Equal justice for all. That was the vision for America outlined more than two hundred years ago that still has not been fully achieved. The myth of racial difference has led to discrimination, continued segregation, and criminalization that endures today. Though progress in this country has been made through generations of activism and civil rights movements, we must acknowledge that there is still work to be done. We continue to strive towards equality and justice for all. While this is a considerable issue to tackle, there are many ways to get involved.
Here are three steps that you can take this election year to promote racial justice.
Pay Attention to Proposed Public Policy and How it Affects Racial Justice
Evaluating policy may seem like a daunting task, but there are a few basic questions that you can ask yourself to better understand what the effect of a specific policy may be. A policy is any law, procedure, or practice put into place by the government or other institutions, and evaluating policy is simply understanding its merit or worth. Policies that may be framed as promoting racial justice and equity do not always have that intended effect.
To understand who is going to benefit and who is going to pay the cost, try to answer these key questions:
How is the issue being defined? Who is defining the issue?
Who is being blamed for the problem? Is it appealing to racial fears?
What is the core issue? What is the historical context of this issue?
What is being proposed as a solution, and who would benefit?
How would this proposal affect people of color? How would it affect white people?
How would it affect women? Young people? Poor and working people?
What are the other options for addressing this issue?