A former student and current college student sent me an email with the subject line “How Do I Open Their Eyes?”
Their story is one that resonates with me since they have found themselves quarantined during Covid-19 “with my parents and neighbors, all of which I would say are very religiously right leaning.” During the more recent re-energized #BlackLivesMatter movement, they have experienced yet another challenge as they confronted those around them to support #BLM, but “was unable to get a word in because I was simply outnumbered by conservative white men.”
This is a journey that fits into this racism scale that details the challenges facing white people who genuinely seek to rise to the level of allyship/abolitionist:
The work of dismantling racism includes confronting whiteness and white privilege in order to eradicate both—and this is the work of white people in confrontation with white people.
There is a sizable faction of “conservative white men” who will not listen, will never listen, and will never move beyond their white fragility and white denial.
But racism cannot be overcome in a state of fatalism.
Here then is a reader, some resources for doing the work by white people and for white people who aspire to allyship/abolitionist:
- Reverse Racism Myth
- What Is “Reverse Racism”? Here’s Why It Doesn’t Actually Exist in the United States
- UPDATE 13 February 2020: Grit, Education Narratives Veneer for White, Wealth Privilege
- “White Fragility,” Robin DiAngelo
- Rethinking “A monolithic and stereotypical understanding of rural identity” (Melissa Range, poet)
- James Baldwin speech in Berkeley (1979)
- U.S. Policing a Systemic, not a “Bad Apple” Problem
- July 2016 #BlackLivesMatter Reader (UPDATED)
- Clemson’s Tillman Hall and the Tragedy of Southern Tradition