In his book Lies My Teacher Told Me, James Loewen writes that “race is the sharpest and deepest division in American life.” We recognize the peaceful protests that have emerged in the wake of the murder of George Floyd as a force for healing, and for addressing our nation’s shameful history surrounding race. Millions of Americans of all ages, races, ethnicities, and identities are taking to the streets to support the Black Lives Matter movement. It appears that white America is finally waking up and acknowledging that being “not racist” won’t undo the pervasive racism in our collective psyche — rather, we must be actively antiracist. This week on Sea Change Radio, we welcome Castle Redmond, a senior program manager from The California Endowment to discuss why this moment feels different. He helps put the images of looting we’re seeing on our TV screens into historical context, and we look at the places where the environmental and racial justice movements intersect.
This has been a difficult stretch for the country with millions sick, out of work, or simply stuck at home. But the horrific murder of George Floyd shifted our collective focus to a very different sort of epidemic. Mr. Floyd joined the names of Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Philando Castile, Breonna Taylor and thousands of other African Americans who have been killed by the police in this country. We often hear that at times like this we need to have a national conversation about race, but where do we start? Host Alex Wise decided to start with a personal conversation with a longtime friend, to get his insights into what it feels like to grow up Black in America and to better understand the work that needs to be done on the racial justice front. This week on Sea Change Radio, in the first of two conversations about race, we welcome Maurice Plaines, a high school friend of our host who works for Emerging Scholars Program in the DC Metro area. We discuss racism and police brutality in America, his own reaction to George Floyd’s murder, and the work of his organization to broaden educational opportunity for students of color.