This week: updates on the Philando Castile case, greencard concerns in the Hmong community and the visibility of Minnesota’s Oromo community.
When white families avoid talking about race, families of color shoulder the burden of respectability
The first thing I was taught about race was that it didn’t matter. Like so many others I was taught to ignore the color of a person’s skin and to judge people on the “content of their character.” This was the extent of my racial formation. This color-ignorance became the dominant approach after the Civil Rights movement, and has only gained steam in the supposedly post-racial world the election of Barack Obama ushered in. The problem with color-ignorance is that it erases the reality of racism and leaves white folks incapable of understanding the experiences of people of color, and therefore incapable of contributing to justice in meaningful ways.
On July 7, one day after Philando Castile was killed by St. Anthony Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez, a group of 12 artists and storytellers came together, through phone calls to one another, to process their grief and offer a different response to police brutality.
In the Twin Cities, Somali youth are voicing their dissent over a federally funded program called Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) that aims to surveil and stigmatize the predominantly Muslim community.