Self-defense is for white folks because anti-Blackness is a reflex

Image: Michael Scott Milner, Shutterstock, standard license, purchased by author

I can’t say I wasn’t worried.

Although I felt more confident that Ahmaud Arbery’s killers would be found guilty than I ever did Kyle Rittenhouse, it was hardly a slam dunk.

Not because the evidence wasn’t clear, but because history is more so.

Although there was nothing to suggest Arbery…

My middle school was named for a bigot — it still is — and it’s a slap in the face to everyone there

Image: Johnny Silvercloud, Shutterstock, Standard License, purchased by the author

Amid the debate over whether statues of men like Robert E. Lee or Andrew Jackson should be removed from places of honor — due to their participation in racial oppression — most have by now hardened their views into ideological concrete.

On one side are those who insist that no…

Self-care means nothing if we don’t care about others

Photo by Tom Allport on Unsplash

Self-help and “personal development” has long been one of the best-selling genres of books, generating nearly $1 billion in revenues in 2020.

The health and wellness industry hauls in additional billions of dollars each year hawking one after another diet, exercise routine, supplement, or mindset shift, all of which, it…

White men are empowered to play law enforcer — Rittenhouse and those celebrating him got the same systemic memo

Image: frank_peters, Shutterstock, standard license, purchased by author

In the wake of the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict, there’s plenty enough frustration and anger to spread around.

First, at Rittenhouse, for traveling across state lines and patrolling the streets of Kenosha with an assault rifle to “defend property,” not his own, against potential looters following the police shooting of Jacob…

Keeping kids uneducated about sex, history and mental health is how right-wing parents maintain authority — and it’s child abuse

Image: Roman Samborskyi, Shutterstock, standard license, purchased by the author

It was nearly a century ago that Tennessee, the state where I was born and have lived for most of my life, outlawed the teaching of evolution in schools.

The Butler Act, as it was known, drew praise from perennial presidential candidate and former Secretary of State, William Jennings Bryan…

They’re afraid to let students hear any explanation of inequality that doesn’t blame Black people themselves

Image: snow toy, Shutterstock, standard license, purchased by the author

I have a question for conservatives.

Actually, it’s not just for conservatives.

It’s for anyone who thinks schools should prohibit analysis and perspectives derived from Critical Race Theory (CRT) from being taught in the classroom.

The question is simple.

Do y’all know what a theory is?

Do you understand what…

The attacks on Critical Race Theory prove the very brittleness conservatives would deny

Image: OiMax, Flickr, Creative Commons 2.0 license

Say what you will about Robin DiAngelo’s best-selling book White Fragility.

You can hate it if you wish.

I, too, have some critical differences with DiAngelo, whom I consider a friend.

But whatever you may think of her or her overall analysis, one thing you cannot say is that the…

When confronting that difficult relative, don’t debate what you both think, discuss why you both think it

Image: andrii antonenko, Shutterstock, standard license, purchased by author

First, let’s be clear: there are limits to how much you should indulge fools, especially those so given to conspiratorial nonsense as to be beyond reason.

And especially at the holidays, when you’re trying to enjoy quality time with family, rather than re-litigate the 2020 election, debate the political and…

Conservatives say they’re just “asking questions,” but the ones they ask have a disturbing thing in common

Image: Koldunov Alexey, Shutterstock, standard license, purchased by author

When conservatives bemoan the state of education and its supposed hijacking by woke mobs intent on destroying critical thought in the name of political correctness, they insist they are only interested in the search for truth.

The left, they say, seeks to shut down that quest — the animating spirit…

Somehow, I suspect conservatives won’t like this list

Image: UfaBizPhoto, Shutterstock, standard license, purchased by author

To hear right-wingers tell it, schools are making white people feel guilt and shame over the history of racism in America — a situation which they insist must stop.

No, not because those schools are misrepresenting the history, but because that history of enslavement, segregation, lynching, and genocide is too…

Tim Wise

Anti-racism educator and author of 9 books, including White Like Me and, most recently, Dispatches from the Race War (City Lights, December 2020)

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store