20 June 2015

Combating My Racism

Intentional things I do to help combat the inherent racial prejudices I have as a white woman:
  • Acknowledge that I was raised in a racist culture where Native Americans were the target of racially motivated jokes, harassment, cultural destruction and desecration, resource removal, and assault.
  • Take training that helps me identify both my own irrational fears (and why they are irrational) and the social conditioning I was raised with (even though my parents tried very hard to combat this).
  • Realize that my own experiences of oppression (as an invisible sexual minority) do not qualify me to comment on the oppression of others and their lived experience. Instead, use it to remind myself to _listen_ when people share their experience-- this includes watching my body language and ensuring that I listen with my whole being and not just with surface attention.
  • Stop myself from trying to offer suggestions unless I am directly asked. (This is very hard for me as both a busy-body and a natural advice giver).
  • Consume media with intention: this includes paying attention to how race is portrayed in fiction, seeking out fiction that showcases non-white voices, reading about current events on web pages and blogs that are written by people of color.
  • Rejoice as my neighborhood becomes more diverse and look for ways to be welcoming.
  • Actively combat NIMBYism (not in my back yard) on issues that center around keeping "the wrong people" out of my community.
  • Remind myself that there is always more that I can learn.