San Diego CityBeat Columnist Calls On White Americans To Help End Racism
I am Maureen Canaugh on KPBS with our midday edition. We've just heard from artists in the community to help reclaim the community. As African-American take on the challenge is there anything that individual white Americans can do to support the cause? The answer is yes and you should start doing it now. We have Erin and Dr Branch. During what is an interrupter? It is a person that is able to stand up and speak on the injustices as a white person. I had a lot of white people that have said they are so frustrated and wanted to know what can we do. You can write a letter to the editor, you can put a sign in your guard so we decided to write this piece. Dr. branch what is your intake of these injustices that have been happening? I think what I have heard is what can we do? I think one of the things that was mentioned in the article that was written is to join with black organizations with people who essentially already have that right -- light in the window. You are right about the light Indo window that went as far back as the underground railroad. People can join the NAACP appropriate people for civil rights and racial injustices. On August 1 we have a platform that is starting to focus in on our lives matter, and our votes matter. What kinds of topics would interrupters take on. It could be from look who is president? It could be look who your kids are planned with. When we hear these conversations, interrupters can call them out without being rude. Yes definitely speaking up when you hear a comment or when you hear that joke. Why is the fundamental interruption difficult? It is difficult for me because you are actually San to that person what you just said is really offensive. For example my mother was going on a field trip with this person who made a racial joke and my mother called me and said I cannot go on this trip. My mother had to respond to this man and say the reason that I am not come in because your jokes where a fit to. -- offensive. These conversations are difficult because these people have not physically accepted the fundamental concept that we are all connect did as human beings. When they realize that they are connected to blacks Latinos and who ever else that is the target of these jokes then they can stand up and say you know we should not be doing this. Black Americans say it still exist and white Americans say we are not so sure about this. Do you think that that conversation is different now? White people included are recognizing that we still have a problem. The young man who recently went into a church and shot and killed nine students of the Bible, this person was not 90 or 80 but this was a young man who was in his 20s. We still have a problem with racism and I do not think this young man is alone. Racism and bigotry is on the rise. Young people as well as older people need to have those notions of superiority interrupted. One of the tips that you have given us is to talk to your children. What we white parents, and I should say that my daughter is black so that is my lens for you when the world. We walk with our children and we protect our children but we have to ask ourselves why do not the white children have books on their shelves of black kids or other ethnic groups? We need to teach them to see every child as the same and equal. I quite Agree that we are not seeing. Color blindness is a major ally. That means that we do not want to see a person's color. In order to treat people fairly and justly we must not see his or her color. It also means that we rob the person of color of the right to have his or her color. His color may be important to that individual. That posture of being colorblind may not be so Constable to blacks and other people of culture -- color. The conversation is uncomfortable because people do not want to have it. They say that so many things have changed in this nation and they do not want to get to the things at heart. I would go a step further and say that the reality is that all lives matter. I may ask a final question. You give a brief instruction to why people join the NAACP. When the white people do join they should come to listen and not talk. Dr. branch I only have 15 seconds how do we get in touch with you. We have general branch meeting on the first Thursday in every month. It will be at the Jacobs Center and San Diego California. I've been speaking with Aaron on how to be an interrupter a white persons view. Thank you both for coming. Join us tomorrow for discussions on midday edition I am Maureen Cavanugh.
Starting a conversation about race may be the first step to ending racism, said a San Diego CityBeat columnist who is calling on all people to help with the cause.
Aaryn Belfer, who writes the column "Backwards & in High Heels," said people should start working on this now.
Belfer lays out the steps in her editorial, “How to be an interrupter: A white person's guide to activism.”
She suggests talking about race with those in your social circles and calling out those who make jokes about marginalized communities.
“An interrupter is someone who is interrupting white supremacy and working to dismantle it and fight for equality and justice,” Belfer told KPBS Midday Edition on Tuesday. “It’s being able to stand up.”
Belfer said she was driven to write this editorial after talking to friends about what they can do to help end racism. She was also motivated by the death of Sandra Bland, a Texas woman arrested after a traffic violation who authorities said committed suicide in jail, and the shooting at a Charleston church that left nine people dead.
“Sandra Bland was devastating to me, but so was Charleston,” Belfer said. “I can go back and back.”
Andre Branch, president of the San Diego chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, encouraged people to join the group.
Branch said the NAACP has an initiative, America’s Journey to Justice, which will begin Saturday. The campaign calls on activists to march from Selma, Alabama, to Washington, D.C., to call for a fair criminal justice system for all Americans.