Leah Penniman, a farmer with Soul Fire Farm and the author of “Farming While Black,” has three basic steps that we could all follow, to continue fighting racism in our country and society.
Growing up “as a brown kid in a white town,” as she phrased it in a recent episode of “The Best Advice Show,” Penniman thought that personal slights against her were about “detriments in my own character and worth.”
At some point, she had an important realization.
“Racism is not the sum total of a bunch of individual actions of meanness,” Penniman said. ... Being anti-racist is actually not about being NICE.”
It’s more about who has power, wealth and influence; which has deep institutional and historical roots.
It wasn’t until after college that Penniman developed the following analysis about how NOT to be racist.
Here they are. It comes down to ...
- Education. Penniman said it’s important to learn to peer behind the veil and see the ways white supremacy is baked into every institution in America. We can learn by reading books, listening to podcasts, watching documentaries (”13th” on Netflix is a great place to start) and taking workshops.
- Reparations. This is about giving back the things that were stolen from black and indigenous people, including land and wealth. Look into the bill HR-40.
- Amplification. Penniman said we have to amplify the demands of black and indigenous people of color. There are organizations impacted by racism “screaming from the rooftops” what needs to change. “White folks don’t need to make it up (or) come up with new solutions. Simply amplify those demands.” Calling your congressperson might be a good place to start.
Listen to Penniman tell you for herself.
If everyone did these things, it would go a long way toward having a less racist society, Penniman said.
Here are some recommended resources and groups/links she mentions in the podcast:
- Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You
- Scene on Radio’s ‘Seeing White’
- Soul Fire Farm’s Reparations Page
- The Movement for Black Lives
“The Best Advice Show” podcast creator and host Zak Rosen wants to hear from you next. It doesn’t even have to be this deep; another recent episode gave a life hack on how you should be sorting your silverware when you load the dishwasher. (It’s brilliant!)
To contribute some of your advice, drop Rosen a voicemail at 844-935-BEST. Leave your name and your tip, followed by your email address in case he has any follow-up questions.
He wants specific, odd, uplifting, effective, real advice from you about how you make it through your days.
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