It’s been 19 years since the 9/11 attacks forever changed the social and political fabric of the U.S.. On the anniversary of the attacks, feminists are mourning the tragedy, while also reflecting on our current convergence of crises, including racial injustice and a pandemic that has taken 50 times the number of lives lost in the 9/11 attacks—while receiving only a fraction of the government attention and response that the attacks received.
At the very outset of what would become an award-winning career as a TV journalist, Belva Davis confronted violent racism at the 1964 Republican National Convention, at which conservative Arizona senator Barry Goldwater was nominated for the presidency. Her memory of that daunting experience reminds us that we’ve been through change followed by backlash before.
“Day one of the convention had been tense but orderly. … Day two was starting to spin out of control.”
Private racism—as opposed to public racism—is invisible to all but the perpetrator and victim. Yet so many more individuals are touched every day by the ubiquitous unrecorded and private racism that occurs outside public knowledge—racist encounters with no videotaped record and for which no collective global gasp is ever heard.
A compilation of 12 TEDWomen Talks examining the ways racial inequality manifests and the tragic consequences of systemic racism in the United States.
When faced down by racist man Jay Snowden at a Black Lives Matter protest in Whitefish, Montana, Samantha Francine pushed up her sunglasses so she could stare right back at him. She did not back down.
“I have not always been this version of myself. It has taken a long time for me to find my strength the way I did that day. … This is the first time in 27 years I have truly found my voice as a woman of color.”
As the country marches on to make its demands known—defund the police, arrest the killers responsible and spread Black Lives Matter messaging—one key population is noticeable on the streets: the youth.
The new BBC drama “Sitting in Limbo”—which premiered on June 8—sheds light on the 2018 Windrush Scandal in the U.K. Screenwriter Stephen Thompson reflects on how the racist targeting of black British people affected his family, as well as the show’s parallels to activist movements in the U.S.
The U.S.—currently fighting two pandemics: coronavirus and racism—is in desperate need of healing and leadership. Yet the current president, a role sometimes referred to as “mourner in chief,” refuses to lead our nation’s mourning. Luckily, other notable U.S. leaders have stepped in to express solidarity with the protestors and recognize the nation’s collective pain.
Our timelines have been plagued by immense amounts of Black death pornography, the commodification of Black activists and the continued rise of neo-fascism. It’s easy to find fault with these issues that plague U.S. society; it’s much harder to figure out where we go from here.
“Changing laws and policies alone won’t change who we are unless we address the underlying problems with those laws.”
“How can I reconcile the concept that politics is the art of compromise, with the clear message that there can be no more implicit compromise where black lives are at stake?”