Hi everyone! I think that everyone knows what is happening in the US currently. First of all, I would like to encourage you to speak up and use your voice. If you are white, automatically you have privilege and you should use it to change this horrible situation. This is not the right time to stay quiet or to stay "neutral". Black people are oppressed their basic human rights that are given to them the moment they are born. Yes, you can say that ALL lives matter but we need to focus now on BLACK lives matter because they are being discriminated and looked down on. This is not like my other articles, but I would like to share my experience with being taught "to be racist" and how I educated myself about African-American history.

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My Family

My family ancestors were always Slovan. I am from Slovakia and all of my ancestors were coming from Slovakia or Czechoslovakia. Slovakia used to be under the Soviet Union what in my opinion influenced the way people think the most. I remember my grandparents and parents saying "this would not happen in the age of communism" when talking about people of color (in a negative way). Slovakia's citizens are mostly white, but there are some minorities. It's rare to see a black person crossing the street, the racism in this country is mostly towards gypsies or Asian people. When I was younger, my parents used to tell me not to come close to people of color because "they are dangerous". I didn't understand why they were dangerous, but I had no choice but to believe them. What else can a 5 years old child do? When we came across an Asian person, my family would make fun of their eyes or saying racial slurs. I started thinking about it at a young age. What makes those people different than "us"? Why are they being labeled the way they are? I asked those questions my parents and the only answer they got was "it is the way it is." I have always had a love for reading since I was a child, so I decided to choose a book on this topic.

We were on holiday with my family and a black family was staying in the same hotel as us. Do you know what was the reaction of my parents and grandparents? "Let's go away, they are terrorists." All the time they would see them outside, they would say things like "I hope they won't kill us", "I hope they will not cause any crime" etc. I told them to stop discriminating them and give them a chance. How can they be so cruel to people who they don't know? Since I was a little bit more educated and knew that their behavior was inappropriate, I started teaching them and explaining the history and how they should stop being racist. For my grandparents, it was very difficult to accept. On the other hand, my parents have improved over the years. Racism is really taught. If you ever meet someone who thinks that people of color don't matter or is passively racist, start questioning them and ask them psychological questions. Sometimes people won't change, but you can at least try. My grandparents, unfortunately, have it deeply in them and probably won't ever change.

We need our generation, as well as new generation, to be anti-racist. I see so many people of my age using racial slurs and make fun of it. I see many peers making fun of people of color and discriminating them. Let's educate each other and teach young people about racism and how to be anti-racist. Let's raise our children to be anti-racist and love people no matter their race, sexuality, nationality, appearance, or any labels that we use.

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Educating Yourself

The best way that you can educate yourself is to choose a form that you like. No matter if it's a podcast, watching a movie, reading a book, or talking to someone.

You can follow these organizations doing important work surrounding racial equity and justice:

  • Antiracist Research & Policy Center
  • Audre Lorde Project
  • Black Women's Blueprint
  • Color Of Change
  • Colorlines
  • The Conscious Kid
  • Equal Justice Initiative (EJI)
  • Families Belong Together
  • The Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights
  • Muslim Girl
  • MPowerChange
  • National Domestic Workers Alliance
  • Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ)
  • SisterSong
  • United We Dream

Watch these films and shows that creatively dive into racism, past and present:

  • 13th - Ava Duvernay
  • American Son - Kenny Leon
  • Dear White People - Justin Simien
  • See You Yesterday - Stefon Bristol
  • When They See Us - Ava Duvernay
  • If Beale Street Could Talk - Barry Jenkins
  • The Hate U Give - George Tillman Jr.
  • Black Power Mixtape: 1967-1975
  • Clemency - Chinonye Chukwu
  • Fruitvale Station - Ryan Coogler
  • I Am Not Your Negro - James Baldwin Documentary
  • Just Mercy - Destin Daniel Cretton
  • Selma - Ava Duvernay
  • The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution

Subscribe and listen to these podcasts that dive into important conversations around racial equity and justice:

  • 1619 by the New York Times
  • About Race
  • Code Switch by NPR
  • The Diversity Gap
  • Intersectionality Matters! hosted by Kimberlé Crenshaw
  • Momentum: A Race Forward Podcast
  • Pod For The Cause from the Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights
  • Pod Save the People by Crooked Media

Read some of these books on race:

  • Black Feminist Thought - Patricia Hill Collins
  • Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower - Dr. Brittney Cooper
  • Heady: An American Memoir - Kiese Laymon
  • How to Be An Antiracist - Ibram X. Kendi
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings - Maya Angelou
  • I'm Still Here: Black Dignity In A World Made for Whiteness - Austin Channing Brown
  • Just Mercy - Bryan Stevenson
  • Redefining Realness - Janet Mock
  • So You Want to Talk About Race - Ijeoma Oluo
  • White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism - Robin Diangelo, PHD
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If you are sick/tired of people showing their compassion and sharing content like this, you're probably unconsciously racist. Imagine how tired people are of being treated differently only because of the color of their skin. We came on this planet to change this nonsense happening in this generation, never give up.

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Thank you for reading & follow me for more

𝕤𝕖𝕖 𝕪𝕠𝕦 𝕟𝕖𝕩𝕥 𝕥𝕚𝕞𝕖 ♡

- Naomi