(definition) anti-racism includes beliefs, actions, movements, and policies adopted or developed to oppose racism. “Anti-racism can be defined as some form of focused and sustained action, which includes inter-cultural, inter-faith, multi-lingual and inter-abled (i.e. differently abled) communities with the intent to change a system or an institutional policy, practice, or procedure which has racist effects.” – Wikipedia
As many of you are doing, I’m taking the time to listen and to learn from trusted resources on the topic of how to best support and contribute to antiracism. Here are a few points on how you can show up better and be part of the experience to grow and educate others for indefinite change and equality on antiracism.
1. #ALLLIVESMATTER misses the point of the topic. This puts a foot on the throat of #BLACKLIVESMATTER. Black lives matter doesn’t mean that all lives don’t matter. When the focus in topic is on listening to what needs to be heard, let it remain the focus.
2. Relating without experience is diminishing. When you try to relate to something you can’t relate to because you haven’t lived it, you diminish the voice of the person trying to share with you. Empathy is a nice thing, but if you haven’t walked those shoes there is no true comparison.
3. Listen to learn not to respond, react or fix. Hold space! Many of us want to “get it done” and “fix it” now and that’s simply not realistic. Often times the point is listening and holding space, not taking immediate action. Action and listening can coexist. Listen first and hold space. It’s so important.
4. Microagressions are offensive. I.e. “I had a black friend growing up”. Out of context and without any relevance to what’s being talked about in conversation saying something like this is offensive and confusing. Kind of like, “thank you. Now what was your point?” (in saying that)
5. Be open to feedback and keep asking questions. Keep showing and asking questions! Be prepared to feel the lash back of an open wound just like you feel when your open wounds are touched. Don’t stop being curious and caring just because you might get put in your place learning along the way.
Resources: FB Group, “The Intimacy of Race”, Shanda Sumpter (go watch the IGTV that these points are coming from), Eva Medlik (joins Shanda in the IGTV live I reference to graciously share these points with us).