White People: Increase Your Racial Stamina: Take The Pledge
In The Subtle Linguistics of Polite White Supremacy, Yawo Brown explains 3 key ingredients to polite white supremacy: Comfort, Control, and Confidentiality. In Allies Who Are Not Allies, Eponymous Fliponymous illustrates the damage that results when would be allies center themselves instead of the people they say that they’re trying to help.
“Here’s the thing. If you are a person who is white who is truly concerned about racial justice, you need to really ask yourself why you’re in it.
If being called out in a way that doesn’t pat you on the back, and cater to your need to be seen as a “one of the good ones”; if being told that what you are doing is problematic, that you aren’t doing enough, or that you need to change directions is “the thing” that would cause you to withdraw your support, then you were never an “ally” in the first place.”
—From my note: We Are Not Beholden to Our “Allies”
In her paper describing 11 Ways White America Avoids Taking Responsibility for its Racism, Dr. Robin DiAngelo discusses White people being able to accept feedback as essential in the work of not only recognizing their collusion and complicity with White Supremacy and racism, but that accepting feedback is important towards finding ways to interrupt it. She describes guidelines she uses to keep herself in check. The guidelines read like a pledge, so in sharing them here I say if you’re a White person who cares, I challenge you to take it, internalize it in thought and in practice, and talk to other White people about it:
“How, where, and when you give me feedback is irrelevant – it is the feedback I want and need.
Understanding that it is hard to give, I will take it any way I can get it.
From my position of social, cultural, and institutional white power and privilege, I am perfectly safe and I can handle it.
If I cannot handle it, it’s on me to build my racial stamina.
–Dr. Robin Diangelo
So often the responsibility is put on people of color to console you; to protect your feelings at the expense of our own. If you’re a White person who cares, it’s on you to make a commitment to interrupt this oppressive dynamic.
Take the pledge
From Aspiring Humanitarian, Relando Thompkins-Jones