Racial and Gender Justice Halloween Action Toolkit!

Ah the beginning of fall. The air is a little colder, the colors a little more orange, and there is no shortage of pumpkin flavored products. Yet there is one sign of the turning seasons that is truly unwelcome…racist, sexist, heterosexist, and colonialist costumes — already in full force in stores around the country. Enter into any Spirit Halloween store and you will find the full gamut of costumes perpetuating cultural appropriation, racist stereotypes, Indigenous erasure and hetero-misogyny.

At a time when Black Lives Matter has become a resounding movement pressing for the safety, humanity and freedom of Black people, the corporate costume industry is supporting mass consumption of Black face and racialized prisoner outfits.

As indigenous people from across this land join together at Standing Rock to resist the continued desecration and destruction of homelands, culture and even their physical existence, this colonialist culture perpetuates indigenous erasure with images of “Indian headdresses” and “Warrior Princesses.”

After a year of watching rape cases on college campuses hit national headlines and heroic womyn speak truth to power in the face of continued slut shaming and objectification, the amount of “sexy” costumes on shelves remains dizzying.… Read more

Resources for Engaging and Ending Police Violence

end_police_brutality_six_sticker_sheet-rc672ec2ced08419bbe778cc03313c943_v9wth_8byvr_324In this time of mourning, rage and national reckoning with the legacies and realities of racist police violence – resources for connection, deeper engagement and different forms of action are flooding through the widening cracks of this broken system. Here is a partial compilation, from quick click actions to concrete alternatives to political education to visionary policy solutions. Please circulate and share with others.

We want an end to the war being waged on Black people, in all its forms.

A brief history reviewing the foundations of racism and classism built into policing the US, specifically focusing on the evolution of slave patrols and night watches. Part of the White Noise Collective Series – Exploring the Role of the “White Woman” within Systems of Violence and White Supremacy.

How, besides protesting, can we actually make sure no more black people are killed, beaten or tortured by the police?

Read more

Showing Up for Love, Justice & Dignity

Below is a statement from SURJ’s (Showing Up for Racial Justice) leadership in light of the 136 murders of Black people by police this year and the shooting in Dallas last night.

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

The Future of Solidarity: How White People Can Support the Movement for Black Lives

-1This 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

Resources for Understanding and Challenging Islamophobia

ISJ Spr14 COVER“Muslim subjects are constructed and judged in terms of, and in comparison to, the West, so they are always the Other, the conquerable, and the inferior.” – Edward Said, Orientalism

Trump’s call for a ban on all Muslims entering the United States, and reference to internment camps sent out waves of shock and horror, catalyzing many non-Muslim groups into action. New and old questions are raised of how to collectively combat anti-Muslim racism, xenophobia, justifications for militarism abroad and domestic repression and surveillance.

How can anti-racist educators and activists step up in various ways to learn more about the deeper and broader historical contexts of Islamophobia and anti-Arab racism, and strengthen capacities to intervene into this discourse of extreme othering, racial and religious profiling, media stereotypes, hate and bigotry? What obstacles exist to harnessing strengths from challenging other forms of racism, to direct them towards fighting Islamophobia in this dire time?… Read more

District Attorney O’Malley: Which Side Are You On?

Dear District Attorney Nancy O’Malley,

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

White Noise has signed this powerful statement currently circulating, which speaks to our deepest commitments and reasons for existence as a collective.

Click Here to sign the statement 

Posted from The African American Policy Forum (AAPF):

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.

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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.

Read more

I Don’t Want to Be an Excuse for Racist Violence Anymore: White women’s passive role in racist attacks like Charleston

This insightful article is cross-posted from New Republic:

By

We cannot talk about the violence that Dylann Roof perpetrated at Emanuel AME last Wednesday night without talking about whiteness, and specifically, about white womanhood and its role in racist violence. We have to talk about those things, because Roof himself did. Per a witness account, we know that he said: “You rape our women and you’re taking over our country.” “Our” women, by whom he meant white women.

There is a centuries-old notion that white men must defend, with lethal violence at times, the sexual purity of white women from allegedly predatory black men. And, as we saw yet again after this shooting, it is not merely a relic of America’s hideous racial past. American racism is always gendered; racism and sexism are mutually dependent, and cannot be unstitched.

As Jessie Daniels writes at Racism Review, white womanhood has been and remains essential to the logic of American white supremacy.

Read more

On Rachel Dolezal, White Privilege, and White Shame

Rachel Dolezal Isn’t the Most Important Race Story in Spokane.

But she does seem to be an unraveling puzzle that continues to elicit curiosity, outrage, and comment. From Mia McKenzie’s discussion of Blackness and Blackface, to Kai M Green’s willingness to give Rachel a little more benefit of the doubt in discussing the similarities of race and gender constructs, to Lisa Marie Rollins’ explanation of what transracial actually means, plenty has been said already. It is a story with endless complexity.

While I find all of this interesting, what interests me specifically about this situation is the white shame of Rachel Dolezal’s identification as Black. In her interview with Melissa Harris-Perry earlier this week, Rachel Dolezal clearly self-identified as a Black woman. Her interview revealed a belief that all one needs in order to identify as Black is to “feel” and “live” the “Black experience,” which of course implies that she believes herself to be able to determine and author what is the “Black experience.”

Darnell L Moore, who believes that Rachel’s identification is indeed “cultural theft,” states that there is “a stark difference between racial indeterminacy, or the idea that race is not fixed and individuals may have multiple racial identities, and racial misrepresentation.”, What he points out, more importantly, is that:

The fiasco is a glaring example of white privilege in action.… Read more

I Support the #BaltimoreUprising

Cross-posted with permission from Catalyst Project:

“This is not just Baltimore’s problem, like it wasn’t just Ferguson. This is racism in America.”

Dear Friend,

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

Showing up and Honoring the #BlackLivesMatter Movement

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

To say that I’m “too political” is to say that I love too much.

A galvanizing Black leadership has emerged from Ferguson in the weeks and months since the murder of Mike Brown and non-indictment of Darren Wilson which has stoked the fires of resistance across the nation-state, joining with histories of rebellion on this land and across the globe. This wave of uprising against injustice has shown a powerful strength in its messaging, its demands and its ability to continue to dominate the airwaves with important information about racismpolice brutality and white rage against Black progress – an essential movement if we are to have real conversations or effect meaningful change.

i cant breathe

(Note: We would prefer the above graphic to read “I won’t see,” not “I can’t see”)

There is a clarity with which Black organizers and writers have continued to put out calls to white people to both own their privilege and step up in this movement, from demands to stop whitewashing #BlackLivesMatter into #AllLivesMatter to specific guidance on how to behave in the streets (ie – white people: don’t say “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” and don’t do a staged “Die In” because the police aren’t shooting and killing white people) to requests that white people say no to business as usual and start having difficult conversations to change hearts and minds of other white people . Read more

Update on the Indictment

We want to share thoughts and resources regarding the Darren Wilson Indictment released tonight. If you haven’t heard yet, the grand jury concluded there wasn’t enough evidence to indict police officer Darren Wilson of a crime.

Here is a brief FAQ on what that means. If you are interested in plugging into actions, please check out this tumblr page from the Ferguson National Response Network and the Ferguson Action page that share very comprehensive listings of planned actions around the country. There are also many groups raising money for bail funds, organizing and different acts of resistance that are in need of financial support (such as here, hereherehere or here). And you can find updates here and all over the internet.

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While many have us may have been socialized on the merits of staying calm, and while we can feel real fear about the violence of protests, it is important to think about who is being told to stay calm during these moments. … Read more

Police Brutality Action Kit (Created by Showing Up for Racial Justice – SURJ)

Police Brutality Action Kit, cross posted with permission from: showingupforracialjustice.org/archives/2016

Created by Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ)

Click here for a PDF version of this toolkit.

By Tes One Artwork used with permission.

By Tes One
Artwork used with permission.

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

We need to lock arms amidst all of this.

These are just a few of the insights put forth by  in a recent article on the Huffington Post, What White People Can Do About the Killing of Black Men in America:

“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