Building an Anti-Racist World, a Michelle Alexander Op-Ed, and Other Stories to Read Now
Every week, we corral compelling wellness stories from around the internet. This week, we’re focusing on the stories that are keeping us informed and educated about anti-racism work and the Black Lives Matter movement.
For where to donate and access advocacy resources, and more on listening, learning, and supporting, read our editors’ letter.
In this virtual conversation, author and historian Ibram X. Kendi explains why the opposite of racist is not “not racist” but rather anti-racist. He lays out what exactly anti-racism requires, beyond personal beliefs: Do you support anti-racist policies? Elect anti-racist leaders? Recognize and confess that as a result of being raised in a racist culture, you’ve internalized racist beliefs? Kendi suggests ways to come to terms with our own racism and intentionally work for a more equitable society.
At protests across the country, police have been using tear gas—chemical irritants that are banned in international warfare but legal for riot control—on civilian protesters. And public health experts are worried. Not only does tear gas cause immense pain in its victims, but it also has long-term health consequences for the lungs, which in some cases have been fatal. Experts are also worried that tear gas may increase the risk of COVID-19 transmission as people cough and remove their masks in order to breathe.
The Marshall Project
Many police departments—from California to New York to Florida—are using public health data from local health departments to create maps that point out high-infection areas related to COVID-19 cases. Those police departments say it is to help protect officers so they can take the necessary precautions when entering these areas. But critics and police reform experts argue that there isn’t enough oversight for how this data is being used.
The New York Times
“I will not pretend to have a road map that will lead us to higher ground,” writes Michelle Alexander, civil rights lawyer and advocate, legal scholar, and author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. “But for those who are serious about rising to the challenge, I will share a few of the key steps that I believe are necessary if we are to learn from our history and not merely repeat it.” This op-ed is a critical read for anyone committed to building an anti-racist America.