The past few days have been another horrible display of what POC face in this country.
And please, fellow white folx (disclosure: I’m white), don’t say things like “how could this happen” and “this is not the America I remember” or whatever other platitude. Because of COURSE it happens here and the only reason you don’t remember it happening is because you didn’t see it or you didn’t recognize it for what it was. This country was founded on and built by racism and systemic inequalities that remain to this day. And it’s on each of us (especially those of us who are white) to learn how to recognize it so that we can do the work of dismantling it.
So I don’t have any words of wisdom, but I do have some resources for white folx, so we can start educating ourselves about how to be better allies, and how to open our eyes to the systemic -isms and toxic systems in which we exist, and how to get rid of them.
It’s not enough to be “not racist.” The goal here is to be ANTIracist.
That said, here are some antiracism resources for white people:
Google Doc, antiracism resources (I’m working my way through this)
White Anti-Racism: Living the Legacy
This here is a big long amazing list. Cruise through it and think about each of the suggestions made and pick a few that you commit to doing (I’m doing this):
75 Things White People Can Do for Social Justice
17 Books on Race Every White Person Needs to Read (I’m currently working my way through this list, too, so come on and join me!)
Since a lot of you who hang out at Women and Words are readers, number 38 of the previous list is:
decolonize your bookshelf. I’m working on this, too, and have greatly expanded my reading lists over the past few years.
Finally, I’m reminded of the words of author, comedienne, activist, and blogger Luvvie Ajayi on a blog she did a few years ago:
“Commit yourself to fixing this. You are not helpless. We no longer need white allies, but white co-conspirators.” Don’t just talk about this, she says. really BE about this life and ACT. “Get to work, white folks. Because we’ve tried. God knows we’ve tried. FIX IT. I don’t know exactly how but shit. Create an app or something. Just fix this. GET. TO. WORK.”
And please watch her TED talk, “Getting Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable.” Ten minutes that I know you’ll find inspiration in.
Let’s work, and be co-conspirators.