I was hesitant to write this post being painfully conscious of the fact that this movement is not about me. However, seeing as I have stayed silent in the past for my own comfort I will speak out now. Any examples or lessons I share are not meant as a teaching tool, I only want to post an honest and reflective account of my journey. If there is anything I have shared that appears tone-deaf, insensitive or detrimental in any way please let me know. I will endeavour to do better in the future
This is my first post since dedicating all my social media to amplifying melanated voices. Let’s be clear, one week of listening does not make up for centuries of institutional racism and willful ignorance. I am dedicated to learning and improving everyday for the rest of my life. When I have children I want to be able to tell them I did something in this time. I want to have the knowledge and skills to teach my children how to recognize their privilege and fight for equality.
My first step towards this is working through Layla Saad’s book Me and White Supremacy. I have difficulties processing information so downloaded the audiobook version. The parts are short and easily digestible which works for my learning style. The key message I took away from the introduction was to stop talking about how other white people behave and take on that label of a white person myself.
The first actionable chapter delves into White Privilege, a topic I thought I was pretty familiar with. However, there were many points which I had not considered before. I had to force myself to think critically about my own actions, or more typically lack of action. Saad takes select examples from Peggy McIntosh’s list, Daily effects of white privilege and asks the reader to list when they have benefitted from the colour of their skin. The final question of this chapter asks What have I learned about my white privilege that makes me uncomfortable?
My white privilege allows me to stay silent on issues around racism when it may have a negative impact on my life.
I have allowed a builder to talk disparagingly about asian clients. I stayed silent as I feared calling him out on his racism would effect the work on my house.
There is nothing I can do about this now apart from learn and do better in the future.
I blocked members of my family instead of confronting them about their racist posts.
I am now following said members again and called out a post from my uncle. I know this will probably not change his mind but I am no longer complicit in his bigotry through my own silence. There are more ways than I can count in which i have benefitted from white privilege. I’ll continue to work through Me and White Supremacy, buy from black and allied businesses, donate to BLM funds, sign petitions and write to my MP.
Thanks for reading, I used to end these posts with Stay kind, stay safe, stay home if you can. This doesn’t feel right for the current moment. Many cannot stay safe despite every effort and those protesting should not stay home. I will now end my post with a quote from someone much wiser than me.
To bring about change, you must not be afraid to take the first step. We will fail when we fail to try.Rosa Parks
Today I Wrote 1077 words