Wednesday Workshop Series “Dismantling the Racism Machine: A Beginning Workshop Series for White People”

This website is for the participants of the Wednesday Workshop Series “Dismantling the Racism Machine: A Beginning Workshop Series for White People,” sponsored by the Hunterdon County Anti-Racism Coalition, with tech and Zoom support by Indivisible Lambertville New Hope. (Registration is currently closed, and this series is running July – August 2020).

Workshop Description: Throughout June, Black Lives Matter protests have been happening in every state in the country as outrage spreads regarding the murders of Black people by the police and white vigilantes. White people are becoming more involved in these protests, joining anti-racism groups, and reading more about the history of racism in the US. Many white people are not aware of this country’s history of racism, how systemic racism persists today, and the way white people benefit from unearned advantages. Instead, white people have been conditioned through systems like education, the media, criminal justice, healthcare, and more to believe false racial myths that depict white people as superior (innocent, civilized, and intelligent) and Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) as less than human (criminal, uncivilized, and less intelligent). This very conditioning can prevent white people from fully engaging in movements for racial justice and from developing empathy for BIPOC. This Workshop Series is based on the principle that white people need to understand how we were conditioned to believe false racial myths of anti-blackness, how to debunk them, and how to challenge white supremacy and be in solidarity with BIPOC.

Session 1: Wednesday, July 15, 7-8:30pm
Description: What racial myths do white people believe that we need to unlearn? This session will focus on how to debunk the myths that race is biological and that race (especially whiteness) has always existed. We will explore how these myths influence systemic racism today.

Here are the Powerpoint slides available for you to download: Powerpoint Dismantling the Racism Machine Part 1 Gaffney July 15 2020

Reflection Assignment (please work on this after the July 15 meeting and before the July 22 meeting)

  • Go back through the slides Karen shared and discussed on Wednesday (available for you to download above)
  • Think more about and write more about the questions posed during the meeting:
    • How were you indoctrinated into one or both of these myths (that race is biological & that race has always existed)?
    • How do you see one or both of these myths operating in your life (at your workplace, community, etc.)?
    • What questions do you have for Karen?
  • The following readings/videos will further develop the ideas shared in Session 1. Please follow through on reading/watching the “required” items before Session 2. Consider sharing the resources you find impactful in social media and sharing with friends/family to raise awareness and prompt discussion.
  • We will begin the July 22 session with an opportunity for you to share a brief check-in regarding the reflecting, writing, reading, and video-watching I asked you to do.

Required reading

“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”

“The problem is white supremacy”

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

Required watching

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

Recommended reading

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)

“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?”

“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)

“White Debt”

The 1619 Project (The New York Times)

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)

Recommended watching/listening

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?”

The Chinese Exclusion Act (PBS film)

Slavery by Another Name (book and PBS film)

13th (film on Netflix)

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.

Session 2: Wednesday, July 22, 7-8:30pm
How and why has systemic racism persisted after the civil rights movement? This session will focus on specific ways in which systemic racism has been adapted for a post-civil rights era, leading up to our present moment.

Here are the Powerpoint slides available for you to download: Powerpoint Dismantling the Racism Machine Part 2 Gaffney July 22 2020

Reflection Assignment (please work on this after the July 22 meeting and before the July 29 meeting)

  • Go back through the slides Karen shared and discussed on Wednesday (available for you to download above)
  • Work on building an antiracist mindset that involves these daily activities:
    • Catch myself slipping into one of the above myths and consciously pull myself out of that myth
    • Recognize the ways in which the systems that I interact with perpetuate systemic racism
  • The following readings/videos will further develop the ideas shared in Session 2. Please follow through on reading/watching the “required” items before Session 3. Consider sharing the resources you find impactful in social media and sharing with friends/family to raise awareness and prompt discussion.

Required reading

“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”

“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)

Required watching

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)

Recommended reading

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.”

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)

Recommended watching/listening

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)

Session 3: Wednesday, July 29, 7-8:30pm
How can white people challenge systemic racism today? This session will focus on how we can apply the concepts from Sessions 1 and 2 to create a sustained, lifelong practice of antiracism.

Here are the Powerpoint slides available for you to download: Powerpoint Dismantling the Racism Machine Part 3 Gaffney July 29 2020

Please note that links are also embedded in the Powerpoint slides

Reflection Assignment (please work on this after the July 29 meeting)

  • How can you build a practice of developing your antiracist mindset that is sustainable (so you don’t stop) and lifetime (because you’re never done learning)?
  • How can you build a practice of applying your antiracist mindset to address systemic racism through action and activism?

Required reading

“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”

Recommended reading

“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)

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)

Recommended watching/listening

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

Optional check-in: Wednesday, August 19, 7-8:30pm
This session will be held a few weeks after the third session to give participants the option to share their work and their challenges.

Cost:
This training is being offered free of charge and will be limited to the first 50 people who register. In lieu of paying for this Workshop Series, participants are strongly encouraged to donate to one or more of the following:

Please also note that while Zoom is free for users, it does require that users have the technology to access Zoom. If you have questions about Zoom, check out their website: https://zoom.us/

Bio of facilitator:
Karen Gaffney, PhD is an English professor at Raritan Valley Community College in New Jersey. She is the author of Dismantling the Racism Machine: A Manual and Toolbox (Routledge), an accessible introduction to race and racism with tools for action. She addresses anti-racism through community workshops and organizations, her blog Divided No Longer (www.dividednolonger.com), and her role as a Public Scholar for the NJ Council for the Humanities. Karen has presented her work at academic and activist conferences alike, including the Working-Class Studies Association, National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE), and the White Privilege Conference. Karen serves on the steering committee of the Hunterdon County Anti-Racism Coalition, and she serves as a co-facilitator for the Community Course on Racism, based in Somerville, NJ.