Dismantling the Racism Machine: A Lecture Series Sponsored by Summit Library

This website is intended to provide additional support for Karen Gaffney’s Lecture Series sponsored by the Summit Free Public Library, “Dismantling the Racism Machine,” that is running via Zoom on Fridays, July 17 – August 7, 2020.

This Lecture Series will highlight myths taught to white people that need to be debunked in order to challenge systemic racism. Each week will cover a different question:

  1. What does it mean to say that race is a social construct and not biological, and why does it matter?
  2. How did the invention of race serve to divide and conquer people in colonial America, and what impact does this continue to have?
  3. How and why has systemic racism persisted after the civil rights movement?
  4. How can white people best challenge systemic racism today?

Week 1

Here are the Powerpoint slides available for you to download: Powerpoint Dismantling the Racism Machine Part 1 Summit Library Gaffney July 17 2020

VIDEO: Click here for a link to the recording of the July 17 2020 presentation and discussion

Recommended sources to follow up on the material and questions presented

Articles and Books

Karen’s book Dismantling the Racism Machine: A Manual and Toolbox (on sale for month of July) (also available on Amazon)

Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad (book)

“The disturbing reason some African American patients may be undertreated for pain”

“Ten Things Everyone Should Know About Race” (from Race: The Power of an Illusion)

“I Don’t Feel Your Pain: A failure of empathy perpetuates racial disparities”

“What Scientists Mean When They Say ‘Race’ Is Not Genetic”

“Race ≠ DNA: If race is a social construct, what’s up with DNA ancestry testing?”

“Thousands Sterilized, a State Weighs Restitution”

“Black Mothers Keep Dying After Giving Birth”

“Doctors Don’t Always Believe You When You’re a Black Woman”

“Racism in the Kindergarten Classroom: New research finds faces of five-year-old black boys put whites in a more threat-conscious state of mind”

“Why Won’t Society Let Black Girls Be Children?”

“The school to prison pipeline, explained” (Justice Policy Institute)

“There’s one epidemic we may never find a vaccine for: fear of black men in public spaces”

“People See Black Men as Larger, More Threatening Than Same-Sized White Men”

“US police kill up to 6 times more black people than white people”

“Researchers studied nearly 100 million traffic stops and found black motorists are more likely to be pulled over”

Films, videos, and podcasts

Race: The Power of an Illusion Episode 1 “The Difference Among Us” (PBS documentary) (just under 1 hour) (Note that Episodes 2 and 3 are also worth watching. All three episodes are available on vimeo for $4.99 rental. They are also available on Kanopy, if you have access to that service through a library, like RVCC).

TED Talk with Dorothy Roberts “The Problem with Race-Based Medicine” (15 minutes)

“The Biology of Skin Color,” Nina Jablonski (HHMI Biointeractive) (20 minutes)

The Surprisingly Racist History of “Caucasian” (5 minute video)

Podcast episode of “On Being with Krista Tippett” with guest Resmaa Menakem (author of My Grandmother’s Hands) ‘Notice the Rage; Notice the Silence’

Podcast follow-up episode of “On Being with Krista Tippett” with guest Resmaa Menakem (author of My Grandmother’s Hands) and Robin DiAngelo (author of White Fragility) in conversation

“Seeing White” (14-part podcast series from Scene on Radio that covers the social construction of race, the invention of whiteness, systemic racism, and more)

TED Talks with Titus Kaphar “Can art amend history?” and “Can beauty open our hearts to difficult conversations?”

Note that additional resources are available on the rest of my website – go to the tab for Resources on Race and Racism as well as the additional Resource pages under that tab.

Week 2

Here are the Powerpoint slides available for you to download: Powerpoint Dismantling the Racism Machine Part 2 Summit Library Gaffney July 24 2020

VIDEO: Click here for a link to the recording of the July 24 2020 presentation and discussion

Recommended sources to follow up on the material and questions presented (in addition to sources recommended above)

Articles and Books

“The problem is white supremacy”

“White identity in America is ideology, not biology. The history of ‘whiteness’ proves it.”

“White Debt”

The 1619 Project (The New York Times)

“The Professional Burdens of Being a ‘Model Minority.’”

“Where are you ‘really’ from? Try another question”

“For those who say, how can we defund the police.”  (This is Karen’s 4-part blog series on her website)

Superior: The Return of Race Science by Angela Saini (book)

The History of White People by Nell Irvin Painter (book)

An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (book)

Films, videos, and podcasts

“The Origin of Race in the USA,” Danielle Bainbridge (The Origin of Everything series, PBS Digital Studios) (10 minutes)

Weekly series: “Under the Blacklight: The Intersectional Failures that COVID Lays Bare” – Visit the African American Policy Forum’s youtube channel to access series on video here or Visit host Kimberlé Crenshaw’s podcast Intersectionality Matters to listen to the series here

The Chinese Exclusion Act (PBS film)

Slavery by Another Name (book and PBS film)

13th (film on Netflix)

Week 3

Here are the Powerpoint slides available for you to download: Powerpoint Dismantling the Racism Machine Part 3 Summit Library Gaffney July 31 2020

VIDEO: Here are the links to the recordings of the July 31 2020 presentation and discussion – there is a link to the first part of the recording HERE and a link to the second part of the recording HERE 

Recommended sources to follow up on questions raised in Week 2:

“Racial and caste oppression have many similarities”

“Race and Caste: Worlds Apart But Closer Than You Think”

Antisemitism: Here and Now by Deborah E. Lipstadt

Deborah E. Lipstadt’s TED Talk “Behind the lies of Holocaust denial”

“Origins of Neo-Nazi and White Supremacist Terms and Symbols: A Glossary” (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum)

“How Anti-Semitism Is Tied To White Nationalism” NPR’s All Things Considered Interview with Ilana Kaufman

“Confronting the U.S. Census as a Weapon of White Supremacy” (Karen’s article)

Recommended sources to follow up on the material and questions presented in Week 3 (in addition to sources recommended for previous weeks)

Articles and books

“America’s Enduring Caste System”

“You Want a Confederate Monument? My Body Is a Confederate Monument”

“How Redlining’s Racist Effects Lasted for Decades”

“What’s Killing America’s Black Infants?”

“Poor whites live in richer neighborhoods than middle-class blacks and Latinos”

“The black-white economic divide is as wide as it was in 1968”

“For those who say, how can we defund the police.”  (This is Karen’s 4-part blog series on her website)

Race Best Predicts Whether You Live Near Pollution

“Black Mothers Keep Dying After Giving Birth. Shalon Irving’s Story Explains Why”

Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination (link goes to summary – original journal article here)

“African-Americans With College Degrees Are Twice As Likely to Be Unemployed as Other Graduates”

Brown at 62: School Segregation by Race, Poverty and State

“Segregation’s Legacy”

“Redlining was banned 50 years ago. It’s still hurting minorities today.”

“White women benefit most from affirmative action — and are among its fiercest opponents”

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders: Facts, Not Fiction: Setting the Record Straight (report)

“Asian-Americans Have Highest Poverty Rate In NYC, But Stereotypes Make The Issue Invisible”

8 Of the Most Vicious Myths About Illegal Immigrants

Normalizing Injustice: The Dangerous Misrepresentations that Define Television’s Scripted Crime Genre (Report, Color of Change, 2020)

Native Americans Feel Invisible In U.S. Health Care System

Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor (book)

One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy by Carol Anderson (book)

The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein (book)

Proud Boys and the White Ethnostate: How the Alt-Right Is Warping the American Imagination by Alexandra Minna Stern

Videos/Podcasts

Adam Ruins Everything: The Disturbing History of the Suburbs

Michelle Alexander’s TED Talk “The future of race in America”

Bryan Stevenson’s TED Talk “We need to talk about an injustice”

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s TED Talk “The Danger of a Single Story”

A Conversation With Latinos on Race (NY Times video)

A Conversation with Asian-Americans on Race (NY Times video)

A Conversation With Native Americans on Race (NY Times video)

interview on Fresh Air with Richard Rothstein, the author of The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America 

Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America by Juan Gonzalez (website for his film of same name here) (look on youtube for this film)

Recommended sources from participants in Week 3:

“American Christianity Must Reckon With Legacy Of White Supremacy” (Fresh Air interview with author Robert P. Jones of White Too Long)

Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram Kendi

Recommended actions from participants in Week 3:

Summit Interfaith Council – Sign up for Dialogue Circles on Race

Week 4

Here are the Powerpoint slides available for you to download: Powerpoint Dismantling the Racism Machine Part 4 Summit Library Gaffney August 7 2020

VIDEO: Here are the links to the recordings of the August 7, 2020 presentation and discussion – there is a link to the first part of the recording HERE and a link to the second part of the recording HERE 

Recommended sources to follow up on the material and questions presented in Week 4 (in addition to sources recommended for previous weeks)

Articles and books

“The False Promise of Anti-racism Books”

“Going to the Root: How White Caucuses Contribute to Racial Justice”

“Patience Is a Dirty Word”: “We do not want our freedom gradually,” John Lewis said, “but we want to be free now!”

“As Mayor of Minneapolis, I Saw How White Liberals Block Change”

“White Folks: It’s Too Late for ‘Allies’”

“White Supremacy Culture”

“Code of Ethics for White Anti-Racists”

“Everyone’s an Antiracist. Now What?”

New Resource page: Teaching about Racism, Injustice and Structural Inequality, Resources (Rutgers Graduate School of Education)

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You: A Remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning [This is the new version aimed at younger people, though perfectly appropriate for adults, that Ibram Kendi and Jason Reynolds wrote together.]

Karen’s book Dismantling the Racism Machine: A Manual and Toolbox

Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad (book)

Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?: And Other Conversations About Race by Beverly Daniel Tatum (originally published in 1997)

Please keep in mind that the rest of Karen’s website includes a list of organizations doing antiracist work (running down the right hand side of your screen) and there are several Resource pages on specific aspects of race and racism as well as the general Resource page)

Videos/Podcasts

Bryan Stevenson on how America can heal: The Ezra Klein Show