People in the North Country look around and “don’t see color”. They are for the most part, white people, who don’t see people of color in the first instance because there are few who live within the blue line. They don’t see color in the second instance because they’ve been taught that being a racist means singling out people of color for different, degrading and even violent treatment. However according to Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, a NY Times contributor and Harvard professor of “Big Data”, Upstate NY is in the top five regions of the country for the number of google searches for white supremacy groups like the KKK. What’s going on?
There is a difference between individual bigotry / hatred and systemic racism and whites who are not hateful or bigoted but who feel they have done enough because they have a “friend who is black” or have taught their children “not to see race” are coming to understand how they are a part of the problem.
Wake the North Country seeks to:
Explain implicit bias and other facts of race related human psychology
Teach American history before and after the civil rights era
Help teens and their parents move beyond the “who can and who can’t” use the N-word discussion (And why the heck are white kids calling each other the N-word all the time anyway?)
Call a community conversation.
Listen here for a story on a recent conversation in the north country by NCPR:
Hire a social justice mediator for your school or community or business if there are two parties stuck in a disagreement over any issue but especially one that involves an imbalance of power.
Workshop the movie “I’m Not Racist…Am I?”