at it: Covid-19. Both are taking the lives of black and brown folks rapidly and without pause, no second thoughts. I am running out of fingers to count the people we know that have been lost, while many of my white peers have lost far less, and some none. Racism, coupled with Covid-19, is now killing Black, Brown, and Indigenous people at even faster rates.

What this did make me do is think about what you, my white peers can do. Since you asked the question, I can only pray you will sit back and take the time to actually read this, from beginning to end and know it is long, like just about 40 years of pain endured due to racism, and centuries of pain endured by my ancestors who had their histories stripped from them. Maybe you’ve just stopped reading, but no worries, I’ve also filmed myself reading this because I believe in differentiation for adults as much as scholars.

So what can you do:

  • Fund our schools, black and brown led leaders with the same trust and veracity of our white peers who benefit from our children and will never live in our communities unless gentrified.
  • Give me the same grace period of two to three years of learning new positions, making mistakes and bettering myself as you have given my white peers who weren’t hired but appointed.
  • Recognize the black and brown folks that have contributed to your success and praise them publicly. Folks who taught you the words you spout against racism, the nannies who have helped you raise your children, the programs created, models built, TED talks written, and the management of those you may have been too scared to talk to or confront. Recognize us publicly and stop taking recognition and praise for the work of my black and brown peers.  The appropriation is so real.
  • For those in higher-up positions, mentor the Global Majority (black and brown folks) and do it without seeking praise, refrain from posting it on social media, or to the press. Do it to give them access to opportunities and support working on getting them into higher positions in the corporations you work in.
  • Stop calling us people of color, you don’t want to be called people with no color, and that is the contrast. Call us the Global Majority because we are the global majority.
  • Stop causing divides between the brown and black communities, the innate fear of knowing we are stronger as a collective whole is racism, address your racism.
  • Stop pinning us against one another in your corporations and organizations. If there is enough room for all of you to have powerful positions, there is room for you to have two or three Chief positions with folks of the Global Majority (GM).
  • Stop interrupting our conversations when you see two or more of us talking.
  • Stop referring to your friend groups by race, “Asian mom group”,”diverse educator friends”, “black friends.” Why do we need tag lines to be your friends, is it because we only serve the purpose of you shielding yourself from your own racism?
  • Stop saying the black and brown folks never apply and seek them out. Scour for them and pull them into your organizations, practice anti-racism and give us a safe place to voice our opinions around race without repercussions. Instead, give consequences to those who try to shun our voices. Weird fact, if a person of the Global Majority says something is racist, who are you to tell them it is not, it usually is. Another fact, talent scouts go into underserved communities and find raw talent for us to play sports for them, we are sought out to be murdered and have crimes pinned against us, I have faith you can be as resourceful to seek out and scour for GM candidates for your open positions.
  • Show the systems to us, take us into the board rooms, and give us access to the funds and relationships that are often hidden from us. Support us by inviting us to the table as a guest, instead of us finding out we are invited to the table as a main course on the menu.
  • Write grants pro-bono for us, give us priority- that is equity, and give priority to those organizations being led by GM leaders instead of those being run by white folks with the GM under them and/or serving the GM.
  • Hire Chief positions for DEI and Community Engagement positions, employing anti-racist leaders who will never acquiesce to white discomfort, but instead challenge your organization to grow for the better
  • Funders of schools and orgs have an anti-racist audit the way you do finances and academics and make it a public report that other funders can see. Ensuring it is a Chief position for DEI and that it is also someone who will speak truth and not have their work curtailed to appease you as their white supervisor, but they feel safe enough and receive no harm due to their transparent findings.
  • Grant the buildings you fund back to the communities in local community land trusts, Seattle has Africatown, if your city doesn’t have one start one.  
  • Stop gentrification. Create funds that support the elders who have owned the homes for decades to pay the back taxes. Buy homes and gift them back to the families that lost them. Look to South Africa abolitionists for this model.
  • Recognize when the GM needs to call in because another family member is sick, it’s not a lie or drama, it is a failed healthcare system that does not support the health of the GM. We have so many people with ailments dying around us that we just stop telling you because we never want to be labeled as the person who always has something going on. Systemic racism has ensured we always have something going on.
  • Stop being upset when I let you know I am not a feminist and could care less about female rights. Our black women are being incarcerated and killed at incredibly high rates, and where are you my white sisters stepping up for us? 1) The feminist movement did not see me as a human, and it was never my movement. The feminist movement was for white women. As a woman, as a mother, my men were never equal or safe for me to take part in a movement that has never recognized our men or me. A white woman will get the job before me and my black brothers ever can get our resumes tossed in the garbage. 2) Many white women are infuriated and threatened by my presence, I outrank your female minority status with my intersectionality, I am a black and female. 3) I do not see white women as minorities, you are the other half of the white male race, and have benefited from civil rights more than my own people who forged the way. Feminism has never been in my favor.
  • Stop posting and start doing, allies do for the feels, the social media posts, attending a protest and tweeting on it, creating a community circle and sending the newsletter that should be personal to the community to your funders and friends for recognition. Allies are narcissists, you want to make yourself feel good and want the recognition. You do when it is convenient. I survive and do because there is no other choice.  
  • Be an abolitionist! Sacrifice your safety for mine. Push the officer off the black man that has his knee on his neck as he begs to simply breathe. Stand in front of the gun aimed at us, meet your neighbors and co-workers, and ask to run alongside them, so there is less chance of being shot. Use your connections and demand that folks who kill us have the entire book thrown at them. Throw your body over the black body to shield them from the beating. Call the police on the white person for disturbing the peace when she is yelling at the man bbq’ing in the park. Pay for good attorneys for those marginalized and underserved by public defenders. And never look for praise for any of it!
  • Create companies and step aside for those of the GM to lead it, while still supporting and never publicizing what you are doing.
  • Create incubators in your organization for black and brown entrepreneurs.
  • Give folks the titles of the jobs they actually do, that your white peers would get.
  • Recognize that the racist past of America has allowed whites to succeed and profit on our skin. Desegregation of schools gave more jobs to white teachers. None to black and brown teachers, previous all white districts benefited from the influx of black and brown bodies in integrated schools. At the same time, we still received an even worse education, forcing eurocentric views down the throats of ALL scholars perpetuating white supremacist rhetoric and literally killing the souls of our children through daily oppression. Mentalities that say, “look how I brought these black and brown babies out of squalor, the very squalor my ancestors created for them.” Racism is a vicious, violent, and lucrative cycle that benefits whites at the expense of our lives.
  • We are tired of being your marketing campaign, you posing as our lord and savior, posing as enlightened and “woke.” Decolonizing curriculum with white curriculum writers. Hiring 3rd party DEI folks that are dependent on your funds and happiness. Hire those that will give you the hard truth. Hire us and embrace our truth when we give you the findings.
  • Stop talking and start doing. Giving to orgs is nice, and it is a privilege you may have that many never will, and yet you still need to do it.
  • Stop reading and regurgitating what you hear and read, while still being the biggest closet racist ever. Rapping the N-word and voting for those who are blatantly racist. If you’re racist, just let us know and stop pretending so we know how to deal with you.
  • Stop reacting to the public lynching you just witnessed and start doing on a daily basis. You should wake up with the first thought, what can I do to dismantle systemic racism today, and then do it daily!! Do it for the 100’s of modern-day lynchings that happen daily and are never televised or spoken of.
  • Stop having GM folks sign non-disclosures so they cannot speak their truth about your racist practices openly. This is a criminal practice, silencing your racism under the guise of a non-disclosure with hush money, especially in education, you’re a public educator, what is proprietary in education? Shouldn’t we be sharing resources to push stronger public education across the country?
  • Put community on your board, put GM folks on your boards, and food for thought let them speak and listen to them! And more than just a few tokens, create true diverse boards that are going to push you to strive for equity and anti-racism because that is success.
  • Start posting jobs and showing them first to the GM, stop hiding them, never post them properly, and then give them to white peers who never really interviewed and receive salaries 2 to three times higher than their GM peers. Allow communities to have a say in who you hire and again, HEAR them, listen! Do this especially in education; otherwise, you are simply hiring unqualified friends who were never hired by the community. While you and your friends capitalize on our children, you can’t even pronounce the names of during moving-up ceremonies.
  • Stop selling your rich friends, your savior complex, and rich friends stop being sold the savior complex under the guise of equity and serving underserved communities! Stop donating to friends who are really narcissist racists capitalizing on our communities.
  • Charter school leaders stop holding scholars back to get better test scores for funding, stop having kids test to and three times on MAP, so they meet their goals, and you get your funding, stop kicking scholars out of your school that receives SPED supports because they mess up your data. Stop forcing scholars out with behaviors you have no idea how to support because you don’t really understand what it means to build relationships and recognize you are the pain the scholar feel that feeds the behaviors you hate.
  • Stop turning a blind eye to our children being manhandled by your white peers.
  • Stop internally hiding your crap, so your racist practices don’t seep out to funders. Ex: Demoting a school leader internally for racist practices and putting her hands on her black and brown peers and telling your staff to not tell families or funders she has been demoted so as not to “cause red flags.” Own your crap and make things safer for those who rarely get to feel safe in the presence of white folks, and stop being defensive that black and brown folks have a justified reason to have distrust and fear.
  • Ask yourself why you won’t listen to me as a black woman as I tell you my pain, and how to really address racism, or that you are racist, but you’ll listen to my white peer “whitesplain” everything I said already and then buy his book to get more “woke.” My peers come to some of y’all bleeding out, and you only recognize our pain when someone white tells you we’re bleeding out. Listen and hear ME, listen, and hear your black and brown peers when they talk.
  • Prosecute police officers for excessive force and killings, throw the book at them like you do my black kin for having drugs on them. Prosecute them every time they use excessive force, or murderer someone. Let them feel their life can be taken, they can be put behind bars at any moment. Do this to ensure that before they think about pulling the trigger, putting their knee on a person’s neck with every pound in their body, for tazing one of us based on their deep-seated racism and/or fear of the GM, that they think about their own freedom first. No one bleeds blue, we all bleed blood, real officers don’t join the force to protect other officers they do it to protect our communities. Police officers should not be protected by the law. The laws should protect us, and no longer should these modern-day lynchings by the police or another white person be allowed to stand without immediate firing and the book being thrown at them.
  • Stop using a misspelled word on a resume as an excuse to trash it when you know it is a GM candidate. Bring them in for an interview every time; 8 out of 10 times, it will be one of your best hires. Take a chance on us the way you take a chance on your white peers, and again, make it a safe space for them.
  • Believe in my children as much as you believe in your own and give them the benefit of the doubt. Show them the same level of respect and more than you’d hope I’d show your own children.
  • Stop approving white led charter CEO’s to open schools in our communities, instead hire an educational consultant strong in systems and seek out the many, many black and brown leaders with child care centers, smaller schools, school leaders and invest in them, teach them by paying for them to shadow a local leader in a school and learn the systems, intervention practices, and coaching.Stop hiring the black and brown folks that will do whatever you want and cause no waves, hire the folks that will challenge you, and hold you to the anti-racism and DEI views you claim are important. 
  • Stop thinking because you have a bi-racial or adopted brown or black child you are exempt from being racist and recognize you may still be a loving parent and inflicting racism on your own babies. Do your work as the parent of bi-racial and adopted children.
  • Stop asking me about my hair, how long it took to do, why I always change it. I do it because I am creative, how long it took is none of your business, if you are really that curious find a YouTube video, and stop trying to touch my hair!  
  • Hold back your tears of fragility. Your tears are a mass weapon used to deter the conversation towards you, your whiteness, and your feelings instead of focusing on whatever we are trying to convey to you about your racism, or the racism inflicted upon us. Because when you start crying, you make it my responsibility to now console you or care about your feelings when I am the one in agony due to racism; in essence, your tears negate my feelings and pain. I will be creating a shirt one day that says, “You’re crying while I am dying, dry your tears, and do something.”
  • If you have control over media, bleep out the N-word like you do gay and Jewish expletives.

So now you’ve read it, and I am certain I’ve missed so much you can do, as I am not the black voice, just one of many speaking my truth. What will you do with this, did you even read it all? What will you do daily to live an anti-racist life to dismantle systemic racism daily? Are you a feel-good ally, or are you a life on the line abolitionist? Who are you, and who are you daily, will your abolitionist spirit die out after a week or two, and you’ll go back to being an ally? Many of you believe in strong systems, goals, how will you measure your growth, your activism? How will you know that what you are doing is working, and what pivots will you make when it is not? What will you do when you look in the mirror to see your knee on my neck?

I have been asked numerous times by my white peers “what can I do?”, “How are you feeling?”. I have received the calls and the texts only to reply with a thank you, not answering the phone due to not wanting to be the black-sounding board for white allyship. Many of my white friends know why I am not answering; if you’re friends with me, you’ve learned I tend not to bite my tongue on racism, especially with those I love and care about.  

I’ve been silent on social media, no surprise, I do not even post about my children or birthdays, etc. on social media. I tend to go months without a post and miss many messages on all online platforms. I prefer a phone call or some other interpersonal form of communication.

I’ve recently received what I call “pain marketing”, where white school and org leaders do a call to arms if you will, asking for funding as our black and brown children are pimped out, white leaders facilitating and inviting folks to racial healing circles; ironically an indigenous practice at the core. Instantly frustrated and disgusted at the capitalization of our communities based on our anger, terror, fear, sadness, anguish, hopelessness, and despair. Leaders like this come a dime a dozen, copy, paste, repeat leaders perpetuating systemic racism, cloaked in coined words like decolonization, diversity, equity, inclusion, hiring “teachers that mirror our scholars” (with no safety), racial bias, and let’s not forget “urgency.” Regurgitating what has been learned as they stepped on the black and brown backs of myself and peers, cleaning up their messes, parading us in front of commissions and funders on visits, but never putting us in the rooms or taking us to the dinners after, never paying equitable wages or recognition for the work they have appropriated and that they receive millions of dollars in funding for. The reality is that these copy, paste, and repeat leaders have to be stopped and exposed. There are so many leaders that you all can think of that meet these same criteria. Will you protect me when those who feel threatened by this message come for my livelihood? Will you pull funding and be harsher on us for speaking our truths? Will you demand that these leaders work with the same urgency and fervor to eradicate their racist ways as they do when pimping out our black and brown children? 

See, there are two pandemics, one has been going on for centuries, and almost no one has blinked an eye at it while it has been persistent and consistent and happening daily; racism. While the other happens every 100 years or so, natural, depending on who you ask, and has had a much swifter action towards it daily, and folks cannot stop batting their eyes at it: Covid-19. Both are taking the lives of black and brown folks rapidly and without pause, no second thoughts. I am running out of fingers to count the people we know that have been lost, while many of my white peers have lost far less, and some none. Racism, coupled with Covid-19, is now killing Black, Brown, and Indigenous people at even faster rates.

What this did make me do is think about what you, my white peers can do. Since you asked the question, I can only pray you will sit back and take the time to actually read this, from beginning to end and know it is long, like just about 40 years of pain endured due to racism, and centuries of pain endured by my ancestors who had their histories stripped from them. Maybe you’ve just stopped reading, but no worries, I’ve also filmed myself reading this because I believe in differentiation for adults as much as scholars.

So what can you do:

  • Fund our schools, black and brown led leaders with the same trust and veracity of our white peers who benefit from our children and will never live in our communities unless gentrified.
  • Give me the same grace period of two to three years of learning new positions, making mistakes and bettering myself as you have given my white peers who weren’t hired but appointed.
  • Recognize the black and brown folks that have contributed to your success and praise them publicly. Folks who taught you the words you spout against racism, the nannies who have helped you raise your children, the programs created, models built, TED talks written, and the management of those you may have been too scared to talk to or confront. Recognize us publicly and stop taking recognition and praise for the work of my black and brown peers.  The appropriation is so real.
  • For those in higher-up positions, mentor the Global Majority (black and brown folks) and do it without seeking praise, refrain from posting it on social media, or to the press. Do it to give them access to opportunities and support working on getting them into higher positions in the corporations you work in.
  • Stop calling us people of color, you don’t want to be called people with no color, and that is the contrast. Call us the Global Majority because we are the global majority.
  • Stop causing divides between the brown and black communities, the innate fear of knowing we are stronger as a collective whole is racism, address your racism.
  • Stop pinning us against one another in your corporations and organizations. If there is enough room for all of you to have powerful positions, there is room for you to have two or three Chief positions with folks of the Global Majority (GM).
  • Stop interrupting our conversations when you see two or more of us talking.
  • Stop referring to your friend groups by race, “Asian mom group”,”diverse educator friends”, “black friends.” Why do we need tag lines to be your friends, is it because we only serve the purpose of you shielding yourself from your own racism?
  • Stop saying the black and brown folks never apply and seek them out. Scour for them and pull them into your organizations, practice anti-racism and give us a safe place to voice our opinions around race without repercussions. Instead, give consequences to those who try to shun our voices. Weird fact, if a person of the Global Majority says something is racist, who are you to tell them it is not, it usually is. Another fact, talent scouts go into underserved communities and find raw talent for us to play sports for them, we are sought out to be murdered and have crimes pinned against us, I have faith you can be as resourceful to seek out and scour for GM candidates for your open positions.
  • Show the systems to us, take us into the board rooms, and give us access to the funds and relationships that are often hidden from us. Support us by inviting us to the table as a guest, instead of us finding out we are invited to the table as a main course on the menu.
  • Write grants pro-bono for us, give us priority- that is equity, and give priority to those organizations being led by GM leaders instead of those being run by white folks with the GM under them and/or serving the GM.
  • Hire Chief positions for DEI and Community Engagement positions, employing anti-racist leaders who will never acquiesce to white discomfort, but instead challenge your organization to grow for the better
  • Funders of schools and orgs have an anti-racist audit the way you do finances and academics and make it a public report that other funders can see. Ensuring it is a Chief position for DEI and that it is also someone who will speak truth and not have their work curtailed to appease you as their white supervisor, but they feel safe enough and receive no harm due to their transparent findings.
  • Grant the buildings you fund back to the communities in local community land trusts, Seattle has Africatown, if your city doesn’t have one start one.  
  • Stop gentrification. Create funds that support the elders who have owned the homes for decades to pay the back taxes. Buy homes and gift them back to the families that lost them. Look to South Africa abolitionists for this model.
  • Recognize when the GM needs to call in because another family member is sick, it’s not a lie or drama, it is a failed healthcare system that does not support the health of the GM. We have so many people with ailments dying around us that we just stop telling you because we never want to be labeled as the person who always has something going on. Systemic racism has ensured we always have something going on.
  • Stop being upset when I let you know I am not a feminist and could care less about female rights. Our black women are being incarcerated and killed at incredibly high rates, and where are you my white sisters stepping up for us? 1) The feminist movement did not see me as a human, and it was never my movement. The feminist movement was for white women. As a woman, as a mother, my men were never equal or safe for me to take part in a movement that has never recognized our men or me. A white woman will get the job before me and my black brothers ever can get our resumes tossed in the garbage. 2) Many white women are infuriated and threatened by my presence, I outrank your female minority status with my intersectionality, I am a black and female. 3) I do not see white women as minorities, you are the other half of the white male race, and have benefited from civil rights more than my own people who forged the way. Feminism has never been in my favor.
  • Stop posting and start doing, allies do for the feels, the social media posts, attending a protest and tweeting on it, creating a community circle and sending the newsletter that should be personal to the community to your funders and friends for recognition. Allies are narcissists, you want to make yourself feel good and want the recognition. You do when it is convenient. I survive and do because there is no other choice.  
  • Be an abolitionist! Sacrifice your safety for mine. Push the officer off the black man that has his knee on his neck as he begs to simply breathe. Stand in front of the gun aimed at us, meet your neighbors and co-workers, and ask to run alongside them, so there is less chance of being shot. Use your connections and demand that folks who kill us have the entire book thrown at them. Throw your body over the black body to shield them from the beating. Call the police on the white person for disturbing the peace when she is yelling at the man bbq’ing in the park. Pay for good attorneys for those marginalized and underserved by public defenders. And never look for praise for any of it!
  • Create companies and step aside for those of the GM to lead it, while still supporting and never publicizing what you are doing.
  • Create incubators in your organization for black and brown entrepreneurs.
  • Give folks the titles of the jobs they actually do, that your white peers would get.
  • Recognize that the racist past of America has allowed whites to succeed and profit on our skin. Desegregation of schools gave more jobs to white teachers. None to black and brown teachers, previous all white districts benefited from the influx of black and brown bodies in integrated schools. At the same time, we still received an even worse education, forcing eurocentric views down the throats of ALL scholars perpetuating white supremacist rhetoric and literally killing the souls of our children through daily oppression. Mentalities that say, “look how I brought these black and brown babies out of squalor, the very squalor my ancestors created for them.” Racism is a vicious, violent, and lucrative cycle that benefits whites at the expense of our lives.
  • We are tired of being your marketing campaign, you posing as our lord and savior, posing as enlightened and “woke.” Decolonizing curriculum with white curriculum writers. Hiring 3rd party DEI folks that are dependent on your funds and happiness. Hire those that will give you the hard truth. Hire us and embrace our truth when we give you the findings.
  • Stop talking and start doing. Giving to orgs is nice, and it is a privilege you may have that many never will, and yet you still need to do it.
  • Stop reading and regurgitating what you hear and read, while still being the biggest closet racist ever. Rapping the N-word and voting for those who are blatantly racist. If you’re racist, just let us know and stop pretending so we know how to deal with you.
  • Stop reacting to the public lynching you just witnessed and start doing on a daily basis. You should wake up with the first thought, what can I do to dismantle systemic racism today, and then do it daily!! Do it for the 100’s of modern-day lynchings that happen daily and are never televised or spoken of.
  • Stop having GM folks sign non-disclosures so they cannot speak their truth about your racist practices openly. This is a criminal practice, silencing your racism under the guise of a non-disclosure with hush money, especially in education, you’re a public educator, what is proprietary in education? Shouldn’t we be sharing resources to push stronger public education across the country?
  • Put community on your board, put GM folks on your boards, and food for thought let them speak and listen to them! And more than just a few tokens, create true diverse boards that are going to push you to strive for equity and anti-racism because that is success.
  • Start posting jobs and showing them first to the GM, stop hiding them, never post them properly, and then give them to white peers who never really interviewed and receive salaries 2 to three times higher than their GM peers. Allow communities to have a say in who you hire and again, HEAR them, listen! Do this especially in education; otherwise, you are simply hiring unqualified friends who were never hired by the community. While you and your friends capitalize on our children, you can’t even pronounce the names of during moving-up ceremonies.
  • Stop selling your rich friends, your savior complex, and rich friends stop being sold the savior complex under the guise of equity and serving underserved communities! Stop donating to friends who are really narcissist racists capitalizing on our communities.
  • Charter school leaders stop holding scholars back to get better test scores for funding, stop having kids test to and three times on MAP, so they meet their goals, and you get your funding, stop kicking scholars out of your school that receives SPED supports because they mess up your data. Stop forcing scholars out with behaviors you have no idea how to support because you don’t really understand what it means to build relationships and recognize you are the pain the scholar feel that feeds the behaviors you hate.
  • Stop turning a blind eye to our children being manhandled by your white peers.
  • Stop internally hiding your crap, so your racist practices don’t seep out to funders. Ex: Demoting a school leader internally for racist practices and putting her hands on her black and brown peers and telling your staff to not tell families or funders she has been demoted so as not to “cause red flags.” Own your crap and make things safer for those who rarely get to feel safe in the presence of white folks, and stop being defensive that black and brown folks have a justified reason to have distrust and fear.
  • Ask yourself why you won’t listen to me as a black woman as I tell you my pain, and how to really address racism, or that you are racist, but you’ll listen to my white peer “whitesplain” everything I said already and then buy his book to get more “woke.” My peers come to some of y’all bleeding out, and you only recognize our pain when someone white tells you we’re bleeding out. Listen and hear ME, listen, and hear your black and brown peers when they talk.
  • Prosecute police officers for excessive force and killings, throw the book at them like you do my black kin for having drugs on them. Prosecute them every time they use excessive force, or murderer someone. Let them feel their life can be taken, they can be put behind bars at any moment. Do this to ensure that before they think about pulling the trigger, putting their knee on a person’s neck with every pound in their body, for tazing one of us based on their deep-seated racism and/or fear of the GM, that they think about their own freedom first. No one bleeds blue, we all bleed blood, real officers don’t join the force to protect other officers they do it to protect our communities. Police officers should not be protected by the law. The laws should protect us, and no longer should these modern-day lynchings by the police or another white person be allowed to stand without immediate firing and the book being thrown at them.
  • Stop using a misspelled word on a resume as an excuse to trash it when you know it is a GM candidate. Bring them in for an interview every time; 8 out of 10 times, it will be one of your best hires. Take a chance on us the way you take a chance on your white peers, and again, make it a safe space for them.
  • Believe in my children as much as you believe in your own and give them the benefit of the doubt. Show them the same level of respect and more than you’d hope I’d show your own children.
  • Stop approving white led charter CEO’s to open schools in our communities, instead hire an educational consultant strong in systems and seek out the many, many black and brown leaders with child care centers, smaller schools, school leaders and invest in them, teach them by paying for them to shadow a local leader in a school and learn the systems, intervention practices, and coaching.Stop hiring the black and brown folks that will do whatever you want and cause no waves, hire the folks that will challenge you, and hold you to the anti-racism and DEI views you claim are important. 
  • Stop thinking because you have a bi-racial or adopted brown or black child you are exempt from being racist and recognize you may still be a loving parent and inflicting racism on your own babies. Do your work as the parent of bi-racial and adopted children.
  • Stop asking me about my hair, how long it took to do, why I always change it. I do it because I am creative, how long it took is none of your business, if you are really that curious find a YouTube video, and stop trying to touch my hair!  
  • Hold back your tears of fragility. Your tears are a mass weapon used to deter the conversation towards you, your whiteness, and your feelings instead of focusing on whatever we are trying to convey to you about your racism, or the racism inflicted upon us. Because when you start crying, you make it my responsibility to now console you or care about your feelings when I am the one in agony due to racism; in essence, your tears negate my feelings and pain. I will be creating a shirt one day that says, “You’re crying while I am dying, dry your tears, and do something.”
  • If you have control over media, bleep out the N-word like you do gay and Jewish expletives.

So now you’ve read it, and I am certain I’ve missed so much you can do, as I am not the black voice, just one of many speaking my truth. What will you do with this, did you even read it all? What will you do daily to live an anti-racist life to dismantle systemic racism daily? Are you a feel-good ally, or are you a life on the line abolitionist? Who are you, and who are you daily, will your abolitionist spirit die out after a week or two, and you’ll go back to being an ally? Many of you believe in strong systems, goals, how will you measure your growth, your activism? How will you know that what you are doing is working, and what pivots will you make when it is not? What will you do when you look in the mirror to see your knee on my neck?

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