Why “racisim is a white problem”? Isn’t racism everyone’s problem?
What I mean by the title of the blog is this:
- Racism is my people, white people’s, responsibility. Our issue. We need to own our place in the system. The system lives & thrives in us.
- Racism impacts white people. It isn’t just that we benefit from unearned privilege & power (employment/education/health care/housing/assumption-of-innocence-by-police). We are also purposefully and continuously kept ignorant about racism, so that we won’t challenge it.
- Racism lies to white people. It tell us that we’re superior. That the system is fair, objective. That people who get arrested are criminals.
- “White” is a problem, because race is a problem, because inherent in race (a social and political construct) is a hierarchy of power. The definition of “white” has changed over time, as different groups of people were included in the category to maintain structural systems of oppression and social control.
Yet, to say racism is a white problem is tricky, because:
- I don’t want to reinforce white dominance by speaking only to my group and making it all about us.
- I want to be involved in building connections, coalitions, with people of color.
So I’m uneasy with this blog title. And I think that might be ok for now.
What I want to do here is:
- Show up, be accountable, and call my people to take responsibility for resisting and dismantling racism.
- Be uncomfortable. Ask questions. Make mistakes. Practice not having answers.
- Change my mind. Revise my thinking. Learn.
- Share resources.
- Shout and rage and rant and weep and pray.
- Be vulnerable. Be authentic. Be soul-searchingly honest.
- Keep going. Follow the energy. Find new ways to nourish moving forward.
- Dialogue. Listen to those who disagree. Talk strategy. Talk heart.
- Organize & inspire direct action by my people.