The goal of the Racial Justice Ministry is to increase awareness and understanding of and engagement with racial identity and racism. These suggested videos offer thought-provoking perspectives on a variety of topics with the goal of increasing our understanding and promoting open and informed dialog of race and racism.

July 2020

Brian Holmes (2020). KTVB interview with Charlene Taylor, Ph.D., June 15, 2020. After being called a racial slur in Boise’s North End, one woman explains what white silence is like when it happens. Video. Length – 5:03. Click on the following link to view the video.

https://www.ktvb.com/article/news/local/208/boise-woman-verbally-assaulted-for-being-black-hyde-park-idaho-2020/277-d153fa09-7fb8-4471-9397-71223b3d3e3c

An activity to consider after watching the video and reading Dr. Taylor’s blog post

This activity is based on the idea that it’s difficult, at best, for any of us to say for certain what we would do in this kind of situation if we haven’t been in this kind of situation. But it’s easier to say what we would want to do. And if we are in this kind of situation in the future, it’s easier to say what we want to say if we do a little advance planning and practice.

  • Create a scenario that you want to practice. For example, imagine yourself on a restaurant patio when someone drives by and shouts a racial slur at a person of color sitting nearby. Maybe it’s a person of color sitting alone; or sitting with others. Maybe it’s a person of color sitting with children. Maybe it’s not on a restaurant patio but walking along the street, in a store or some other location. Maybe it’s in a different city or town.
  • What would you want to say to that person of color? Write it out, like a short script. How would you approach the person of color? Would you sit or walk with them? Then what would you say? How would you end and leave the person? In creating your script, stretch beyond your comfort zone but be careful about creating a script that you’re unlikely to actually use.
  • Think about how the person of color might respond to you, recognizing that this might be different than how you hope the person will respond.
  • Rehearse your script. Rehearse it until you can say what you want without the script. Try it out with family or friends. Revise it. Encourage your family and friends to create their own scripts.

June 2020
Two suggested videos

Verna Myers (2014). You can help stop the violence against young black men, TEDxBeaconStreet. Video. Length – 18:45.

Ms. Myers suggests 3 things individuals can do, on a person level, to help stop violence against young black men:  (1) stop the denial, (2) walk toward young black men, and (3) see something, say something.

Questions to consider, as an individual or with a group, after watching the video:

  1. Ms. Myers describes 3 personal changes suggests that these changes will help stop violence against young black men. Do you agree? How would these changes in the way we think and act, as individuals, influence violence against young black men in the larger community around us?
  2. Have you discovered an implicit bias in yourself? What was it? How did you discover? How has the discovery influenced the way you think and feel about the subject of the bias?
    1. An alternative because sometimes it’s easier to notice implicit biases in others: What implicit bias have noticed in someone in your life (family member, friend, co-worker, etc.)? How does it show up? How does the discovery influence the way you think and feel about the person? Have you tried to talk with the person about it? If yes, what happened? If no, why not?
  3. What outstanding young black men do you know? What outstanding black women do you know? How has knowing them influenced the way you think and feel about race? What could you do to get to know them better?
  4. When was the last time you were in the kind of “Uncle Joe” situation Ms. Myers describes? Did you say something? If yes, what happened? If no, why not? Would you be more willing to say something the next time?

Trevor Noah (2020). Trevor Noah holds roundtable talk on what it means to defund the police. Video. Length – 22:13.

Mr. Noah talks with Patrisse Cullors (from Black Lives Matter and Reform L.A. Jails), Josie Duffy Rice (from The Appeal), Sam Sinyangwe (from Campaign Zero), Michael Denzel Smith (author of Stakes is higher: Life after the American dream), and Alex S. Vitale (author of The end of believing) about calls to defund police and alternative, community-based programs.

Questions to consider, as an individual or with a group, after watching the video:

  1. When you were growing up, did you or members of your family experience encounters with the police when you were growing up? How did those experiences affect you and the way you thought about the police? More recently, have you or members of your family experienced encounters with the police, perhaps as a parent? How have those experiences affected the way you think about the police?
  2. Before watching this video, what did the phrase “defund the police” mean to you? How did you understanding of this phrase change while watching the video?
  3. What do you think would be most important in reforming the police? What do you think should be the first step?
  4. What do you see as the biggest challenge in reforming the police?

May 2020

Truer, Anton (2017). Thriving in Indian Country: What’s in the way and how do we overcome. Video. Length – 16:57. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIxcfAlzwNk

In this TEDTalk, Mr. Truer suggests that in order to help everyone thrive, we need to learn to listen to multiple perspectives and look for adaptive solutions because no one sees the world as it is. Instead, “we all see the world as we are.”

Questions to consider on your own or with others:

  • Truer says that his 2nd grade teacher was the only Black teacher he had throughout elementary and secondary school, college, and graduate school and this is a common experience for people of color. What about you? Did you have a teacher or mentor who was a person of color? If yes, what impact did that have on you – at the time and later on? If no, why do you think that was and, looking back, how do you think that influenced your education?
  • Truer suggests that a critical educational goal is to connect with all kids with their cultural language, to build their identity so they can feel good in their skins. He says that this is reasonable and attainable goal.
  • Truer challenges us to listen to multiple perspectives and look for adaptive solutions. What do you see as the practical benefits of this? What do you see as the primary challenges to this? What can you do to begin putting this into practice?

*Not a member of the RJGG? Just send your name and email address to racialjustice@boiseuu.org with a request to join. We’d love to have you, but we can’t add you if you don’t ask.

April 2020

Thurston, Baratunde (TED2019). How to deconstruct racism one headline at a time. ( 16:51).

In this TED Talk, Mr. Thurston presents a game, based on diagramming sentences, that allows us to see the structure of racism in 4 parts and, more importantly, to change the story.

Suggested activity:

  • Watch the video, perhaps with family or friends (following “social distancing” guidelines”).
  • Play the game at Level 3 (change the action).
    • First, look for examples in newspapers, magazines, online stories, television/radio programs, your own experiences, etc.
    • Second, diagram each story into 4 parts, as it originally occurred.
    • Third, change the action in the story into one or more actions that you think would have been better.
  • Finally, save the examples you come up with. Start a collection. Post your examples to the Racial Justice Google Group*. Or, send any examples directly to the Racial Justice Ministry at racialjustice@boiseuu.org Either way, we’ll compile the examples (anonymously) and share what we collect over time.

As additional questions to consider, together with your playing partners:

  • How did playing the game influence the way you think about racism? How did it influence the way they talk with others about racism?
  • How would you describe the main point or message in Thurston’s presentation?

*Not a member of the RJGG? Just send your name and email address to racialjustice@boiseuu.org with a request to join. We’d love to have you, but we can’t add you if you don’t ask.

March 2020

Living at the intersection

Brittany Packnett, 2018, 11:34
The New York Times’s Live Events

During her presentation, Ms. Packnett describes “intersectionality” as the combination of racism and sexism working together that, as experienced by individuals, is “greater than the sum of racism and sexism.” Her focus is on the workplace and she explains that women encounter multiple obstacles in the workplace and that navigating these obstacles is more difficult for women of color because of intersectionality. Ms. Packnett suggests several “new rules of the game” as a way of leveling the playing field:

  • Power not pity – spend your privilege as a white person
  • Power not possession – share power rather than hoard it
  • Power not paternalism – change the game rather than teach the rules

Questions to consider:

  • If you’re white and working, what could you do to apply these “new rules” in your workplace?
  • What could you do to translate these new rules to settings other than work? Consider the variety of situations in which you work or play with others – school, church, clubs, sports, community and volunteer organizations, etc. What could you do to apply these new rules in these settings?
  • Regardless of the setting, which of the new rules would be most important or useful to you? What could you do to begin putting that new rule into practice?

February 2020

Teaching with Tolerance interviews Robin DiAngelo, author of “White Fragility”

Adrienne van der Valk, 2019, 30:27
Teaching with Tolerance  https://www.tolerance.org/

During this  interview, Ms. DiAngelo describes what “white fragility” is, why it’s difficult for white people to talk about race, some techniques white people use to redirect a conversation when they receive feedback about their racist actions, and what white people can do to increase their “emotional stamina” in order to have more productive conversations about race.

Questions to consider:

  • As you watched this interview, what did you have the strongest immediate reaction to, in either a positive or negative way? What feelings, thoughts, or experiences came up during that part of the interview?
  • DiAngelo describes schools as the “belly of the beast” when it comes to reproducing inequality by being sorting mechanisms. Think back over your school experiences. When did you begin thinking about race and racism? How did your experiences in elementary and secondary school influence your thinking?
  • When describing the “good/bad binary,” DiAngelo suggests that we change the question from “is this or isn’t this racist” to “how is this racist?” Think about making this change yourself. What do you see as the benefits? What do you see as the challenges or obstacles?
  • Toward the end of the video, DiAngelo challenges white people to move from reflection to action and suggests several actions that we can take. Which of these suggestions do you think would be the easiest for you to put into practice? Which would be the most difficult?

January, 2020

Whitewashed: Unmasking the world of whiteness
Mark Patrick George, 2013, 34:23
https://www.cultureunplugged.com/documentary/watch-online/play/52132/Whitewashed–Unmasking-the-World-of-Whiteness
This is a documentary in which a variety of white people talk about their experience being white. They respond to six main questions (which show up on the screen):  (1) Where did white people come from? (2) How did your ancestors get turned into white people? (3) What does it mean to be white? (4) What is it like to be white? (5) What about prejudice and racism? (6) What does this mean for white people? 
Questions to consider:

  • How would you answer each of the questions posed during the video?
  • As you listened to the first speaker, what was your immediate reaction? How did your reaction change as you listened to the rest of the video?
  • Which segment, which speaker had the biggest impact on you?
  • What part of the video do you most agree with? What part do you most and disagree with?