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ACTION: What Isn’t Helpful

I recently met with a man who some years ago recognized some of the privileges his life had afforded him.  Both his parents were professors, he had the benefit of an excellent education, of growing up in a “safe” suburban neighborhood, all leading to a stellar career in the business world.  He decided it was time to do some charitable work in a city program.  Soon after he walked into a classroom of young African-American kids he was to mentor, one of the kids said to him, “You’re not one of us.”  This shocked him, since he himself is a Black man (Did that surprise you?).  “Why do you say that?” he asked the boy.  To which the student replied, “You smile too much!”  I asked him how he reacted to that.  He soon left the program, somewhat peeved at the lack of gratitude for his willingness to help.

To his credit, a couple of weeks after our conversation he called to tell me something:  “That kid was right.”  He had come to recognize that his privilege did separate him from them, and that his approach to “helping” was from a superior posture, believing he knew what they needed.  Again, much to his credit, he is looking to engage again, but more with the posture and mindset of a learner, a student, a novice.

Another acquaintance, on learning that I had started this blog dealing with racism quickly offered her solutions for the issues:  “I would set up an education series: courses on how to parent, on how to manage money, on how to act in a job interview, and so on.”  White noise, particularly since she was in no way active in anti-racism work.  More importantly, she was inadvertently revealing the attitude that “they” had many problems that needed fixing, and that she knew how to fix them.  Her solutions had nothing to do with checking her own racial brainwashing.  Had she actually gone ahead with offering these courses, she undoubtedly would have encountered the same response as my Black friend, and would have come away shaking her head at the lack of gratitude for her attempts to enlighten them.

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Henry David Thoreau in “Walden” delivers a searing critique of philanthropy as it is often practiced by us.  E.g.:

“There is no odor so bad as that which arises from goodness tainted.” 

The attitudes of the people I’ve mentioned were tainted by a sense of superiority, of self-importance, as well as blindness to the goodness already existing in those they sought to help.

Another Thoreau quote:

“If you give money, give yourself with it, and do not merely abandon it to them (those you claim to help).”

I can write a check for $10 or $1,000 or $10,000, feel quite virtuous in the process, but never engage as a human being in the lives of those I presume to benefit by my arid benevolence.  I can be totally blind to what they have to offer me, and how desperately my own soul needs what they know, what they see, what they experience, their wisdom.

Then there is this classic reply from Lilla Watson, an Australian Aboriginal Elder when a missionary group approached her village:

“If you are coming to help me, then you are wasting your time.  But if you are coming because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”

About 20 years ago I traveled to a remote corner of Haiti with the group Project HOPE which was establishing a much-needed health clinic in the town of Bjorne.  When those in charge of that effort had entered that town several years before they did so with the conviction that the people there knew what they needed.  They asked how they could work together, following the lead of the villagers.  Prior to allowing our small group of visitors to “help” we were led through an orientation.  The core distinction we heard in that orientation has had a profound impact on my life:

Charity – helping other people

Vs.

Solidarity – standing WITH other people, in mutual need and mutual benefit

This distinction became increasingly critical to me during the four years I spent working with men in prison.  By the end I could claim without reservation that my liberation was bound up with theirs, and that I had learned priceless life lessons from them.

So action is indeed needed.  But the first step (and it is a continual one) is to check the entrenched white supremacy that lurks in our subconscious, to recognize the teacher/mentor/benefactor/philanthropist/savior themes, humble down, and follow the lead of those we think we are helping – because we need them!

You can scroll to the bottom of the page to “Leave a Reply”.

__________________________________________________________________

Resources:

Book:  “Toxic Charity:  How Churches and Charities Hurt Those They Help, And How to Reverse It”  Robert D. Lupton.  A modern-day Thoreau-like analysis of some of our convoluted concepts of helping.  He has also written a sequel:  “Charity Detox:  What Charity Would Look Like If We Cared About Results”

A two-minute video reinforcing the theme of the last blog post re being Anti-racist vs. non-racist:  https://www.facebook.com/theguardian/videos/10153870551066323/

A blunt article that challenges a white concept of what it means to be an ally:  http://www.blackgirldangerous.com/2015/11/ally-theater/

Article excerpt:  “Developing Authentic Anti-Racist Leadership”  by Howard Eagle

Article:  What People of Color Want from White Allies (short)

Action:

Urge family members, co-workers, neighbors, congregants to subscribe to this blog, and discuss the content with them.  Form a discussion group to explore how these concepts apply to you personally and to the organization, and identify actions you can take together.

Get a subscription to “Minority Reporter” at www.minorityreporter.net. This bi-weekly publication provides coverage of issues affecting minority groups in the Rochester area, as well as activities often not publicized in mainstream media.

Attend the discussion on Dr. Robin DiAngelo’s “White Fragility:  Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism”.  Monday August 6, 6:30 to 8:30 at Glen Edith Coffee Roasters, 23 Somerton St./Park Ave.  Not required that you read the book ahead.

Announcement from SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice) ROC:  Monday July 30:  Coffee and Conversation: 9AM + 6PM at Abundance Co-op. SURJ members and friends are invited to come discuss race-related issues that are on your mind with members of SURJ Education Committee. Ordinarily, Kathy Castania and/or Rebecca Johnson will host. Expect a supportive conversation and sharing of ideas. RSVP not required but appreciated. and will allow us to notify of any changes in plans. Please join us.

Announcement from SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice) ROC:  Tuesday July 31:  Responding to Racist Remarks Part 1: 6-8PM at Out Alliance, 100 College Ave. These workshops, hosted at Out Alliance, are designed to help participants handle the flood of emotions that often occur when we, as white people, hear racist remarks. Participants learn a process that can be used to respond effectively without hostility or condescension. RSVP not required but appreciated. and will allow us to notify of any changes in plans. Please register by emailing: Kathy Castania at kcastania@surjroc.org.

35 thoughts on “ACTION: What Isn’t Helpful”

  1. I have thought about paternalism as a bad approach to connecting with people who need help. The “I know better” attitude does not help. Listening and talking about what to do about a personal or institutional issue are very important.
    So, this is a good article about What is Not Helpful.
    I have faced this attitude multiple times over the past 20 years. As coordinator for the Safer Monroe Area Reentry Team that is focused on men and women in reentry from prison and jail, it was important to find out what people in reentry needed to move forward. Listening to providers was also important. In my initial work with Joe Brown on the Race the Juvenile and Criminal Justice work group, getting input from people on priorities and actions was also important. I have tried to dampen my need for control in order to make progress!
    Thanks,
    Mike

    Like

  2. Great post on what is not helpful. I remember the research study that was a follow-up to the Los Angeles Watts Riots.
    The sociologists wanted to know the characteristics of the children and youth who left Watts and became successful in their life. They examined approximately 100 variables for the significance of someone who was successful merging from the black community and wants and unsuccessful. Two characteristics were significant.
    First, the successful African-American youth were forced by their grandparents are other relatives to speak in perfect grammatically correct English.
    Second the successful youth had a concrete idea of a future career option. They did not always pursue their earlier career idea, but they did have a specific idea for their future.
    Interesting.
    Dennis

    Like

    1. Dennis, thanks for weighing in.
      I wonder what you make of the grandparents insistence about perfect English? Are you suggesting that this is a legitimate educational aim? The idea reminds me of what was done to Native American kids who were taken from their parents and forced to adopt the language, dress, hairstyles and mannerisms of the white culture. So I’m wondering how you see it.

      Like

  3. Frank,

    With regard to your latter response (below). — July 23, 2018 at 5:45 pm —

    Of course “LIBERATION [has] a far deeper and more tangible meaning” for ME AND ALL HISTORICALLY-OPPRESSED AND EXPLOITED PEOPLE. It’s NOT just a term to banter about lightly, which is why I noted previously — it is one of the most important and serious terms in my entire vocabulary.
    ( http://www.psyencelab.com/uploads/5/4/6/5/54658091/frantz_fanon_and_colonialism.pdf )

    Claiming that you “will write [your] own letter” is POSSIBLY one more indication of hegemonic-based hesitance to follow Black leadership. You’re “hearing from another individual white person can have more impact than just adding another name to [our] list” — WHAT??? What in the world is that suppose to mean??? Being the experienced anti-racist operative that you are — in the course of FIGHTING AGAINST THE TRIPARTITE BEAST AND ILLNESS — surely you understand the significance and importance of UNITED FRONTS — don’t you???

    http://minorityreporter.net/the-tripartite-beast-and-illness-of-individual-institutional-and-structural-racism/

    http://minorityreporter.net/the-critical-missing-element-authentic-collective-leadership/
    ———————————————————————————————————–

    YOUR LATTER COMMENT
    “Howard, your feedback helps me see that “liberation” must have a far deeper and more tangible meaning for you. I can only use it as I’ve experienced it – which is very real and precious to me.
    As for action re the distinguished educator: as I did in communicating with Barbara Deane-Williams re REAL, I will write my own letter. I’m thinking hearing from another individual white person can have more impact than just adding another name to your list. I may be wrong about that.”

    Like

    1. Howard, my intention in my letter is to point her to the objections you and the group are raising, and to encourage her to come and meet with you, as you’ll be asking. So I see it as a unified effort, but coming at her from a couple of independent directions.

      Like

  4. Frank,
    Firstly, thanks so much for your passion and years of discernment that comes through so clearly. I find this post very educational and thought provoking for me in both what you write and the responses to it. I am finding the responses from Mr. Howard J Eagle especially thought provokingly raw and the only way (at least at this moment) I can describe the discourse between you both (which may or may nor be appropriate) is like having the unique privilege of observing a Jedi Knight school his young Padawan.

    I am an eager student in the Padawan stage, eager to learn and grow and I agree with Mr. Eagle that action is paramount. I add only that I believe what ever action is taken must be efficient, effective and targeted incorporating the appropriate resources to be successful. Given that, I totally agree that the proposal that MaryEllen Elia put forth is indeed ludicrous. The experience I lived while having been a member of the Hilton School Board some years ago informs me that her plan is not only ill conceived and ludicrous, it appears to be either purposely designed to fail or those that conceived it are not competent enough to hold their positions, as in much of our government these days…

    Lastly, it is ironic that one of your suggested activities is to attend the discussion with Dr. Robin DiAngelo’s on “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism”. I was unaware of Dr. DiAngelo’s work and just prior to reading this blog I had uncovered the following post that I found very enlightening:
    http://www.yesmagazine.org/peace-justice/why-does-white-fragility-show-up-at-workplace-diversity-trainings-20180716?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=YTW_20180720&utm_content=YTW_20180720+CID_433780452022925cdf1aba8fd33cc350&utm_source=CM&utm_term=Why%20Does%20White%20Fragility%20Show%20Up%20at%20Workplace%20Diversity%20Trainings

    Thanks for providing a forum for meaningful dialog to take place and hopefully it will lead to meaningful action…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Mr. Dillon,

      With regard to your comment about the “discourse between [me and Frank being] like having the unique privilege of observing a Jedi Knight school his young Padawan” — thank you. I’ve never heard my deadly-serious efforts to educate about the tripartite beast described in that manner — very unique and thoughtful.

      I was pleased to read that you “agree that action is paramount.” However, I must repeat, as I had mentioned in one of my responses to Frank — “agreement” without joining/supporting focused, COLLECTIVE, strategic ACTION means little or nothing. The latter idea always reminds me of the following: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=James+2%3A14-26&version=NKJV We ( https://www.facebook.com/tidpc/ ).

      We ( https://www.facebook.com/tidpc/ ) could not agree more that — “what ever action is taken must be efficient, effective and targeted incorporating the appropriate resources to be successful.” Overall, our efficient, effective and targeted ACTION will include an ongoing campaign to: 1) Compel the State Commissioner to rescind the “distinguished” guy’s appointment; 2) Come to town herself, and meet with us (the broader community) — to discuss, and begin to develop a comprehensive plan/approach that pulls together numerous existing efforts into a coherent, deadly-serious, ongoing, measurably-effective MOVEMENT. Right now, the main resources we need are bold, willing supportive, human beings — period.

      We were also happy to read that you “totally agree that the proposal that MaryEllen Elia put forth is indeed ludicrous,” but remember — agreement alone (in and of itself) means little or nothing — relative to producing significant, concrete, measurable change and improvement (in our lifetimes, as opposed to the abstract, distant bye-and-bye).

      We respect the fact that the “experience [you] lived while having been a member of the Hilton School Board some years ago informs [you] that her plan is not only ill conceived and ludicrous, it appears to be either purposely designed to fail or those that conceived it are not competent enough to hold their positions.” Again, we could not possibly agree more, which is why we WILL ACT to stop the ill conceived, ludicrous plan. It is our sincere desire and hope that you and/or your organization will join in supporting our efforts — by first, agreeing to be listed as endorsers of the letter that we plan to send to the State Commissioner next week.

      I have no idea as to whether or not Frank’s “forum will lead to meaningful action…” However, THERE ARE THOSE OF US WHO ARE ALREADY ENGAGING IN MEANINGFUL ACTION, AND HAVE BEEN FOR DECADES. Again, hopefully you and/or your organization will join with us.

      The Struggle Continues…
      http://www.blackpast.org/1857-frederick-douglass-if-there-no-struggle-there-no-progress

      https://www.facebook.com/tidpc/

      https://www.facebook.com/faithcommunityallianceofgreaterrochester/

      https://www.facebook.com/movementaction/

      https://www.facebook.com/events/521128728245893/

      Like

    2. Thanks for posting the link to this article. It is excellent. I will attend Aug. 6 discussion and hope to meet you and some of the other folks there!

      Like

  5. Frank, thanks so much for your blog, and thanks to Howard as well for his necessary contribution to it. In fact, I think of the blog as belonging to both of you, because of the pungency and vitality of your dialogue. And isn’t true dialogue the goal of your and our enterprise? (Disclosure: I am a privileged white man—a redundancy, I know.)

    Like

    1. Mr. Dardess,

      You’re welcome.

      With regard to your question as to whether or not it’s “true [that] dialogue [is] the goal of [Frank’s] and our enterprise” — of course I can’t answer for you, Frank, and/or others (with the exception of those whom I KNOW agree with me that — NO — “dialogue [is NOT] the goal of our enterprise.” Instead, the goal of OUR enterprise involves significantly, concretely, and measurably impacting the tripartite beast and illness (in our lifetimes — as opposed to the distant, abstract bye-and-bye).”Dialogue” is but a baby-step in the right direction. Part of the the bottom line is that — significant, concrete, measurable, anti-racist change does NOT hinge on what we SAY and/or UNDERSTAND, but rather on what we DO — as a result of our understanding — period. All else is merely super-hyper-liberal-rhetoric and noise — period.

      Like

      1. I agree, Howard, that “action” is the goal. But it seems to me that understanding through dialogue has to accompany and shape the action, since otherwise “action” could become mere “doing” for its own sake, or an outlet for frustration only, with possibly negative consequences.

        When I think of appropriate, thoughtful and therefore effective “action,” I think of the demonstration you organized a few years ago against the Denzel Carousel’s racist panel. My wife and I gratefully took part in that, and were impressed by how much thought (not only your own) went into organizing it and carrying it off. I know that event wasn’t the key to the panel’s being removed, but it certainly played a part. In any case, the ultimate success of the effort didn’t come by accident or by wishful thinking.

        Like

  6. Frank, I thought this post had a lot of insight. In particular, it is a reminder that the white experience, which is inseparable from the European experience, is one that is founded on superiority. And while your anecdotes are enough to give one pause, white people like us have to constantly undo, reprogram the superiority we were taught and that we keep absorbing from racist social structures. And so I think we have to pretty much accept that what we THINK is right or good is almost surely biased; and what we do to pursue what is right or good will also be biased and perhaps even harmful. We have to push through this, accept the criticism and know we will continue to make mistakes. One thing I’ve learned about racism is that it has poisoned my mind and taught me countless lies. No amount of “doing good” changes that. Undoing the lies, learning truth and working to live in truth is the only way forward. And it’s not an easy way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aaron, I appreciated your input to Frank’s blog and the interaction particularly between Howard and Frank. It is so true, as you stated, no amount of ‘doing good’ changes what we have experienced in the past BUT “undoing the lies, learning truth and working to live in truth is the only way forward”. It may not be an easy way, as you wrote, but, in my own personal faith I believe that that is what Christ has called each of us to….knowing that in following Him we will not be choosing the easy way. But, in following Him we can live in truth and bring about change, starting in small ways that can definitely ripple out far beyond our own circle.

      Like

  7. Frank,

    Your latest publication is very interesting (for a whole range of reasons). I just touched on a few (below).

    1) With regard to your example about the “superior black man,” I must say — per Gloria Winston Al-Sarag’s coined-mantra — “Straight With No Chaser” — it is a very, very sad, and alarming situation when a “black” man (whom apparently, has completely assimilated into Eurocentric culture) has to be instructed by a white man — as to how to effectively communicate with Black children — very, very sad and alarming indeed.

    2) As it relates to your deculturated “black” friend and the woman (whom you described as a spewer of “white noise”) — it’s wonderful to offer advice such as: “…humble down, and follow the lead of those we think we are helping,” but the most important thing is to SHOW people (via your own ACTIONS), as opposed to merely TELLING them (the latter of which also amounts to nothing more or less than “white [so-called “progressive”] noise”). You can’t just TALK-THE-TALK FRANK — YOU HAVE TO WALK-THE-WALK. An example of how you can do the latter (NOW) is spelled out (following #3 below).

    3) It is also a form of “progressive white noise,” and super-hyper-liberal-rhetoric — to declare that your so-called “liberation [is] bound up with [that of presumably, mainly Black] men in prison.” What in the heck does that even mean?

    THE NEED FOP GRASSROOTS EDUCATION ACTION NOW:

    Image may contain: screen and indoor ​​
    Take It Down Planning Committee​; ​​​​​​Faith
    Community Alliance; Movement for Anti-
    racist Ministry and Action Coalition
    https://www.facebook.com/tidpc/?ref=br_rs

    ​Dear Brothers and Sisters,

    At our weekly meeting this past Thursday, we discussed the fact that New York State Commission of Education, ​MaryEllen Elia recently appointed a so-called “distinguished educator” to develop an improvement plan for the Rochester City School District (RCSD) within 45 days. See a copy of her announcement at the following link: http://www.nysed.gov/news/2018/commissioner-elia-names-dr-jaime-aquino-distinguished-educator-rochester-city-school .

    In our humble and informed view, the idea that a single individual (so-called “distinguished” or not) can breeze into town, and develop a credible plan for significant improvement in the RCSD within 45 days is ludicrous and insulting. To add insult to injury, if the last time the misdirected State Commissioner attempted this ill-conceived, deceitful move (about four months ago) is any indication — then this will result in around $200, 000 dollars being siphoned off from the RCSD’s budget to pay this so-called “distinguished” educratic. See additional information at the links below.

    We have decided to wage a campaign aimed at forcing the State Commissioner to rescind her illogical, ill-conceived plan, and instead, appoint a community task force composed of local parents, students, educators, and other community members — to carry out the task of developing a comprehensive improvement plan.

    We will begin our campaign by forwarding a letter to the State Commissioner, expressing disagreement with her “distinguished educator” appointment and plan, and insisting that it be immediately rescinded, and that instead, she schedule a public meeting with Rochester community members as soon as possible to discuss a viable, alternative plan.

    Please see a DRAFT COPY of the letter below.

    We are writing to ask if you and/or your organization is interested in being listed as an endorser of our action.

    The Critical, Missing Element: Authentic, Collective, Leadership
    http://minorityreporter.net/the-critical-missing-element-authentic-collective-leadership/

    ——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

    DRAFT

    Image may contain: screen and indoor ​​
    Take It Down Planning Committee​; ​​​​​​Faith
    Community Alliance; Movement for Anti-
    racist Ministry and Action Coalition
    https://www.facebook.com/tidpc/?ref=br_rs

    July 27, 2018

    Dear Commissioner Elia,

    As Rochester City School District parents, grandparents, relatives, local, state and federal taxpayers, we are highly disappointed, offended, and thoroughly insulted that apparently, you underestimate our knowledge, understanding and intelligence relative to the specific types of initiatives and changes that will be necessary in order to produce fundamental, widespread, significant, concrete, measurable, permanent, academic and general improvement within the Rochester City School District (RCSD).

    We are fully aware of the fact that there is no example (anywhere in the U.S. of A.), in which a single, outside individual (no matter how so- called “distinguished” he or she may be) has come into a long-time, crisis-ridden, predominantly Black school district, and single-handedly shepherded development of a viable, effective, improvement plan, especially and particularly within “45 days.” Again, the thought and idea of successfully doing so, is thoroughly ludicrous and insulting. We are also fully aware of the colossal failure of a similar plan that was attempted in Buffalo, NY in recent years. Nothing could possibly convince us that you would even think of attempting such a grossly- negligent shenanigan in a predominantly white school district, especially prior to discussing it with primary stake-holders (parents, students, families, and the immediate communities from which the overwhelming majority of the students come).

    http://news.wbfo.org/post/should-state-abolish-buffalo-s-distinguished-educator-position

    http://wblk.com/is-190hr-275-a-day-for-travel-expenses-too-much-to-pay/

    https://www.timesunion.com/local/article/State-puts-Buffalo-schools-over-barrel-with-3835414.php

    Additionally, the so-called “distinguished” educator who was appointed to the Hempstead School District sure does not seem to be of much help, does he?

    http://westchester.news12.com/story/37409041/hempstead-school-officials-unveil-plan-to-deal-with-mounting-issues

    https://newyork.cbslocal.com/2018/01/12/cuomo-weighs-in-on-hempstead-schools/

    Regardless of his credentials (on paper) — there is no concrete evidence that suggests that Dr. Aquino is extraordinarily unique and/or skillful — to the extent that he can achieve something that has never been achieved by anyone else in the history of decrepit, U.S. urban, public education. Certainly there is no evidence within previous urban districts that he has worked in, each of which is continuing to face the same or very similar types of crises that the RCSD faces.

    Additional insult to injury is founded in the absolutely maddening, Robin-hood-in-reverse scheme in which you (the State) have/has the raw audacity and unmitigated gall to believe that we would be in agreement (without even having a discussion with us) relative to hundreds of thousands of dollars being diverted from our children/local budget — to cover exorbitant fees for Dr. Aquino’s so-called “services” — absolutely unbelievable.

    Based on the reasons outlined above, we insist that you rescind your ill-conceived, so-called “distinguished” educator plan for the RCSD immediately, and instead schedule a public meeting with Rochester community members as soon as possible to discuss a viable, alternative plan.

    We want to be crystal-clear regarding the fact that ignoring our insistence can not; will not — be an unchallenged option, that is, if necessary, in August 2018, we will take our case directly to the ‘feeding-trough.’

    Please feel free to contact us at this email address.

    Take It Down Planning Committee​; ​​​​​​Faith Community Alliance; Movement for Anti-racist Ministry and Action Coalition

    https://www.facebook.com/tidpc/?ref=br_rs

    The Critical, Missing Element: Authentic, Collective, Leadership
    http://minorityreporter.net/the-critical-missing-element-authentic-collective-leadership/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Howard, I didn’t spell out what I meant by “my liberation was bound up with theirs”. That could fill pages, I’m committed to keep these posts brief. But briefly: I learned about self-honesty, openness to feedback, humility, vulnerability, the resilience of the human spirit, forgiveness, and much more. All lessons I needed to learn, and still struggle to live, but their example led to some spiritual liberation for me.
      And re the appointment of the “distinguished educator”, I definitely agree this sets up to be another waste of time and money while children are deprived. I haven’t sorted out yet just how I’ll weigh in – which I know will be a dissatisfying answer to your challenge.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Frank,
        I have no idea; no reference point for understanding what “spiritual liberation for” you means. All I know is that (based on my perspective, understanding and world view) — authentic spirituality is necessarily, ALWAYS manifested via anti-evil DEEDS — period. I have no other reference point for understanding spirituality, which is why I asked for clarification. I still DON’T understand, but of course that’s OK — as long as you’re certain that your proclaimed,”spiritual liberation” isn’t just another of those fragility-based-tactics designed (perhaps unconsciously) to help assuage guilt, shame, cognitive dissonance, and/or inadequacy relative to DEEDS. Don’t get me wrong — I’m not saying that’s the case — just saying again — I have no reference point for processing/understanding your “brief” explanation regarding “spiritual liberation.” I DO know that “liberation” is one of the most serious terms in my entire vocabulary.

        I was glad to read that you “definitely agree [that] the appointment of the ‘distinguished educator’ sets up to be another waste of time and money while children are deprived.” However, as you know — if we are not committed to intelligent, strategic ACTION (aimed at preventing the “waste of time and money while children are deprived”) — then it WILL happen, and our “agreement” means absolutely nothing. It’s just more super-hyper, abstract, liberal, rhetoric and noise (nothing more — nothing less).

        Your response is not really a “dissatisfying answer to [our] challenge.” To be frank and honest, it was expected. I think we already know “just how [you and many others will] weigh in,” i.e., not at all, or in some sort of milk-toast, insignificant manner. This is one of those situations in which THERE IS NO MIDDLE GROUND — it’s either ‘this’ or ‘that’ — either we’re going to undue the so-called “distinguished educator appointment, or we’re not. If so, either people are going to help, or they’re not — period.There’s really nothing else to it.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Howard, your feedback helps me see that “liberation” must have a far deeper and more tangible meaning for you. I can only use it as I’ve experienced it – which is very real and precious to me.
        As for action re the distinguished educator: as I did in communicating with Barbara Deane-Williams re REAL, I will write my own letter. I’m thinking hearing from another individual white person can have more impact than just adding another name to your list. I may be wrong about that.

        Liked by 1 person

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