When you hear about certain books being restricted or banned from schools, libraries and bookstores; it conjures up an image of writing that's dark, dangerous and divisive. While some may argue a line needs to be drawn against insidious messaging, recent attempts at book banning have seemed to target works about acceptance and diversity.
We're living in very contradictory times when it comes to food and it's accessibility, especially here in the United States. Despite being one of the wealthiest countries in the world; America has approximately nineteen million people living in food deserts, with many others residing in areas known as food swamps; both of which deliver a severe and detrimental impact on health and wellness.
Be aware of those who say “now is not the time”. Notice who decries “this is not the way”. Remember who wants you to change how you speak of injustice so that it’s more palatable for them to hear. Recognize who discredits your fears because they are not their own. Understand that all of this is just another way to demand your silence.
Words can be powerful. They can uplift, inspire, make us laugh, get us thinking, reveal perspectives unseen, fortify, find common ground — and so much more. Choosing how we speak to ourselves or others, coupled with action that comes from those words, arguably, is one of the most impactful things we can do.
The difficulty with identifying (and defeating) systemic racism, especially for those of us who are not its intended target, comes from the fact that its existence and implementation -- by design -- is insidious. Its invisibility ensures its longevity.
Talking about racism and addressing racial injustice can be a difficult topic to navigate, especially if you’re White and relatively new to learning about or fighting against how entrenched it is within American society. Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPoC) have been telling us about this for a very long time; that racism is individually and institutionally pervasive. And it kills.
Whenever I've taken part in a discussion about equal rights or carried out some research related to the topic, I've encountered declarations from some people -- often determined to derail the discussion -- that there are no groups of people within our modern-day society here in the U.S. that have fewer rights than any other group of people.
You’re able to judge how great a nation is when you begin to understand the barriers and equal rights restrictions that exist within that society that inhibit certain individuals, groups or communities from being able to thrive. How a nation treats its most vulnerable members provides a window to its soul.