I am a Racist ~ follow up

This is a follow up to my post I am a Racist on August 15, 2020.

Being or becoming anti-racist takes work, attention, listening, acknowledgment, a few stumbles and embracing the uncomfortable.

I’m reading a new book, “Everything You Already Know About Your Own Racism and How To Do Better  White Women” by Regina Jackson and Saira Rao.

Yes I recommend it!

On 12.6 I was able to see part of a book launch on LinkedIn for the book by Elizabeth Leiba, “I’m Not Yelling”.  I didn’t get to watch the entire event and I  haven’t ordered the book yet, but let me say this.

Black, women of color are not yelling. My hot take, you are hearing what you know deep down is wrong and your defenses are up.  Guilt or shame?  Let’s say it’s both.

  • Shame – I am flawed and unworthy – I’ve failed to make myself worthy and help to shine the light on women of color
  • Guilt – what I’ve done or failed to do that doesn’t match my values to shine light on women or just people of color.

(Brene Brown)

Me – I am ashamed because I don’t do enough to support and promote the voice of women of color.  I have guilt because my in action (or not doing enough) to be an ally, an anti-racist does not match my values.

Hearing yelling is a defense and a projection that as a white person, you know they are right but you refuse to own your racism and push it back to them so you can absolve yourself.

White Women pg 58: “at this point, a woman from the Arizona table turned and barked, “Not everything is about race.”

White women, I’m here to say, yes it is.  

A room full of just white women cannot advance the message of women if that room does not represent women.  ALL WOMEN, period.

If we are not willing to listen, engage and include “women” in our total fight for equality, if we are not willing to listen regardless of if we think one is “yelling”, we are letting our racism win. 

We need to dig deep to understand why as white women we continue to give other white women the advantage and not women of color.  More importantly we need to dig deep within ourselves our own DNA and ask, why do I feel or think that women of color are yelling?    I’ve found that the more I listen, the more I understand myself, the less yelling I hear.

I will fully admit that when I started my journey to listen, read and explore my racism, I often felt uncomfortable when listening to women of color speak to what was happening.  At the time my thought was, this is why no one (whites) will listen and it’s their out to not listen, so angry, so mad.  Well yeah!  You never yell or are mad about what’s happening?  

I see a few white “friends” on Facebook plenty angry and if I actually heard them say what they posted, they’d be yelling!  But then they are white, so they get to without retribution.  WRONG!

If you listen with a lens to understand what is inside you, what is deep or at the surface of you, I think you would hear something different.  When you’ve had it up to your eyeballs with being dismissed, disenfranchised or cast aside, you don’t get a little testy?  Oh yeah, right… 

They are speaking their ground truth and are speaking for millions, you aren’t hearing mad or divisive, you are hearing an exhausted journey being fought for others to be accountable, to be in the room and to have the exact say and opportunity that I and you as a white woman have had just because we are white.

If you don’t already know this, we(white) can no longer say, I’m not a racist.  Or I don’t have a racist bone in my body.  Bullshit!  We do!  I do and you do and we have to own it!

I had this idea the other day about a different kind of post on Facebook.  I find recently that in my world, the level of ridiculousness has exponentially topped out and is overflowing.  In the world and my little world.  I wanted or was curious who or if anyone would respond to this;

My first thought, this is Facebook, it will sit there with no interaction.  No comments, no questions, no likes, no emoji, no WTAF?  Who would dare, right?  My experience so far is no one really wants to have a real and true conversation to talk about real issues and potentially real solutions.  They just want to yell about the problem, and tell everyone the way they think it should be for everyone while saying don’t tread on me. Privilege.  

My hope at the no comments lies in my hope that, one – most will know better I’m testing it and two that no one believes either of those statements.  That said, there is a part of me that thinks there may be a few out there who are leaning into that and are out there yelling all the time.  Hey you don’t own the rights to “yelling”, especially if you are white.  You just don’t.

Here is short reading or listening list; (but there are SO many more)

Sonya Renee Taylor

Brittney Cooper

White Women

Layla Saad

If you read just the last two books and still think you don’t have racist tendencies or not a racist? Well, I have some bad news for you…

We, white people have to lean into the uncomfortable the discomfort to work our way to the other side.  We have to learn to listen to the message as it is delivered and learn  to understand our reaction or response to it.  I still get uncomfortable, or stop reading or listening, but not as often as I did.  Now often my uncomfortable is a reality that this is who we are, a racist, white supremacist country who’s idea of what makes America great is only  allowing certain voices to be heard, certain voices to be part of who we are and where we go.