October 2020 Newsletter
Hello Everyone. I hope you are navigating these uncertain and challenging times in ways that allow for both a focus on justice and well-being. A lot is on my mind this month as we zero in on next month’s election, so much so that I wrote a blog post, “This Is Not A Drill! Action Required.” to share my thoughts and provide opportunities to engage. Please read this post (only a 3-minute read) before attending to the other resources provided this month. Stay well and stay active!

And if you're feeling overwhelmed and need someone to talk with, scroll all the way to the end and sign up for our 3rd Sunday dialogue sessions for white anti-racists. There is a community to support you!
A fellow panelist, during a recent podcast recording, spoke of this February 2020 speech as one that provided her with hope. That was great to hear. The podcast version has been available for some time. The video link is now available. Shout out to MSMU student, Deborah Lee, who hand-painted the illustrations.
For fans of the On-ramps and Lanes on the Racial Justice Freeway analogy offered in my post, you'll be interested in this new video that captures the essence. Feel free to share! So grateful to Unite4Equality for their help with video production.
Yes, it can get worse.
Did you see this? “In a memo written last week, the president said teachings on White privilege are a destructive ideology that creates division and misrepresentations of the country’s history. The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs will establish a hotline and investigate complaints that contractors are implementing prohibited trainings. If contractors don’t comply, they risk termination, suspension, or the possibility of being ineligible for further government contracts.” Read more...
The negative effects are already occurring. I have personally heard multiple stories from federal workers who are unable to use their work emails to communicate about anything related to whiteness, white privilege, or white fragility. One is planning to continue the work on their own time, outside of the job. Some people are just too scared to say or do anything. This is just one of many things we will have to navigate if we do not decisively remove Trump this November.
In related news...

President Donald Trump…announced he will be establishing a commission to promote “patriotic education” in the United States. He announced the plan, called The 1776 Commission, during a speech at the White House History Conference…The president said he will soon sign an executive order to establish the commission. The announcement comes after Trump has repeatedly criticized the teaching of critical race theory in schools, which he took aim at during the speech, calling it a “Marxist doctrine” and “a form of child abuse in the truest sense of those words.” Read more…

This comes on the heels of an announcement that “the US Department of Education would investigate whether California schools are using the New York Times' "1619 Project" in public school curriculum.”

“Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, a Republican, has introduced legislation that would prevent schools from teaching the curriculum. The legislation, titled the Saving American History Act of 2020, "would prohibit the use of federal funds to teach the 1619 Project by K-12 schools or school districts. Schools that teach the 1619 Project would also be ineligible for federal professional-development grants." Read more...

And in case you're wondering, YES I am including the 1619 Project in my course this semester!

How are the kids doing?

Did you catch this one? Turning Point, USA, a pro-Trump group, enlisted teens in a secretive campaign likened to a “troll farm” to spread disinformation, prompting a rebuke by Facebook and Twitter. “One tweet claimed coronavirus numbers were intentionally inflated, adding, “It’s hard to know what to believe.” Another warned, “Don’t trust Dr. Fauci.”

A Facebook comment argued that mail-in ballots “will lead to fraud for this election,” while an Instagram comment amplified the erroneous claim that 28 million ballots went missing in the past four elections.

The messages have been emanating in recent months from the accounts of young people in Arizona seemingly expressing their own views — standing up for President Trump in a battleground state and echoing talking points from his reelection campaign.

Far from representing a genuine social media groundswell, however, the posts are the product of a sprawling yet secretive campaign that experts say evades the guardrails put in place by social media companies to limit online disinformation of the sort used by Russia during the 2016 campaign.” Read more…

This journal article provides a lot of wonderfully integrated information (though an academic lens) that will be very useful for teachers, researchers, and youth development specialists. It offers best practices to examine how people who work directly with young white males can (a) immunize youth to reduce susceptibility to fascist recruitment, (b) intervene in fascist recruitment of specific youth, and (c) counter-recruit youth into community organizing for social justice.

A new survey details a significant lack of Holocaust knowledge in the United States. Up to 10% of respondents think the Jews caused it. Approximately 40% of Millennials say they don’t know much about it, and 23% reported being unsure whether or not to believe that 6 million Jews died or if the information was described fairly. Also disturbing is that 17% said that it is okay to hold neo-Nazi views.
A Podcast for Parents and Teachers
Sounds Like Hate is an audio documentary series about the dangers and peril of everyday people who engage in extremism, and ways to disengage them from a life of hatred.
To entice you: Part 2: Not Okay takes us inside Randolph Union High School in Vermont, where 95% of students are white. The high school is at the center of two linked battles that are tearing the community apart: whether to remove a mascot some say bears a disturbing resemblance to a hooded Ku Klux Klansman charging on a horse and whether to fly the Black Lives Matter flag.
The community’s push to fly the Black Lives Matter flag came at a moment when the school’s principal expressed concerns about a surge in hate symbols, name calling and threats. A mother of two biracial students at Randolph Union describes the conditions that led her to fear for her children’s safety at school. Her son, Aamir, says racially charged incidents and threats are so common he can hardly keep track. In this episode, students, parents and staff share their personal experiences illustrating Randolph Union’s struggle with racism and violence, and describe how they became change agents in their community.
Great resources are available on the Teaching Tolerance website! While these recorded webinars (available for immediate viewing once you register) are designed for teachers, they are each a wonderful learning experience for anyone. They provide a solid educational experience while also providing resource documents and lesson plans that a teacher could use in their own classroom.
In the weeks leading up to the 2020 election, Political Research Associates is hosting a series of moderated conversations with experts and social justice movement organizers exploring and challenging some of the most pervasive and influential anti-democratic movements in the U.S. today. They will explore the influence of these right-wing movements on the election and the ways they will continue to represent a threat to democracy and civil rights regardless of the electoral outcome.
Sample Topics:
Join an ongoing, monthly support dialogue for white anti-racists. AWARE’s monthly Sunday Dialogue (SD) occurs on the 3rd Sunday of every month, 3-5PM Pacific via the Zoom online platform.  We focus on connecting, sharing, and learning from one another. If you have not signed up for the interest list (required to receive the registration link), please subscribe here: Sunday Dialogues Interest List Sign Up
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Shelly Tochluk · 10 Chester Place · Los Angeles, CA 90007 · USA

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