Anti-Racism and Prejudice

OTT.X stands together as an ally with the Black community, with our counterparts in other trade associations across the country, and with others in the OTT industry, to oppose and negate racism, prejudice, hatred, and exclusion.

The vision of OTT.X is “a vibrant ecosystem of companies continually advancing the consumer experience and business of delivering audio-visual entertainment through OTT technologies.”  Inherent in that vision is that this ecosystem is one that is diverse, inclusive, and absent of prejudice.

We have been painfully reminded once more that all human beings are not perceived equally, are not treated justly, and do not have equal opportunities. We have not and are not doing enough to eradicate the ugly realities of racism, prejudice, and hate, whether conscious or not. We must do better.

A trade association provides a platform for its members and its industry.  A trade association also provides leadership, guidance, information, and tools.

To that end, OTT.X will:

  1. Provide a platform for marginalized groups in the OTT.X community to engage in online discussion to nurture ideas and opportunities to stimulate change
  2. Provide a series of online “fireside chats” delivering information about, inspiration to and tools for taking positive action to eliminate racism, prejudice, hatred, and exclusion in our industry
  3. Maintain a resource of information, reading material and tools housed on our OTTX.org website

Please click here for more information and resources to learn more about these issues and what we can do.

We look forward to additional suggestions for how your trade association can help.

Mark Fisher
President & CEO
OTT.X

 

RESOURCES

(If you have a suggestion for an addition to this list of resources, please email mfisher@ottx.org.)

“Anti-Racism Resources For White People”  – copied from Forbes.com (https://www.forbes.com/sites/juliawuench/2020/06/02/first-listen-then-learn-anti-racism-resources-for-white-people/#d4d95d916ee3)

Books

  • How to Be an Antiracist/Ibram X. Kendi/2019
  • White Fragility/Robin J. Diangelo/June 26, 2018
  • Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations About Race/Beverley Daniel Tatum/2017
  • White Rage/Carol Anderson/2017
  • Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race/Renni Eddo-Lodge/2017
  • Between the World and Me/Ta-Nehisi Coates/2015
  • The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness/Michelle Alexander/2010
  • The World That Made New Orleans/Ned Sublette/2008
  • Black Feminist Thought/Patricia Hill Collins/2000
  • Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower/Brittney Cooper/2018
  • Heavy: An American Memoir/Kiese Laymon/2018
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings/Maya Angelou/1969
  • Just Mercy/Bryan Stevenson/2014
  • Me and White Supremacy/Layla F. Saad/2020
  • Raising our Hands/Jenna Arnold/2020
  • Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love, and So Much More/Janet Mock/2014
  • Sister Outsider/Audrey Lord/1984
  • So You Want to Talk About Race/Ijeoma Oluo/2018
  • The Bluest Eye/Toni Morrison/1970
  • The Fire Next Time/James Baldwin/1962
  • The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century/Grace Lee Boggs, Scott Kurashige, and Danny Glover/2011
  • The Warmth of Other Suns/Isabel Wilkerson/2010
  • This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color/Edited by Cherríe Moraga and Gloria E. Anzaldúa/1984
  • Women, Race, and Class/Angela Davis/1981
  • Are Prisons Obsolete?/Angela Davis/2003
  • Black Marxism: The Making of Black Radical Tradition/Cedric Robinson/1983
  • Wretched of the Earth/Frantz Fanon/1961
  • Black Skin, White Masks/Frantz Fanon/1952
  • Common Ground/J. Anthony Lukas/1985
  • Waking Up White, and Finding Myself in the Story of Race/Debby Irving/2014

Articles/PDFs

YouTube Videos

Movies and Documentaries

  • 13th/Ava Duvernay/2016 – Netflix
  • American Son/Kenny Leon/2019 – Netflix
  • Sorry To Bother You/Boots Riley/2018 – Hulu
  • Get Out/Jordan Peele/2017
  • Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975/Göran Olsson/2011
  • Clemency/Chinonye Chukwu/2019
  • Fruitvale Station/Ryan Coogler/2013
  • I Am Not Your Negro/Raoul Peck/2017
  • If Beale Street Could Talk/Barry Jenkins/2018 – Hulu
  • Just Mercy/Destin Daniel Cretton/2019
  • King In The Wilderness/Peter Kunhardt/2018 – HBO
  • See You Yesterday/Stefon Bristol/2019 – Netflix
  • Blackkklansman/Spike Lee/2018
  • Selma/Ava Duvernay/2014
  • The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution/Stanley Nelson Jr./2015
  • The Hate U Give/George Tillman Jr./2018 – Hulu
  • When They See Us/Ava Duvernay/2019

TV

  • Dear White People/Justin Simien/2017 – Netflix
  • When They See Us/Ava Duvernay/2019 – Netflix

Podcasts/Specific Podcast Episodes

  • Revisionist History Season 2 Episode 3, “Miss Buchanon’s Period of Adjustment”/Malcolm Gladwell
  • Code Switch/NPR
  • Intersectionality Matters/African American Policy Fund and Kimberle Krenshaw
  • Momentum: A Race Forward Podcast/Race Forward
  • Rants & Randomness with Luvvie Ajayi Episode 9, “Become the Right Thing with Glennon Doyle”
  • Fare of the Free Child/Akilah S. Richards
  • 1619/The New York Times
  • Pod For The Cause/The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
  • Pod Save the People/Deray Mckesson
  • Seeing White/Scene on Radio

Organizations

  • Color of Change
  • Campaign Zero
  • Anti-Racism Project
  • NAACP
  • UnidosUs
  • ACLU

Social Media


ADDITIONAL TOOLS

The following, and much more, are available on the RACIAL EQUITY TOOLS website.


ADDITIONAL READING

  • Six Things White People Say that Highlight Their Privilege by Kelsey Borresen, Huffost
  • Below is a post found on Facebook by Jessica Wolf, a former home entertainment industry columnist, who has given me permission to share her (rather lengthy, but poignant) writing.  In addition to the list of reading material included in this post, Jessica also recommends Chocolate Cities – Black Map of American Life by Marcus Anthony Hunter and Zandria F. Robinson.

To my dear white friends,

 I have been largely silent on social media of late. But I have been working elsewhere. Working with rage, and sorrow and fear….but working. I hope you will accept this missive in the spirit it is intended. It is long.

 The Black Freedom Struggle is OUR struggle.

 But we have another struggle.

 Dismantling white privilege and dealing with white fragility is our struggle.

 And while the Black Freedom Struggle is shared and should be shared by anyone who believes in freedom, in human rights, in equality, in joy, in love, in hope….

 …..make no mistake, our absolute need to grapple with white privilege and white fragility is NOT a struggle that is to be shared by our black (and brown and native) brothers and sisters.

 It is our burden alone. It is uncomfortable, it is painful, it is necessary.

 Over the past few years by virtue of my job, I have learned much about the Black Freedom Struggle, from people more wise, more intelligent and with more lived experiences within it than I will ever know. I have tried and will continue to try and be an ally.

 But, this is not me congratulating myself for a job well done. This is me humbly telling you how much I screw up at this effort. All. The. Damn. Time.

 I’ve made so many mistakes, I’ve said so many stupid things. I’ve approached things from perspectives that at best aren’t useful or worst are reinforcing colonization and white supremacy. I’ve been glib, I’ve misunderstood. I’ve shied away from things that seem hard. I see very clearly my ongoing naivete and raw idiocy and raw privilege.

 I screw up all the time. But I keep showing up. And the smarter, wiser, more experienced individuals in my life keep letting me. For that I am grateful.

 But those individuals, nor anyone for whom the Black Freedom Struggle is quite literally an enterprise to save their own lives and the lives of their families, they don’t owe me their gratitude. They don’t owe me any encouragement. They don’t owe my any forgiveness for my mistakes and ineptitude.

 I owe them my presence, my effort, my attempts to “know better, do better.” I owe them my willingness to screw up again, and again and then show up again and again.

 The weight of the struggle, the might against which it is pushing and has been pushing ever since the first slave revolts in the 1600s—once you open your heart and mind to it, is so oppressive, so large, so seemingly insurmountable, it makes you afraid, it makes you want to give up.

 This, I believe is in part why it is so easy to detach from it for white people. It’s too hard.

 But I implore you, now in these times, and in the days to come….don’t look away. Don’t give up. If the struggle is too hard for us to existentially hold in our minds, imagine what it is for those who have no choice but to live within it. And to largely live in fear within it.

 Be afraid too! Take that fear and live in it. Turn it into the fire of action. Whatever action you are able to contribute is still action. There is a lot of advice out there these days. Read. Learn. Donate. Share.

 If you’re lamenting that “Jessica is getting political” I would encourage you to re-read what I have written thus far and note that I have not said anything about politics of any kind.

The Black Freedom Struggle is not political. Human rights are not a political issue.

If you think about this issue and automatically assign it to one political party over another, I would compassionately encourage you to sit for a minute and ask yourself “why?” “What in my experience has made me think this is a political issue?”

 If some uncomfortable things come up, sit with those too.

 If you think about this issue and automatically assign it to one political party over another AND that party is not the one with which you are personally aligned, I would humbly ask you to pause and reflect on that too. “How can solidarity with the Black Freedom Struggle become part of the platform of my party? What are we missing? How do we know better, do better?”

 If you are Christian or a faith-based person of any kind I would encourage you to explore the doctrine you hold dear and really examine whether or not the word and teachings of your prophets on this issue are REALLY reflected in the people currently at the pulpit? “If not, why not? How can I help change that?”

If anyone wants to talk about this person-to-person I am here. I am not an expert. I don’t have all the answers, but I am ready to share my experience, I am prepared to honestly tell you how it feels to screw up, then get back up and show back up.

In the meantime, a few more thoughts, pieces of advice, if you choose to keep reading.

White Privilege

 If those words make you uncomfortable or your automatic reaction is to resist the truth of its existence, take a breath, it’s OK. Work within that discomfort. Work within that resistance.

 White privilege does not mean that just because you have white skin everything has been handed to you. Of course not. We all have personal, individualized struggle.

 But look at the image below, created by artist Benjamin Jancewicz.

For the majority of the history of this country its systems have been set up to exclude from prosperity, from freedom, from life itself— those without white skin. These systems don’t automatically dissipate because we’re all a little (or a lot) less individually racist these days.

 White privilege is a lot to unpack, especially since it might seem to you less overt than it was in the 1960s and stretching back to 1619 when the first slave ships arrived in North America, or as our ancestors slaughtered and enslaved and sought to eliminate the indigenous people who lived here before us, time out of mind.

 Make no mistake, white privilege is still here, still insidious. And though it may be more opaque to white eyes, it is as clear as day to those who do not bear white skin.

 If you can’t “see” it, it’s probably because you are the beneficiary “of” it. I encourage you to shift your perspective.

 If you don’t believe legal systems of oppression once existed or that powerful remnants of them still do–systems that were designed to benefit those with white skin and exclude those with black or brown skin—I lend my voice to all of those calling for us to learn more, and to unlearn much of what we have been taught.

 Maybe start with thinking about redlining, a practice of denying investment to communities of color, one that was supposedly outlawed in the 1970s, but is still happening in more-covert ways.

 I encourage you to learn and remember that not too many years ago a black family could move into a white neighborhood in certain parts of this country, bearing the means to buy the home and pay their bills and yet—have their utilities cut off for no other reason than as a means to push them out of that area.

 If your family was white, and could pay, that wouldn’t have happened to them.

 This is just one tiny tiny example that, once I learned about–just within the last four years (!!) really struck me as a powerful example of systemic white privilege.

 Your grandparents and great grandparents could trust that they would be able to turn on lights in their house if they could pay the bill. Many black and brown people of the same physical and financial circumstance were denied the light switch simply because of the systems of our country that assigned value based on the amount of melanin in skin.

 I encourage you to learn and UNLEARN now and for the rest of your days on this planet.

 More ideas for how to do that will follow below.

 But first, let’s hit on….

 White Fragility

 This one is a doozy and there’s a lot that goes into it. But if you’re new to allyship I think the way you will start to really experience this is if and when you react strongly to being told you’ve f**ked up at your attempts to be an ally.

 If you’re trying your best to get it right and a person of color tells you you’ve gotten it wrong, just take it in. Take the lesson.

 Your best wasn’t good enough in that moment. It’s OK. It’s not a permanent indictment.

 Move past it. Be grateful for the lesson. Sure it might make you feel stupid, it might make you cry. And yes, you can apologize, sure. But don’t tell a person of color how YOU need THEM to behave or speak or act in order make YOU feel better about your failed attempt at allyship.

 Here’s how you will make YOURSELF feel better, eventually.

 Know better. Do better.

 Lather, rinse, repeat.

You can also read (along with me, I just ordered it) Robin Diangelo’s book “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism.”

 And if the ugly head of our white fragility ever flares up so strongly that it makes us want to back down from the fight, I would gently ask us all to pause and just consider that our lack of ability to righteously engage, however our brains might be rationalizing that response, does not objectively negate the righteousness and justness of the cause itself.

 Here’s how I generally approach “Know better. Do better” It’s a multi-step process.

Listen to the voices of the dead

 Can you think about Angela, which we know is the name of the first female slave recorded in American history.

 Can you think about the terror she endured on that horrible ship crossing to this land?

 Her voice is undocumented in the annals of our history, but we know she had one. Can you think about the times she cried out in pain, in sorrow, in fear, in frustration in the brutal trajectory of her life in America, forced upon her by our white ancestors. Can you think about the prayers she said, the tears she cried– in joy and sorrow she must have expressed over the birth of her children into a life of slavery? Can you hear the songs she sang to them? The times she laughed?

 Can you hear her? Ever since I learned her name (last year!!), I have been trying to hear her.

 Can you imagine your spirit drifting into the body of Emmett Till’s mother and hearing your own lips speak the words “Let them see what they done to my boy?” and then show the world the graphic images of his battered body.

 Emmett Till was just eight years older than my own mother when he was lynched over a white woman’s lie. His murder is not part of our ancient past.

 Can you hear the silence where Emmett Till’s voice should be today?

Can you hear the words of George Floyd as he begged for breath and cried for his mother? Can you feel the harsh warm grittiness of asphalt on your face as you pleaded for life?

Can you imagine the nighttime ritual of Breonna Taylor? Can you picture her relaxing after a warm bath, maybe with a cup of tea, maybe applying lotion, checking email before kissing her beloved goodnight….and then awakened, heart pounding, at the sound of intruders at her door….and then shots…eight bullets to her body….and then silence. Death.

 Can you imagine yourself running, at first for exercise, for endorphins, and then for your life as pickup trucks driven by white men with weapons boxed you in. Can you hear the last epithet of the shooter before the bullets ripped through your body–like Ahmaud Aubrey did.

 There is no current crime, no past circumstance that justifies those moments of pain, of fear sustained by those whose bodies are OUR OWN body, whether you have chosen to understand that truth or not.

 If any of these things had happened to your brother or sister or child or neighbor or co-worker or friend, how would you feel? Would you feel rage and sorrow and trauma? Would you want to take to the streets and demand justice for them? Would you want to work to ensure it never happened again?

 Can you ALLOW IN the pain of the knowledge of the suffering of these people and so many others and rather than shake your head and shake it off it because it is too much, just make it a part of yourself?

 I ask you to embrace it, to invite it, to alchemize it into an empathy so potent that you can no longer do nothing about it.

 If you want to hear more of the voices of the dead, listen for them in those who have been shouting their stories into the wind for decades of modern history.

Listen to the voices of the living

 I’m going to include here just a small amount of “easy” ways to listen to the voices of the living. (I’m working on a list of suggested books that have already helped me or that have been recommended to me. Those will require more of your time and energy, but happy to share).

 Follow and study with (and support on Patreon) activist scholars like Rachel Cargle who will help you re-learn the history of America.

https://www.rachelcargle.com/

Watch (or read the transcript of) this Ted Talk by Kimberle Crenshaw and learn more about the struggle for women of color.

https://www.ted.com/talks/kimberle_crenshaw_the_urgency_of_intersectionality?language=en

Read this personal account from scholar and author Tananarive Due.

https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2020/06/can-we-live

 Follow this inspirational yogi. @diannebondyyogaofficial

 If it’s very hard and unclear for you to understand the role that police and policing plays in the struggle, here are a couple of ways to dip your toe into the topic, read and absorb this great Twitter thread from scholar Leisy Abrego.

https://twitter.com/AbregoLeisy/status/1266797330339999747

 Check out MillionDollarHoods, and see how much money Los Angeles spends on locking up humans in cages based on their neighborhoods. Think about how that money could be spent on community enrichment, education, housing, health services, etc.

https://milliondollarhoods.pre.ss.ucla.edu/

 Check out The People’s Budget. Think about ways in which our tax dollars can be part of the

struggle and the ways they are currently NOT.

https://peoplesbudgetla.com/peoplesbudget/

 Take a step

 All of this learning and unlearning will be hard, it will be exhausting….

 …. and it will not be enough.

 Don’t be afraid of that fact. Lean into it. Do it anyway.

 Then, figure out how to take what you are learning and unlearning and make a step forward into progress using the unique skills you are blessed with, and harnessing the increased empathy you are feeling.

 For me, the step I am most often able to take is to write about, try and amplify or publicize the research, work and scholarship of those who are situated within the struggle. I’m happy to share some of that with anyone who might be interested, but this is not about my work.

 Another book I just started reading is called “Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice that Shapes What We See, Think and Do”

 It begins with this quote from James Baldwin:“A journey is called that because you cannot know what you will….do with what you find, or what you find will do to you.”  (If you don’t know who James Baldwin is, that’s another good place, another good voice of the dead to start your reading and learning.)

 This is a lot. I know it. If you want my help or guidance, I will always do my best to share what I have learned and will joyfully join you on the journey of unlearning.

 Again, this treatise wasn’t meant as a showcase of my abilities or knowledge. It’s meant as a resource, a perspective.

I am trying to lend my voice as a white woman of privilege in hopes that other white women and men of privilege in my sphere can understand our part of the struggle, without adding to the struggle of people of color.

 Let us struggle together, white folks. Let us try and get it right. Let us listen when we get it wrong. Let us move our efforts into the directions that our friends and family of color tell us we should go. And let us go that way.

 Let’s screw up.

 Let’s show up.

 again and again and again and again and again and again…..

  • 13 Key Books on Black Life in America by Lorraine Berry, published in the LA Times on June 14, 2020 (list is excerpted from this article)
    • So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
    • Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward
    • Suvival Math by Mitchell S. Jackson
    • Sleepaway School by Lee Stringer
    • Brothers and Keepers by John Edgar Wideman
    • Things That Make White People Uncomfortable by Michael Bennett and Dave Zirin
    • How We Fight For Our Lives by Saeed Jones
    • Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall
    • Busted in New York by Darryl Pinckney
    • Heavy by Kiese Laymon
    • Citizen by Claudia Rankine
    • The New Jim Crow by Michele Alexander
    • The Brother You Choose by Susie Day