What Needs To Change In School Curriculums with Dr. Kimya Nuru Dennis
Welcome to this episode of The Determined Mom Show. I have the amazing Dr. Kimya Nuru Dennis with me, and we are on episode two of a series that we’re doing together. I feel like I’m just picking her brain, but she’s sharing so much amazing information that we all need to pay attention to and apply.
I’m so excited that you’re here one thing that I know should be addressed in this day and age, is that you work very much and very heavily in it. In 365, diversity in schools. I got a letter because it’s Black History Month from the superintendent of our kids’ school.
Now, I will say that we live in a predominantly white area and a predominantly white school district, and we live in the least affluent area of that school district. And so we live in a borough, which is kind of like a little tiny city, and then almost all the other people live in it. Suburban houses around.
That’s the school district. Just so you’re aware. So this is the letter that the school district sent, or the superintendent sent, and someone googled this and they found that it just copied it from Google. So almost 100 years ago. In 1925, Negro History Week, conceived by the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History was established as a means to bring awareness to the contributions of African Americans to society.
First officially recognized in 1920. The week-long celebration occurring in February soon became an integral part of American culture. 50 years later, in 1976, the week-long celebration was expanded and renamed Black History Month and continues to focus on the recognition and celebration of the rich and diverse history of African American culture in the United States.
I encourage you and your children to visit the Black History Month website and National Geographic. To learn more. That was the entire thing, and I was enraged when I read it, but let’s talk about that. That’s embarrassing. It is.
Most white people in particular, and I will say non-black people in general, do not see the problem with that official statement. I always tell people official statements are problematic because they are copied and pasted.
It doesn’t address the context of the demographics and cultures represented in schools, districts, cities, and entire. And the man, the nation’s history, right? So it’s insulting, it’s, it also demonstrates the problem with the American education system. This is also why I tell people that when school decision-makers don’t understand this problem, this is why schools are failing.
This is also why I tell people that when school decision-makers don’t understand this problem, this is why schools are failing.
And we’re talking about failing for centuries, including when students have four promoted GPAs, including if they go to quote Ivy League.
That I don’t respect those either. The end of that. A horrible letter also highlights the problem with the curriculum. Cause for goodness’ sake, the superintendent could not say, Hey, if you have questions, check out the wonderful materials in the library in this section of the library.
The superintendent couldn’t say If you have questions, we’re doing this virtual session at the school based on our existing curriculum as part of the accreditation.
The historical and current components of the school exams that we provide address the span of history, sciences, and mathematics that include black history, black sciences, and mathematics. Whenever schools have to tell people to go to National Geographic or someplace else for our website. That’s admitting that the schools don’t have that information.
They’re not capable of even talking to children about this information. That’s the other thing that I’m finding to be striking.
Well, they don’t want to be capable. So like even if they paid somebody to come in and do a PD or a racial justice training, it’s not to change stuff.
It’s to say, Hey, we’re polite white people. The end, right? We mean, well, we just can’t change anything. That’s a very typical, very typical letter.
I’ve been a member of, like speaker organizations and they would send out these very copy-and-paste official statements on certain months to say, Hey, we’re happy that it’s a certain month. I’m like, you implement this every day and not just in a certain month. And, so that, that school has the same problem. So what are you gonna do about it though?
I plan on trying to run for school board because there is no, there’s no, well, first of all, I’ve been to my daughter’s school, like the elementary school, and I’ve seen dozens of teachers. There are no. I mean of any color teachers in her school, in the elementary school, and that’s just the fourth and fifth-grade elementary school.
I’ve been to middle school and I have not seen any teachers of any color. However, there are plenty of students of color and so there’s that, you know, misrepresentation there where like I would love for my daughters if they feel uncomfortable about something, to have someone to even go to to talk about it.
They’re not gonna go to their white guidance counselor and the guidance counselor is gonna understand the chances of that happening are pretty much slim to none. I mean, I’m not saying it’s impossible, but it’s not likely. So those are issues that need to be addressed in the school district. I am planning on, you know, running for school board.
I’m part of your campaign, so just let me know if you need some help. Some, some things to think about with the terminology that you use, and this will shape your campaign possibly as well. So I do not subscribe to the phrase or acronym that includes color. I’m not of color. I’m black. Specifically of African descent.
I don’t even say African American. You know, white people don’t say white American, right? So, keep that in mind because as black people, white people forced us to be colored people. Colored folks, water fountains are not for colored people.
All humans have color, right? If anyone ever has watched the movie Tuskegee Airmen, which I love so much, the older movie, there’s a scene where the black Tuskegee airmen are in a bar with the white Tuskegee airmen, and the white men are like, oh, you’re colored. And he was like, why do you call me color?
He says, white people. Get pale white people, blush, white people turn green if they get sick. You know this whole comedy of saying, why are we the colored people when you all have various colors under your shade? Ooh, that’s so true. Skin complexion, right? And so calling. People of color or color, is that same as we’re talking about false racial neutrality, right?
Pretending that white people are, not just race-neutral, but also in a sense like alien life forms where we can see straight through their skin, like transparent. That’s not how it goes, right? Especially we talk about different shades of melanin in addition to ethnicities that have become identified racially as white.
That’s something to consider because when we present this information, we tell people like sometimes I use the phrase black and brown people, but I even have challenged myself to stop using that as much because that’s still like this category instead of specific with saying indigenous, aboriginal, black African.
You know, I always tell people when you act like you don’t have time, to specify, like when I do training, it’s very common, the whole training. I’m talking about black people within white people, yeah, people of color.
This whole time I’ve said, black people. And now you’re saying. So that’s just something to keep in mind because when, when you change the language, it also highlights even more that white people are not just spectators. Cause you know, for centuries, white people have contributed to and benefited from white power.
Terrorism transatlantic, slavery, colonialism, benefiting from the crime system, from the prison system. The benefit includes tax paying, right? Yep. Everything. Tax benefits, the value of land, city planning, and city design. Including poor white people who have struggled in terms of having their voices heard.
A lot of times when their voices get heard more and more, especially during certain elections. This is where we just want people to understand that. We can’t say white people are apathetic, but then keep using language which it doesn’t include white people. So that’s also very helpful because it also would shape that kind of horrible official statement.
Because that superintendent kind of wrote it like a spectator, like, you know those people, this is their mom, you wanna learn more. Go to that website instead of saying, this is a month that needs to be every day. Just like, you know. This is black history and American history. It’s world history. It’s something that we all need to know. Therefore, it’s not like a distant learning kind of thing.
It’s an everyday integral part and I am guilty of that, of kind of rushing through it and, and, hurrying to not break down that, you know, all of the different races that I’m talking about. So I completely understand what you’re saying, and I will make sure of that. Corrected going forward and making sure that I am taking the time to address everyone accordingly, you know?
It also connects to the divisions within the groups who are called of color, because this falsehood that we’re all united to address problems, ignores history. The indigenous people of black people Of Asians, of different religions and anti-blackness, and anti-indigenous, anti-Asian. And also how city design includes everyone except for non-black people getting access to bank loans.
So that’s also something to consider. If you run for that school board, position. You’ll also want to explain how the school board is shaped and the schools are shaped by the city design and the city planning. And so that’s just, I’m sorry, go ahead.
I was just gonna say, it doesn’t seem like there’s anyone from our neighborhood because like our next-door neighbors, Puerto Rican, the next-door neighbor is Dominican. There’s a black family across the street. It doesn’t seem like there’s anyone from our neighborhood represented in the school. You know, it’s just that outside suburban area that’s represented.
That’s, and that’s again, that part of the city and state design. it’s intentional, and again, that classism always interlocks with racism. If you think about there’s, there’s like centuries of writings about how class always interlocks with.
There’s a lot of writing about black writers and indigenous writers in particular. And so to make those changes you’ll want to address because if you’re talking only about racism, a lot of people will be like, standoffish, right? But when you start talking about classism, interlocks with racism, ableism, and everything else, some people will be more willing to listen, but then it will still be difficult to make a change.
The question is then are there people who also have a problem with that official statement besides you? And there’s time to have a meeting to discuss even a virtual meeting.
I don’t even know how I would find those people. I guess maybe if I posted it next door. I posted on my Facebook page, and of course, there I have friends all over the country that understood it and like understood why, but they’re not here in the school district. I don’t know how many other people would understand in this school district. And that’s the other thing is it’s scary, you know?
I mean, some people might want to discuss this. so this is why I always would recommend creating some kind of Eventbrite to get people’s voices out there and so that you don’t feel like you’re by yourself. When I think about that official statement, they drafted that.
They thought it was something special. you know, they thought they were, um, doing something profound and, they would ask what’s the problem? And, which is scary because you’ll be exhausted cuz you have to, the distraction is for you to explain the problem over and over again.
This is where you’ll have to have, again, your deal breakers. Like what’s the timeline for when we’re gonna discuss this? What’s the timeline for when we’re gonna have to admit? A percentage of people will either never understand, never care, or will disagree.
And these include the people who are pretending that this all started because of critical race theory, or pretending it all started because of pro-Trump or anti-Trump stuff.
Or they’ll pretend this all started during Covid. They won’t. Care about centuries of stuff that just articulates in different ways. So you’ll have to create your groundwork so that you’re not easily distracted and you’re not easily dismayed and you’re gonna be disappointed.
This is where I tell, I understand that. So this is where just reading that official statement, I can already guess what’s in the library, what’s in the curriculum. I already know where they get their publishing.
You know, and I know that if they’re talking about changing textbooks, it’s like adding a chapter. Without changing everything, they’ll lie and say they don’t change curriculum because now it’s based on the budget, you know?
The school district has a very nice budget, so it’s not a poor school district. It’s not strapped for a crash. It’s, there’s never a question of.
The stadium lights being on, or you know, like that’s, it’s not that kind of school district, so there’s no, there should be no question of that.
That’s where you’ll have to just have those discussions of what is our focus. And people will say, of course, we wanna make sure our children learn. And they have to look at how they define learning. I mean, it’s how they define learning because this is K through 12 and College, and university.
I mean, even when you teach graduate students and train people throughout their careers, you find that they’ve often stuck to what they were always told, and they were, oftentimes told to just agree so that they. Get to the next level. Say it’s similar to when we’re talking to students about having to not just memorize and regurgitate, but learn.
Here are some real-life examples. How does this pertain to real life? Sometimes students, K through 12 colleges, universities, and graduate programs get offended cuz they’ve been taught all their life in parts of the world that you’re not learning.
To just make you subscribe to that. And it also happens in wealthy environments. A lot of times people think that just because there are private schools, charter schools, or mansions, that now this awesome curriculum, it’s the same curriculum, same publishers.
The topic that we’re kind of addressing in this episode is what needs to change in the school curriculum. So how in the world do. Get them to change their curriculum. Like what does that process look like?
Those of us who created curriculum and done annual evaluations for accreditation know how you create courses. You create the description of the courses, you select books or articles. So when I teach now, I provide free books so that students don’t have to go into debt trying to purchase a textbook.
School teachers and libraries, know how to do this. They just don’t do it because they’re not required for accreditation purposes. But for nine years I did annual assessments with libraries. They’d go through everything in the library. They told you, here’s the outdated stuff, you wanna get rid of, what do you want to be implemented in the library?
Year after publication, they realize when they have certain treasures, like some old books, that they don’t want anyone to be able to take them out of the library cuz it’s a treasures. It’s the same process. They assess and evaluate the materials and as, as, yeah, as teachers, faculty, we have to go through our course materials too.
Because the idea is a falsehood that if you now have classes where you don’t read a whole bunch of white people, then you’re just, and you’re not learning. That now you’re not teaching factual history, you’re not teaching factual sciences, you’re not teaching factual meta, you know, medication discussions, if it’s a medical school.
Because again, just like we were talking about gender, a lot of times people say we’re gonna keep women’s topics as a special topics course and you’re like, then what’s the main course then?
What is the main thinking behind that? Is it like they don’t want people to forget about white history and they don’t? For white people to lose credit for all of the things that they’ve done. What is that fear? I’m kind of curious if you know.
I don’t think it’s a genuine fear unless you’re talking about people afraid to lose their jobs. What it is, it’s the same notion of power. Because they realize that the majority of teachers and decision-makers and. Despite black people and indigenous people paying high taxes, including in lower-income areas, white taxpayers and white voters are the people whose opinions matter the most.
When they say they’re afraid, it’s more so they’re afraid of making people angry. Whose voting and whose demands matter? So like black people, indigenous people in particular were told to not be outraged and to be silent if we appear at a school council meeting.
However, white people can show up bringing firearms. We’re in both vests screaming. Going without a mask during covid. Angry about a theory that they, that’s not in any, you know, this critical race theory is not even in most law schools. And it’s existed since the 1980s. So like, this new outrage is an example of new white consciousness.
So basically white people can do whatever they wanna do. January 6th, 2021. Nation’s Capital illustrates that white people are allowed in every city and every state. Like literally I have been to programs, whereas black people, we’ve been told change is not gonna happen if you’re angry.
So we’re like, okay, I won’t be angry. We’ll do what Dr. Wb the boy said, double consciousness of black people having to wear different hats everywhere. Well, white people are not told to be calm, which includes white liberals.
White women are allowed to come in screaming about, we are not learning about women scientists. And usually, white women say women scientists are talking about white women scientists in particular a lot of times, and cisgender, heterosexual white women.
So a lot of times they haven’t heard those. But I tell people this is not a new demand for most schools, just like in larger, moderate size or larger cities where they say this is the first time people have demanded to change the police department. No, it’s not. Right. It’s the origin of the Emancipation Proclamation.
The origins of police departments in Europe and how colonialism and colonialists sense certain types of police. Departments around the world, militarization, and all that stuff. Man’s change. Police have always existed, right?
They’ve never, yeah, they’ve never been implemented because it’s not gonna benefit the white race as a whole.
Well, it doesn’t benefit the white race that’s based. Profiting the government and government control. So that’s why I tell people, you know when people say America is a democracy, it’s a democracy based on what we call relative deprivation.
Relative means how is it compared to elsewhere? So like black people, those of us who are descendants of enslaved Africans that forced us here, we’re told, if you complain, how do you think it would feel if you were here where it’s your people are impoverished
99% of the people cited in the reference page are white people despite five centuries of black people writing about enslavement, the crime system, about the origins of police in the USA despite centuries of that from black people and indigenous people, how is this whole reference section in the work sided pages, why a bunch of white people.
Why are these the most notable intellectuals and scholars and teachers?
Well, it was just like if we’re talking about gender variation and sexuality and it’s just a bunch of cisgender, heterosexual people being cited as the expert, like, yeah. That’s how the power comes into play. Therefore, people are taught that it’s only something to be learned and changed.
If the power majority are the ones that are considered important at any given moment. But then the power majority can change their mind and say, okay, this is no longer important. We’re gonna skip chapter four. It’s not even gonna be in the test.
That’s why it’s important to have that entire textbook change and not ones that include, you know, just bits and pieces.
I mean, this is why I tell people you have to dissect what’s in the libraries. like the city library as well, cuz that’s also the groundwork for the school libraries. Because they’re part of the same, usually librarian associations and so forth.
They often do meetings together. So this is how all of that goes together. And then a lot of times teachers and school decision makers and school officials will say, we can’t change curriculum too much because accreditation doesn’t require that. So that’s smacking us in the face and saying justice and equity and inclusion have to be based on what the politicians tell us to do.
Because accreditation agencies are connected to, you know, the political. Same as standardized tests. So this is why I always just tell people again, what are your deal breakers? You know, when I left full-time academia after creating an academic program, I just had to know that my work has a span beyond debating this one side, you know?
So that’s why I tell people, everyone has a deal breaker, a deal breaker. You just have to realize that your deal breaker often. Ignored or downplayed or excused away the oppressions of when their deal breaker has ignored the oppressions and alienation of other people. So like let’s say you’re working for a school and the school does not have bathrooms.
It can be used by people of every gender identity and gender non-entities. Let’s say that you. A school where they don’t have a ramp for people to use or elevators. Let’s say you have a school where you don’t have ESL, which includes, you know, black vernacular. We’re talking about how languages have had to change for centuries.
Let’s say you have a school where you don’t have people with certain visual conditions that can understand the mat or the course materials. Let’s say you, those are all the problems in the school. Y’all have talked about them in PDs for no reason cuz nothing’s changed, but you’ve ignored it because you said, I need to keep my job.
But then you pretend to be shocked that these problems persist because people are pretending that inequities are just about good people versus bad people. Inequities persist because if you’re gonna comply regardless, it’s just like when we talk about being a good customer.
If you have a horrible place that has horrible customer service, but you’re gonna still be there every day, they’re gonna keep doing what they do. Right? Same thing with schools and elsewhere. There’s no incentive for them to change. If you’re like, oh, well, you know, see tomorrow?
I tell people, you know, most of us, especially when primary minoritized identities don’t protest most things, right? Because like I said in the last session, we have to ignore a lot of stuff. That’s how we grow up and coexist in many spaces. Yeah. Cause you know, you’ll have a horrible life if you think that you’re gonna be outspoken and outraged about every problem.
But you just have to decide what you’re gonna accept and tolerate. Because if you do decide that you finally have a deal breaker, like the covid deal breakers, for a lot of teachers, that’s also their time to speak out about a lot of things happening at the school.
I would give a lot of respect to the teachers who said they’re leaving a school district or a particular school because of c harmful non-res restrictions at the school. And then say, speaking of which, here’s why I should have left in previous years, this, this, and this.
That’s where you’re not allowing schools to pretend that covid is the only problem. Because like a lot of these schools, they made official statements during the George Floyd protests, and then they’re like, we’re gonna make some changes. Darn it. You know, Dr. Dennis, we’re gonna hire you.
Covid happened. Now we’re busy with this. I’m like, literally, multitasking means multitasking. Which means, you know, if you’re talking about, yeah, if you’re talking about sexism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, racism. Anti-blackness, anti-indigenous, anti-Asian, that did not pause because of Covid.
Health problems and health tragedies reinforce these existing problems. Because when people get desperate about anything, they harm the most minoritized people. Like Americans, despite five centuries of terrorism around the world from white people. People in the USA and Canada and Europe wanted to pretend that everyone had equal access to vaccines.
That’s stupidity. People start saying, if you’re not vaccinated, don’t come around me. Or if you, if you’re not vaccinated, you deserve to die. I’m gonna laugh it off. Everyone has access to these three vaccines. I’m told that’s interesting because we talk about five centuries of medical racism, scientific racism, and health racism, that ties to classism, that ties to ableism, that ties to sexism.
But yet you’re foolish enough to think that all of these. To give everyone the same access to vaccines as though every city and every state has good pharmacies in every neighborhood that are stated to go to, that everyone has access to vaccines that have not expired despite new stories that have been released.
Locally that explained that people have been given expired vaccines, USA has sent expired vaccines in the context of Africa. So I tell people about these inequities, they don’t pause just because the government or politician tells you everyone has access.
That means that everyone is theoretically given access and the government and the decision-makers don’t care enough to do the follow-up and see who is accessing it and if is it the real stuff they need. Is it a real vaccine or is it someone on the corner pretending that this is a vaccine?
The same thing happens when we’re talking to schools releasing officials. Do we need them to follow up and explain what they are doing beyond Black History Month? Beyond the curriculum critiques. Beyond everything, it’s a constant process.
So that’s what you and I talked about before. Changes are for the entire existence of humans. Humans have been horrible for hundreds and thousands of years. People who think one training has solved everything.
Reading one book has solved everything, whatever the case may be, they’re not invested in changes.
And it’s a gradual everyday process, not a once-a-year like, you know, the Black History Month process.
So, and it’s not just a PD I tell school decision-makers, school teachers, principals, and counselors. That PDs are the same as any other kind of committee training. Like what are you doing beyond this formality? Is it doing more than building up your resume?
I say, well then that’s what you should have said at that PD. And I’ve had people tell me what they’ve been like. I appreciate this PD, but how can we change it? And that’s when I explained how to change it.
But I said, those of you who do not speak up and speak out and admit that you don’t know what you’re doing, and changes are hard, you have to also blame yourself now for pretending that the PD was sufficient. And now things have changed.
Sound familiar to what people critique K through 12 students and college university students for doing. They often critique students for just being there. Not paying attention. Now people are on smartphones. Guess what? They’re also learning from what the adults in their lives do every single day.
This is literally what their family members do. This is literally what teachers do when I do PDs and other training. You’ll find teachers, school officials, principals, and politicians, texting, and falling asleep.
They’re, they’re now, they’re the ones who are the decision-makers who control people’s lives, who control people’s resources, who control where money is being spent and they’re doing what they criticize children for doing when children are in the classes.
Look at what people are doing at the state and local levels. That you’re definitely for, you know, school people, these school employees are being. Through you too, including private entities, because private entities might be funded through other ways that you’re contributing to. So don’t just be mad at the people in Washington DC cuz they’re just doing what’s been done everywhere, literally.
I mean and don’t just be mad at these. Presidents of the United States, America, and other politicians, represent the horror, of the founding of America on stolen land, being forced to be built by stolen, raped, and murdered people.
I always tell people changes are impossible if people pretend these problems started in 2016 or even in 2020, cuz of Covid, when people make this about anti-Trump Pro-Trump, anti-G O P Pro, g o p, Democrats. Libertarians when they make it about critical race theory, any of that. These are people who are distractors.
They’re deflectors, and they are not people who actually wanna make changes. They’re people who just need to stay on Twitter, going back and forth with other people. Cause they’re not people who are gonna do some stuff. I agree.
So what I think of, there are two things. So one is unfortunately there’s an Ivy League that has, I think it’s black faculty who’s releasing like a long list of curriculum change assessments. And unfortunately, some curriculum change committees across the nation have adopted that. And I think it’s a standard for changing the curriculum. I encourage people to not use that.
Ivy League is Ivy League because it’s funded. It’s well because of white power, and white funding, they’re on stolen land. It’s intentional. It’s the intent of struggling indigenous schools, HBCUs, and then people celebrating Ivy League people. And the Ivy League, of course, is the foundation of it that came from initially their sports, but then the sports funding, you know, became this. So whenever people.
Do their equity work base in Ivy League and Research one school? I tell people, you actually should have contacted indigenous schools. You should have contacted HBCUs, you should have contacted women’s colleges. You should have contacted the general communities and neighborhoods.
And the power majority pertains to race, socioeconomic status, and forms of gender identity are the ones who are giving you all the criteria. Ignoring centuries of people in communi. Including artists who have told you, here’s what we need to be reading and learning. You’re ignoring that and you’re saying Ivy League.
So that’s one thing I tell people to not subscribe to if you’re part of a curriculum committee and you see an Ivy League curriculum being celebrated, trust and believe there are curriculums of existence centuries before that one was presented.
The second part is I encourage interested people. To do internet searches where you can find entire books like African mathematics books. There are entire indigenous mathematics books. So a lot of times white people, when they’re outraged that I critique white science, white mathematics, they’ll say, this stuff does not vary by race.
So it does, because when we’re talking about hundreds of thousands of years of indigenous Aboriginals, Asians, Africans, but. Mysteriously, most of the staff presented are white men. Do you know? Then it does. It is about race, but people can do an internet search and you can find some entire PDF documents of African books.
There are entire PDF documents for annotated bibliographies and bibliographies. So that you can find some books. Some of the books are difficult to find, so you’re gonna have to contact libraries and schools across the nation and parts of the world. Cause when we talk about stuff that is difficult to find, there’s a reason for that, right?
It’s not gonna be easy because they don’t want it to be easy. They don’t want it to be easy.
It’s not gonna be found easily by publishers because they want people for five centuries and for the future to pretend that white people are the inventors of science. White people are the inventors. The mathematics pulls from Asian mathematics as well.
They want people to pretend that white people are the first people to have laboratories, that white person are the first people to have universities, that white people are the first people to have court systems and forms of law enforcement and legal analysts.
They want people to think white people created the real arts and the real forms of music that are to be known as classical. You know, that’s the whole design so that the rest of us is, again, a special topics course. If you wanna learn about indigenous math or African math, it’s like when I took a finite math class as an undergrad.
I was the first year, and the finite math student was a very excited white man. He was drawing shapes. He was excited. Back then, we didn’t know that finite math includes hundreds of thousands of years of the original mathematics that shapes. Before there were numbers, before there was an equation, literally shapes that articulated many things the same way.
You see scientists talk about medicines created after shapes. European white people did not create that. They contributed to that, but they’re not the first people. Instead, when we’re talking about the trade industry that happened before, colonialism, the trade industry that transmitted East India to Africa, that’s how you see Kente cloth that is oftentimes taken from East Indiana as well.
That’s a trade industry before. White people started colonialism. So learning about the history of the sharing of knowledge helps you understand that some of this sharing of knowledge was consensual on both sides.
But then colonialism. Initiated by European white people, that’s when it became terrorism it wasn’t consensual. And also it depicts falsely white people being the first people to have trade ships.
First off, yeah. Slavery has been around the world for thousands of years, but this is a different form of slavery for a different purpose that spread it all around the world. So the trade ships we talk about before the continents broke up, what it meant when people were on different continents around the world, what became continents.
That’s interesting. Do you follow? I know, you know, I’m not even, I already know this because we had a conversation about this before a little bit, but do you follow, um, kind of what’s going on in Mali and a lot of the African countries regarding the colonial powers right now?
Yes, I do. So I’m also, I’m Pan Africans, so that’s, um, come from a family of Penn Africans where we, it’s like 150 years of connecting all of us around the world. And we try to keep up with that as much as possible. So Panafric, and also I’m part of the organization, Black Alliance for Peace, and I’m part of the Baltimore chapter.
And so what it’s based on is understanding, unfortunately, what’s happening in the context of Africa. including where most of us are descendants of West Africa. And so what’s happening there is, when you’re talking about people getting rid of the uprising or they’re doing an uprising to get rid of the government, it’s important to work.
Because this is an uprising that happened before the European form of anti-fascism existed. And it’s a form of the uprising that existed before Karl Marson, you know, existed. And, and that’s always why I highlight this because a lot of times when people talk about anti-capitalism, they think about socialism and communism through European form.
You know, Frederick Engles and Karl. And of course, Karl Mark’s also a sociologist and economist. But I always tell people, you can’t do this justice work if you only know the works done by European white men. You gotta understand how Asians, Africans, indigenous, and Aboriginals were overthrowing colonialists, and how Haitians did the Relu revolution against the French.
How did all of this start before Hallmarks was doing all this stuff? And of course, you have to know how white people harmed Haitians ever since that revolution, which is why Haiti is the most impoverished nation in the western hemisphere. That’s the eternal punishment for doing an overthrow the colonialist.
I feel like all of this. Everything is completely intertwined and it is all based on power and greed and control. I mean, that’s the biggest thing that all of those things bleed into every single aspect of everything.
That’s beyond people’s biases. It’s beyond people’s politeness or impoliteness. It’s beyond religious beliefs. And that includes when talking about grant funders. Grant providers, we’re talking about non-profits that have tax incentives to provide grants. There’s a reason why the wealthiest nonprofit providers in much of the world are white people, and that includes white.
And so that’s where we always tell people we can appreciate people. We can appreciate their role in reducing their care as much as possible by giving to the world, while also understanding that their role in giving to the world also furthers their power. Because it says a lot when you become a wealthy nonprofit that’s celebrated.
So this is what I always tell people. I don’t believe in such a thing as a powerful majority ally. So I don’t call anyone an ally. I’m cisgender heterosexual. Never do I go to Pride Parade and call myself an ally. I don’t believe in such a thing as White Ally. I don’t believe in a such thing as cisgender men allying for gender equity.
I believe in people who are collaborators and contributors to equity but want the ally title. Is ignoring how even when you contribute to change, you’re being worshiped and thanked oftentimes. Instead the attention. Should be on the minority group and not appreciating the oppressors for trying to reduce their power.
A perfect way to end this conversation so we can go ahead and get into the next one, which is another. A powerful one, especially within the last, I would say three years with a lot of them the racial, racial tensions have always been there, but in the last few years, they’ve definitely, become more mainstream and more talked about.
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