Today, Sightline is honoring the general strike called for by Black Lives Matter leaders in Washington State. Sightline staff members are taking this day to participate in ways they choose in the crucial, ongoing work of dismantling racism in Cascadia, and beyond. Some are marching. Some are educating themselves or their children. Some are volunteering with racial-justice organizations or registering voters or supporting demonstrators. As we reflect and seek to act, learn, and engage in the urgent conversation of this moment, about racism and systems like policing that it pervades so brutally, we’re sharing some of what we’ve been reading, listening to, learning from, and thinking about over the past days and weeks. 

Here is a selection compiled by Sightline staff:

Why Minneapolis Was the Breaking Point: Black men and women are still dying across the country. The power that is American policing has conceded nothing, Wesley Lowery, The Atlantic.

Why Ta-Nehisi Coates is hopeful, and Paul Butler, law professor, author of Chokehold: Policing Black Men on prison abolition. (Both Vox interviews with Ezra Klein.)

Nikole Hannah-Jones’s writing for the New York Times on racial injustice, including persistent racial segregation in housing and schools and the 1619 Project.

“Be wary of things that are purely symbolic”: How to join the conversation about race. Ijeoma Oluo, Seattle-based author of So You Want to Talk About Race, on the “perfect storm” that finally engaged white America on racism, a Vox interview with Emily Stewart.

Washington, DC, Deserves Statehood, Susan E. Rice, New York Times.

Throughline podcast: a history of American police, with Khalil Gibran Muhammad, Harvard Kennedy School historian and author of The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America.

Is Defunding the Police Possible? A discussion with Josie Duffy Rice, president of The Appeal and host of The Justice Podcast, and Derecka Purnell, Guardian columnist, social movement lawyer, and activist.

Writer and scholar of slavery and incarceration Clint Smith reflects on this moment, through conversation, letters, and poetry on the TED Radio Hour.

A Twitter thread from @michaelharriot (Michael Harriot, senior writer at The Root): “So much of history has been whitewashed for the sake of making it palatable for white consumption that we are starting to perpetuate things that are not only misconceptions, but outright lies. A lot of what you’re told about protests, MLK, etc. is wrong.

How to Make this Moment the Turning Point for Real Change, a Medium post by Barack Obama.

Why Racial Justice is Climate Justice by Claire Elise Thompson for, with Adrien Salazar, Kerene Tayloe, Julian Brave NoiseCat, Mariah Gladstone, and Alvaro S. Sanchez.

Two episodes of The Daily podcast: The Case for Defunding the Police and “I want to touch the world,” a profile of George Floyd and coverage of his funeral.

Alex S. Vitale, author of The End of Policing, talks with Code Switch editor Leah Donnella about defunding the police.

June 12, 2020