January 6th Capitol Attack

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“Get in good trouble, necessary trouble”

-Representative John Lewis

On January 6th, the most representative expression of white supremacy in this country
was carried out and witnessed by millions. I can’t say how this horrible action impacted
most people, but I can say that I was frightened and scared. At the exact moment that
the Capitol, in Washington DC, was being violated by thousands of attackers, our staff
were in our in-service day staff meeting and I was about to share my experience over
the last few months as the EJI Director. I was ready, I was excited, I had my notes and
my audience. But then I got a message telling me that there was something very bad
happening 520 miles away. That is a considerable distance away to even think about
the need to run. But not for people of color, not for immigrants, not for people who do
not fit the norm of white supremacist structure. We felt afraid because we are
surrounded by it. We did not feel safe, and we still don’t because no matter where we
run, we are still swimming in racism and injustice.
How can we go from a “misrepresented history” that has led to racism and patriarchy,
to one of racial and social justice and inclusiveness in the present? We can start by
recognizing our role in this society and how our privilege (if we are, or pass as, white),
especially white privilege, contributes to maintaining the systems of oppression; by
recognizing the impact of our silence, when both micro, and blatant, aggressions
continue to happen in the lives of marginalized societies; by initiating conversions
among us, with our family members and friends in the community about racism,
privilege, and discrimination; by not assuming that everyone is the same without
learning about their differences; by being responsible for the information we share and
receive; by learning that there is no such a thing as “I am not racist” but working on
becoming an “anti-racist”; by not assuming that “color doesn’t matter and that we are
the same, so we love each other” because color matters, and matters more when
misrepresented history is being used as an excuse to justifying hate and violence; by
reaching out to your community for support; by acknowledging that this is going to be a
messy path but also knowing that you won’t be alone.
I am still thinking about January 6th. My body still tenses in fear when I think about it,
but I know that I have the support of so many colleagues. Because here, at Hilltop
Montessori School, we have decided to move forward and do the work, knowing that
even when it gets messy, we have people to keep us accountable and to support our
efforts for a more just school and society.
Here are some resources that might help to initiate or continue the conversions with
your family and friends about race and racism:

Talking About Racism
Teaching Tolerance

Yupaichani / Gracias / Thank you,
Marco Yunga Tacuri

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