Submitted by county_ys on

In the words of Jason Reynolds, racism is a virus and anti-racism is a vaccine.

On May 27, School Library Journal held its virtual Day of Dialog. The opening keynote was provided by Jason Reynolds and Dr. Ibram X. Kendi. During this keynote, Reynolds described racism as a virus.
In a world full of germs, sometimes a virus will slip into a person’s system without them realizing it. So after that virus enters, it begins replicating and affecting the body in ways the person cannot see. If the person infected with a virus is asymptomatic, that means they do not realize they are spreading this virus to others. This is the insidious nature of a virus, unknowingly infecting children, family, and students. But if there is a vaccine, that means there is information for the body to create antibodies and fight the virus. Vaccines are not always comfortable; a person's arm can feel sore or they may experience fatigue. But that vaccine stops the spread of the virus. 

Being "not racist" is the equivalent of being infected and being asymptomatic. By not actively trying to eradicate the virus, a person is helping proliferate the virus. There will be discomfort in choosing the vaccine, or anti-racism. But that discomfort is worth it if it means saving others. 

You can read or listen to Jason Reynolds and Dr. Ibram X. Kendi’s book Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You through Libby.