1. A big source of hope for me is my kids’ high school. They go to a big city public high school, meaning something like 2/3 to 3/4 of the student body is African American. My kids are not. The school is underfunded, The building is old and needs a lot of repairs. A large enough percentage of the student body is at a low family income level that the entire school qualifies for free lunches.

    But despite all of the spoken and unspoken assumptions among the public and the media, it is a great school, not a seething firey pit of racial tensions, violence and despair. Most students go on to college, many take a ton of AP courses, and every day while dropping off my kids I see students of all races happily interacting on their way into the building.

    If you only spent your time paying attention to the internet and the media, you’d be convinced this was impossible. I think the popular image is stuck on some kind of West Side Story Jets and Sharks world, maybe slightly updated with cell phones in their hands along with switchblades.

    But I know for a fact that these schools exist all across the US. And there is no reason they all can’t be this way, with the proper level of funding and commitment from politicians. The first step is for people to stop denying truths that are right in front of them, and to scorn the people who paint everything with a broad brush and call it irrepairably broken.

    Many things work, Broken things can be fixed. It’s hard as hell, but it’s not an impossible mystery.

    • Some people are determined to believe the worst about POC despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, even liberals. I know way too many so called progressives who put their children in private schools instead of the ones you’re describing. They spout a lot of bullshit about test scores and college admissions. Sure *eye roll*
      Your children are learning valuable lessons about resilience, creative resourcing, and real diversity along with the academic curriculum. They’ll be better, stronger adults!

  2. I mentor teen moms and one of our organization’s students had a house fire (not the good news part…). The community raised almost $5K for them already. From our program director: “Y’all, feeling so inspired by this community. My car is overflowing with items for our Scholar and her family (and this is just round 1–I have a list of over 50 people who have reached out offering to donate items!), her gofundme is growing by the minute, and so many people have made kind offers of help.”


    PSA: Functional smoke alarms were credited with helping save lives. Check your smoke alarms.

  3. I have one! After a decade of employment insecurity as a contractor, it’s looking like I’ll be converted to a permanent employee within the month! I’ll have paid sick days, vacation time, benefits, and I won’t have to do corporate taxes anymore. It’s not official yet, so I hope I’m not jinxing it, but they’re apparently drafting up the paperwork and made me an offer yesterday, so I think it’s fairly safe.

    I honestly had started to believe I would never be a permanent employee ever again. The relief is palpable, and as someone with an anxiety disorder, relief is better than Christmas!

  4. My son’s high school football coach of all people was a gender studies major. He is a very large, energetic and loud former college lineman who has your attention when he speaks. I’m sure it helps during his team talks, where he addresses things like consent, relationships, and respecting the women in their lives.

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