Tag Archives: Racism

YWCA Hosts ‘Week Without Violence’ to Raise Awareness Around Gender-Based Violence Against Black Women

by Elizabeth Turnbull

Editor’s Note: This article covers the topics of racism and gender-based violence. 


On Sunday, Oct. 18, the YWCA of Seattle, King County, and Snohomish began hosting a Week Without Violence to specifically provide resources and raise awareness around the fight to end gender-based violence that Black women and girls face.

While October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month in general, the YWCA’s free programming this week specifically focuses on the unique intersection of gender-based violence  — which includes domestic violence, trafficking, and sexual assault — and racism.

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Eddie Glaude Jr.’s ‘Begin Again’ reignites the words of James Baldwin

by Joe Martin

(This article was originally published by Real Change News and has been reprinted with permission.) 


It was the height of World War II. James Baldwin was a teenager in New York City when, in 1943, riots broke out in Detroit and in Harlem, Baldwin’s neighborhood. The lack of adequate housing, lack of jobs and hostility of the city’s police had precipitated the unrest in Detroit. In Harlem, a Black soldier had been shot in the back by a white police officer. Simmering anger over ongoing racism and its accompanying urban poverty exploded.

All this had a profound impact on the young, gay, Black man who aspired to be a writer. By 1948, it became apparent to Baldwin that he could not remain in the United States. His personal fury at the rampant injustices he and other people of color were daily subjected to forced him to confront unpleasant possibilities. He might murder someone or be murdered himself. His artistic ambitions could be shattered in the crucible of America’s meanness and contradictions. The situation was untenable. Baldwin left for France and would not return for nine years.

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Barbara Earl Thomas Traverses the Geography of Innocence

by Beverly Aarons


Each human being is a vast planet filled with uncharted territory. The darkness, the unseen, and the mystery of each of us can intrigue and terrify or even invoke violence, especially if we are living in bodies racialized as Black and even if we are just children. And it’s through this topography that Seattle-based artist Barbara Earl Thomas guides us in “The Geography of Innocence,” (Seattle Art Museum — November 14, 2020–June 13, 2021). The Geography of Innocence is a room-scale exhibit that explores “the colors we’ve assigned to sin … and our preconceived notions of innocence and guilt, assigned in shades of light and dark.” The exhibit will feature cut paper portraits of Black children, capturing their tenderness and vulnerability. 

“So when people step into the room, they’ll just be in the Barbara environment,” Thomas said during our telephone interview. “… You are going to be relocated in the geography of my idea.” 

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OPINION: Fighting Racial Dialogue Fatigue

by Ralina L. Joseph


While I was facilitating a racial dialogue session today, a white woman expressed what so many of us are feeling around racial justice work right now: she said she was exhausted. In response, a BIPOC participant respectfully sighed, “I’m tired too, but I don’t have the luxury to lie down.” 

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OPINION: Black Lives Matter More Than White Feelings

by Jasmine M. Pulido


Catering to whiteness has been a survival mechanism that’s difficult to put down.

It was why I hesitated in anxiety before I sent that email to the white woman coach who was using my stories as a Person of Color to profit, thereby showcasing herself as the white ally doing good. I told her she no longer had permission to use my testimonial and to stop using POC stories like mine for her white benefit. I feared what she might think of me or how she might respond, the way I always did when I considered confronting whiteness. 

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OPINION: The Importance of Nuance in Confronting Racism

We asked two community members to weigh in on Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best announcing her retirement from SPD. Their two viewpoints follow.


by George Griffin III

Carmen Best is a friend. Good people. Classy, strong. She deserved better. 

After everyone gets through scapegoating the Seattle City Council and Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests for her resignation, maybe we should take a good hard look at Seattle’s years of inactivity when People of Color and other people said the department needed some serious reform and restructuring. This lack of attention to the concerns of People of Color and allies contributed to the Seattle Police Department ultimately being placed under the current consent decree after an investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 2012. Do we need to be reminded how, when Best was interim chief in 2018, she was disrespected and passed over by the current mayor in the initial interview process and how she only got the job after communities of color and allies spoke up? Many prominent people were quiet at that time because they didn’t want to criticize their friend, the new mayor.

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The Sleep-Walking White Ally

by Jasmine M. Pulido


I filled out a survey asking me if I’ve experienced racism firsthand.

I almost laughed. I replied into the text box, “Where do I even start?” 

I wanted to reply with the shorthand, “TMTM” (“Too Many to Mention”) like you would in high school, but with an entirely different connotation. Instead, I started to list them as succinctly as possible to get a real handle of what this looked like on paper. This was only for experiences at my daughters’ predominantly white school as a parent of color. There are more outside of it (#ManyMore #TooManyToMention).

The survey brought it all up again. 

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Renton Residents For Change Seeks City’s Active Commitment to Anti-Racism

by Carolyn Bick


Joseph Todd has been pulled over six times in as many months this year. Every time he’s pulled over, he says, the law enforcement officer inevitably asks the same question.

“He pulls me over, pulls me to the side, and the first thing out of his mouth is, ‘Is this your car?’ And my answer, once again [is], ‘Yeah, it is,’” Todd recalled, describing his most recent interaction with a state trooper.

Todd, a Black man, is the City of Tukwila’s Chief Information Officer, but he lives in Renton. Todd said he doesn’t speed, and he certainly wasn’t guilty of what the officer accused him of doing most recently: driving without a seat belt on.

“[After he pulled me over,] I took my seat belt off so I could reach over and get my registration and everything out of the glove compartment, and then he proceeds to tell me he saw my seat belt flapping in the wind,” Todd said. “In my car, if my seat belt isn’t on, it pulls itself back into the wall of the vehicle.”

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“Let’s Go Get Our Guns and Shoot ‘Em”: SFD Battalion Chief Allegedly Makes Violent Remark Against Black Lives Matter Marchers in Shoreline

by Carolyn Bick


Tae Phoenix was across the street, but said she heard the words clear as day: “Quick, boys. Let’s go get our guns and shoot ‘em.”

And just like that, Phoenix found herself walking across the street to confront the man — later identified as Seattle Fire Department (SFD) Battalion Chief Alan Cox — who had allegedly made the comment to his two young children, after he learned that the group preparing to march down the block was protesting for Black Lives Matter.

Phoenix said she asked Cox, who was standing in his house’s driveway when he allegedly made the comment, what he thought he was doing, and why he thought it was okay to say something like that, particularly in front of children.

“He seemed a little surprised. … He kind of looked at me with this sort of very condescending sneer … and basically said, ‘Why don’t you just move along, lady?’ And he said, ‘lady’ like it was an insult,” Phoenix said.

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Rest, Healing, Celebration, Accountability — Repeat: Persistent Resistance

by Alex Garland


In these unprecedented times, change that once seemed improbable now appears inevitable to many in Seattle’s activist community who have spent years fighting for systemic and structural transformation. As protests and an expanding awareness of racial injustices endure across the nation, several of them find themselves hopeful of finally leaving behind a status quo that dehumanized and marginalized communities of color, LGBTQIA+ folx, and people with disabilities, to name but a few.

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