If you live in Minnesota, you need to read A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota Edited by Sun Yung Shin. If you don’t live in Minnesota, you still need to read it. It’s way past time people started listening to OTHER PEOPLE DESCRIBE THEMSELVES. This country has gone on too long letting the privileged few make up fantasy stories about “others,” as if those stories are in any way true. We cannot know the truth about ourselves and others unless we listen to people describe themselves.
I plowed through this collection at a pace that was admittedly too fast for me. I cried reading some of the essays. I felt my damn whiteness so much, and the toxicity and reality of white supremacy, in ways I need to feel it and confront it and DO SOMETHING about this world I live in, starting with my own community.
In a country that LOVES to talk about safety while terrorizing communities of color, I invite you to read this book while asking yourself a question Brittney Cooper posed in her phenomenal book Eloquent Rage (paraphrasing because I don’t have it on hand): what would it look like for children of color to feel safe?
What will it take? When will we care? When will create an actually just society where everyone is actually free?
We cannot address problems we won’t admit exist. If you don’t educate yourself, especially if you are a white person, then you are actively harming other people in your ignorance no matter how good or “not racist” you want to be. If you don’t take an actively ANTI-RACIST stance, then you are supporting racism, it’s that built-in to everything about how we live our lives. We didn’t choose this system, but we live in it, and if you don’t choose to actively NOT participate in harming others, then you are, by default, harming others.
The truth is ugly and scary and complicated. That’s no reason to avoid it. I invite good people who care to read this collection of essays, A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota, and other first-hand accounts of people describing themselves so we can do legitimate, useful, anti-racist work and make a culture where all of our children are actually safe.
Special thanks to Shannon Gibney who made me aware of this book and sold me a copy at a community talk she gave in June. I also picked up See No Color which was awesome and clued me in to another HUGE ISSUE in Minnesota regarding transracial and transnational adoption, information I needed for some service work I’m currently engaged in. I’m looking forward to attending the book launch for Dream Country and picking up a copy. It’s getting starred reviews! Check her out!