Systemic racism and white supremacy is a pandemic that has sickened our society for too long. This is 2020. It is time for EVERYONE to be actively anti-racist. Here are 9 action steps for us, white people, to stop racism and end white supremacy.
1. Educating Ourselves
It’s on us white people to do the homework. We shouldn’t expect BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People Of Color) to correct us over and over again, share their personal stories, feelings, and emotions with us. There are already many educational resources provided by the BIPOC community that we can dig into. For anti-white supremacy and anti-racist educational resources check out blacklivesmatters.carrd.co. Scroll down for more books, movies, podcasts, and accounts we can learn from.
2. Sharing Knowledge
It is our responsibility to share educational resources on anti-racist and anti-white supremacy with other white folks. Stepping out of our comfort zone and engaging in uncomfortable conversations are essential for making change happen. We may face ignorance and white fragility but we don’t want to shy away from getting into debates with friends and family. We should never get tired of dismantling white supremacy. We must ensure that BIPOC don’t even have to have these conversations with us in the first place.
3. Listening & Honoring Feelings
We don’t understand what it feels like to live in fear, be judged, and discriminated against because of our skin color. So just listen without preparing answers in your head. When BIPOC decide to share their feelings and stories with us, we should never make them feel unheard or second-guess their experience. Be grateful for what BIPOC share with you. When asking questions, be mindful, and never forceful.
4. Taking Action vs. Feeling Guilty
Saying things like “I am so ashamed. I am sorry, I feel terrible” isn’t the solution. We should never make BIPOC’s everyday-struggles about ourselves. Rather we have to show compassion and turn resentment, anger and pain into action. It’s Time To Be Actively Anti-Racist!
What we can do: signing petitions, being an activist in anti-racist organizations, supporting BIPOC businesses, and donating and demanding justice by contacting public officials here. We have to SPEAK UP and strengthen the voices of BIPOC when we witness any kind of racism. Scroll down to find people who are committed to anti-racist work.
5. Understanding & Rejecting White Supremacy
Our system is entirely designed to benefit white people. The injustice, discrimination, and violence that colonialism brought with it don’t belong to the past. Post-Colonialism Is Real! We need to recognize that white people are, intentionally or unintentionally, actively benefiting from the oppression of BIPOC. To fight white supremacy, we must consciously reject it. This starts with making conscious choices every day.
We Must Ask Ourselves:
- Are we buying from companies that are actively anti-racist?
- Do we go to places such as clubs, bars, or restaurants that are inclusive?
- Does our educational institution represent cultural diversity?
- What’s the representation of BIPOC in the company we are working for?
We must refuse to support places reserved for white people only and step back from opportunities BIPOC don’t have. Only this way we can break the continuous spiral of white supremacy.
6. Using White Privilege For Progress vs. Stagnation
How can we use our white privilege to fight white supremacy? We must SPEAK UP when we witness any form of racism and we have to call out white supremacy, without exception. Our participation is essential. Janaya Khan, activist and international ambassador for Black Lives Matter, made a statement:
“It’s time for you to come out of the closet as anti-racists, as intersectional feminists, as freedom fighters, as abolitionists, and as revolutionaries. It’s time for you to come out of your fear and into your power. That is the call to action.”Janaya Khan
7. Acknowledging Mistakes And Learning From Them
We must not only challenge others but also ourselves. It is crucial to recognize that we all made mistakes. Because only when we recognize our mistakes and failures, we can learn from them. Staying critical, questioning our behavior and catching ourselves when making mistakes, including apologizing. We keep doing our research and learning.
8. Allying vs. Practicing Saviorism
We don’t get to tell BIPOC how to react in certain situations. Just as much as we don’t get to tell BIPOC how to protest. Example: Imagine someone killed your family member, and the murderer has not been prosecuted. In your rage, you destroy the murderer’s car. You will be put in jail for this, but the murderer goes free. That doesn’t sound fair, does it? We are a part of a powerful movement. We choose to ally, so we will be fighting together until justice is served.
9. Not Comparing Struggles
Of course, there are also white people who are not wealthy or who do not receive justice. Being white doesn’t mean we haven’t been through hard times. But imagine that all the difficult moments we have experienced would have been even more difficult if we were not white. Everything we worked so hard for, we would have had to work even harder if we weren’t white. Every dangerous situation we were in would have been even more dangerous if we were not white. This is why we have to challenge our entire system so we can fight and end systemic racism in any industry, such as fashion!
We Must Act For Social Justice. Here And NOW, Because:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
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- The Underground Railroad – Colson Whitehead
- The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – Rebecca Skloot
- Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race – Reni Eddo-Lodge
- How to Be an Antiracist – Dr.Kendi
- This Will Be My Undoing – Morgan Jerkings
- Women, Race, and Class by Angela Davis
- Ain’t I A Woman? by Bell Hooks
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- Recitatif by Toni Morrison
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- Possessive Investment In Whiteness by George Lipsitz
- This Bridge Called My Back by Cherríe Moraga & Gloria Anzaldúa
- Ain’t I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism by Bell Hooks
- For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf by Ntozake Shange
- How to be an Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi
- Me and White Supremacy by Layla F Saad
- White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
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