Speak Up! Responding to Everyday Bigotry

SPEAK UP!

Your brother routinely makes anti-Semitic comments. Your neighbor uses the N-word in casual conversation. Your co-worker ribs you about your Italian surname, asking if you’re in the mafia. Your classmate insults something by saying, “That’s so gay.”

And you stand there, in silence, thinking, “What can I say in response to that?” Or you laugh along, uncomfortably. Or, frustrated or angry, you walk away without saying anything, thinking later, “I should have said something.”

People spoke about encounters in stores and restaurants, on streets and in schools. They spoke about family, friends, classmates and co-workers. They spoke about what they did or didn’t say — and what they wished they did or didn’t say.

And no matter the location or relationship, the stories echo each other.

Speak Up! is a book that shares love, insight and pain, but also offers “lost words”, practical solutions and hope for a better tomorrow.

Download your free copy of SPEAK UP!

Another great resource offered by Teaching Tolerance.

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Poem: “On my applications” (biracial)

Here’s another great poem from Arnold Adoff that was in the book All the Colors of the Race that I featured yesterday.

On my applications

by Arnold Adoff

On my applications   I can

                               put:

this girl:

          a black,

             white,

Christian,

Jewish,

            young

            woman:

                 student,

                 musician,

singer,

dancer,

runner    in the middle distance races,

                 is willing to help you

                 if you take her as she

                                             is.

Poem: “The Cold Within” by James Patrick Kinney

The Cold Within

by James Patrick Kinney

Six humans trapped by happenstance
in black and bitter cold
Each possessed a stick of wood,
Or so the story’s told.

Their dying fire in need of logs,
the first woman held hers back
For on the faces around the fire
She noticed one was black.

The next man looking ‘cross the way
Saw one not of his church
And couldn’t bring himself to give
The fire his stick of birch.

The third one sat in tattered clothes
He gave his coat a hitch,
Why should his log be put to use
To warm the idle rich?

The rich man just sat back and thought
Of the wealth he had in store,
And how to keep what he had earned
From the lazy, shiftless poor.

The black man’s face bespoke revenge
As the fire passed from his sight,
For all he saw in his stick of wood
Was a chance to spite the white.

And the last man of this forlorn group
Did naught except for gain,
Giving only to those who gave
Was how he played the game.

The logs held tight in death’s stilled hands
Was proof of human sin,
They didn’t die from the cold without,
They died from the cold within.

Cultural Cookies

Cultural Cookies provide a unique way to share the message, “we’re more alike than different!”

We have taken the fun of fortune cookies and combined them with proverbs around the world to show that all human beings share similar experiences in life, no matter how different our backgrounds. 

Proverbs in one culture are frequently similar to proverbs expressed in other cultures. For instance, the French “Qui vole un oeuf vole un boeuf” translates to “He who steals eggs steals cattle,” compared to the American proverb “Give him an inch and he’ll take a mile.”

These fun cookies can be used at home to spark discussion, as icebreakers in the office or classroom, an activity during diversity training, or simply on top your desk as a fun way to remind staff or students that people are much more alike than different.

For more information