Taylor Mitchell, Public Affairs Committee Chairwoman, Alaska Coalition of BIPOC Educators
We can act like racism doesn’t exist, but it does. There are so many people who say “Let the past be the past”, but it’s not as simple as that. Just because some things are not overtly happening, or obvious to certain people, doesn’t mean they aren’t happening.
Racism was inside our founding fathers, changed our country, is a whole institution, a tool of oppression, a powerful mindset, and a lifestyle. It alters and shapes people in despicable ways, and those effects continue to plague our society. Racism exists today in 2022. Just because we don’t see public hangings anymore, can drink out of the same water fountains, eat in the same restaurants, and have interracial marriages doesn’t mean the problem has gone away. It persists.
There is no single magic potion to cure racism. It is a deep problem that requires a deep and holistic approach to solving it. There are many things we must do to end it, but what we can no longer do is turn a blind eye, say it happened a long time ago, or say we’ve come so far and just let things be. We must continue to address racism and its root causes if we are to heal our society. We can no longer act like it does not exist. We can’t excuse racism. We must condemn it. We need to be okay with the differences in skin color, with languages, and culture. People are different and not all the same. They are not better or worse than each other. Just different. Our conversations need to be open and honest, where our emotions don’t hijack communication. No one has the entire playbook to ending racism, but these steps are a good start.
Join the Alaska Coalition of BIPOC Educators as we strive to make our community better! You don’t have to be an educator to join. We need allies, youth, nurses, doctors, parents, paraeducators, and so many more!
Become a member by visiting our website www.theacbe.org.