In a moment when our Asian siblings are being harassed, when people of color are disproportionately being affected by COVID-19, when white protesters are storming capitol buildings putting economy over lives, when white people instinctively call the police on people of color, and when black men are dying because of police brutality, this is the perfect time for white people to do some serious soul searching. Dismantling white supremacy is not only a social must, it is a spiritual need. Here are 6 ways white people can begin the process of dismantling white supremacy:
- Do the inner work.
White people are conceived, born, and raised into spaces of privilege so the work to dismantle our own perpetuations of white supremacy is the place to start. The author and activist, Layla Saad, provides white people a day to day guide on doing the inner work of dismantling white supremacy. Get the book and begin the work.
- Realize that being “woke” is not a trend.
It is almost the “in” thing to be “woke” and to recognize white supremacy. However, white supremacy permeates all white people through micro-aggressions, untapped spaces of subconscious racism, and so many other spaces. Recognizing your privilege is good, but surrounding it with selfish motives and the quest for the spotlight diminishes and continues to traumatize and re-traumatize our siblings of color.
- Words must be backed by actions.
In the world of social media consumption, the letters on the keyboard become our voice that speaks for the moment and fades in the background 2 seconds later. Our words must be moved into actions which takes creativity in this moment of COVID-19.
- Call out but don’t take up excess space.
Progressive white people love to call out racism and white supremacy, but it is important to be aware of the space white people take up. The craving for society to know that you “have it together” when it comes to privilege awareness can overwhelm spaces and assert power over others. This is still a manifestation of white supremacy because white supremacy tells white people that they are entitled to be seen.
- White Supremacy = A White Problem. Organize white people.
White people must begin the process of organizing one another to begin the work of dismantling white supremacy because this is a white people’s problem. White people created it and white people have to do the work to un-create it. Many people of color are tired of being re-traumatized through this work. White people, it’s time to get it together.
- Empower by risking power.
The work to dismantle white supremacy means that white people must risk their power to empower others. Yes, that means things will be lost, friends will walk away from you, family may disown you, and your life will be different. This also means that institutions like churches must risk as well.
Resources to begin the work:
- Layla Saad, Me and White Supremacy
- J. Kameron Carter, Race: A Theological Account
- Facing Racism: A Vision of the Intercultural Community Churchwide Antiracism Policy (Presbyterian Church USA)
This piece was created by the Unbound team. All materials referenced are not owned by Unbound.