Probably like many of you, my “plans” for the summer are not what I anticipated they’d be. And my summer reading list has changed.
I’m with Van Jones in believing that we’ve each been called to do “a personal and spiritual accounting.” How did we, as a society, get here? Though we may often feel powerless, most of us are not. And those of us with power and privilege are responsible for the state of things.
Ibram X. Kendi reminds us in How to Be an Antiracist that “racist” is not actually a pejorative term. It’s a descriptive one. Personally, my fear of being racist has sometimes prevented me from taking antiracist action. As such, my fear is in and of itself unwittingly racist.
According to Kendi, “The only way to undo racism is to consistently identify and describe it — and then dismantle it.” To do that, we need to be able to label things we say or do as racist when they support or express a racist idea, even if our intentions are otherwise. “The attempt to turn this useful descriptive term into an almost unusable slur is, of course, designed to do the opposite: to freeze us into inaction.”
So I am asking myself a question posed by my friend and colleague Julie Lythcott-Haims: What am I doing to put my antiracist beliefs into action?
Parents: If you’d like to join a discussion about how to face this summer of uncertainty and unrest, I have a great opportunity for you on Wednesday nights 5pm PT/ 8pm ET. Join me and a dozen other parenting authors for a masterclass called Parenting in Place: Helping Families Thrive in Challenging Times. Our conversation this week is about race, and it’s with Julie Lythcott-Haims, Nefertiti Austin, Christine Koh and Leslie Priscilla Arreola-Hillenbrand. If you miss the live version, you can catch the replay!
The entire series— 9 live classes, the bonus bundle, and the closed Facebook community—is only $39. (Registrants will have access to all replays, no matter when they join.) 10 percent of the proceeds will be donated to charity—I’m donating my proceeds to the Equal Justice Initiative. See the whole line up and register here: https://