What can we do today to interrupt racism and white supremacy as individuals living within this broken system?
If you have five minutes...
This video clip of Joy DeGruy in Shakti Butler’s video Cracking the Codes offers an example of how to use white privilege as a tool.
Don't be a Bystander: 6 Tips for Responding to Racist Attacks
What Can Quakers do to Combat Islamophobia
All of these movements really benefit when there are allies that are engaged, and what I mean by engaged isn’t leading those movements per se; what I mean by “engaged” is people who are holding their peers accountable.
Original video from QuakerSpeak.com A project of Friends Journal. See also AFSC's resource: 5 things your congregation can do to combat Islamaphobia
If you have twenty minutes...
Read this essay, Emancipation without Freedom by Jose Santos Woss and Aristotle Jones, Western Friend, July & August 2017, which spells out specific suggestions for Quakers who seek to address mass incarceration.
Before we can begin to change this system, we have to stop the denial, embrace the truth, and confront our history. We must understand that racial caste systems can thrive even without racial hostility or overt bigotry; they only need indifference.
Or listen to this podcast: The Code Switch Guide To Handling Casual Racism (24 minutes)
Awkward comments. Rude questions. Casual racism. What do you do when it happens in your presence? The mental calculus is hard enough. It gets even harder when the comment is coming from your friends or family. Gene, Shereen, and Karen from Code Switch along with special guest Nicole Chung share stories and search for solutions.
Consider this set of self-reflection questions for people with privilege that offer guidelines for equalizing power within relationships:
If you have an hour...
Building Accountable Relationships with Communities of Color: Some Lessons Learned by the Pax Christi Anti-Racism Team, November 15, 2007. This article was written for a Catholic movement for peace and justice. What wisdom can it offer Quaker meetings for forming authentic relationships of solidarity with Communities of Color?
This is not easy for White folks to do; even for those who are committed to the nonviolent struggle for peace with justice on the side of those who are oppressed and marginalized. Many White progressives are so used to speaking and acting on behalf of People of Color that they sometimes fall into the trap of thinking they have the right to speak and act for People of Color. While White progressives are good at taking account of People of Color in their public statements and campaigns, they don’t always make themselves accountable to People of Color. Allowing People of Color to have their own voice, even when they say things that don’t fit into White Progressive’s preconceived notions, ideologies or theologies about them can be very challenging to White folks. Being in accountable relationships means not making assumptions about People of Color and allowing them to speak for themselves.
Questions for Conversation and Journaling
- Which of the techniques mentioned above, or that have been mentioned in previous materials or by other participants, are ones that you feel comfortable engaging in or modifying to do anti-racism work in your meeting and in the world?
- If you are feeling discomfort, what would help you get where you need to be to take action? What support do you need? What discernment do you still feel you need to undertake?