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First Name Basis Podcast

Jun 1, 2020

Right now our country is reeling from the murders of our Black brothers and sisters. You may be confused by all of the uprising and rebellion, but you need to understand that they, in the words of Dr. King, “...are not the creators of tension” they are “merely bringing to the surface the tension that is already alive.”  Black people have been unfairly killed and systemically disenfranchised since we were kidnapped and brought to this country against our will. 


If you are looking for answers and want to be part of the change you need to build your foundational knowledge and gain a deeper understanding of what racism looks like as a whole. Many people are very confused and believe that racism is simply intentional acts of meanness done to another person based on race, but in reality racism is much more complicated. Racism is made up of three components: implicit bias, overt interpersonal racism, and institutional/systemic racism. These three components work together to create “a system of advantage based on race” (Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria, p. 87).


In this episode we unpack each of the three components of racism and analyze how all three of them worked together to contribute to the two tragic deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and many other members of the Black community here in the United States. 


What can you do about all of this?

Vote for candidates who have committed to creating anti-racist policies.


Donate to organizations who have boots on the ground and are working for change. 

Our family chose to donate to Color of Change, a racial justice organization that works to “create a more human and less hostile world for Black people in America.” 


Make a call:

We learned last night that the responsibility for prosecuting the murderers of George Floyd has been transferred from DA Mike Freeman to Minnesota AG Keith Ellison.  Three of the four murderers have not yet been arrested and he needs to know that we as citizens expect more.   


You can let him know by calling (651) 296-3353 or (800) 627-3529 (Minnesota Relay) or if you're old fashioned send him a letter:


Office of Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison

445 Minnesota Street, Suite 1400

St. Paul, MN 55101


Be respectful but firm.  You will probably get a busy signal the first 5 or 6 times you call.  Keep calling.  Even just keeping his line busy sends him a message.  Leave a voicemail if you must.  Then call again.  Call several times a day until he does the right thing.  When the system fails to produce justice let's hold the system accountable.  

If you are listening to this episode at a later date it is important to note that these issues always need our voices and attention. There are so many things you can do to be part of the solution. One of them is to join Color of Change and support their movement to hold local prosecutors accountable.  



White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo 


Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria by Beverly Daniel Tatum


Understanding Implicit Bias 


Chipping Away at Implicit Bias


Talking About Race, Being Anti-racist 


How the Coronavirus Pandemic Unmasks Inequality in Our Society


University Of Minnesota Cuts Ties With Minneapolis Police After George Floyd Death


Minneapolis school board, teacher union call on district to cut ties with police


Song Credit: “Away” by Geographer and “Beach Disco” by Dougie Wood