Last Thursday night we decided to have an open and honest discussion on racism and Black Lives Matter. Our long-time friend and former media personality Danielle (Danni) Starr and civil rights trailblazer Marcia Dyson were open enough to allow a ‘White People, Ask it!’ talk. Been too afraid to speak up on race issues? Not sure if using Gifs of black celebrities is ok? What about Uncle Jimmy who likes to tell racist jokes at the family cookout? Well, Danielle and Marcia allowed everyone to just ask it!
Marcia Dyson: Since the 70’s, the lovely Mrs. Marcia Dyson has fought for civil rights! In other words, she’s a badass. Look out for her upcoming book, The Irreverent Memoir of a Grown Ass Woman.) And let me tell you, the viewers didn’t hold back! Danielle says, “It’s time to have the uncomfortable conversation.” It’s time to start listening!Below are some of the big themes that were covered, resources, and if you want to hear the entire conversation listen here: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/hey-frase-podcast/id1064651383?i=1000476932419
Let’s Talk Privilege. Disclaimer, you might lose some racist friends after a talk like this… but sometimes that’s the price of being a DECENT PERSON. No time for that racist bullsh*t here- we’re taking part in CHANGE! Listeners wanted to know how to help. Danielle opened up about her experiences growing up in Minneapolis, MN: “It was time to talk race with my friends and tell my story.” After wiping tears and reapplying her mascara like the queen she is, Danielle gave the rundown for how to beat handle racism you may be experiencing or witnessing regularly.
- In the Workplace
- Next time you’ve got a job interview, remember Danielle Starr 101: “Ask if they’re committed to fighting racism.” Seems like an easy question to answer, right? …That’s what we thought. So be sure to ask it. Hold your employers accountable for their roles in this fight for equity. There should be actionable steps in place to ensure that no employee feels the effects of discrimination in the office. (Or on an email thread or Zoom call I guess. Idk how offices work anymore.)
- Microaggressions, Appreciation, and Appropriation
Oh, and if you’re the “token black/asian/etc” friend of the group, Danielle and Marcia emphasized paying attention to how you feel! No need to stifle discomfort when you’re targeted with racist comments. It is racism it should be called out as such! Danielle reminded us, “Racism Doesn’t have to be confederate flags either!” There are so many ways for this problem to manifest. To shed some light on this, Marcia Dyson joined the conversation and gave us some info on how to educate ourselves. Marcia spoke on what it means to “appreciate” versus “appropriate” Black culture. The big picture is, as White and non-Black people of color, “appreciation” involves consuming Black culture while actively trying to understand and value the context in which it was created. It requires actions like not saying the N-word in rap songs. On the other hand, “appropriation” is taking credit for Black culture without (1.) appropriately acknowledging its origins and (2.) refusing to stand against the systems that oppressed it for centuries. In case you don’t get it, Danielle gave an example: “[it’s like] f***ing black men and staying silent during times like these.”
Marcia is sick of it, and rightly so. “[White people] tried to take everything from us. Ya’ll wanna say ‘Okurrr’ and love our music?” She’s over it. And can you blame her? Look at all the people in this country that capitalize off of the appropriation of Black culture. An don’t even get us started on Digital Blackface. Look it up and rethink the GIFS you send. “Be mindful of making a caricature out of black people. We’re people too”, Danielle added. There’s honestly too many ways racism exists. LUCKILY, we’ve got you all covered with the best resources. Dr. Michael Dyson gives the play-by-play in his book Tears we Cannot Stop as he addresses White America. Danielle came with a gift as well! In her book Empathy and Eyebrows we get the unfiltered Danielle as we look into her life. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get a copy of Marcia’s Cusiology textbook. But if you need to have a conversation about race with someone, take a second to think first. How does one start that conversation anyways? We’ve got you covered.
- How to Educate Yourself
“Stop making us relive trauma!” Open to page #racist in history, ya’ll. Oh wait! That’s the whole book. There are so many examples all throughout American history, which are all available for your reading on the internet. So Danielle and Marcia say stop asking the Black people in your life to teach you what you could have learned on your own! “A lot of black people don’t think it’s their job to educate you on their struggle… For our parents it was Emmett Till, for us, Rodney King, the list goes on. Personally, I’ll talk to anyone that’ll listen. But, there’s a lot of black people out here that would not appreciate that,” Marcia says. Check Uncle Google, guys! Read up before you have a talk with your Black friends about race. THAT’S how you be an Ally!
- Do’s and Don’ts: How to be an Ally
- Goggle it (If you don’t like Google… idk, use BING?)
- Make sure your Black friends feel seen and heard! *Snaps*
- Start being ok with being uncomfortable…..imagine being Black
- Have empathy
- Act like you have shared the same experiences. (Just listen & support)
- Inflict your privilege on others
- Try to be black (i.e. appropriate)
- Talk about black on black crime to change the topic
If you wanna know more about how you can help fix the problem, go ahead an click on this link. We’re so lucky to have had two smart and amazing women come on the show to spread awareness. If you’d like to support either of these women on their endeavors their Cashapps are: Dani ($DanniStarr) & Marcia ($marcialdyson). See ya’ll next time! #BlackLivesMatter #JusticeforAhmaud #JusticeforBreonna #JusticeforFloyd #YouMatter