Like many people, I watched the news coming out of Charlottesville this weekend in horror. Future generations will ask about this moment, wondering: How did this happen? What did you do to resist?
I asked myself: As a white educator, how do I respond? What will I say to future generations? What is my responsibility?
Siva Vaidhyanathan wrote in the New York Times about the choice, as a professor at the University of Virginia, between denying extremists the attention “that feeds their flaming torches” and the call to direct confrontation. I read this piece and wondered, what would I do? What have I done?
In the 2016 documentary I am Not Your Negro, James Baldwin said: “History is not the past. It is the present. We carry our history with us. We are our history. If we pretend otherwise, we are literally criminals.”
So I need to act. White educators need to act. Every day.