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RIP Jim Crow

Fighting Racism through Higher Education Policy, Curriculum, and Cultural Interventions

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Edited By Virginia Stead

Together we can build enough momentum to see Jim Crow lying silent and still in his grave.
This book shouts out ways that we can and must respond to the sickening accumulation of racially inspired and systemically sanctioned deaths. Today, we remember the passing of young, Black Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. In responding to this event, we are determined to dismantle the alexithymia (indifference to the suffering of others) that pervades our campuses. It is nothing less than a by-product of racism protected by the illusion of democracy.
RIP Jim Crow contains three sections: (1) Antiracist Theory and Policy; (2) Antiracist Administration, Curriculum, and Pedagogy; and (3) Antiracist Cultural Interventions.
Each of the 31 chapters contributes to the normalization of anti-racist policy within academic institutions, antiracist discourse within academic cultures, and institutional praxis that upholds speaking out against racist activity. The hope is that this book will also reduce racism in the broader world through academic relationships with community partners.
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Chapter Twenty-Seven: When Riot Is Reason: How Higher Education Can Help Eradicate Institutional Racism

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CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVEN

When Riot Is Reason

How Higher Education Can Help Eradicate Institutional Racism

RITA FIELDS



Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they have resisted with either words or blows or both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.

—DOUGLASS (1857)

INTRODUCTION

There are many ways to acquire knowledge. One can acquire knowledge organically through experience. One can also acquire knowledge deliberately through reading and digesting information. One can also learn through the cyclical nature of history. History has many lessons to offer those who are inclined to dig into its seemingly never-ending reservoirs of information. Lessons gleamed from the past have assisted us in defeating enemies, both domestic and abroad, and we have learned how to prepare for and sustain the momentum of change. By and large, when studied intentionally, historical reviews have been advantageous. However, history has also demonstrated its propensity to be a particularly harsh teacher when it is ignored. The past often plants seeds of truth that lay dormant in the fertile ground of knowledge, waiting to be uncovered. Our country is currently experiencing turmoil because of the disparate treatment of people of color with regards to their receipt of ← 349 | 350 → justice within the legal system,...

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