Honestly, I'm working that part out. I put my hand up and freely say "shit, I don't know what to do in this situation". My white guilt comes up. My privilege. Sleepless because of feelings of helplessness. Separation. Disconnection from the world in my isolated little lockdown bubble.
But what I do know is, even though I don't know, I am not being an accomplice to the awkward white silence. To the shameful avoidance of the gaze. To the hurried conversations, “onto the next topic please”. Scrolling over history as if this is "just another black riot".
Even though we white folks don’t know what to say, or how to say it, amid everything that has been happening over the last week (& we forget that actually it has been over the last few centuries) we must say something. Be afraid of fucking up & getting called out. I will be I’m sure. We must show we care. We must also raise our hands to admit that we actually don't know how to care "properly" or "appropriately". Our white tears have been called out, Bullshit. Our white saviour reflex has been spat upon. It's fair. We don't know what to do. I’ve learnt more about white privileged over the last few days than I have my whole life. Why does it take something like this to be the catalyst? I can’t apologise enough. I am vowing to do better. To do more. While I don’t live in the States, the ripples of what is happening are felt across the globe & it affects ALL humanity. There are so many things we are all feeling ~ a sense of grief, helplessness, rage, disbelief. And though I may not understand to the extent of the BIPOC and marginalised communities who have suffered & are suffering so brutally from vile oppression & racism - with my white privilege I need to do better. My white liberal response is not the one. We need to do better. This week, I said I would take myself off social media in solidarity of #amplifymelanatedvoices - yet I am considering how I can become more active. It's no wonder black communities around the world are outraged that only now white people are speaking out in their defence. Today is "Black Out Tuesday" where the world is invited to go offline in support, as well. But it takes more than a black square or 24-hours offline to make change. How I am vowing to do better is: I've signed up to a free course on racialized trauma, I've bought Rachel Cargle's Unpacking White Feminism seminar, and have ordered audio books on white supremacy & active anti-racism (listed below).
It's not enough to say "I'm not a racist", being an active anti-racist is the important one.
What is going on right now is showing me, like a slap in the face, how I need to educate myself where I am so lacking. It feels futile even to post anything, or write anything, a mere keyboard warrior, but perhaps it might encourage you if you’re reading this to do something, too? To speak out. To learn. Talk about it with your friends and family. Your community. Whether you're in Scandinavia, or Scotland, Costa Rica, Canada, or even in the States - this is a global issue. Social media seems so trivial in this climate, at the same time so powerful. I don't know if I'll stay off all week, or if I feel it will be more important to say more as I learn, even just to raise my hand and say "I'm with you."
I stand for ALL & Black Lives Matter (without a question) & what we are seeing in the world is a disgrace yet through the darkness is a beacon of light that we - white folks - are all realising that we have to be accountable for our part in it.
Some things we can all do now:
Prepare to get uncomfortable with conversations about race & our own ignorance
Take on more responsibility to step up our game with solidarity and support
Shut the fuck up and listen to what is needed rather than throw your own ego and wounding into the mix
Say anything that shows you care or that you are even aware of what's happening - don't stay silent and pretend you don't know because it's easier to
Don't get your knickers in a twist if you fuck up and say the wrong thing (you probably will) don't take it personally, it's not about you
Do take it personally if you are unfollowed or people to call you out, it means you haven't done enough (and again, repeat, it's not about you, it's a learning curve)
Acknowledge the pain and history of those in marginalised & prejudiced bodies - not just now but always
Pay black people for their work, don't ask your black mates (or white mates) to give you the answers or copy and paste "trending" captions - invest your time, money and energy into learning from black teachers, leaders, guides
Do better, do better, do better
Book list that I have seen recommended if you're wanting resources (as I did); Me and White Supremacy - Layla F Saad White Fragility - Robin Diangelo Why are all the black kids sitting together at the cafeteria? - Beverly Tatum My Grandmother's Hands - Resmaa Menakem Why I'm no longer talking about race - Reni Eddo-Lodge Ain't I a Woman? Black women and feminism - bell hooks White Rage - Carol Anderson The program I have signed up to is Cultural Somatics Free Racialized Trauma Course: https://culturalsomaticsuniversity.thinkific.com/courses/cultural-somatics-free-5-session-ecourse And Rachel Cargle's Unpacking White Feminism: https://www.rachelcargle.com/uwf-purchase By no means am I an expert or a "wayshower" in any of the above, I'm sharing with you my two-pence and hope that you take whatever resonates & action what feels right. But you should action something. To finish, my offerings are still running as usual. I am still committed to supporting ALL womxn 100% while I do my own work & social justice education. Although we sold out Feminine Mysteries on Sunday, I've opened up a tiny handful more spaces - click here to join us next Monday for a four week journey to explore the menstrual cycle through harnessing feminine archetypes & goddess energy.