I am a racist, and it is my problem. What about you?
Last year I felt triggered almost every time I tuned into Facebook. The triggers were that there was something wrong with me because I am white. I felt constantly criticized and told I am wrong.
Now, no one was calling me out personally. I was a timid lurker in these mystifying and painful interactions.
The first awareness was Layla Saad's letter to Spiritual White women – and the ongoing online conversation that has not stopped.
I was convicted of my sin, as my Baptist ancestors would say. My sin is the sin of racism. Mostly unconscious, endemic, unacknowledged, and unmitigated racism.
Along with white privilege and white fragility and white centering, and appropriation and colonization. Many many unrepented sins of racism and wielding the weapons of whiteness. Triggered up my ass.
After a while, I couldn't ignore that this constant triggering was pointed to work I had to do, and changes I had to make. Fortunately, I am in relationships with white women doing the work, and they directed me to teachers.
In January of 2018, I took Catrice M. Jackson's 30 day course for white women. I recommend it to all white women in leadership and have a message and mission to share.
Starbucks ought to hire Catrice to do its “diversity training” day this month.
Catrice's class was hard. Real hard. I hated it. I hated the work that was insisting that I question everything about myself. Every word, thought, deed, and relationship.
The 30 Day Course is the beginning of dismantling my own racism and becoming aware of my weapons of whiteness. The work will last a lifetime.
** Becoming a true and effective ally with people of color is a long journey of failing and learning.
It's wicked uncomfortable. I am not there, not at all.
I confess to being in the performative and resistant phase of the work. I am grappling with things in my life that I don't want to deal with. And I won't come out as changed until I feel it inside my body as a real thing.
And I also don't like getting it wrong.
I can hear Catrice saying, Get over that fast, because black and brown people are dying while you worry about getting is wrong.
Which brings me to why I am writing today. The Danielle Laporte debacle. I have to say something. She is the latest white spiritual woman to be called on the racism embedded in her message and marketing.
If you are not aware of this story, look up her Facebook page, and read the pinned post with comments. Layla Saad along with dozens of other colleagues lovingly call her into awareness. No, I can't make myself link to it.
Yesterday I visited Danielle Laporte's website for the first time.
This woman built a worldwide empire of followers, customers, and clients who watch her every move. She launched a new program apparently without a clue of the dismantling racism movement that is going on all around her in her own industry.
She presented skin-surface imagery and program name that looks as if it was designed to offend and wound people of color. And she remains clueless.
Danielle went on the defensive, silencing the voices and effort put out to help her get it right.
Her next steps were to do everything wrong. And she led other women to keep getting it wrong and cling to their own racism.
I hope she will take a “giant ass pause” as one friend said, and invest in her own anti-racism work. She can make a big difference through her empire if she is willing.
And so can I, if I am willing.
I've been quiet about my own racism process.
I've been afraid.
Shit keeps coming up that I don't want to deal with. I get over that now.
My mission is to help human beings remember their intimate relationship with nature.
This mission can only be accomplished if racism ceases to exist. Racism is an abomination against nature.
Dismantling racism doesn't happen on the surface. Choosing pictures and words that are inclusive and diverse doesn't touch it.
I believe people of color when they tell me that racism is a white problem and it is white people's responsibility to change it and to change ourselves.
We have no excuse to remain unaware of what we are doing and how each one of us is doing it.
Dismantling racism, white colonization, white supremacy, white privilege, white fragility, white weapons, and STOPPING systemic genocide of darker skinned people –
This is OUR work, white people.
Black and Brown and Indigenous people are dying and WE are killing them.
Yes, you and I.
Start your education. Expose yourself to yourself.
Pay a woman of color to start the process with you.
http://www.shetalkswetalk.com/ Catrice M. Jackson's page for Anti-racism classes and live workshops for white women
This is just for starters. You'll find more when you follow these women.