So, Want To Do Something About White Supremacy? Start Here
I would assume that by now we'd all agree that racism is a real thing and not a fallacy or figment of the oppressed imagination.
Whether it's concealed systematic racism or blatant and downright disrespectful, we could all do our part to combat the effects of racism in our lifetime and for future generations.
The thing is it'll take for people who are in positions of power to acknowledge their positioning and make it a point to check their privilege. And since you're reading this you are probably aware that the particular case in point here is white privilege.
White supremacy and privilege is not the only root cause of racism but it a major contributing factor to race relations in North America and worldwide. Dismantling this particular system of power may not create a utopian society but neither will completely ignoring it's existence.
But First, A Few Things You Need To Know:
White supremacy is a system. As in one that pushes the agenda of White people as superior to others and puts such ideologies into practice.
This is a very serious practice and can translate into outright violence as the tragic events that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia this past week.
It may be surprising for some White people to hear that one of the most important steps of the process is acknowledging, in their every day life, that they operate within a world that values them more than other races. This set of values or ideals are widespread and thus influence the way they see the world, i.e White privilege.
If you benefit from White privilege it's up to you to also play a part in dismantling it.
Andrea Del Moral of Colours Of Resistance (COR) states:
This is not my only work, and I do not consider it the "most important"work. It is necessary work for all white people, because it is our oblivion that allows it to continue oppressing. Most directly, white supremacy oppresses people of color, but it also hurts people with white skin privilege, as it divides us from everyone else, fills us with fear and misunderstanding, and denies all of us our collective power. Our oblivion is assent. Our awakening is the first step to freedom for us all.
The first step to addressing the problem is addressing all the intersected components that make it possible for a disempowering institution like white supremacy to function.
White supremacy cannot be accurately defined or understood if it is not examined in relation to other systems of oppression and everything else!
The representation of whiteness as superior can be seen at work, school, and even prison systems. It's found in literature, cinema and television.
Unfortunately, this is not a new ideal or problem. It's practically the foundation of America.
In school we are taught to participate in traditions that align with the harmful histories of American and the dismissal of all kinds of people and races that are not White.
What is taught through bias school curriculum perpetuates the exact hatred towards minority groups that enforces White supremacy.
You've got to make it your mission to learn the history of oppressed groups and do the work to make sure history does not repeat itself.
Often times people who benefit from privilege accept their place in society and rarely stand in solidarity with the oppressed. Rather they remain silent in the face of mistreatment and injustice.
Don't leave it up to people of color (who are already disenfranchised) to do all the work and advocate for themselves in spaces that do not allow for inclusion and diversity. For instance, you could question motives of authority at work and challenge human resources and cases of inequality.
Capital is a major contributing factor in accumulating power. Whether monetary gain is found in properties or through businesses, it plays a role in the overall ranking of any social group.
In order to put the power back into the hands of minority groups, people from more dominate groups must begin to support people and businesses that aren't necessary of the same class or race.
Another step is to stop supporting discriminatory companies altogether. Place your hard earned money into respectable businesses and art (that isn't appropriating any culture, of course).
Let's face it, it seems as though overt racism is at an all time high lately because of the current leader of the free world. But, that's not to say that beforehand hatred towards different ethnic groups seized to exist.
Demand that racial equity is a focal point of any candidate you vote for! The fate of the lives of Black and Brown people is essentially in the hand of government officials and your vote matters.
As a white person try to teach other white people of their privilege and history in North America and worldwide. Others may be unaware of the effects of their advantages simply based off of birth right and the color of their skin.
Introduce your friends and family to people and cultures outside of whiteness. Go so far as to take a second look at the characters in books your children are reading and intervene when they are unknowingly "other-ing" kids at their school.
Also, take the extra step to have uncomfortable conversations with other White people. Make anti-racism, anti-Islamophobia, and the fight against-Semitism a family value.
It's going to take chucking your ego and defensiveness out the window and really making an effort to see things through someone else's eyes.
When people of color are talking to you about your privilege you've got to acknowledge their feelings and create room to have open dialogue. Rather then completely dismissing their experiences and accusing minorities of playing "the race card."
Look, it's no secret you may benefit from the very systems of oppression that disrupt the lives of marginalized people but the good news is if you feel guilty or responsible in any way, there are steps you can take to play your part.
The most important step in dismantling white supremacy and in turn combating racism is never allowing white supremacists to live comfortably in their bigotry. If not for you, for your children and children's children or future generations period.
National Public Radio host Sam Sanders took to twitter, and asked the question,"How will you fight racism and White supremacy in your everyday life?"
Take A Look At Sanders' Tweets:
...although, taking the time to read through this article is a great first step!
Here are some other thread responses:
How do you feel about these steps in checking you and others' white privilege? Share and comment below.
Whoops. That snip was just a hair too far....
Your first bad haircut probably made you want to die a little when you looked in the mirror. Imagine how the person cutting your hair must have felt. Although, maybe they didn't care at all, as evidenced by the bs excuse they gave you when you finished in the barber chair.