This month’s Equity Resource is shared by task force member Lauren Day: I have spent most of my life in the South. When I first moved to Tangletown in 2019 I heard a lot about progressive Twin Cities policies, which in my mind fit well with my mental picture of the “North.” After all, the North fought against slavery, did it not?
Yet, progressive policies do not equate with anti-racist policies. The BLM movement protests this summer represented a community boiling over after years of racial discrimination, triggered by George Floyd’s murder by the Minneapolis police. There is clearly much beneath the surface that I didn’t know and was not seeing. Like many, I realized I had a lot to learn – and unlearn.
One resource that has stuck with me on this learning journey is season 2 of the Scene on Radio podcast, called Seeing White. It explores the concept and social construct of “whiteness” in America. In fact, the producer grew up in Minnesota and draws many connections to local history. They also referenced a particular saying which stood out to me as I grappled with what racism looks like across America: “In the North they don’t care how high you get as long as you don’t get too close, and in the South they don’t care how close you get as long as you don’t get too high.”One way to get closer with BIPOC communities is through mutual aid. Here is a fantastic site directing donations based on unique needs for communities across the Twin Cities.