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YWCA Minneapolis Response to Fox News Digital Comment Request

By YWCA Minneapolis
June 16, 2023
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Response to Fox News Digital Comment Request. June 5 article: Target backs org pushing US demilitarization, Mt. Rushmore shutdown for being a ‘symbol of White supremacy’

YWCA Minneapolis is a nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, dignity and freedom for all. For more than 130 years, we have worked to create opportunities to overcome social injustice, particularly in matters of race and gender, serving people in our community through high-quality programs and advocacy focused on racial justice, early learning, youth development and wellness.

We believe that knowledge and awareness motivate people to develop skills that enable them to take positive action. Historically, in the United States, white people have always been in a position of power and privilege, so it is imperative that we raise all children to see color. More often than not, parents raising children of color and those with marginalized identities talk to their very young children about race to help prepare them for the bias and discrimination they will face early on and as a matter of safety. Age-appropriate conversations with children about race helps to raise socially conscious children who have a better understanding of their true history and the different opportunities afforded due to skin color.

Critical Race Theory asks us to scrutinize how and why society looks the way it does. Kimberlé Crenshaw introduced the concept as a practice or way of seeing how the fiction of race has been transformed into concrete racial inequities. It rejects the belief that what’s in the past is in the past. Critical race theory was also intended for practice at the collegiate level, and not the umbrella for all things race-based and diversity, equity and inclusion related.  The notion of intersectionality, also introduced by Crenshaw, is key to critical race theory as it allows us to see the inter-connectedness of other dimensions of identity and social structure. Intersectionality enables us to recognize the fact that perceived group membership can make people vulnerable to various forms of bias, yet because we are simultaneously members of many groups, our complex identities can shape the specific way we each experience that bias. For example, men and women can often experience racism differently, just as women of different races can experience sexism differently.

Capitalism is the prevailing economic system in modern history. And to understand its structure and function, we must know its relationship to racism, genocide and systemic inequities. Capitalism has been intrinsically tied to the exploitation of one population for the benefit of another population and matured out of the slave plantations to a system based upon labor that is “free,” waged, and homogenous. We believe that “racial capitalism,” the process of deriving value from the racial identity of others, remains prevalent today and harms the individuals affected and society as a whole.

We have to keep learning! The more we know, the more equipped we are to dismantle oppressive systems and eliminate racism. I included links to the blogs above where you can learn more. Please feel free to also visit to learn more about our mission and our work. Thank you.

Shelley Carthen Watson
President and CEO
YWCA Minneapolis