This summer opened my eyes to some uncomfortable truths. Like many, I turned towards books like “White Fragility” to relieve BIPOC (Black and Indigenous People of Color) of the burden of educating me. Working through the journaling exercises in “White Supremacy and Me” with friends now is a humbling and uncomfortable experience.
|This "Love is an Action word" shirt is |
available at Mahogany Mommies,
a Black woman owned business
However, a half-year past the Black Lives Matter summer protests, white people should move into “doing” instead of just reading. Without action, it's just a literary form of performative allyship. Is reading a book and not changing behavior any different than the customers in this blog about the summer wave of anti-racist book sales who cancelled or never picked up their orders? The goal is for us to become better humans, not just go through the motions of ordering a book.
I’m asking myself the following questions and I invite white readers to do the same.
In the last six months, have you…
- held someone accountable for racially abusive jokes or statements made in your presence? (whether you “called them out” abruptly or “called them in” with love)
- “passed the mic” to BIPOC in work/social conversations when they were being talked over or dismissed?
- recommended BIPOC for jobs or speaking engagements?
- written letters of recommendation or made Linkedin recommendations for any BIPOC?
- engaged BIPOC for professional work or intentionally bought items from a BIPOC owned business like book stores or florists? (Semicolon in Chicago is a Black woman owned bookstore if you're looking for one!)
- taken an action to oppose a racist policy or to support reparations and racial justice policies?
- talked or written about racial oppression in your area of influence? (whether it's a job, a blog, or your kids)
I wish everyone well on their journeys as I stumble along in mine.
|My notes from the "Me and White Supremcy" book|
reflections are embarrassing to look at, but
critical to my personal progress