FASD: RAISING AWARENESS

Raising awareness, increasing support


My middle child is three, almost four.

She just started her second year of preschool, and her third year of speech therapy (given the fact she will talk to you for ask long as you'll listen, and her impressive use of adverbs, you might not guess she had a severe language delay).

Her classroom is already filled with friends- old ones from last year and new ones she's just met. It's not in her nature to let classmates be acquaintances. Everyone is her good friend, and she packs her backpack with cards and pictures she's drawn to pass out to them weekly. She taught herself to sign her name on her own.

Her latest hobby is puppet making- meticulously sticking eyes and wings to old socks and brown paper sacks then hiding behind the sofa and putting on a show for her siblings.

She's delightful, to say the least.

She's determined. She knows what she wants out of life and she goes for it with everything she has. She asks questions about everything, and she loves to learn.

At three, she doesn't yet understand what alcohol is.

WHITE SUPREMACY: HOW YOU'RE CONTRIBUTING (AND HOW YOU CAN STOP)


In the wake of Charlottesville, I went to a solidarity rally. The importance of getting out and physically being present for something is paramount to me.

The need to support and fight for friends, neighbors, and loved ones of color cannot, and should not, be ignored, and I'm looking for every possible way to do just that.

The rally itself was good. As was expected, the energy of hundreds of like-minded people who are fighting for the same purpose is as refreshing as it is healing.

There was a counter protest right next to the rally, and members of the alt-right wove their way through the crowd the entire time, but even with their knives, guns, and bats, they could not take away from the message.

A handout was distributed to those in the crowd with the image of a triangle on it. The top point was labeled OVERT WHITE SUPREMACY, and filled with things that are "socially unacceptable." The base, making up the majority of the triangle, was labeled COVERT WHITE SUPREMACY, and filled with actions that are supposedly more "socially acceptable."

No one wants to called a white supremacist any more than they want to be called a racist. So many care so much about being labeled as such, yet they do nothing about recognizing and changing any behavior that contributes to racism.

Racist systems do not need racist people to uphold them. At the very least, they need people who will look the other way (see: systemic racism vs personal racism).

White supremacy has its followers. It also has people who would never associate themselves with the alt-right or the KKK, but who unknowingly act in ways that do, indeed, maintain white supremacy.

For the sake of not missing the point entirely, let's lose the idea that anyone is trying to call you a white supremacist (unless you are, in which case, why are you reading this?). Instead, focus on learning what behavior contributes to damaging systems, so that you can take an introspective look and correct anything that needs immediate correcting.

You with me?

Let's start with the obvious:

TAKING SIDES


I read a piece, some weeks ago, on the half a million women that joined the newly established female-only branch of the KKK in the 1920s.

I initially read this through the lens of intersectional feminism; reaffirming the truth that it is not enough to simply be a feminist if you are not intersectional. These women that joined that branch were acting in a radical fashion and a majority would have considered themselves feminists. True feminism is intersectional in fashion- embracing and fighting for equality for women of all races.

Reflecting back, my focus is on the question the piece proposed: Who inherited their robes?

With half a million women rallying for hate and doing their part to uphold white supremacy, there's bound to be more than a few sets of robes passed down. Many of those women already had children, or went on to later have children. Whether or not they inherited actual white robes, these children likely heard their mother's beliefs that led them to join and fight for what they believed to be right. It's not unrealistic to assume that a good percentage of these children took on those beliefs as their own, potentially passing them down to their children years later, continuing a pernicious cycle.

Today we see white nationalists- mostly men- wielding torches as they march at the University of Virginia.

Unlike the members of the KKK a century ago, the men that gathered in Charlottseville did not don white robes, nor did they wear pointed hats to obscure their faces. They marched, uncloaked and uncovered, their faces as visible as their enmity.

But, very much like the women who marched before them, many of these men went home to families. Perhaps a wife waiting up. Children tucked into bed. Did they know where their father was?