Elections, Shootings, Neverending #MeToo, and More - What We Learned

Elections, Shootings, Neverending #MeToo, and More – What We Learned this Week

Each week, we want to share with you what we’ve learned. Because at Point Made Learning, when it comes to the topics of race, identity, and equity in the U.S., we are subject-matter learners. Not experts. In fact, we think these issues are so complex that the best any of us can hope for is to continue learning. As a team, we consistently challenge one another to stay curious and question our own thinking. That’s because we ask people in our screenings and workshops to do the same thing.
As much as we learned this week, we have so much to unlearn.
As much as we learned this week, there’s still so much to unlearn. As seen on an Upper West Side NYC sidewalk.

We know there are so many resources available that trying to stay informed can seem overwhelming. That’s why we’re sharing a few select articles and videos that we’ve found insightful as we do our work.

We hope this helps you continue learning, too. And feel free to leave a comment if you think we’ve left anything out!

From Barb Lee

We’re All Mad Here: Weinstein, Women, and the Language of Lunacy

“He has demons.” The language of madness is the last resort for a society that can no longer deny the evidence of structural oppression and violence.

We have always used the word crazy to minimize people.  Now, it’s a way to explain things that really are about our values. I like this author’s voice of holding us accountable for what we say and what we do.

When I was nineteen years old, Elie Wiesel grabbed my ass.

It’s not just losing heroes. It’s that we have to see just how systemic issues of discrimination are in our society. They run deep and we all need to do some personal inventory to unlearn how to protect everyone and everything except the victim.

From Catherine Wigginton Greene

A new survey shows white millennials think a lot more like whites than millennials

We’ve noticed over the past several years at our workshops that younger generations aren’t quite the antiracist superheroes they’re often made out to be. We older folks like to leave progress up to “the next generation” as if they’re magically going to know how to deconstruct systems of oppression. That can’t happen if we don’t have important conversations, dig in to expert analysis, and really start to change the laws, policies, and practices that fuel oppression.

But here’s another problem: If more white people don’t look deeper within ourselves to get clear on our biases and blind spots, then we won’t find the motivation to participate in antiracism work. This article highlights some key findings by a recent study: “The ‘Woke’ Generation?: Millenial Attitudes on Race in the US” and it’s pretty troubling. The question mark in the study title is the first clue. This is an important read to understand how much work needs to be done. We’ve got to work on building greater awareness AND bridging the chasm between how white people perceive race in the US and how people of color are experiencing it.

Ta-Nehisi Coates has an incredibly clear explanation for why white people shouldn’t use the n-word

To be perfectly forthcoming, I have a hard time finding patience anymore when people ask me at I’m Not Racist… Am I? screenings why white people can’t say the “N Word.” Young people, especially, want to know why they can’t say it when singing along to their favorite songs. Now I can point people toward this video. In it, Ta-Nehisi Coates responds to a question from a young woman looking for advice on how best to respond to that question. This is the best explanation I’ve ever heard and, of course, it’s about so much more than just who can/can’t say the “N Word.” We shared this over on our Facebook page earlier this week and it’s so incredibly brilliant in its simplicity and insight, that it’s worth sharing again. I encourage everyone to watch and share this.

The Democratic Party owes black female voters a big ‘thank you’

Yes to all of this! The Democratic party would be nowhere without black women voters – and not just their votes, but their contribution to analysis, policy, and organizing. And still, the party takes them for granted as a constituency while falling over itself to win over the white working class. This article provides a lot of compelling data on this week’s election results that prove how vital black women are to Democrats. The article ends with this critical point: “With the support of black women being a key piece of the Democratic Party’s Election Day successes, the question now is: Will the Democratic Party show its support for them?”

From Deionna Wilburn

Miscarriages in Flint: ‘I Really Believe It’s the Water’

Pollution and poverty are so prevalent in low-income communities of color that it boggles the mind. Flint, Michigan is back in the news because people want answers as to what exactly their water issues are doing to their bodies.


Implicit bias is real despite studies trying to diminish or outright debunk its effect on our daily lives. It appears that not only do I have to be wary of driving while black, but walking while black is now a thing, too. Sigh.

From Sam Rosenthal

If the Texas Church Shooter Wasn’t White

This article looks at how the Texas Church Shooter’s whiteness plays a critical role in how we view his violence. So far, authorities haven’t labeled Devin Patrick Kelley a terrorist. Moreover, white people as a whole haven’t been held responsible in any way for Kelley’s actions. If Kelley had been Muslim, Latino, or Black, however, this would likely be playing out very differently.

From Emily Martinez

How Temporary Work Visas Hurt Migrant Women

Migrant women joining the American workforce face a unique combination of obstacles. And this reality doesn’t appear to be improving anytime soon. We see this play out in our life-size version of the American Dream Board Game – one of the game’s characters just can’t get ahead or catch a break no matter what she does or what kind of help she’s offered. And while that’s just a game, the issue is very real. This article sheds important light on this under-reported issue.

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