by Mark Naison
August 6, 2019
NARA (National Anti-Racism Alliance) is a non-violent community of people who think racism is out of control in this country and who are publicly willing to identify themselves as anti-racist fighters. If you wear the NARA label, in the form of a hat, a shirt, or a badge, or post a NARA flyer on your home and office door, it means that you are someone who will fight racism wherever you encounter it and that you will come to the defense of victims of racist harassment or attacks in your community.
I formed NARA, with several teacher friends around the country, because of the wave of racial harassment that has accompanied the Trump Presidency touched several people I know and love.
Six months ago, my bi-racial granddaughter was called the “N” word by four white men when she was walking home from school in what she thought was the “safe” liberal haven of Brooklyn Heights
Then, less than a month ago, a white teacher friend, eating dinner with her Asian husband and her children in a restaurant in Mississippi had a shoe thrown at her table by a white teenager wearing a Confederate flag shirt.
Finally, last week the Asian daughter of dear friends, a law student in Pittsburgh, had a man scream “go back to your country” as she was returning home from school
In none of these incidents did people intervene to confront the attackers and it left me with the thought that we need an organization which will mobilize people IN ADVANCE to intervene in situations like these, and let people know, through a label they display, that they will take such a public stand against racism
Two days ago, we created NARA as a Facebook group with the following description:
“The NARA Facebook group is a place where people can share experiences in confronting racism, or racist harassment, in their communities, schools and work places. It is also an opportunity for people to tell stories, or post music or poetry, which inspire people to act in behalf of vulnerable or embattled people, either in their own communities, or around the nation”
If you are as fed up as I am with the outpouring of racism in our country, join us at NARA!
Mark Naison is a Professor of African American Studies and History at Fordham University. He founded the Bronx African American History Project.
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