Perspectives

Thank you for journeying with us in understanding and learning about systemic racism. We hope that you will commit yourself to this life-long journey through reflection about your own thoughts and actions. By confronting a more informed historical truth which has led to current realities that perpetuate injustice in America, we can shift those systems and rebuild them to be more equitable. Your commitment to this journey is an act of courage. It will challenge you in many ways, and it will be worth it as you join the movement for collective liberation.

For more information about why this is important to Together is Better Alliance (TiBA) and why we think others would want to embark and continue on this journey, we invite you to consider perspectives, opinions, and resources on this page. Updates will be made quarterly. 

Disclaimer: Together is Better Alliance presents this page based on opinions, reflections, and varied resources, not as a scholarly site. We welcome your feedback and contributions. We reserve the right to select and publish written contributions which we deem consistent with our mission and vision. Feel free to email us at info@togetherisbetteralliance.org.

Click here for our current Resource Picks

courtesy Shutterstock.com

Voting: Our Superpower!

“People died so you could vote.”
--Chicago Taxi Driver, 1997

Towards the end of President Bill Clinton’s first term, I became disillusioned with the president and his policies. One day, chatting about Clinton with a friendly taxi driver, I said “I might not even vote next time he runs.” The driver, an older African American man, turned around and looked at me. He said: “People died so you could vote.” Even today, thinking about it gives me chills and brings tears to my eyes.

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Kansas City Star Apology

It is critical for white people—including me--to understand and remember that we were almost always raised with blinders on and were not aware we had them on, specifically regarding racial justice.  We were not aware we wore these blinders and how they distorted the news we received, our education at home and school, and our resulting views.  The tainted reporting on racial matters conflicts with the moral teaching and Biblical commandment:  Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

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"Not only were the shirts all white, there was a time when all of the reporters at The Star and Times were white, and male. This lack of diversity made for coverage that ignored large swaths of the community. File THE KANSAS CITY STAR"
courtesy shutterstock.com

Straight Talk About the Word “Race”

Just so we are all beginning this discussion “at the same starting line”, the Merriam-Webster online dictionary definition of “race” is as follows:

“1a competition between people, animals, vehicles, etc., to determine which one is the fastesta contest of speed.”

That is probably the definition of race that we can all agree on. So how did the word “race” come to represent a descriptor of human beings?

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TiBA Top Resource Picks

October 2021

Our current top pick is a new website:  Learnfromhistory.org.

Created earlier in September with 30 inaugural partners*, this effort is in response to the misinformation campaign demonizing “Critical Race Theory” to ban the teaching of aspects of racism.

LearnfromHistory states:

“A broad bipartisan majority of Americans agree:
for students to create a better society, schools need to provide a thorough, accurate, and fact-based history education and teach students to reject racism and respect the equal value of every person.

Unfortunately, rampant misinformation about what is taught in schools is forcing teachers to omit difficult parts of our history and not teach students that racism is wrong and is adding yet another stressor for teachers at the worst possible time.

That is why respected organizations collectively representing millions of parents, educators, students, and other Americans of goodwill have come together to form the Learn from History Coalition.”

Their site includes useful toolkits for parents, teachers, school board members and school system leaders.   States including Idaho, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Iowa, New Hampshire, Arizona, and South Carolina have passed restrictive legislation and others are considering doing so.  These toolkits may be helpful to you and your family and friends in other states.

photo courtesy: LearnFromHistory.org

Partners include:

  • American Association for State and Local History
  • American Historical Association
  • American Federation of Teachers
  • Center for Anti-Racist Education
  • The Education Trust
  • National Council for the Social Studies
  • National School Boards Association
  • News Literacy Project
  • Organization of American Historians
  • Stand for Children

Stay tuned for our next Top Picks coming next time. Do you have a resource that you would like to share?

If so, please email us at info@togetherisbetteralliance.org