The Latest Culture Wars: The Censoring of Teaching About Race and Racism

Educators gather in Washington DC on June 12th National #TeachTruth Day of Action (Photo from Zinn Education Project) Image Description: a multiracial group of people holding signs and a banner that reads #TeachTruth and #WeWontLie in front of the African American Civil War Memorial.

Attempts to censor discussions of race and racism are underway nationwide. GOP lawmakers in at least 21 states are either introducing legislation or have already passed bans that impact K-12 classrooms and in some cases, colleges and universities. At the federal level, 30 House Republicans signed on to a pair of bills that would prohibit diversity and anti-racism training in the military and federal agencies.

Critical race theory (CRT) examines the ways institutionalized racism and other systemic barriers to equality are embedded in U.S. society and how institutional…


But will Donald Trump Destroy the Postal Service?

Description: Three postal workers — two working in the back of mail trucks and one pushing a mail cart.

For most of my life, like most people, I pretty much took the post office for granted. I wrote a letter, put it in an envelope, slapped on a stamp, dropped it in the mailbox, and off it went, thousands of miles away for mere cents.

I didn’t really think about what it took to get that letter from point A to point B until I got a job at the post office in my early 20s. It was at the old bulk mail center in West Oakland, a few years before…


Photo of June 1st, 2020, Oakland youth march — Description: Hundreds of people face speakers with fists and cell phones in the air. Photo © Brook Anderson @movementphotographer

As thousands of white people join protests nationwide, it’s important to look at not just why people are showing up but also how. Given this nation’s history of racism, we, as white people, want to make sure we are part of the solution, not the problem.

Learning from the 2014 Mobilizations

In 2014, a call came out of the Ferguson uprising for white people to take action in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. In Oakland CA, activists came together and formed the Bay Area Solidarity Action Team (BASAT) and on December 15th, took part in a multi-racial action…


That’s a record player. On which we used to play records. In the olden days.

Due to the massive popularity of my Pandemixtape #1: It’s Global — World Music (a whooping total of 9 Likes (2 of them my sister) and 1 share (by my daughter (because she felt sorry for me))), I’m rolling out my second in the series, aptly named Pandemixtape #2.

The theme: Higher Risk (cuz these are oldies, y’all!) Well, some of these are older than others. And most will definitely date me (not as in going out on a date but rather as in placing me in the olden days or should I say dayz to lop of a few…


I’ve been finding lots of solace in music while sheltering in place. It began when I watched quarantined Italians taking to their balconies in collective song and Iranian doctors and nurses dancing to music in between treating patients.

Then I fell down that rabbit hole that is YouTube, where the music of every generation, nation, and genre can be found. My musical tastes have always run pretty eclectic and I’d revisit pieces I hadn’t heard in years and I’d travel across the globe and watch live performances by my favorite singers and discover new ones along the way.

I shared…


Image description: Person sitting on the floor, typing on a laptop

Binge-watching TV or finally picking up that book you’ve been meaning to read are both wonderful ways to pass the time as we find ourselves in this new reality of physical-distancing and quarantines. Here are some other ideas if you find yourself solo at home. Plus they may lift your spirits — remember, stress lowers your body’s immune defenses and you need those little virus fighters in tip-top shape.

1. Call or text your neighbors — especially elders or folks who have health needs — to see how they’re doing. If you’re able, knock on doors and offer assistance. Maybe…


By Felicia Gustin

“Energized by issues like climate change and the Trump presidency,” writes Michael Wines in The New York Times, “students have suddenly emerged as a potentially crucial voting bloc in the 2020 elections.”

Their numbers are definitely growing — millennials and gen Z voters now make up 37% of the electorate according to the Pew Research Center. Only Baby Boomers outnumber them. And their electoral engagement is surging as well. “The average student voting rate at U.S. …


“Energized by issues like climate change and the Trump presidency,” writes Michael Wines in The New York Times, “students have suddenly emerged as a potentially crucial voting bloc in the 2020 elections.”

Their numbers are definitely growing — millennials and gen Z voters now make up 37% of the electorate according to the Pew Research Center. Only Baby Boomers outnumber them. And their electoral engagement is surging as well. “The average student voting rate at U.S. …


A Dozen Things You Can Do Right Now You Can Help End Trump’s Family Separation Policy

We are all feeling outrage over the cruel and inhumane immigration policies that separate families at the border. Trump’s Executive Order is a smokescreen, a distraction, and we have to keep up the pressure. Now is the time to do something. You can turn your anger into action. Do one thing today. Do several things this week. Join with others because collectively we are stronger. Here’s a consolidation of the many lists floating around to give you more information on what can be done.


to Be Firefighters and Other Professions Upon Release

Photo by Tom Deckert

“I’d been a firefighter for two years. I was good at it and when I got out, I wanted to pursue firefighting as a career. But I couldn’t.” Tony (not his real name), who had worked as a firefighter when he was incarcerated, was telling his story to a legislative aid of California Assemblymember Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg). We were in Sacramento as part of Quest for Democracy Day, an annual statewide mobilization called by All of Us or None, a project of Legal Services for Prisoners with Children. Quest for Democracy Day…

Felicia Gustin

Writer, Social Justice Activist, Co-Director @ SpeakOut, Works with SURJ Bay Area and BASAT

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