Editor’s Note

A letter to The Falcon staff, work black folks created that helped me

Heidi Speck, Editor-in-Chief

The following is something I wrote to say the staff of The Falcon in our weekly Thursday meeting. I think it also is well suited here.

Before we move on to section meetings, I want to talk about the events of this week. For those of you like Blake, Julia Herman and Julia Battishill, this feels particularly immediate. But for those of us who were not reporting on this week’s events, it is still very relevant.

This week is a reminder of our role as journalists. While there are many moving parts to the role of journalists, one of those responsibilities is to amplify the voices of marginalized groups, like those of black, indigenous and people of color. 

But also, the job of a journalist is to be a watchdog. It is to hold the institutions that have power over our communities accountable. Our job is to tell the truth. 

It is the truth that white institutions have subjugated and destroyed the lives of black folks for centuries. It is the truth that the United States government is built upon systematic racism. It is the truth that senseless police violence has ended too many black lives to count. But also, it is our jobs as journalists, particularly those of us who are white, to check our privilege. The truth that we report on is just as true to our own reality as journalists as it is to the reality of the reader. Journalism is historically dominated by white, male voices. It is up to our generation of journalists to fight against that inheritance of homogeneous news rooms.

The second responsibility is to be thoughtful. Reporting on protests and things like this is hard because we have to ask people who are hurt to trust us. That is hard for us and even harder for those people. 

But it is also very, very important. 

So please, while you are reporting, be mindful of people who are hurting, and that that pain can manifest in a lot of ways. It can look like sadness, but it can also look like rage. It is our job as journalists to be thoughtful about how we cover stories and to discern what pain looks like. It is our job to understand that rage often points back to pain, and we need to ask why is this person, these people, this whole community in pain?

It is hard. It is complicated. But it is extremely important.  

That said, what is important IS NOT the voice of a white editor such as myself. What is important is the black voices that deserve to be heard. So, instead of writing about my white tears, I’ve compiled a list of resources that have been helpful for me. 

This list includes books and articles written by black authors, music by black artists, movies by black filmmakers, black-owned businesses and black activist Instagram accounts to follow. But it also includes the places I’ve found my recent resources, which are fountains of information on how to get involved — like donating, signing petitions, contacting local officials — and be educated. Bear in mind, this list is by no means complete, there are so many more super informative and creative resources out there.

Addressing my white readers, I plead with you, do your own research. Explore all the things listed here. Observe the language they use, internalize what they are saying. Remember that this issue is so much more than just what you see and consume right now. 

There is so much to do but you have to take the time to do it. 

Resources for places to donate, find petitions, and learn further: These resources are never ending pools of information. To continue the metaphor, please dive deep. 

Natl Resource List #GeorgeFloyd+
Black-Owned Businesses & Restaurants in Seattle You Can Support Right Now
Black Lives Matter Ways To Help
Five Social Justice Causes Seattle Restaurants Are Supporting
Here’s Where You Can Donate to Help Protests Against Police Brutality
Where You Can Donate to Support Seattle’s George Floyd Protesters
The BLM Seattle Freedom Fund
Racial Justice Resources- Seattle Repertory Theatre
Where You Can Donate to Support Seattle’s George Floyd Protesters
75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice

Media by black creators:

The Internet
Kid Kudi
Kendrick Lamar

The Black Unicorn by Audre Lorde
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House by Audre Lorde

If Beale Street Could Talk
Queen & Slim
13th (on Netflix)
Get Out

The Seattle Medium
On George by Alissa Story from The Los Angeles Loyolan
The Case for Reparations by Ta-Nehisi Coates
What Is Toxic White Feminism? – When Feminism Is White Supremacy
Welcome To The Anti-Racism Movement — Here’s What You’ve Missed

Black Parents Explain How to Deal with the Police | Cut
George Floyd, Minneapolis Protests, Ahmaud Arbery & Amy Cooper | The Daily Social Distancing Show
The danger of a single story | Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Activist Instagram Accounts: (These serve as a reminder to me every time I go on Instagram, which is at least three times a day, that I am part of, and my existence perpetuates, institutions of whiteness and of the ways I can fight it.)

Ericka Hart (@ihartericka)
Check Your Privilege (@ckyourpriviliege)
Deray Mckesson (@iamderay)
Patrisse Cullors-Brignac (@osopepatrisse)
Opal Tometi (@opalayo)
Rachel Elizabeth Cargle (@rachel.cargle)
Mari Copeny (@littlemissflint)
Blair Amadeus Imani (@blairimani)
Benjamin Crump (@attorneycrump)
Ta-Nehisi Coates (@tanehisicoates)
Equal Justice Initiative (@eji_org)

Black owned businesses close (ish) to SPU: (The area SPU is gentrified, so this is not to say that there aren’t any businesses close to the university that are not owned by BIPOC, but to extricate oneself from the bubble of whiteness, one must also extricate oneself from geographically white areas like Upper Queen Anne, Fremont and Ballard.)

Ezell’s Famous Chicken (multiple locations)
Cafe Campagne
Where Ya At Matt (this is a food truck so location changes, there website has where they are when)
Ballard Beer Company
Lika Love
Estelita’s Library
Our Fabric Stash