Recently a European American woman I mentor told me that she's working to desegregate her life. I love it that she put it this way. Desegregating implies that she's aware of the systems of segregation that have kept her in a white bubble and that she's responsible for desegregating her whole life.
Desegregating your life means consciously looking for places to support the leadership of African American, indigenous, or colonized folks. Segregation is not just about separation. Segregation subjugates and renders Black people and others invisible or less-than European Americans and whiteness.
When you desegregate your life, you want to disrupt power relationships and actively go towards that which you've been cut off from with humility. Years ago my friend David said you go through doorways that the community has invited you to walk through--rather than crashing private or sacred recovery spaces. Supporting artists or arts events are a good way to do this!
In contrast, when people lament how "non-diverse" their worlds are and ask me for advice on how to have more people of color in their lives, I cringe. Having a multiracial friendship group or faith circle is not going to happen without a lot of intentionality. And, "getting more people of color" in your world sounds very selfish and extractive. It's just more of putting whiteness in the center.
Honestly, I recommend that most European Americans do their work--that is the work of uncovering their inbred sense of superiority and its historical context--before focusing on building more relationships across the color line.
If you don't delve deeply into this, you will undoubtedly harm people.
Not only do you have to accept and take daily steps to transform your implicit bias, but you also have to get practiced at talking about racism and your own racism.
This way, when people hold you to account or point out your blindspots, you don't collapse or freak out. If you are doing the ongoing practices, then you no doubt see your internalized bias every day and don't have to walk around with extreme fear of unconsciously screwing up
Robin Di Angelo quotes an African American who says it would be "revolutionary" if European Americans could take feedback on their racism without lashing out, collapsing or shutting down.
Yes. Then we could have partnership. Authentic community.
I'm saving space in my calendar for folks who excited about desegregating their worlds. Please apply for a Free Racial Justice Breakthrough session. If you have a deep calling for Racial Justice and are ready to do your own work, I want to support you. We'll uncover why your stuck and at least ONE action you can take to desegregate your world!
Peace and love,
P.S.--If you're not ready for a conversation but want to build up your knowledge and understanding, Check out this Stop Implicit Racial Bias training video. Moving at your pace is legit--just keep moving!
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