The following are a few steps you and your family can do right now to help dismantle and fight systematic racism.
Committing to anti-racism is not a one-time thing; instead, it’s a long-term goal that we must pursue consistently: to unite your family around social issues and raise your voice in protest.
Many parents are only learning about the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement and how we can unite and speak out against social injustices. This is not a new notion. As a family, how do you combat racism?
By putting in the effort to become better parents and committing to raising our children in an anti-racist environment.
Learn about Racism and Teach Your Children
Slang and disparaging phrases aren’t the only ways to express racism. It’s also ingrained in American culture and society as a whole. Unfortunately, neither society nor the American educational system has done anything to educate kids about how deeply ingrained racism has been in our country’s past.
You can learn a lot about history, systematic racism, and what needs to be changed by watching movies, reading books, and following the news and the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag. After savoring this information, talk to your children about what you’ve learned. And don’t forget to keep the dialogue and education continuing.
Whichever method you select, you must complete the research yourself rather than relying on the knowledge of your Black peers. Right at your fingertips is a wealth of information, and the hard work has already been done for you. When newcomers inquire about Black people, racism, and what they can do to help, many of us find it exhausting to keep re-educating them. Search on Google. When you go to the library, you’ve probably already heard about racism and what needs to be done.
It is essential to recognize White Privilege.
Take it a step further and recognize your privilege. The social construct that contributes to racial inequity includes white privilege. This is actually one of the most effective steps to fight racism, by starting with knowing what our privileges are.
Being both accurately represented and unconcerned in various settings is one of the perks of having white skin. How can you begin to comprehend your privilege as a white person? An example of white privilege is blaming outcomes on race without doing any in-depth analysis of the circumstances.
Diversify Your Life.
If we don’t infuse Black culture into our everyday lives, our children will think we’re solely about tragedy, history, and homework. Don’t only offer them the books on Black history; give them something else. They’ll enjoy reading about a black kid who wants basketball. Please do this by showing them the novels and movies in which Black and Asian children play together. They must recognize that individuals of color are just like them.
Furthermore, parents must practice what they preach. As Faust points out, parents who are entirely white or who only watch white people on television will be noticed by their children.
A brief check of your social media feed is easy to discover new things. Take a look at your feed and see if it’s full of the same people. Keep an eye out for culturally specific hashtags and the stories they elicit.
But don’t stop there. Be tolerant of persons from different backgrounds and cultures in your real-world social groups. Patronize enterprises owned by African-Americans. Hire a Black accountant if you can. Put forth the effort to volunteer and conduct business with people from various backgrounds. The children of Faust and Dr. Stephens-Dougan are exposed to a wide range of cultures when they travel outside of their immediate neighborhood.
However, even if you make an effort to support and diversify your life, this does not give you the right to tokenize Black people. Having a Black buddy solely for being able to say you do so is never acceptable. Make sure your objectives and motives are pure. Inviting Black individuals into your life shows that you are open to learning from them and appreciating their contributions. Because they fit a box on your to-do list doesn’t justify it, she advises.
Take a Stand and Do Something!
After Black Lives Matter is no longer trending, the ultimate measure of your allyship is what you and your family do. So much anti-racism is done when you’re no longer receiving Instagram likes for it.
Allow your children to witness you speak up when they perceive anything wrong and teach them the necessity of doing the same. There are no such things as age limits in making a difference in the fight for racial justice. It’s up to supporters to speak up when they see injustice because Black people aren’t usually given a seat at the table.
Having your children witness you confronting their uncle for making racist jokes at the family gathering is essential if you want them to become anti-racism activists. For them to believe that this is not just a gimmick for the sake of it being trendy, they must see that it is true. It’s crucial to let your kids see you speak out against offensive racial statements since they take their cues from what they see.
Families can go a step farther and use their influence in places that matter. You may help change policies by signing petitions, donating, and writing letters to your elected officials. Even at a young age, children may realize that they have the power to make a positive impact. As a family, make these behaviors a part of your daily routines.
Anti-racism is not a one-time event. We need to have these talks daily, not just when something tragic or unfair happens, if we want to attain racial equality and all these steps will help us fight against racism better.