Civil Rights Movement vs. Segregationists
Anti-Racism, Abolition of Whiteness, Antidotes to White Supremacy & Allyship
|Characteristics of white supremacy||Antidotes to white supremacy|
|perfectionism||always speak to the things that went well before offering constructive feedback|
|urgency||leadership which understands that things take longer than anyone expects|
|defensiveness||understand the link between defensiveness and fear|
|quantity over quality||learn to recognize those times when you need to get off the agenda in order to address people's underlying concerns|
|worship of the written word||take the time to analyze how people inside and outside the organization get and share information|
|only one right way||work on developing the ability to notice when people do things differently and how those different ways might improve your approach|
|paternalism||include people who are affected by decisions in the decision-making|
|either/or thinking||notice when people are simplifying complex issues, particularly when the stakes seem high or an urgent decision needs to be made|
|power hoarding||understand that change is inevitable and challenges to your leadership can be healthy and productive|
|fear of open conflict||don't require those who raise hard issues to raise them in acceptable ways, especially if you are using the ways in which issues are raised as an excuse not to address the issues being raised|
|individualism||evaluate people based on their ability to work as part of a team to accomplish shared goals|
|progress is bigger/more||create Seventh Generation thinking by asking how the actions of the group now will affect people seven generations from now|
|objectivity||assume that everybody has a valid point and your job is to understand what that point is|
|right to comfort those with power||understand that discomfort is at the root of all growth and learning|
Becoming an Ally
"An ally is any person that actively promotes and aspires to advance the culture of inclusion through intentional, positive and conscious efforts that benefit people as a whole" (Atcheson, 2018). Becoming an actionable ally is different than being a performative ally. The latter is for show, and the former is putting your words into action. Sheree Atcheson (2018) explains the following reflect an actionable ally:
- Lift others up by advocating,
- Share growth opportunities with others,
- Not view venting as a personal attack,
- Recognize systematic inequalities and realize impact of microaggressions,
- Believe underrepresented people’s experiences, and
- Most importantly – listen, support, self-reflect & change.
In the Winter 2020 Black Minds Matter webinar, the speakers suggested that to become a true ally is akin to committing social or professional suicide, as allyship means one is willing to put the interests of others above one's self-interests. Pause and reflect on that.
Layla F. Saad penned the Me & White Supremacy Workbook (2018) to provide a 28-day self-reflection for individuals holding white privilege to consider their involvement and complicity with white supremacy. Saad writes, "I often ask myself, 'What would the world look like without white supremacy?' We may not live long enough to know. However, if the rise and fall of empires is any clue, white supremacy doesn’t have much time left" (2018, p. 2). The book is intended to make the reader uncomfortable as they discover and dismantle their "inner white supremacy and internalised racism" (Saad, 2018, p. 22).
Would you consider taking Saad's 28-day challenge of self-reflection to consider your complicity with white supremacy? Why or why not?
Saad suggests the premise for this reflection is to ultimately become a better ancestor for those who come after us. Do you agree or disagree with Saad that this type of self-reflection can potentially improve our future?
- U.S. history has been characterized by pendulum swings between civil rights and white supremacy.
- Historically and in our contemporary society, white nationalism has existed to support and maintain white supremacy and white power.
- The declining white population conjures up different meanings for white supremacists versus for pluralists.
- The final point of this chapter is to consider the role of anti-racism, abolition of whiteness, antidotes to white supremacy, and allyship as ways to transcend white privilege and white supremacy.