So first and foremost I want to make it super clear without reservation that I stand with the #blacklivesmatter movement, that what happened to George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Sandra Bland, Mike Brown, Freddie Gray, and millions of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color is a moral stain on the soul of this country, and that white people have a moral obligation to listen and amplify black and brown voices above our own, to self-educate and educate other white people about antiracism, and to put our lives at risk for equal justice.
This is an essential episode of Inspiring Self-Compassion with Sarah McLain and I’m not going to talk about that particular why. I’m going to talk about a different why.
So I send all my love and compassion and strength toward Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.
The rest of this episode is for my white listeners.
Angela Davis once said, “In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be antiracist.”
My first, most essential identity is an anti-racist feminist.
I haven’t always been this way though. For a long time, I fell into the white liberal feminist camp and refused to recognize my white privilege much less address it in a meaningful way.
As recently as 2013, I was arguing that growing up in poverty was the same as growing up as a black or a brown person. It’s taken me a long time to openly say that the way I felt in those days, the things I said about color not mattering was absolutely racist. Yes, I was racist and I still have to actively work to be antiracist.
Now, as an anti-racist feminist albeit imperfect one, I absolutely believe that we must work toward an equality that can only happen after we have undone centuries of heteropatriarchal white supremacist systems. I’m a revolutionary at heart when it comes to these issues and given half a chance, I’d talk your ear off about injustices and overthrowing the toxic patriarchy.
These days, I actively work to make sure that black and brown voices (especially voices from women) are the first voices I run to and amplify when it comes to intersectional justice.
As an imperfect white ally always striving to do better, my second task is to actively educate the well-meaning white women in my life as to how they are complicit in racism and sending them invaluable resources.
If, at this moment, you are just moving along and not addressing it because it’s a political issue and you don’t want to rock the boat, I invite you to rethink your values.
Honestly, as so many people have already said, this is not a political issue, it’s a moral issue.
We have a moral responsibility to show up for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, to take on the risks that they’ve been enduring for years, and to actively change the situation.
You may ask why we should be vocal rather than letting the voices of people of color take precedence over our own.
We have to amplify their voices, but it’s important that we as white people do the emotional and educational labor for ourselves and for other white people in our sphere.
It’s not for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color to do the labor of antiracist work nor to share their struggles or emotions so that we can understand them – it is on us.
Why is it on us? Because we have political power and public voices that Black, Indigenous, and People of Color are frequently unable to access due to systemic inequality and government oppression.
Now is the time to learn to be antiracist.
Now is the time to practice antiracism.
Now is the time to be angry, morally and righteously angry at the systemic injustices that have taken so many brilliant and still unknown black, indigenous, and people of color before their time.
Now is the time to put ourselves at risk for equality and justice for all.
Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode:
Antiracism Resources: https://www.inspiringselfcompassion.com/antiracism
Next Week Sneak Peek
The Why of Self-Compassion