In light of ongoing racist incidences and protests in the USA and elsewhere, there have been growing resistance movements and conversations of systemic and structural racism in society. In solidarity with #ShutDownSTEM, #ShutDownAcademia, #Strike4BlackLives and #BlackInTheIvory in early June 2020, we started pondering easy ways for people to think about systemic racism and how to combat it in academia and STEM fields. This started as a Twitter discussion that quickly morphed into a collaboration. We came up with Bingo Cards that succinctly capture ideas and thoughts that have been thoroughly researched, documented, and extensively discussed in detail by anti-racist, feminist, and social justice scholars and activists (see some resources at end). These Bingo Cards can start off conversations that are necessary, encourage reflection and accountability, and foster ongoing discussions for transformative justice.
The Racist Bullsh*t Bingo Cards (#STEMBingo Cards)
These Bingo Cards serve as a reminder that whatever anti-racist education we undertake ourselves, the actual anti-racism behavior begins by shutting down the racist bullsh*t we encounter in academic and STEM on a regular basis. So, certainly consume the anti-racism resources available, but bring those lessons to bear in your own communities.
Moreover, we also want to clarify that how one might hear bullsh*t, respond to bullsh*t, and act to correct racist bullsh*it highly depends on your intersectional positionality in the gender and racial hierarchy of institutions, as well as across a hierarchy of professional risk, power, and safety. So, none of these responses or actions are meant to be universal. Nor do they provide a proper contextualization for trauma-informed approaches to social justice work. So, as you listen and engage, or as you consider using these bingo cards, take care to notice and attend to the response of your body and please prioritize your wellbeing.
The first card consists of common racist tropes and bullshit that occur more generally in academia and STEM. These are comments you may hear in discussions with colleagues.
The second card consists of some responses that can be used to call out the above-mentioned bullshit. These are more gut-level responses, and they include a fair amount of sarcasm or frustration that many of us feel.
The third card consists of visions that are necessary to fight structural and institutional racism for transformative justice. These are statements to help move the conversation forward, ground the conversation in effective change, and provide a vision of what the future would look like if we can get there.
To pair with the “Vision” card (the third card), we recommend the following curated resources that we appreciate in moving this conversation forward on university campuses, in committees, in relationships, and in the culture and more widely. These are only some suggestions, there are many more out there.
Scaffolded Anti-Racist Resources: https://docs.google.com/document/u/1/d/1PrAq4iBNb4nVIcTsLcNlW8zjaQXBLkWayL8EaPlh0bc/mobilebasic
Anti-Racist Resources: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BRlF2_zhNe86SGgHa6-VlBO-QgirITwCTugSfKie5Fs/preview?pru=AAABcnZds8Y*BosNWbot9-ulTo9FajbiNA&fbclid=IwAR3Qp4sZO-mBv-0z2_ftOlbU8AwjFG8AsJFDbYv4MWepC313v1–31lTatw
STEM planning guidelines: https://www.shutdownstem.com/your-plan
You can’t defeat racism with “reading lists”: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jun/12/anti-racist-reading-lists-educating-ourselves-in-the-streets
Farhana Sultana (Syracuse University, USA; @Prof_FSultana), Sarah Myhre (Rowan Institute, USA; @SarahEMyhre), Tessa Hill (University of California Davis, USA; @Tessa_M_Hill) and Priya Shukla (University of California Davis, USA; @priyology) first published this at https://medium.com/@rowan_institute/bingo-cards-for-racist-bullsh-t-in-academia-and-stem-db19a8ad8f7e on 13 June 2020.
For more on Antipode’s “Conjunctural Insurrections” series – an experiment to amplify voices often unheard and invisibilised in politics, daily life, and academic discourse – see https://antipodeonline.org/2020/06/23/conjunctural-insurrections/