Anti-racists: Don’t Lose the Focus!

Aug 27, 2020 | Op-Ed

This is my daughter, and I could not be prouder of the young woman she has become:

Already, racists are trying to spin this into another nonsensical, blame-the-victim narrative, saying, “But Blake had a KNIFE!” Well, sure. In his car. On the floorboards, apparently. I guess that means I can be shot by police in my front yard, because I have a huge chef’s knife in my kitchen. I sometimes carry sharp, crochet scissors on a crocheted chain around my neck. I’ve even brought those on board an airplane – does that make me a terrorist! Got me – I’m a wannabe yarn bomber!

For crying out loud, people. Anti-racists want law and order, too – which means that they want everyone’s Constitutional rights to be upheld. When police shoot an unarmed black man in the back, seven times, but hand out water to a teen carrying an assault rifle – who shot 3 protesters with it, killing two – and lets the kid go, there’s a problem. And if you can’t see that, you are a big part of that problem.

I read something this morning that struck home:

It’s a privilege to be educated on racism and not have to experience it. Black folks having hope when it comes to racism ain’t about Black people these days, it’s about making White people feel good about finally taking their blinders off after decades of ignoring our suffering, maltreatment and their history of neglect.

Hope in 2020 is asking Black folks to hold their breath waiting for White people to make the decision of our lifetimes and the lifetimes of our Black children and grandchildren.

Hope is asking us to wait on White people…again.

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So, this is one “privilege” I’d urge my white friends to exercise: Sign up for my friend Sharon Hurley Hall’s Antiracism Newsletter: – in addition to her own insightful articles on racism and shadeism around the world, including her terrific “While Black” series, which should be required reading for corporate America, she will be sharing great content from other anti-racist writers. I have known Sharon for – well, near as we remember – eight years, now. She is also a talented freelance writer and editor.


Holly Jahangiri is the author of Trockle, illustrated by Jordan Vinyard; A Puppy, Not a Guppy, illustrated by Ryan Shaw; and the newest release: A New Leaf for Lyle, illustrated by Carrie Salazar. She draws inspiration from her family, from her own childhood adventures (some of which only happened in her overactive imagination), and from readers both young and young-at-heart. She lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband, J.J., whose love and encouragement make writing books twice the fun.


  1. Mitch Mitchell

    I’m at the age where all I’m left with is a smallest bit of hope. I can still talk and hopefully educate, but I lack the energy to march and protest. I still get angry, and it keeps me awake at night, but at the end of each year I look back and see nothing’s changed… but at least I do still have that little bit of hope to rely upon.
    Mitch Mitchell recently posted…The Danger Of Being Yourself In Social Media SpacesMy Profile

    • Holly Jahangiri

      Keep that hope. And remember that just doing what you can do – and have energy to do – may help, bit by bit. It may help better inform someone like me, or my kids, who have the energy but may not know exactly where to focus it today, or what to say. At least I’ve given the world a couple of fresh-faced anti-racists. That’s reason to hope, yes? 🙂

  2. Markus + Micah

    It is very sad to see news like this. But it is people like you who spark hope. Love the point on taking off the blinders worn by white people for so long, and how you said law and order means upholding the rights of everyone. Very happy to have read your post today. Thank you.

    • Holly Jahangiri

      Welcome, Markus + Micah! It is sad news indeed, in a year of sad and oppressing news – but there are many reasons to be hopeful, we just have to help each other hang onto them. Do our small bit, each of us, to chip away at injustice and figure out that we’re so much stronger together than divided by wasteful things like fear and hate.

    • Holly Jahangiri

      I do hope you’re right. Minorities and women have waited long enough for the situation to “improve.”


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