Reading Time: 9 minutes You must become aware of how patriarchy has shaped each of us, even women, in order to unravel and remove it from your consciousness. You also have to know that options that are more liberating and not based on oppression, exist and you, and everyone, can thrive and flourish with the alternative. Leadership models exist that are based on collaboration and resourcefulness and continuously regenerate infinite power. We just have to learn them and practice them in the various contexts of our lives.
Reading Time: 8 minutes Two people decide to go cycling. They decide to cycle for the same distance but take different routes. One takes a route that is a bit bumpy but pretty much downhill. It is hot, but the path is a little shady. For this person, the path was challenging and was definitely a vigorous workout, but this person feels good for meeting the challenge of the workout. When the two people meet up, the other person says that the ride was awful for her. Her path was also bumpy but the road she took was at an incline the entire time. She was even more sunburnt than the first person because she had no sunscreen. At one point, a strong gust of wind blew her over and she hurt her foot. She ran out of water halfway through. When she hears about the first person’s route, she remarks that her own experience seemed so much more difficult. Yet it was the same distance, and both rode their bikes. This is what privilege looks like.
Reading Time: 6 minutes One thing I often tell folks in my workshop: Please do not apologize for your privilege. Now you know you have it, what do you do? You become uber-aware of it and begin to look for who is disadvantaged by your privilege. If you get a job and you know that the brown skin woman who applied for it was more qualified, get in there and ask why you were hired and not her. Stand up for your values and call folk out on their racism, on how they are biased and using their power to promote their biases. Let them get totally uncomfortable with all that don’t let them off the hook.
Reading Time: 4 minutes When you walk down the street, or you are at the mall, or when you watch TV and see a black female news anchor delivering the news next to her white male counterpart, remember, she makes less than two-thirds of that white man. Not because she is not good at her job, but because of the color of her skin and her gender.
What’s worse….. You have contributed to this by not speaking up against it and by not demanding transparency about such things where you work.
What are some baby steps, right where you are, that you can take, that will begin to even the playing field?
Reading Time: 5 minutes I believe all white people are racists. Hold on. Don’t switch off. Hear me out. When I say all, and I mean “ALL” white people are racist, I am saying each of you have benefitted from the ill-gotten gains of racism, because you have benefited from the system being designed by y’all, for y’all and to y’alls benefit. No matter how bad you feel about this, your tears do not put me on an equal footing with you culturally or systematically.
And I am going to need to you to process this and get your life together because we are in this together. Get over your personal guilt and the attack you feel. It is not about you. Kinda sorta. But no. Those feelings you are experiencing are your soul saying you have a role in getting this together and healing this wound that is in your orbit. Therefore, learn. Dig deep. Process guilt. Do not let white women’s tears derail this process. Tap into your power.
Reading Time: 8 minutes We must revisit our assumptions and explore what our prejudices mean when we deny those seeking survival the opportunity to live. My language might sound extreme, but I do believe that this is about basic survival and life. These folks are not trying to come into this country to live luxurious lives. I believe they are seeking refuge in this country because the option is literal death for them.
The sense of superiority I see all around me is learned and we must unlearn it if we want to solve complex problems and become aware of our own role in it. We must lay down this sense of superiority that we have that, in America, we are entitled to what we have and that we worked hard for it and therefore, we must protect it from others.