In the period June 2019-October 2020, Mr. Shull made at least 45 Facebook posts, targeting Muslims, immigrants, people of color and other marginalized groups, that displayed racist or hateful behavior. In addition, his public speeches and emails in the period August 2020- January 2021 also revealed a disturbing pattern of racist or hateful ideologies and behaviors. This sustained behavior is antithetical to the ability to serve as a public official who must be sensitive to the needs of all members of a diverse community.
What empirical evidence is there to show that Mark Shull is becoming antiracist/anti-hate?
Commissioner Shull’s question can easily be turned back on him. What empirical evidence is there that Mr. Shull is working to become an antiracist or someone who opposes hate in all its forms? What behaviors has Mr. Shull showed that demonstrate a true commitment to antiracism?
The AntiRacist Table, a website founded by people dedicated to being changemakers, created a list of ten behaviors that demonstrate antiracism. (The AntiRacist Table, n.d.) They are presented in the table below, along with corresponding racist or hateful behaviors. (Obear, 2020) (University of Minnesota School of Public Health, n.d.) Although the original table was created to specifically address racism; the behaviors it outlines are also applicable to anti-hate behavior.
|Racist or Hateful Behavior
|Intention – Set and live in the intention to cultivate an AntiRacist America and take action that dismantles racist policies.
|Inaction– Work to maintain the status quo and protect the advantages and privileges whites receive. Make statements to deny racial biases such as “I’m not a racist. I have several Black friends.” Maintain racist ideologies rather than work to change them.
|AntiRacist – Create AntiRacist policies and engage in the world as an AntiRacist.
|Opposition– Work against policies that help people of color or other groups.
|Individuality – See individuals as individuals– positive or negative qualities of the individual are not attributed to all.
|Generalization- Make broad statements about a group that imply they all look/act/believe the same.
|Equality – Hold all groups of people–race, color, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion, ability, age, and any intersectionality, as equal.
|Disrespect –Make demeaning statements about groups or individuals based on their race, ethnicity, religion, etc.
|Empathy – Cultivate empathy by rehumanizing the dehumanized.
|Rationalization– Don’t notice the daily indignities that people of color or other groups experience; deny these dynamics and rationalize them away. Blame people for the racist barriers and challenges they experience; believe that if they “worked harder” they could “pull themselves up by their bootstraps” Rationalize away racist or hateful treatment as individual incidents or the result of something the person did or failed to do.
|Courage – Put courage, compassion, and vulnerability over comfort.
|Defensiveness– Defensively focus on “good intent” and lack of malice rather than on the negative racist or hateful impact of behaviors. View it as an “attack” if confronted by a person of color, and focus on and critique HOW they engaged you, not your original racist or hateful comments or behaviors.
|Allies – Recruit and support partners committed to AntiRacist work.
|False Allies- Exaggerate the level of intimacy I have with individual people of color or other marginalized groups.
|Humanity – Take actions that support humanity.
|Divisiveness- Take actions that create divisiveness, sow hatred, stoke prejudice or create harmful environments.
|Love – Choose love and healing over fear and oppression
|Hurtfulness– Continue to spread or make racist or hateful comments, memes and materials.
|Educate – Educate yourself and honor the history of others
|Superiority– Believe that white/European cultural norms, practices, and values are superior and better. Choose to remain ignorant of the issues that people of color and other groups face.
At present, there is little to no concrete evidence from his public positions, votes or actions that Mr. Shull is displaying any of these antiracist/anti-hate behaviors. As we show examples of Mr. Shull’s actions, we will point out how they work at cross-purposes to these positive behaviors and demonstrate racist or hateful behavior.
As an example of the learning that Mr. Shull still needs to undertake, he showed very little understanding of the concepts of equity and inclusion when asked, during a candidate debate, to address them. (Clackamas County Business Association, 2020)