Third time’s a charm for diving into the 2020 “Budding Roses” antifa summer camp curriculum for kids grades 3 to 9, conveniently posted online due to Covid and devoted entirely to critical race theory and police abolition due to George Floyd.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our 2020 Summer Camp was a Summer Kit full of activities that campers could do remotely while still facilitating learning and conversations about race, gender, the environment, disability justice, youth activism, and more. We created these kits in the wake of the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and countless other victims of police brutality—and the subsequent uprising led by Black youth across the country.
Knowing that this was a vital time for youth to be learning, processing, and raising their voices, we focused the majority of our kits on anti-racism. Our goal was to promote collective problem solving on issues of policing, abolition, and community safety by providing supplies and guidance to our campers. The activities in our kits are a combination of original curricula developed by Budding Roses organizers, original activities developed by local radical organizations, and resources borrowed and credited from national educators, authors, and organizers.
We are uploading these activities here to make them easily accessible to anyone who shares our goals of liberatory education and youth empowerment.
We’ve seen the Black Lives Matter at School coloring book, the “As Black as Resistance, For Kids” course and the anarchists’ version of Scared Straight, “Prison Industrial Complex From Critical Resistance”. All the activities are implicitly struggle sessions; today’s “White Supremacy Reflection” selection is explicitly that.
Step 1: Introduction & Definitions
Racism is very harmful to us and our communities. We see it in very obvious ways sometimes, but other times it is not so obvious. These videos and zine will explain some terms like “white supremacy”, “intersectionality” “privilege” and “systemic racism”. While these ideas can seem pretty complicated, we will give you some basic explanations of what they mean here. You can look at these definitions when you are writing your reflection activity.
White supremacy is a false belief that says that white people are better or more deserving than people of other races. It is based in the ideas of colonialism and slavery. It was justified for many years through race science, which scientists later found out to not be true. Many people still believe these ideas, and they can often lead them to treat people of other races very poorly.
Intersectionality is the idea that every person has an identity that is complicated. Our gender, our race, our religious beliefs, and how much money our family has can all affect the way we see the world. These things also affect how other people see us. Our identity is complicated. Our identity has a big influence on the negative and positive things we experience.
Privilege is a concept that you benefit from something based on who you are. If you are treated well for being a man, or being a white person, or being rich or any other thing that gives you advantages for who you are, you have privilege. Having privilege does not mean your life is not hard, or that you are a bad person. It means that society treats you better and you should be aware of that and do what you can to help others be treated fairly.
Systemic Racism means racism, or mistreatment of others based on their race, exists in many systems that we live with every day. These systems like jobs, school, housing, prison, police, and social life all have impacts on how successful we are. Systemic racism does not make things impossible for Black and Indigenous people of color, but it does make them harder, more dangerous and more unfair.
A budding rose does not smell as sweet if going by the name of “white”. Boldface added:
Read these questions and think about them. You can just think about them by yourself, you can
talk about them with your family, or you can write out answers to them in your notebook!
Whatever feels best for you. After reading the zine and watching the videos:
● How do you think white supremacy hurts people?
● How do you think systemic racism hurts people?
● What does systemic racism look like in Portland?
● How do you see white supremacy in your school or in your friends?
● What privileges do you think you have? What privileges do you think you don’t have?
● What was the most interesting thing you learned from the zine and videos?
● What did you already know, and what was new to you?
● For white youth:
○ What parts of white supremacy do you see in yourself or in your family?
○ What can you do to stop white supremacy when you see it?
● For BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) youth:
○ How have you been affected by white supremacy?
● What would a world without white supremacy or systemic racism look like?
(Cartoon frogs and zines; antifa needs a Joe Camel, pronouns to be determined.)
It’s important to note how much of the “radical” curricula at Rad Camp is conventional, and the sort of thing that long ago made its way into schools and beyond.
The overlap between conventional wisdom and radical leftism has never been greater–“conventional wisdom” meaning that severely limited speech you see on television, not what I would call the common wisdom–the average person’s appraisal of things–which is some great degree we can’t measure (due to censorship) out of line with “conventional wisdom”.
Antifa and elite are on the same page, even if both are busy writing the other out of the ending.