The Problem With Culture Wars
How to End The Culture Wars
In our Gender episode, we learned not only about the need for access to gender-affirming care but also about the need to protect trans rights, which are under an unprecedented attack by lawmakers across the country. It’s important to educate yourself about what’s going on in your community specifically and look for ways to be an ally locally, but you can also support the work of these national organizations:
Parents for Transgender Equality National Council
GEKCO Gender Expansive Kids & Co.
PFLAG Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays
In “America’s Incarceration Epidemic,” we looked at the many difficulties people in prison face, once they’ve entered the system – from a deeply unfair parole process to major social and economic barriers to re-entering society. There are many legal changes to push for, from sentencing reforms to laws that shield criminal records and make it possible for people to go on with their lives after they’ve done their time. Many groups are doing incredible work on the state and local level, so it’s worth researching what’s already happening in your community. Here are a few national organization whose work you can support:
Alliance for Safety and Justice
Release Aging People in Prison
As we explored in The Problem with White People, if we want to truly rid our country of the toxic legacy of slavery, confronting our individual roles in a racist society is, of course, deeply important. But we must also address systemic inequalities. That means admitting that the entire structure that we exist within as Americans has been set up to advantage one group over another, and then we need to move to reform it.
Talk about it, for real
Jon talked to prominent civil rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson about this on our podcast, who spoke powerfully about how much the legacy of slavery continues to shape us and how racism is akin to a cancer in our country. Unless we diagnose the problem plainly and confront it head on, Stevenson says, we are never going to cure it.
Un-guard Your Resources
The heart of the issue here is that racism has denied Black people a chance to build equity. There are plenty of straightforward ways to address that — even if America has proven consistently resistant to do that. On our panel, Chip Gallagher suggested creating something like a new New Deal or a Marshall Plan, a large-scale investment in infrastructure, schools, and more.
The most direct way to give Black people equity is to give them actual money in the form of reparations. This solution is not without its opponents — it sure seems to set off a lot of white people’s “They’re coming for my shit!” alarm. But there is an incredibly strong case in favor of reparations, and the call for them continues to pick up steam. It’s worth educating yourself about why they’re so critical.
Beyond trying to challenge the racism and racist systems in your family and your community, there are groups doing great work on a national level. Here are just a few to get you started:
SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice)