Moving Forward as White People
My sense is that as white people - frequently - we:
1. Directly related to how much privilege we have, we tend to remain silent as long as we are in our comfort zone within our privilege,
Example: We used to only be mildly bothered by systemic racist and its persistence - either not seeing it, or seeing it as isolated incidents, or not that major things etc. and/or we had other priorities that dwarfed it.
2. When we feel discomfort taking us out of our comfort zone(s), we commonly begin delving into the new dissonance that we feel
Example: The George Floyd killing took many of us out of our comfort zone,
3. As we process and work through the discomfort many of us find a deepening (positive) challenge that contains discomfort - but also has resolve - to move forward positively - feeling the importance of what we are doing - the necessity of sustaining what we are doing.
Example: We seek additional self-education such as in this course as well as building allies doing the work, etc.
4. In seriously beginning our work we notice multiple challenges among those around us including:
a. Vested interests - opposing us: Example: The upper-class/establishment opposition,
b. Peers - who may have - for example - been "in the streets with us" - a year ago - but are "fatigued" or "moving on in their lives" and/or don't seem to take the systemic/persistent nature of Racism (as well as Classism, Sexism, Homo/Lesbian/Trans phobias)- anywhere near as seriously as we do,
c. Others - who seem apathetic in general
d. People - with Varying levels of seeming opposition to us - particularly noted when they are close to us such as family members, co-workers, members of congregations of our religious faiths (when we are members of religious institutions)
5. As we grow in our work, we learn various lessons (here I personally have MUCH work to do) - apart of our basic needs for self-education and sharing what we learn with others such as:
a. The importance of our personal/spiritual, heart-felt cores,
b. The significance of working - building allies in our work,
c. The importance of being effective - reaching others - as opposed to "being right",
d. How we can best sustain ourselves in doing the work - avoiding burnout and feeling fulfilled and challenged together,
e. Both our commonalities - and our differences - how important both are,
f. How we can maximize our strengths - and minimize our limitations,
g. The beauty and love - of others - including allies, potential allies, others we care about and (hopefully) significant numbers of people (seemingly at least) in opposition to us.
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