Consider this a primer guide for white people who want to better, but aren’t sure where to start.
Because that is what we’ve heard the most this past week - people who want to do good, to help, and to understand but say they don’t know where to start.
Thankfully, we live in a time when self education and information are freely and easily available via the internet.
Google is your friend and we hope these resources are just the place you start learning instead of being the only thing you read.
Most of these resources focus on racism as it affects Black people in the United States, but racism is pervasive and systemic - anyone who is not white has experienced racism in some form, even if it doesn’t look exactly the same.
Before you read further there are a couple of things you need to think about because you may have said or thought these things in an effort to be kind or helpful. The words we use matter and it is important to understand the impact of what you say.
Why saying “I don’t see color” is a problem. - https://theeverygirl.com/i-dont-see-color/
Things you may be saying that are harmful, even if you don’t intend them to be that way, and what to say instead - https://www.katykatikate.com/the-blog/2020/5/26/5-racist-anti-racism-responses-good-white-women-give-to-viral-posts
Unpacking the Invisible Backpack - this is a fantastic resource that helps you examine the privileges you have. - https://www.racialequitytools.org/resourcefiles/mcintosh.pdf
Racism is Systemic
As the graphic above says - racism is a system, not an event.
When something is systemic it means it affects everything. Racism affects every part of our culture, history, public policy, and day-to-day interactions.
If you’re feeling defensive right now, congratulations - you are experiencing white fragility - but KEEP GOING (White Fragility is in the reading list below, but here is a quick article about it to read before going further - https://www.theconsciouskid.org/white-fragility)
The next link does take you to the Ben and Jerry’s ice cream site, but it is also a good, quick overview of what systemic racism is and the impact it has.
Quick overview of reach and impact of systemic racisim - https://www.benjerry.com/home/whats-new/2016/systemic-racism-is-real
If racism is hard-wired into the world we live in, what does that look like? Who does it benefit? What are the generational effects it has on people who are impacted by it?
Instead of asking your Black friends and family members how they experience racism, read these stories of existing while Black and understand that this is a tiny, tiny sampling of what your Black friends and family deal with as a regular part of living their life. - https://www.huffpost.com/interactives/existing-while-black
Talking to Kids About Race
If you’re a parent you know your kids are watching and learning all the time. If you’ve been trying to teach them not to see color, hopefully you’re beginning to understand why that isn’t helpful (if you’re skimming, go back to the top to find the link).
Youre kids aren’t too young to learn about racism and what their responsibilities are to dismantle it.
This link is packed with links for parents including books and podcasts - https://www.prettygooddesign.org/blog/Blog%20Post%20Title%20One-5new4
Having “The Talk” about racism with your kids: https://medium.com/@ralindaspeaks/black-parents-know-about-the-talk-white-parents-its-your-turn-a6a1209e5be2
What to Do Now
This single blog post can only scratch the surface of the impact racism has on our friends, family, culture, and day-to-day interactions. At the end of this post there are links to books, trainings, and other resources to keep learning.
You may be wondering what you can do now and how to help. This link gives you 75 actionable ideas. - https://medium.com/equality-includes-you/what-white-people-can-do-for-racial-justice-f2d18b0e0234
Supporting Black Owned Businesses
One of the biggest impacts of racism is economic. One of the best ways you can combat that piece of it is to support Black owned businesses. Seek out and buy from Black owned businesses in your area.
Buy from a Black Woman not only has a directory of Black woman owned businesses, she also has educational resources for Black business owners, and a yearly grant program - https://www.buyfromablackwoman.org/
Black Owned bookstores - when it comes to buying books (in general and from the reading lists below), do more and support a Black owned bookstore. At the link are 50 independent Black owned bookstores you can support - https://aalbc.com/bookstores/list.php
We Buy Black is an online marketplace of Black owned businesses - https://webuyblack.com/
Book Lists & Resources for Further Learning
The links shared here are a small sampling of the education available. To keep learning read the books on the book list (and purchase them from a Black owned bookstore).
Understanding White Supremacy Book List
Excellent list of resources including books, videos, podcasts, and movies -
Courses & Trainings
Empress Rules Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion trainings - https://www.empressrules.net/services-1
Online DEI training - https://diversityequityinclusion.com/online-learning/
Hard Conversations : Introduction to Racism: http://www.pattidigh.com/racism/
Whiteness Race and Social Justice : https://www.pattidigh.com/whiteness/
Free short DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) courses - https://www.themuse.com/advice/9-free-online-classes-for-managers-diversity-inclusion
Even if you read every book and link in this blog post, watch every movie, and listen to every podcast episode - you're still not done.
Dismantling racism is a lifetime work and it will be exhausting. Keep going. Keep learning.
Make impacts in your own circle every chance you get by calling out racism, questioning policies and attitudes you see as racist.
The downloadable PDF is a manifesto against emotional-reasoning, confirmation biases, intolerance, and hate by Dr. Melissa Bird and Amy Wolff.
When faced with your own conflict, you may this a helpful way to refocus your work.
Trevor Noah, host of the Daily Show, shares thoughts on the ideas of what forms a society and what happens when social contracts are broken.