I was familiar with medical racism, environmental racism, the atrocities commited against Native American and First Nation people, the boarding school policies, Eugenics, the origins of race as a "scientific tool" for oppression, internment camps, the Chinese Exclusion Act and nativist policy. However, I had not heard of the gasoline baths at the boarder, or that Nazi Scientists had directly referenced Zyklon B used on Mexican immigrants at the border or Carmelita Torres's defiance against the act of injustice.
Every last bit of history is shockingly terrible -- the atrocities people commit against other human beings, and the complicity that the vast majority of bystanders and citizens are just so disappointing. And yet, when I learn some new horror, I am rarely ever surprised. I have come to expect so little of leaders and historical figures.
I want to do better and be a part of a sustained and continuous movement that is aware of and recognizes the injustices carried out through history, and actively oppose and dismantle racism in all its forms.
I'm going to schedule send this note to myself every year and hold myself accountable to that goal.