Sometimes We Must Interfere

Sometimes we must interfere
Digitally Lit #249 – 6/6/2020

Hi all, welcome to issue #249 of Digitally Literate. Each week in this newsletter, I synthesize the news of the week in education, technology, & literacy. Thank you for joining us.

This week’s issue was a very hard one to pull together. I hope you find value in this.

I also helped post the following:

  • Do I really have to read & write? – Elinor Lister provides ways that teachers can create engaging and meaningful ways for teachers across content areas to implement reading and writing in the classroom.

If you haven’t already, please subscribe if you would like this newsletter to show up in your inbox. Feel free to reach out and let me know what you think of this work at


Generations of Pain


Curtis Hayes Jr., 31, roared his way into the American psyche with a furious message for two black protesters — one 14 years older than him, one 15 years younger — who were trying to make a stand against American racism, a problem ages older than any of them.

Read more here. The transcript is available here.


How Western media would cover Minneapolis if it happened in another country

The ongoing protests following the killing of George Floyd were caught up in violence again throughout the past week. Much of the story on the local news and social media focused on the violence of the protesters. There is mounting evidence that police, and outside accelerationists are to blame for much of the destruction we’ve seen in these events.

Violent protests are not the story. Police violence is.

We should also consider whether cellphone videos of black people’s deaths should be considered sacred, like lynching photographs.

Stop viewing footage of black people dying so casually. Instead, cellphone videos of vigilante violence and fatal police encounters should be viewed like lynching photographs – with solemn reserve and careful circulation.

How to Avoid Spreading Misinformation About the Protests

As the protests surge, misinformation about the situation is also surging online. These information streams would make you think that George Floyd’s death never happened, or pin the blame on radical left anarchists, or ANTIFA.

In the post above, Whitney Phillips indicates that minimizing the harms of polluted information is a social justice issue and it is the only way we all can keep from drowning.

K-Pop Fans Have Been Vanquishing Racist Hashtags and Police Apps. Who had “K-pop fans go to war online in service of Black Lives Matter” on their 2020 bingo card?

What it means to be anti-racist

Discussions of racism and anti-racism have been getting a lot of attention in recent days as Americans around the country rise up against police violence.

In this, I see a number of white folks that are struggling with understanding systemic racism, institutional racism, and privilege. The following video is an excellent lesson about privilege.


Courtney Ariel provides guidance for white friends desiring to be allies.

  • Listen more, talk less;
  • Try to listen and sit with someone else’s experience;
  • Educate yourself about systemic racism in this country. Use your voice and influence to direct the folks that walk alongside you in real life (or follow you on the internet), toward the voice of someone that is living a marginalized/disenfranchised experience;
  • Come into a place of awareness. Please take several seats;
  • Ask when you don’t know, but do the work first;
  • Stop talking about colorblindness.

I have made these mistakes several times, and I will most likely make them again. I’m thankful for the trust and guidance from colleagues and friends as they show me compassion.

How to Protest Safely in the Age of Surveillance

Law enforcement has more tools than ever to track your movements and access your communications. Here’s how to protect your privacy if you plan to protest.

The human rights organization WITNESS provides guidance on how to safely and ethically film police misconduct.

Building Kids’ Resilience through Play Is More Crucial Than Ever

For years, educators have been challenged with preparing students for jobs and technology that don’t even exist yet.

What was already an ambitious task for the global education system has been amplified, and the uncertainty today’s students face is even greater.

How will you build…and help others build…the social, emotional, physical & cognitive skills needed now and in the future?


Do The Work.

For white people who are interested in getting more intentional about deepening their understanding of racism and anti-racism work…it is time to do the work. First listen, then learn.

Next week I’m helping to start up an anti-racist reading group. I’ll share more info soon. We’ll select materials from this list of world-saving books from Baratunde Thurston.



I swore never to be silent whenever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.

Elie Wiesel

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Digitally Literate is a weekly review of the news, notes, tips, and tricks from the week that resonated with me.

Hip-Hop friends & fans – Run The Jewels released their latest RTJ4 a couple of days early with a free download. Instead of purchasing the album, they ask that you donate to a charity. Please note, this music is NSFW. It contains bad words…consider yourself warned.

One of my favorites is walking in the snow. @KillerMike is straight fire in the middle of the track. Please note, this was recorded last fall. The lyrics are referencing the 2014 killing of Eric Garner. It contains many questions for those of is in education.

Connect at or on the social network of your choice.

1 comment

  1. Aaron Davis
    June 8, 2020 at 8:03 am

    Thank you for your links and coverage Ian. I am interested in your book club.
    In regards to Run the Jewel, I thought NPR’s decision to scrap New Music to focus on RTJ4.

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