March Notes

I change during the course of a day. I wake and I’m one person, and when I go to sleep I know for certain I’m somebody else.

~ Bob Dylan

This is a reminder that is hanging over an 8th-grade science teachers desk at the Rivers School in Weston, Massachusetts, taken on November 12, 2021. Photo by Robin Tinay Sallie

intersectionality : the complex, cumulative way in which the effects of multiple forms of discrimination (such as racism, sexism, and classism) combine, overlap, or intersect especially in the experiences of marginalized individuals or groups [Kimberlé] Crenshaw introduced the theory of intersectionality, the idea that when it comes to thinking about how inequalities persist, categories like gender, race, and class are best understood as overlapping and mutually constitutive rather than isolated and distinct. — Adia Harvey Wingfield

Intersectionality is a lens through which you can see where power comes and collides, where it interlocks and intersects. It’s not simply that there’s a race problem here, a gender problem here, and a class or LBGTQ problem there. Many times that framework erases what happens to people who are subject to all of these things. ~ Kimberlé Crenshaw

Bias Incident ~ refers to conduct, speech, images or expression that demonstrate conscious or unconscious bias which targets individuals or groups based on but not limited to their actual or perceived race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, body type, disability, age, religion, socioeconomic status or other social identities.

propulsive ~ having the quality of driving or pushing forward.

revelatory ~ adjective. (usually followed by `of’) pointing out or revealing clearly. synonyms: indicative, indicatory, significative, suggestive revealing. showing or making known.

Reducing your consumption of plastic should be the first priority. Plastic is forever. Reusing, repurposing, and upcycling is your second-best option. Reuse everything. Recycle only as a last resort. The recycling symbol you see on different products doesn’t necessarily mean it can be recycled. Plastics can only be recycled so many times before they are chemically unable to be reheated and reshaped into something else. Unfortunately, this means that virtually all plastics will eventually end up in a landfill when they reach the end of their recycling life. Some plastics can never be recycled, not even once.

Plastification ~ microplastic particles and fibers generated from the breakdown of mismanaged waste are now so prevalent that they cycle through the Earth in a manner akin to global biogeochemical cycles.

white savior complex ~ The term white savior (or saviour) is a sarcastic or critical description of a white person who is depicted as liberating, rescuing or uplifting non-white people; it is critical in the sense that it describes a pattern in which third world peoples are denied agency and are seen as passive recipients of white benevolence. It is about having a big emotional experience that validates privilege. Those who are being helped ought to be consulted over the matters that concern them.

I am a novelist. I traffic in subtleties, and my goal in writing a novel is to leave the reader not knowing what to think. A good novel shouldn’t have a point. ~ Teju Cole

neutered language = “racially charged” is used when it would be more honest to say “racist”

Pointing out something as obvious as white privilege is seen as unduly provocative.

microaggressions – thinly veiled, everyday instances of racism, homophobia, sexism (and more) that you see in the world. Sometimes it’s an insult, other times it’s an errant comment or gesture. The difference between microaggressions and overt discrimination or macroaggressions, is that people who commit microagressions might not even be aware of them. People who engage in microaggressions will not believe that what they said was racist or sexist or homophobic. And so calling them racist or sexist or homophobic would make them very defensive and make them unable to even recognize what their impact was. These “everyday slights” have consequences on a victim’s mental and physical health.

Click here for a Tool: Recognizing Microaggressions and the Messages They Send

Click here for a guide on responding to microaggressions

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