I am taking the 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge. Each day I will be taking time with the prompts, and I will be sharing my reflections/thoughts. I encourage our audience to take this challenge with me to start your own self-reflection journey, start understanding and building empathy for people who are not like yourself, learn more about racial inequity in our food system, and ultimately learn how we can better support the Black people in our community.
If you feel comfortable, I encourage our audience to share your thoughts and reflections in the comments below. Our social media pages have several thousand followers, and I want to leverage our platforms as a space that encourages learning, that feels safe and inclusive. So here we go, let’s dig in.
Click here to read the previous blog post.
Day 5: Whiteness and Anti-Blackness
What is whiteness or white privilege?
“you can see how white people and people of color experience the world in very different ways. But listen: This is not said to make white people feel guilty about their privilege. It’s not your fault that you were born with white skin and experience these privileges. But whether you realize it or not, you do benefit from it, and it is your fault if you don’t maintain awareness of that fact.” (“Explaining White Privilege To A Broke White Person”; 2014)
What is anti-blackness?
“Racism is a combination of prejudice, discrimination, violence, and institutions that reproduce racial inequality and injustice, regardless of intent. Our schools, neighborhoods, and criminal-punishment system actively privilege whites at the expense of people of color, even when the rules governing these systems are racially “neutral.” Anti-blackness entails all this and more. It is not simply about hating or penalizing black people. It is about the debasement of black humanity, utter indifference to black suffering, and the denial of black people’s right to exist.” (“Ferguson must force us to face anti-blackness”; 2014)
Honestly I took a break from theses reflections for personal reasons. It’s an understatement to say that, because of the pandemic and isolation social media has been overwhelming. I constantly feel like I’m not doing enough to help Black Lives Matter movement, protest against police brutality and for justice, educate myself, and also donate to organizations. Good thing this reflection is about privilege, because my ability to take a break does come from a place of privilege.
There are a lot of new terms and concepts that I’ve learned about race, and privilege in the past few weeks. I’ve always known there are ways I’m privileged and ways that I am not, but diving into the privilege of my race has always been a complex web for me. I benefited from being adopted into a white household, and growing up with their white privilege protecting me. And I think the least I can do is to turn my privilege into action.
Here are some of my actions:
- Educating myself, reflecting about my own racist behavior, and continuously unlearning whatever bias/habits I have been doing. Knowledge is power!
- Books written by black authors
- Shows and movies
- Attend (virtual) lectures or forums with Black speakers
- Voting for state and national elections
- Vote for more diversity & inclusion initiatives in your workplace
- Vote for the team captain that makes your team a safe space for all (or maybe you’re that leader!)
- Signing petitions
- Showing up to protests
- Donating to organizations
- Supporting black owned businesses
- Follow BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) accounts in whatever areas you’re interested in.
- Making a conscious effort to add other voices to your social media platforms might help you understand what that individual is going through
- Create a long-term plan that will support Black people in your community, and FOLLOW THROUGH.
- “Every month, I will spend $X on black-owned businesses or donate to XYZ organizations”
- “I pledge to read 3 books that were written by black authors”
- “I will call out family members who share racist views and try to educate them on why that mentality is harmful and hurtful”
- “I will volunteer in the communities where predominantly Black and Brown people live”
- “I will call myself out if I’ve made a mistake and not let it slide”
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post. Click here for more prompts, and click here for more resources. Feel free to share your own reflections and thoughts in the comments below. Please keep in mind that we are all lifelong learners, our experiences are all unique, and this is a safe-inclusive space.