This week I’ve become aware that my brand of white supremacy is ignorance. Not being in spaces to hear BIPOC communicating with each other about current events. I haven’t sought out, heard or listened to the outrage, pain and devastation about the black & brown lives that are lost and how exhausted BIPOC are from grieving, fighting and bearing the weight of it all for so long. I hadn’t witnessed the tone deaf commentary of many white women that enter a space and expect to be catered to. I hadn’t realized my own expectations of being catered to, invited, made to feel welcome and to have my hand held through anything that I wasn’t familiar with. I’m upholding white supremacy by denying all that is deemed less than in a system that wields white power and suppresses black & brown lives by devaluing, exploiting, dehumanizing and abusing.
I thought that being far from extreme, blatant, outspoken white supremacy meant that racism wasn’t something that I needed to worry much about. I’ve always noticed the awkwardness in my behavior towards BIPOC, but I thought it was my own insecurity and possibly a normal experience based on our racial history. I had the belief that things were getting better & that it takes time. I wasn’t in a rush or motivated to change my life or go out of my way to get involved because I thought that is was the business of BIPOC to fight for their own equality, like I’d seen white women fight for their rights and LGBTQ people fight for theirs. I thought that symbols of support and Facebook likes were good enough. Anything more made me feel generous and like a good person.
My personal anti-racism work is to stay engaged, keep my eyes and ears open, and lookout ways that I try to save BIPOC, value my experience, opinions (even my life) over BIPOC, and question why and how I benefit from my own racism.
I’m starting to have more conversations about race with my friends and family. I am reading 2-3 books a week by black feminists and listening to several podcasts about race by WOC. I’m holding back a bit to make sure I’m not being performative or feeling motivated by saviorism. I’m proceeding carefully and slowly to stay in a good way.
This is in response to Layla Saad‘s 28 Day #MeAndWhiteSupremacy Instagram Challenge. @wildmysticwoman
Day 21: “You know the drill. It’s time for our week 3 reflect prompt – What have you learnt so far about You & White Supremacy. Only comment on this post if you have completed days 1-20 of the challenge.
This week we covered White Apathy, White Centering, Tokenism, White Saviourism, Optical Allyship and Being Called Out. What more have you learnt about yourself and your unique, personal brand of white supremacy? In what ways have you realised behaviours you’ve thought ‘weren’t that bad’ were actually super harmful? Where are you beginning to see your biggest work is when it comes to your personal anti-racism work? Where are you starting to do your work, and where are you still holding back? What other dots have you started connecting when reflecting on the last week and the last three weeks?” – Layla Saad