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What we’re reading: Accountability, action, and allyship after the election

News & Commentary  |  By AFSC, Nov 18, 2016
Photo: AFSC

In the wake of a long presidential election season marked by racism and misogyny, movements across the country are working to reformulate strategies, take a stand against white supremacy, and continue the struggle for racial, social, and economic justice. Here’s what we're reading to ground us in this work:

After Trump, by Robin D.G. Kelly via Boston Review

"I am not suggesting that white racism alone explains Trump's victory. Nor am I dismissing the white working class’s very real economic grievances. It is not a matter of disaffection versus racism or sexism versus fear. Rather, racism, class anxieties, and prevailing gender ideologies operate together, inseparably, or as Kimberlé Crenshaw would say, intersectionally. White working-class men understand their plight through a racial and gendered lens. For women and people of color to hold positions of privilege or power over them is simply unnatural and can only be explained by an act of unfairness—for example, affirmative action. White privilege is taken for granted to the point where it need not be named and can’t be named."

 

Artist illustrates what to do if you witness hate speech or harassment, by Elyse Wanshel via Huffington Post

"In the past week, a rash of hate crimes and harassment across the country has left many people wondering how they can help.  Marie Shirine Yener, an artist who goes by the pseudonym “Maeril,” has some advice.

The 22-year-old from Paris has created a viral comic that illustrates what to do if you see someone being harassed because of their race, ethnicity, religion or identity."

 

White anti-racists must be 'stone catchers' for oppressed people, by David J. Leonard via The Root

"Bryan Stevenson, reflecting on societal hypocrisy and a willingness to stand in judgment of others—especially those deemed undesirable and unworthy, those silenced and pushed to the margins of society—calls upon those with power and privilege to catch stones, to stand between those who "cast stones" and those who are daily injured by a politics of hate and violence.

"'There is no such thing as being a Christian and not being a stone catcher,' he writes. 'But that is exhausting. You're not going to catch them all. And it hurts. If it doesn't make you sad to have to do that, then you don’t understand what it means to be engaged in an act of faith. … But if you have the right relationship to it, it is less of a burden, finally, than a blessing. It makes you feel stronger.' To be anti-racist, to be an accomplice, requires being a stone catcher."

 

Black Lives Matter issues a statement on Trump's election, by Aaron Morrison via Mic.

"We continue to operate from a place of love for our people and a deep yearning for real freedom. In our work, we center the most marginalized, and look to them for leadership. We fight for our collective liberation because we are clear that until Black people are free, no one is free. We are committed to practicing empathy for one another in this struggle—but we do not and will not negotiate with racists, fascists or anyone who demands we compromise our existence."

 

Goodbye, American neoliberalism. A new era is here, by Cornel West via The Guardian

"We must not turn away from the forgotten people of US foreign policy—such as Palestinians under Israeli occupation, Yemen's civilians killed by US-sponsored Saudi troops or Africans subject to expanding U.S. military presence.

As one whose great family and people survived and thrived through slavery, Jim Crow and lynching, Trump's neofascist rhetoric and predictable authoritarian reign is just another ugly moment that calls forth the best of who we are and what we can do."

 

"What We’re Reading" is a weekly feature on AFSC's News and Commentary blog, where we share a curated collection of recent articles on timely issues. "What We're Reading" is meant to spark discussion, debate, and knowledge sharing, and the articles we highlight do not necessarily reflect the official organizational positions of AFSC. We encourage you to tell us what you're reading on these issues in the comments below.