Sunday, April 22, 2012

How to go from being non-racist to anti-racist

1.     Stay with discomfort
2.     Monitor defenses: being humble and keep mouth shut until you no longer feel defensive
3.     Allow guilt and transform it into motivation
4.     Think of racism as personal/interpersonal but be clear that these interpersonal interactions happen within systems and institutions- that the systems depend on people to reinforce them and that people can also reinforce systems of racism and oppression
5.     Keep a both/and attitude (as opposed to either/or). For example, many white people have worked hard to get what they have AND they had a lot of help from the benefits of white privilege
6.     Be vigilantly mindful: at any given moment consider how whiteness and privilege are playing out or have played out in this moment.
7.     Take active responsibility for the personal behavior AND the systematic arrangements in your community. Do not enact the privilege of being able to live seemingly unaffected by these issues- the privilege of non-action
8.     Consider the costs of white supremacy/privilege for the dominant (white) group.
9.     Do your best to make racism and whiteness visible by naming it when you see it- out loud, even if it may damage personal bonds with other white people
10. Get comfortable with resistance and defensiveness- don’t let your ego be bothered by people’s responses to your concerns.
11. Stop believing that addressing issues like this is an extracurricular activity called “activism”- this is an issue of human and communal suffering, not politics