This is an email from Up to Speed, a newsletter by Momentum.
Up to Speed is a biweekly newsletter brought to you by Momentum, a Medium blog dedicated to the fight against anti-Black racism. Every other week, we bring you a collection of stories to consider as we all learn, evolve, and fight for racial justice and true equality.
Hey Momentum Readers,
Senator Kamala Harris telling Vice President Mike Pence that she will “not be lectured” is an entire mood for the month of October, if not the rest of the year. It’s been nearly one week since the Election 2020 vice presidential debates when Harris essentially informed Pence that he will not mansplain or Whitesplain or explain anything to her. Women nationwide reacted to her whole vibe. She is smart all by herself and needs no help.
That was a powerful moment in the work of anti-racism and it was important for men, women, and children of all colors to witness. Why? Because sometimes you have to see that sort of overtalking microaggression that Pence demonstrated in order to be able to identify it in yourself. Also, for Black people working to claim space and reclaim their time, it is helpful and instructional to witness Harris clearly say: “I’m speaking.”
Momentum editor Jada Gomez writes on the power of Harris’ responses despite repeated microaggressions that ultimately were semi-climaxed by the fly that sat on Pence’s head as he talked about Breonna Taylor. And speaking of Taylor, her face is everywhere — it adorns T-shirts, murals, mugs, and avatars. But to what end? Writing for Momentum, ZORA Platform Editor Jolie Doggett addresses the careful line we have to toe between honoring someone and exploiting them.
When Harris said I will not be lectured, she was speaking for all of us. Those of us who are fighting for an anti-racist society know what we need to do. Don’t let anyone talk over you, talk you down, or diminish your voice.
Adrienne Samuels Gibbs
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What else is going on?
Learn about monuments that celebrate diversity instead of hatred, per a new Mellon Foundation program named The Monument Project. Consider why structural racism has led to doctors neglecting to tell Black people about the link between low Vitamin D intake and Covid-19. Take a quick swing through how police and media use the passive voice to absolve government agencies of culpability. And understand why it is essential for all of us to protect Black students at school — even when school is online — because the hatred is real.