I am learning to be an anti-racist. More than just “not being a racist,” which I don’t think is a thing, since I benefit from a system put in place by privileged people in power to keep the privileged in power; being an anti-racist is an active, continual practice of holding up a mirror to my life every day to ask where my racist blind spots are, and what I’m doing to address those blind spots.
As I learn, I will blog my findings so we can all help each other in the work of dismantling racism in our orbits.
Today’s learning is centered on work. Decolonization and dismantling racism is hard, emotional work. BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) have been doing this work for centuries because they have to. The generational trauma of years of oppression that they carry in their bodies is exhausting and draining. Yet, in community, they survive by telling the stories and knowing the past to discern the way forward. It’s our job to do the same.
Of course, to get started, listening to BIPOC voices is a good place to begin. If you are benefiting from following BIPOC voices on Twitter, if you have learned anything from another perspective, consider paying them for their work through Venmo or PayPal.
Equally important, if you are asking BIPOC voices on Twitter or Instagram or even in your own life to compile resources for you, or to tell you what to do and where to start, stop it. You can google search any number of topics related to racism, anti-racism and reconciliation. Do your own work, or ask your white friends to help you. Pool your brain power, borrow books from each other, and share articles with one another. Black people have been telling us what they need us to do for a while. It’s time to listen. Then act.
Here are some suggestions for people to follow on Twitter: Sierra White, Kaitlin Curtice, Rebecca Nagle, Andre Henry, Austin Channing Brown, Chanequa Walker – Barnes. I just learned of a new person to follow on Instagram, @LeesaReneeHall, who offers reflection and writing prompts on racism.
I’ve linked to this article, 75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice, in a previous post, but will add the link again because it is important and because it is being continually updated: https://medium.com/equality-includes-you/what-white-people-can-do-for-racial-justice-f2d18b0e0234
And another website I learned of this week: http://www.whitehomework.com
There are things we each can do in this quest for justice in our society and in our world. It starts with recognizing the blood on our country’s hands and a desire to help us not live into that legacy. One of Kaitlin Curtice’s mantras is “I believe in us.” I join her in believing in us – believing that we can do the hard work of inward reflection which shapes our actions and our futures.