This post was compiled for white readers after input from a Black mentor as to what topics might be helpful at this time. She encouraged me to encourage you to practice discernment as you encounter contradictions, and, most importantly, to acknowledge and address anti-Blackness.
contradictions for white people in racial justice work
“White people are a particular liability in racial justice movements <-> White people have specific and critical roles in racial justice movements.
It can feel humiliating to have not participated meaningfully in racial justice work before now, and suddenly want to join <-> In order to grow stronger and win, the movement requires new people to join.
When you’re working on ending an oppression that you benefit from, people will rightly mistrust you and be hard on you <-> When you’re working on ending racism, it’s good to be nice to yourself and patient with yourself.
White activists need to listen to, defer to, and take leadership from POC <-> Because “POC” is not a monolithic identity that all believes one thing, white activists need to cultivate their own analysis and judgement over time.
One specific role for white people is being tough about holding one another accountable <-> Another key role for white people is extending compassion, care, and patience to other white people.
Racial justice work involves white people giving up or giving away their power <-> Another part of racial justice work is white people strategically using their power rather than hiding it, denying it, or pretending it doesn’t exist.”
We can hold contradictions and complexity as we stay consistent in our dedication to collective liberation.
Read “Call it what it is: Anti-Blackness,” a NYT opinion piece by kihana miraya ross with the conclusion, “So let’s stop saying racism killed George Floyd, or worse yet, that a racist police officer killed George Floyd. George Floyd was killed because anti-blackness is endemic to, and is central to how all of us make sense of the social, economic, historical and cultural dimensions of human life.” (Seriously, read that piece.)
“Too many people are acquiring knowledge about oppression and anti-Blackness rather than examining how they are active and complicit in anti-Blackness and oppression.” – Dr. Constance Iloh
“The question is not if anti-Blackness will show up, but how.” – Marisol Jiménez
In “Recognizing and dismantling your anti-Blackness,” Janice Gassman offers 3 ways to interrupt anti-Black bias in our daily lives.
In Asheville, I see anti-Blackness manifest in every area of life.
Fund the Uprising
Check out this call to action (with lots of specifics and links) from Claudia Horwitz: “Fund Us Like You Want Us to Win” — How White Folks Can Move Money NOW to Resource the Uprising and What Comes Next
Movement for Black Lives
I hope you’re following the Movement for Black Lives.
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