SURJ condemns loss of life, no matter who is dead. As an organization committed to organizing white people to dismantle a criminal justice system brutalizing communities of color across the nation, SURJ condemns violence against the police and mourns the injuries and deaths of police officers killed in Dallas.
A system that brutalizes people of color communities and destroys the lives even of those who are enforcing it, is not a sustainable system, a moral system, nor a system that can serve the kind of world in which ALL people are valued and cherished.
Across this country, Black communities live in terror that someone among them, a father, a sister, a child, could be next in the rising death toll of their lives.… Read more
This is to express our gratitude to everyone who showed up at The Future of Solidarity, organized livestream viewings across the country, helped share the event, and made the evening so powerful through your deep presence, open hearts and warm connections. With over 600 people gathered, it was the most amazing turnout we could have hoped for!
We also want to say a huge thank you to the 35 person volunteer team that donated time, energy and great care to making the venue more accessible, and the entire evening run smoothly.
Here is a video of the panel. The transcript is being edited and will be posted to the Facebook event page soon. We encourage sharing and re-watching/listening to the speakers, who presented so much critical food for ongoing thought.
If you are so inspired, this video could be shown for a group to spark discussion on Black liberation and white anti-racism.… Read more
Two mini-zines made by White Noise and friends for a Black Lives Matter march and the Reclaiming Dr. King’s Radical Legacy march last year are available to download and print – a small way to contribute to the waves of organized actions this weekend.
Please take and share these tiny folded pieces packed with quotes and food for thought for white allies:
This weekend will be the 2nd annual Reclaim MLK’s Radical Legacy – 96 hours of disrupting the status quo and building resilient and resistant communities. It’s been called for by the Anti-Police Terror Project and supported by a coalition of other organizations.
Many of you may be interested in finding ways to plug into some of the actions and events happening this weekend, so we thought it might be useful to compile as many of the public events together as we could.… Read more
This Friday we will mark the one-year anniversary of the Black Friday 14 non-violent direct action at the West Oakland BART station — an action inspired by a growing national movement to expose the painful legacy of police brutality and demand an end to police violence in our country. Since Black Friday 2014, we have collectively mourned the loss of at least 290 black lives in officer-involved shootings in the United States — at least seven in Alameda County alone. This tragic fact demonstrates that this movement is not over and that courageous actions like those of the Black Friday 14 are critical to ending this epidemic of violence against black people.
We write this letter to you inspired by the Black Friday 14 and dismayed that you have not yet dropped the charges against them. We write mourning the deaths of Guadalupe Manzo-Ochoa, Zaki Shinwary, Yuvette Henderson, Demouria Hogg, Jonathan Patrick Deming Jr, Antonio Clements, Nathaniel Wilks, Troy Francis, Yonas Alehegne, Dante Osborn, and the most recent unnamed victim — all of whom lost their lives to Alameda County police forces since Black Friday 2014.… Read more
The Charleston Imperative: Why Feminism & Antiracism Must Be Linked
As we grieve for the nine African Americans who were murdered in their house of worship on June 17 2015, those of us who answer the call of feminism and antiracism must confront anew how the evils of racism and patriarchy continue to endanger all Black bodies, regardless of gender.
As antiracists, we know that the struggle against racial terror is older than the Republic itself. In particular we remember the work of Ida B Wells who risked everything to debunk the lies of lynchers over 100 years ago. Today, we see that fierce determination in Bree Newsome who scaled the 30-foot flagpole at the South Carolina state Capitol and brought down the Confederate flag.
In our struggles to take down white supremacy and patriarchy, we must each heal the ways we have internalized these systems of oppression. Otherwise, we end up recreating them — even in our liberation movements. This healing means different things to different people. We write this piece in particular for those of us who identify at what we often call the intersection of race privilege and gender(ed) oppression. The two primary authors of this piece identify as white, queer women (though those labels never seem sufficient), but we recognize that people invested in this conversation might identify elsewhere on the spectrums of race and gender. We write this in hopes of starting a conversation that we think has been missing. We write it because we need to acknowledge that not having this conversation is causing real harm to our mental health, to our resilience, and to our ability to sustain hope.… Read more
“This is not just Baltimore’s problem, like it wasn’t just Ferguson. This is racism in America.”
I’m from a majority Black and highly segregated city near Baltimore. Wilmington, Delaware had the longest domestic military occupation since the Civil War when the National Guard occupied the city for 9 months in 1968 after Dr. King was assassinated– the longest occupation until New Orleans post-Katrina, that is.
Old money white wealth stays across town from row homes in impoverished Black neighborhoods cut through with the interstate. Wilmington’s not at the level of destitution that Baltimore has been dealing with, but it’s so easy for me to imagine that what is happening right now is in my hometown. Just as all these same problems of systemic violence, and people resisting it, is happening here in the Bay Area, and in my other home of New Orleans.… Read more
We are excited by the recent post from SONG (Southerners on New Ground):
THERE IS HONOR IN STRUGGLE
THERE IS HONOR IN THE WORK
SONG ON THE ROLE OF WHITE PEOPLE IN THE MOVEMENT AT THIS TIME
It opens with a powerful quote:
“White people are taught that racism is a personal attribute, an attitude, maybe a set of habits. Anti-racist whites invest too much energy worrying about getting it right; about not slipping up and revealing their racial socialization; about saying the right things and knowing when to say nothing. It’s not about that. It’s about putting your shoulder to the wheel of history; about undermining the structural supports of a system of control that grinds us under, that keeps us divided even against ourselves and that extracts wealth, power and life from our communities like an oil company sucks it from the earth. The names of the euro-descended anti-racist warriors we remember – John Brown, Anne Braden, Myles Horton – are not those of people who did it right.… Read more
The #BlackLivesMatter movement is expanding and deepening across the nation, and spreading around the globe. This sign, hashtag and rallying cry are filling streets, newsfeeds, imaginations and institutions. And white-identified folks eager to engage, enraged by injustice, and inspired by the movement are showing up in large numbers and in different ways. As white allies act, and reflect on action, it is key to understand what is being asked for by Black leadership, what is useful, powerful, and what is detrimental. Many brilliant Black organizers have commented on the ways white folks have co-opted or redirected movement energy from #BlackLivesMatter, or distracted from the movement by generating overwhelming media coverage on the “violence” of property destruction.
Today, as millions across the country prepare for a weekend of marches and mobilizations nationwide, we wanted to cross-post this piece by Alicia Garza in The Feminist Wire, to learn from and listen to one of the founders of this movement.… Read more
Showing up for Racial Justice(SURJ) was formed in 2009 by white people from across the US to respond to the significant increase of targeting and violence against people of color in the aftermath of the election of Barack Obama. The killings of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO; Eric Garner on Staten Island, NY; Ezell Ford in Los Angeles, CA; and John Crawford in Beavercreek, Ohio are the latest in a long series of extrajudicial (outside the law) killings of people of color in the United States. We mourn the loss of life, see the impact on communities of color and believe that white people must partner across race and other differences to create social change. SURJ is here to provide resources and support for white people to make this happen.… Read more
“There are a lot of events vying to occupy the American mind these days such as Gaza, Iraq, Ukraine, the immigration crisis, hate crimes against Sikhs, Ebola, and Robin Williams’ death. But in one way, the ability to switch among these traumas is a white person’s ‘luxury.’…
“Black Americans are rightfully outraged, but it will require all Americans to be mobilized before the racism that undergirds these killings will end and the deaths along with it. White Americans like me have to stop channel surfing all the outrageously bad news from around the world and focus on the death that is happening in our own cities to our fellow Americans…
“I also pressed Rev. Lee on what he would like to tell white Americans on how to show solidarity.… Read more
In our June dialogue, we convened white female and gender minority racial justice activists to examine personal and political histories of immigration to this country, and to generate steps for action, engagement and dialogue with other white people towards contributing to the inspiring momentum of the immigrant justice movement. It was fantastic for the White Noise Collective to be joined by special guest, organizer and facilitator extraordinaire Dara Silverman of SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice), who led us through a three-part process of familial exploration on a timeline of US history, expression of values and stakes white people may have in immigrant justice, and concrete practice with role playing conversations. SURJ is a national network of white people committed to racial justice, originally organized in 2009 to begin to explore ways that white individuals could step up to the challenge of confronting the contemporary manifestations of racism across the US.… Read more
The White Noise Collective has added our name to the list of organizations that support and endorse the California Prisoner Hunger Strikers. We do this as an act of solidarity and to stand in opposition to the structural racism of the prison industry. As part of that endorsement, we are sharing this announcement about an upcoming way for all of us to show support and solidarity. Please join us in making a call to Gov. Brown and encouraging him and the CDCR to negotiate. -the WNC
Hunger for Justice
On Wednesday July 31st, people around the world will fast and take other action in solidarity with the California Prisoner Hunger Strikers. Join family members of hunger strikers along with James Cromwell, Angela Davis, Mike Farrell, Danny Glover, Elliott Gould, Chris Hedges, Alice Walker, and Cornel West. We fast knowing that the criminalization that killed Trayvon Martin, and the criminalization that justifies the torture of prisoners in solitary confinement are one and the same.… Read more
As we collectively mourn for Trayvon Martin and feel outrage for him, his family and all people who live in fear of a criminal (in)justice system which is designed to entrap and persecute them or their loved ones, we must reflect on the dynamics of racism and fear in our culture that not only allowed, but encouraged, Travon’s murder. From theWe Are Not Trayvon Martin tumblr:
The Trayvon Martin case isn’t about an isolated incident but about a pattern of behavior. It’s assumed that racism some how magically ended in the 1960’s. Instead, we’ve slapped a fresh coat of paint over it and then remarked about how great it looked. But the problems didn’t disappear.
And we must have a conversation about the System of White Supremacy and the white women jurors who released George Zimmerman. As one of our collective members posted earlier today on facebook, “White Supremacy let Zimmerman go, but it was a jury of almost all white women who did White Supremacy’s bidding.” The Daily Mail reports:
A jury of six women, five of them white and the other a minority, decided George Zimmerman was not guilty in the shooting of an unarmed black teenager, Trayvon Martin.… Read more
How have our experiences of gender oppression impacted our work in challenging white supremacy? What patterns are common among people socialized as both white and female? How do they show up or limit our anti-racist work?
In this highly interactive workshop, led by members of the White Noise Collective, we will explore how internalized sexism and heterosexism influences our work for racial justice. Through dialogue, presentation, Theater of the Oppressed, analysis of media images and other experiential activities, we will collectively investigate these intersections and the frequently raised themes of cultural appropriation, passive aggressive behavior, helping professions, and the ‘white women tears’ phenomenon. We will also look at the historic and current mythologies of white women as virtuous victims that are used to justify violence against people of color and co-create creative strateges for countering them.… Read more