DOLLS MAY SOUND TRIVIAL, BUT IT’S THINGS LIKE CHILDREN’S TOYS THAT HELP FORM UNCONSCIOUS VIEWS OF OURSELVES AND OTHERS
Images form much of our unconscious bias. And unconscious bias is what us humans base most of our decisions on. Like it or not. Whether it’s an untreated childhood trauma. Bad experiences in relationships. Or even race and gender. The images we are fed from early childhood form our unconscious views. Jeffrey Kass uses the history of Black dolls in America to show how these images can negatively impact not only how white people view Black people, but also how Black people view themselves. It impacts self-esteem.
HOW ABOUT ALL YEAR ROUND
Black History Month obviously is an important time to learn about the challenges and contributions of Black people in America. But those contributions are far more than just the civil rights movement. Black Americans have been far more involved in America’s advancement than most of us have been taught. This essay dives into why Black history needs to be taught as part of American history and not just in one short month of the year.
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HUMANIZING HUMANS ONE MEAL AT A TIME
One of the biggest reasons we have so much disconnect in America is that Black and White folks aren’t taking time to get to know each other on a personal level. This essay advocates for starting with a meal. Not politics. Not issues. Not solutions. Just breaking bread with someone. We often talk over people who are different than ourselves. Like two ships passing in the night with so much lack of understanding of the other. It’s too easy to react to a news story or a traumatic event about another group if we haven’t taken the time to know people from that group on a deeper level. It all starts with a meal, argues author Jeffrey Kass in this essay.
THE ROADMAP OUT. A JEWISH PERSPECTIVE
People often ask what can I do to help end systemic racism and injustices. There are many layers to this, but Kass delves into why mindfully supporting Black-owned businesses is one important step in the path to real progress. He uses the backdrop of the Jewish experience coming to America and how they used support for their businesses to move up the American ladder.
HOW THE TERMS WE USE IMPACT THE PACE OF CHANGE
Social justice warriors may be well-intended but sometimes the words chosen to advance the cause of justice end up having opposite consequences.
This essay explores why words matter. When we call something genocide or apartheid, what does that mean? When we use words like diversity and inclusion, what does that mean? Our word choices impact how fast we will heal so many of our world’s problems.
There’s been much talk of white privilege. The phrase tends to send many white folks, who themselves have endured life’s challenges, into a denying tailspin. There obviously are poor whites. Whites who have been incarcerated. Whites who have had rough childhoods. Etc. This essay discusses the importance of the language and methods we use to advance the cause of social justice. To help cure our country’s dark racist past. But Kass also dials down the offense at phrases like white privilege and instead urges people to have empathy for others’ experiences.
The town hall aired on Wednesday, June 3 on 9Listens. You can watch it again on the video player attached to this story.
Author: Allison Sylte
Published: 6:59 PM MDT June 2, 2020
Updated: 8:41 PM MDT June 3, 2020
DENVER — The “9LISTENS: Racism and the Road to Change” town hall brought together multiple different voices who discussed race in Colorado, the death of George Floyd and where we go from here.
Those voices ranged from Elisabeth Epps of the Colorado Freedom Fund, who has marched alongside protesters in downtown Denver, to Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen, who heads an institution many demonstrated against and Jeffrey Kass, a thought-Leader On Race, Society, and Culture as well as an Award-Winning Author.
READING THE ESSAYS
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