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Confronting White Anxiety

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These are my thoughts, yo.

Confronting White Anxiety

jasmine banks

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So you are white and woke. The fact is that whatever education you received most likely did not highlight how to engage the system we've all existed within. You might not realize that there is an actual developmental path that white folks take in their process of waking up to racism and white supremacy.  So while you are on your path figuring out how to navigate... I decided to use all this time not having a full-time job to prepare some resources for you.

I am nothing, if not helpful.

 

The ONLY way to do the work you MUST do is to confront your anxiety.

You've:

  1. Realized we have a race problem
  2. Started LEARNING about this problem through research and reading experiences of people of color.
  3. You are overwhelmed with how much PAIN you feel having unknowingly participated in such an oppressive system..

Well... AS you begin that third phase of development, you might find yourself accidentally tripping yourself up with micro-aggressions. Be mindful of how literally everything about your life has been shaped by white supremacy and even your most well meaning intentions can be problematic.

YOU WILL MAKE MISTAKES. These mistakes are necessary on your path to growth. It is necessary for you to  acknowledge the white zeitgeist's drive to always be right and to avoid discomfort.  That desire of validation from your friends who are Black or people of color is a drive to avoid risk. Being an ally (co-conspirator) REQUIRES risk. As soon as you are woke and move through your fragility, you may experience an overwhelming impulse to move into anxiety. This is normal! Why? Because the two functioning tools of white supremacy are fear and anxiety. The tyranny of "what if" and "what if someone Black gets upset by what I am doing" cannot stop you from moving through the discomfort. It is the work of the white ally (co-conspirator) to move through fear into claiming a personal stake in the movement for Black lives.

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