334: How to raise anti-racist kids
I love this portrait of father and son, taken by photographer Blake Nissen and published in the June 7, 2020 edition of the Boston Sunday Globe. “It’s as if we are going through the 1918 flu pandemic AND the Great Depression AND the Civil Rights era, all at once.” That’s what James Arthur said on his podcast, Minority Korner, in (and about) Spring 2020. I think he’s right. To get through it all we are going to have to work together! That’s the spirit in which I bring you this episode. In this conversation on racial justice between my friend Shane Sams, and his friend Talaat McNeely, Talaat shares that we each must “Make change within our sphere of influence.” Well, my sphere of influence is in teaching parents like you how to get your family going in the direction you want. Today I link that idea up with getting this nation going in the direction we want: one in which everyone is treated fairly, and where parents don’t have to worry about their children being harassed, assaulted, or murdered because of how they look. I hope this episode, all about raising anti-racist kids, will help you make these crucial changes within your sphere of influence. FYI: Free live training course on raising good, kind kids – This week I’m doing not one but two live trainings, teaching on how a parent can change a child’s bad behavior to good… and one common mistake that well-meaning parents often make when trying to raise good, kind kids. (In other words, something that ups the bad behavior, when they’re trying to reduce it. It’s not a mistake you want to make.) Click weturnedoutokay.com/kind to sign up for the live trainings, this coming Thursday, June 11 and Sunday, June 14! Because of my white privilege, I have been able to insulate myself. I’ve been able to not see some important truths that have been right in front of me. I have remained ignorant, when I should have been seeking education. This week one of my friends, a white man from Kentucky, had an amazing conversation with one of his friends, a Black man from Chicago. Talaat McNeely and Shane Sams spoke for an hour and 45 minutes, and I was astounded and ashamed at the stories Talaat told. Things that have personally happened to him and his kids, just because of the color of their skin. I was: – astounded by the differences in our experiences, Talaat’s and mine, which only came about because he happens to be Black, and I happen to be white. No one should ever, EVER be treated the way Talaat and his family have been treated. – ashamed because I let it happen. The simple fact that it is happening means that I have not done enough to stop it. Talaat shares five key steps that we can take to stop racism. (I don’t remember to bring up the first and most important one until we’re almost at the very end of today’s episode, so all along you’ll hear me talk about four key steps… But that first one is most important. Talaat brings it up right at the beginning of his conversation with Shane. It’s something you hear me talk about on the show again and again, and I still can’t believe it took me until the last part of this episode to talk about it in connection with stopping racism.) There are about a million links today, so for those and a description of the five key steps we can take to stop racism – to raise anti-racist kids – click the following link: weturnedoutokay.com/334. We need each other now, more than ever. If you are reading this and you’re a person who (as the Black Panthers used to say) is Black or oppressed, you have my empathy, and my pledge to become educated instead of remaining ignorant about what has happened to you, and the part I have played in your troubles. If you’re a person of privilege, I hope that like me, you’re open to moving forward on the path from ignorance, to education. And from there to support. We will get through this together <3 Talaat McNeely’s Advice on How to Stop Racism 1. Stand in someone else’s shoes. In other words, cultivate empathy and always work to start from a place of empathy. (This is the one that I forgot to mention until the very end of the show! Still can’t believe that.) 2. Acknowledge. When we see, or do, something wrong, we must first acknowledge it and understand that it was wrong. If it was us who committed that wrong, we need to acknowledge it to take ownership, so we can move forward in setting it right. 3. Become Aware. Talaat underscores how important it is to have an awareness of someone else’s reality. As a part of this he says “don’t ask a person to relive their trauma.” 4. Take Action. Ask yourself, “what can I do to help?” Kids are outstanding at coming up with answers to this question, that we might never have seen. Be sure to bring them into this conversation! 5. Be Accountable. Hold people to their word, and do your best to hold yourself to your own. TONS of links! To sign up for the FREE live trainings I’m doing this week on how to raise good, kind kids, click weturnedoutokay.com/kind. Click here for “Let’s talk about racial justice!,” Talaat McNeely and Shane Sams’ YouTube live conversation. Click here for Talaat’s show (that he does with his wife, Tai, His and Her Money. Click here for Shane’s show (that he does with his wife, Jocelyn, The Flipped Lifestyle Podcast.) For the page of resources I put together on overcoming our biases, click weturnedoutokay.com/bias. Click here for Minority Korner, with host James Arthur. I have found this show (which is for grown-ups) super helpful in understanding US history and current events from perspectives other than my own. Click here for Real American, Julie Lythcott-Haims’ wonderful memoir which also helped me understand growing up in America from a different perspective than my own. Click here for the Parenting in Place Masterclass; Julie Lythcott-Haims, along with several beloved WTOO guests, will be helping parents through this upcoming summer. I’m signed up and I hope you will too! Click here for the Sawbones podcast episode on the Black Panthers, and here for the Sawbones episode on medical racism. Click here for the book Lies my Teacher Told Me. A seminal book for me, and also it turns out for Dr. Sydnee McElroy of the Sawbones podcast. Click here for “Two gentle and kind models for how to teach good values,” the recent parent newsletter I wrote on the anti-racist message delivered when Officer Clemmons, played by actor and playwright François Clemmons, soaked his feet in a kiddie pool along with Fred Rogers in Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. Click here for the documentary film Searching for Sugar Man, about an American whose music, listened to by white South Africans under apartheid, was equivalent to the Beatles in its revolutionary tendencies – and popularity. Yes, Rodriguez was bigger than the Beatles in South Africa, even though you’ve probably never heard of him. Click here for the Boston Globe article from Sunday, June 7, 2020, about a Black dad and his little boy taking part in a peaceful demonstration in support of Black Lives Matter. Click here for “When a parent’s leadership skills really matter,” the recent newsletter I wrote on how we can feel helpless in our own lives, our ability to control our kids’ behavior, and about world events and how we might play a part in alleviating suffering or injustice. Click weturnedoutokay.com/333-5, a bonus episode I did last week on the part that we parents play in ending racism.