Some Important Questions to Ask Yourself, If You Are Committed to Becoming Anti-Racist

by Tamu McPherson
Dear Non-Brown Friend,

 

If you are committed to becoming anti-racist, it’s going to disrupt the world you know FOR THE BETTER.

Many of you have spent the last three months slowing down, reconnecting with family and friends. You’ve practiced yoga, meditated, and tuned into your inner voice, and some of you, your inner child. Now, as the world begins to reopen, I ask you to continue this journey of self-reflection, but to add one question to your practice:
When did you slip on the cloak of white privilege and the complacency that comes along with it? Was it about the age of this little girl in this video? This tender age when she has already taken on the weight of America’s racist history on her tiny back?
Why did you do this, how did it serve you? Did it not matter to you that your black childhood friend had to undergo visible injustices, or that your beloved nanny spent countless hours away from her own children, who possessed close to none of the fancy childhood luxuries that filled your life? I know that many aspects of your white privilege were dictated to you by your parents, government leaders, and society, but why didn’t you do anything to reject those presets when you grew into “your own”? But, wait: what does “your own” truly mean? Ask yourself that. Do you believe that your inner self would be comfortable with you judging, stereotyping, or looking the other way when a black person suffers an injustice? The inner self, which doesn’t see appearance, that is incapable of seeing the color of skin?
Or, to my non-brown friends who have marveled at how pollution has decreased because the world has been forced to a stand still, and how this is so restorative for the earth. Ask yourself during your meditation: how can our actions here on earth be sustainable if the blood of our fellow human beings are continually spilled at the hands of police brutality and white supremacy? The traumatizing energy shocks the soil every time a life is senselessly taken, with barely a moment of peace before it braces for another.

 

My friends, equality for all is a vital act of sustainability.

Regardless of whether or not you want to admit it to yourself, you are living, thriving and “owning” because of your white privilege, a benefit resting on the pillars of white supremacy. It is a structure that requires no additional thought on your part – in fact, the less you think, the fewer questions you ask, the better. The architects and champions (Donald Trump) work to keep structural racism intact in perpetuity for their own benefit. Your complacency is an easily won and reliable key element to their success. But, wake up and step out from your self-induced moral and spiritual coma for a moment. Ask yourself, are you also a pawn in their game? Your complacency may be benign in contrast to the atrocious violence of card-carrying white supremacists, but are you truly okay with propping up a system that consistently fails black men and women like Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, only a few names in an ever-growing sea of loss and pain? Question yourself and have the decency to admit who you really are. It will be hard, and your ego will intervene because, in the end, no one wants to be considered a bad person. But I am asking you to save us all from the continued hypocrisy.

If you are a racist, HAVE THE FUCKING COURAGE TO ADMIT WHO YOU REALLY ARE.
On the moral upside, whether you are in the US, Europe, or any place on the globe where brown and indigenous people suffer inequality, if in your core you are anti-racist, you need to show up and be ready to tear down the walls. It’s going to be scary, uncomfortable, radical, unprecedented, and it will take courage; just like this little girl speaking in the front of a room of strangers and adults.
But, if you truly care about humanity you will fight hard.
Ally, it’s time to reconnect, re-educate, re-condition, and reset in the name of equality for all.

 

Here is a list of resources, books and articles that offer tools for becoming anti-racist:

Ibram X. Kendi “How to Be an Antiracist

 

Read more related All the Pretty Birds Culture Posts:

How to Be an Ally

On Darren Wilson’s Exoneration

NYPD Officer Fired 5 Years After Killing Eric Garner in a Chokehold

Justice for Atatiana Jefferson Shooting, Killed in Her Home By Police

Baton Rouge Officers Will Not Be Charged in Alton Sterling’s Killing

Video Details: A moving speech by a courageous 9-yr-old Zianna Oliphant against police brutality after the 2016 fatal police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Source USA TODAY NETWORK

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