I was inspired by this post from All Pro Dad. It’s a subscription newsletter with links to blogs and also a web site. There are parenting, marriage, and other topics of interest to me. This post talked about what we should be and how we are teaching our children about Racial Tension. It strikes a chord with me because I recognize that I’ve been around quite a few racist people in my life both in and out of my family. As a white male, it is important to me that my children don’t follow in my footsteps from both a familial standpoint (we can’t create a racist atmosphere in our home) and from a learning standpoint (we must teach that we are all equal but that as white people we are sometimes given opportunity simply due to our skin color).
The All-Pro Dad article is entitled “Racial Tension: What are we teaching our children?” I’ll let you pause and read it here if you would like
Now that you’ve read it you will begin to see the direction of this short post. I decided to see how quickly I could find five distinct non-white American people that have worked or are working for equality in this country. The funny thing is those good things aren’t often easy to find. I pride myself on my google skills and after quite a bit of wordsmith and search engine finagling I came up with this list. Bonus points if you know any of them, I didn’t.
Irish American – ThomasAddis Emmet
He died in 1827 but during his life he was an Attorney that fought equal rights. This included fighting laws that prevented Catholics from holding office to one case where he fought to free an Americana slave.
Italian American – ArturoM. Giovannitti
He died in 1959 but fought hard for labor rights. He was even accused of murder once but was actually miles away when the murder occurred. Eventually, he was acquitted but that must have been hard. He knew how important the working class is.
Mexican American – Sylvia Mendez
Sylvia was the daughter of a Mexican immigrant and a Puerto Rican Immigrant. She was expected to go to a segregated school for Mexican students but instead, her parents sued the all-white Westminster school district which sparked Mendez V Westminster which ultimately de-segregated schools in California. She is still an active civil rights advocate to this day!
African American – LateefahSimon
This lady works to help the homeless, poor, and formerly
incarcerated women. She is also the founder of the Akonadi Foundation which
goes after structural inequalities at the heart of U.S. Society.
Indian American – PramilaJayapal
Elected to the House of Representatives this lady works for women’s rights, immigrant’s rights, voting rights, and working to end institutional racism. She also helps new Americans to vote.
So there is my list. Which enlightened me to so many more
folks that are fighting each and every day on the back end to help all of us to
be more equal. Of particular note to me
during my research on Pramila is that she is only 1 of 14 naturalized citizens
serving in the United States Congress. She came here at age 16 because her
father believed in the best that this country could be. We are not anywhere
close to being our best.
Each one of us must do our part. Whether that is extending a hand to someone that doesn’t look like us. Supporting a cause with time or money that we might not otherwise have thought about or looked into or by voting at local, state, and federal levels. It would be so amazing to see the largest voter turnout ever this November. I hope that happens. Finally, here a few ways to educate and support.
Global Citizen - https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/
Feed America - https://www.feedingamerica.org/
Good luck and may God bless us all!