One doctor describes her experience with racism in medicine (Forbes): Dr. Aysha Khoury was fired from her faculty position after hosting a conversation with one of her classes on racism in medicine. She's a great follow in Twitter as well.

The not-so subtle racism in America's food culture (Playboy): Race shows up in every.single.part of the supply chain.

I tracked down the girls who bullied me as a kid (Huffington Post): An interesting project shared by Abra Belke in her "Break Things" IG story feature.

Inside a battle over race and class at Smith College (New York Times): How colleges are handling accusations of racism - are they helping or hurting?

E-mail is making us miserable (New Yorker): Nice to know my personal hatred towards email is backed by science.

America didn't need sports after all (The Atlantic): The pandemic forced us to rethink sports.

Mayanmar Coup: what is happening and why? (BBC): In case you're trying to figure it out. This Daily episode is also helpful

2021.02.28 Sunday Reading List

Sunday, February 28, 2021


D.C.'s Vaccine Appointment Disparity Didn't Have to Happen (WaPo): 11% of COVID deaths in D.C. have been white yet the majority of the first wave of vaccines went to white District residents. I just read a lot and saw this coming from a mile away. 

Tulane’s first Black woman program director was dismissed. It’s sparking a national outcry. (The Lily): Princess Dennar filed a lawsuit against Tulane alleging discrimination and was dismissed shortly after. This article shows why we have such a healthcare disparity, and it is infuriating. Please read.

Britney Spears' former assistant speaks out (NBC News): Us hard core fans remember Brit's cousin-assistant Ali from the good ole days. And if you haven't watched the Hulu documentary please go watch it now. 

Black Space, White Blindness (Slate): Why white Americans can't picture a middle-class Black neighborhood, and what it means for the country.

Glassdoor will now break out its ratings by race and gender (Fortune): The pressure to act on those Civil Rights Summer statements just turned up a notch. 

Meet the undercover anti-facists (Rolling Stone): This is a FASCINATING read on the people (with serious #girlpower) who go undercover to expose and stop the far right.

Psychological safety is key to preventing burnout (Fast Company): Not only does it prevent burnout but it increases feelings of inclusion and belonging (good read if you're worried about your company's Glassdoor reviews being disaggregated by race and gender..) 

Texas failed because it did not plan (The Atlantic): The parallels to the COVID response are...

Florida, Georgia, Arizona Republicans are working on new voter restrictions (Vox): Stay awake yall. We got congressional and local elections coming up and we got a fight ahead of us.

2021.2.21 Sunday Reading List

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Today is the final installment of race & The Bachelor where we'll be discussing Chr*s H*rrison's problematic interview with Rachel Lindsay. Let's start with a quick clarification for those of you (like me) who don't really mess with The Bachelor like that. We're talking about some key characters and 2/3 of them have the same name so it gets confusing.
  • Chr*s H*rrison: rich white dude who has hosted the shows for 18 years.
  • Rachel Lindsay: The first Black Bachelorette who has stayed vocal about race and The Bachelor franchise. She is now an anchor on Extra, which is why she was even interviewing Chr*s H*rrison in the first place.
  • Rachael Kirkconnell: A finalist on The Bachelor who we talked about extensively here.

ICYMI: Chr*s H*rrison went on Extra to talk to Rachel L. about Rachael K. and it turned into a front row seat to "upholding white supremacy 101", "disconnected rich white dudes who are pretty racist but probably don't know it", and "internalized racism on display". He has since apologized for his behavior via an IG post...we'll see where it takes us. For now, let's discuss the interview.

First of all, the number of times he, a white man, spoke over Rachel Lindsay, a Black woman, on the topic of how hurtful a white woman's actions are to Black people, was unacceptable. In times where people are hurt we check on them and try to understand the pain- we don't tell them how bad it SHOULD hurt or why it shouldn't hurt. This is no different. 

Second, white fragility. He came to prove that Rachael K is a victim in this, that we need to give her time and grace. Look I've been called out before and it is humiliating, it hurts, it's hard. But it doesn't hurt as much as a lifetime of enduring racism does and so we apologize, work on ourselves, and follow up with action- we don't put it on other people to find the space to give us grace. 

Third: Gaslighting. Gaslighting is something that is easy to fall into when we are uncomfortable and/or get called out. I want to make sure we all understand how it showed up in this interview so we can recognize when we start to default to it in uncomfortable situations. Here is a non-exhaustive list of how gaslighting showed up in the interview:
  • Minimizing BIPOC perspectives by jokingly calling people hurt by the situation "woke police"
  • Minimizing BIPOC perspectives by calling people hurt by the situation "unreasonable"
  • Focusing on how people calling her out did it wrong (see also: tone policing) and saying "two wrongs don't make a right"
  • "These people are the problem"
  • Making Rachael K out to be the victim
  • Speaking on behalf of a minority group he isn't a part of, saying Rachael K will issue an apology when she's ready and it will be good enough for reasonable people (note: if you are part of the group in power and NOT in the group harmed, it's not up to you to accept or reject the apology)
  • "We're not in the business of dealing with every problem you have"
  • Referring to 2018 as if it were a long time ago, calling it "five years ago" "a different time" etc. 
  • "50 million people went to an Old South party" (everyone does it so you shouldn't have a problem with it)

We'll see how their apology tours go and if their actions back up their words. Like I said, no one is doing antiracism perfectly. There is a lot of guilt and shame in this work, and it is absolutely necessary to keep moving forward. 

Race & The Bachelor Part 3: Chr*s H*rrison Upholding White Supremacy 101

Thursday, February 18, 2021

In case you're not following The Bachelor the TL;DR is that a Rachael K, a finalist in the season known as The One With the First Black Bachelor, has a problematic past in regards to race. This includes but is not limited to: attending an Old South antebellum party (background), allegedly making fun of women for dating Black men, and supporting Tr*mp. Let's break this down.

Actually - before we get into this I want to address a comment I have seen all over the internets: "but she's dating a Black man, how can she be racist?". I don't know if y'all missed this but Ted Bundy was married to a woman, plenty of sexist misogynist men are married to women, slave owners fathered children with slaves, the list can go on and on and on of why proximity is not a get out of jail free card. And while we're on the topic, dating a Black person or marrying a Black person or parenting Black children not only does NOT excuse you from the work, it requires you to double down on the work. A lot of people don't though, and that's where real harm is caused. 

Exhibit A: attending Old South and other problematic parties. 

Look, I went to college in Georgia where Old South was a thing. While I never attended Old South, I fcked up in plenty of other ways. A big part of racial reconciliation and becoming an antiracist is coming to terms with our role in white supremacy and things we have done that hurt BIPOC. This means digging into our past and naming it, it means sitting with feelings of guilt and shame, it means learning, it means apologizing, and it means making a path forward to do better and hold others accountable. No one has been doing this perfectly and we are all constantly learning (as we should be). A lot of us would make different decisions with information we understand now, but we didn't and so we take responsibility for what we did, apologize to those we have hurt, and do everything in our power to make it better. That's it. That's the message. 

If you're thinking what's the big deal, she attended some parties when she was young? Please take some time to read other people's perspectives. Van Lathan had an excellent point that we don't see Germans dressed up at "1941 European" themed parties - we would all be appalled! Why do we excuse people dressed up for Old South Antebellum themed parties? I believe most people attended parties like this without thinking much about it and without any intention of hurting anyone, but intention rarely equals impact. The road to hell is paved with good intentions which is why we have to learn and stay vigilant. We aren't our mistakes, but we do have to own our mistakes.

Exhibit B: making fun of women for dating Black men. 

This is an allegation made on Tik Tok so who knows, but this type of "joke" is pretty common so let's break down the problematic parts of commentary like this.

Part 1: Othering

Othering is a phenomenon in which some individuals or groups are defined and labeled as not fitting in within the norms of a social group. It is an effect that influences how people perceive and treat those who are viewed as being part of the in-group versus those who are seen as being part of the out-group.

Othering not only dehumanizes groups of people, it is a contributor to prejudice and racism.

Part 2: Fetishization

Fetishizing on a basic level is the sexualization of something, which can then make it desirable.

Look, fetishes are fine - you do you boo! However, fetishizing groups of people makes us think of these groups of people as "conquerable" and dehumanizes them in our eyes. Fetishizing Black people is as American as apple pie, and it is dangerous. 

Part 3: Centering of whiteness

The centering of whiteness happens when we decide "white is right". We see this type of centering in professional standards ('professional' hair styles that exclude locs and natural hair), how we expect people to speak, food we deem acceptable for events, etc. etc. It shows up everywhere, and this is a prime example of how it shows up in our personal lives.

If these allegations are true, did she mean to hurt anyone? What if it was just a joke? Regardless of intentions or how serious she was, it was said and it was an idea that was in her conscience. We all have biases like this in our heads which is why the reading and the workshops and the learning is so so important. Even when we make jokes about race, we perpetuate ideas and make these types of comments acceptable. If you hear someone make a comment like this, the appropriate response can be:

"That's not funny."

"That's hurtful."

"That is not appropriate. I understand you are making a joke, but it is harmful."

Exhibit C: supporting Tr*mp.

I'm not clear if anyone actually found evidence of this or if this is based on her parents political affiliations, but let's talk about why our votes matter. I hear all the time how divisive labeling Republicans as racist is, but unfortunately this is where we are. Sure there can be Republicans who aren't racist, but people who supported Tr*mp in the 2020 election actively cast a vote for racism and Black suppression. If their reason for voting that way was "the economy" or "taxes" or whatever you want to use, it was a vote for their own economic success at the expense of minorities. Quite American but not ok. 


If you're white, it's likely that you have massively messed up at some point in regards to race. I don't believe these things make Rachael K a bad person, but these things do mean she has a lot of work to do. She offered an apology and it's not mine to to accept, but I hope she follows it up with actual actions unlike other members of the franchise (*eye roll* Hannah). 

Race and The Bachelor Part 2: Dissecting Rachael K's Actions and Why They Matter

Wednesday, February 17, 2021


Welcome to Part 1 of our 3 part series on Race and The Bachelor.

A lot has been going on with The Bachelor this season and while I'm not a fan of the show, the Bachelor Nation is representative of a big part of the country and is currently showcasing some serious race issues. 

After public scrutiny and pressure from the Bachelor Nation in the form of a petition with ~200k signatures demanding the franchise increase diverse representation, in its 24th season the 40th lead is the first ever Black Bachelor. And even though they originally had a white Bachelorette we'll give them partial credit for bringing in the show's second ever non-white Bachelorette this season as well. 

There is no arguing that representation matters, especially in a franchise as far-reaching as The Bachelor. But this season of The Bachelor with Matt James as the first ever Black Bachelor is a shining example of why diversity without the equity and inclusion piece is at a minimum problematic and in many cases dangerous. My good friend Charisse (@thisladylion) has a background in media and took the time to talk through her hot takes on The Bachelor, who the show is actually for, and what white people can do to move us forward besides petitioning for Black Bachelor contestants. You can view our conversation here (note: video editing is not my forte).

The idea behind these recordings is to provide different perspectives. The people I speak with share their own personal opinions and are never speaking on behalf of their race or subgroup. As you watch, please remember our #1 allyship rule: listen with an open mind. Some things are hard to hear, and these are usually the most important . 

Because of my professional background I have had the opportunity to hear different perspectives and learn how to sit in my discomfort and untangle complex social topics. One of the most valuable things to come out of this experience has been the continued conversations about how race impacts every part of our culture and non-white people's daily lived experience. Having the professional and life experiences with a diverse friend group is a privilege I know many white people don't get, and most people will never have the opportunity to learn about social justice and equality in the safe space I had. I hope by sharing some of our conversations we can all learn to recognize the effects of race and how we can work to dismantle white supremacy. Even our most seemingly petty topics (ie The Bachelor) make us think, and realize what a privilege it is to even be able to sit and fully enjoy a show without ever feeling discomfort and hurt. 

Race & The Bachelor Part 1: The First Black Bachelor

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

First I'm going to kick this off with a confession. I am not a member of #TheBachelorNation. I believe the world is made up of two types of people: Married at First Sight people and Bachelor people, and the venn diagram overlap includes very few people (I'm MAFS all day). All that said, I have been closely following this season of The Bachelor as they bring in the first Black Bachelor, and I have a lot of thoughts. This week we've got a three part series comin: 

Part 1: The First Black Bachelor
Part 2: Dissecting Rachael K's Actions, and Why They Matter
Part 3: Chris Harrison's Problematic Interview

Even if you're like me and you're not into The Bachelor, I (and a few guests) will be talking about how race shows up everywhere, and problematic white behaviors. 

Related, this week we'll be talking on my Instagram stories about mistakes well-meaning white people make and how we can do better.

Let's Talk About the Bachelor

Monday, February 15, 2021