Becoming Antiracist

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. – Edmund Burke

Join us in exploring how to become anti-racist through a new Zoom class that will cover antiracism and white privilege, and will give us tools to fight against racism, prejudice, and hate to make our future a better one. We will be mainly using as a guide the New York Times best-selling book, This Book Is Anti-Racist by Tiffany Jewell. Buying it is not necessary, but it is short and easy to read and share. It is available as an e-book as well as a regular book on Amazon.com.

The class, Becoming Antiracist, will be a Zoom class on Wednesday nights starting February 3 at 7:00 p.m. and continuing for four weeks – through all of Black History month. Please join us. Contact Barbara Cooper at bccooper@purdue.edu to receive an official Zoom invitation. 

We all know about George Floyd, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and Breonna Taylor. But most of us are unaware of the laws in place that give police the latitude to use deadly force; laws that allow person’s bias to enter into the equation. These laws are intentional, and systematic within the entire United States. They are designed to keep people of color in their place —- a place of fewer opportunities.

Systemic racism (think Israelites/ Moabites/ Canaanites) has been the rule in this world since before the time of Abraham! In this country it is not just the Black people who were targeted by racism, though they have borne the brunt of the racism, it is everyone who is different. Even the recent events including the attack on the Capital on January 6 was largely a case of “us” versus “them.” It was a clear case of people who had been fed lies reacting in fear of losing their “White Privilege.”

I’d like to share an old American Indian story. A grandfather was teaching his grandson about good and evil. He explained to his grandson using this metaphor: there is inside each person two wolves, a good wolf and a bad wolf. They are constantly fighting with one another. Sometimes the good wolf wins, sometimes the bad wolf wins. The grandson then asks, what determines which wolf wins?” The grandfather answered, “The one you feed is the one who wins.”

Let us stop feeding the bad wolf and start feeding the good wolf. We can stop listening to the hate talk and try to really listen to the underlying problems and issues that caused it. Let us find ways t connect with not only people who are different than we are, but with people who feel disenfranchised and left behind for whatever reason. Let us extend the hand of friendship and help to all who need it.