- Know that feeling helpless as a person of privilege is a privilege. Sharing that with People of Color and indigenous people does nothing to help the situation and is extremely frustrating to PoC/indigenous people who have no choice but to deal with racism and colonialism all day, every day no matter how they feel about it. How you feel about racism and colonialism is not more important or more primary than the lived experiences of people who are targeted constantly by racism and colonialism.
- Study readily accepted definitions of racism and colonialism as used by People of Color and indigenous people
- Know the difference between racism and prejudice. Don't confuse the two.
- Understand what European/white supremacy and privilege is, how it affects you and how your private and public behaviors reflect those pathologies
- Don't center your own stories and feelings in conversations about racism and intersectional oppressions. Learn to be quiet and make space for marginalized voices. If you cannot do that, you are adding insult and often more injury to already present and historical injury.
- Call other European/white people out/in when you hear them speaking in racist/colonial ways. Educate those closest to you. Share helpful posts and information/writing in your social media networks by People of Color and indigenous people.
- Don't participate in "tone policing", telling People of Color and indigenous people how they should feel or to stop being angry when you are in conversation or discussion, in their digital or real life spaces. How people share about their experiences of you or the systems of racism and colonialism is important information for you, no matter how you are feeling in the moment about it. Learn from their human experience and be humble in conversation and action.
- Acknowledge and deal with your discomfort around talking openly about racism, white privilege and oppression. Do your inner and external community work. It isn't about you, but you are responsible for dismantling racism and oppressive social and political systems and structures because humanity and justice are important to you.
- Know that you don't have all the answers and the people who are suffering from being targeted by racism and colonialism are the experts on how to dismantle it and what needs to be done.
- Send financial and in-kind donation support to organizations and people in the indigenous and People of Color communities and spaces. It is important to repurpose the funds and access that you have reaped due to historical privilege and oppression of marginalized communities and populations. Reparations is also an expression of this level of justice work.
- Support protest and direct action by financial, material and technical support if needed. Show up if you are welcome and be respectful and informed in your presence. Embodied protest and resistance, whether they lead to arrests or not, are serious and often put People of Color and indigenous peoples at physical, social and economic risk. Be prepared to stand behind or side by side (or in front if asked) with indigenous peoples and People of Color in these spaces. Make sure that your actions and messaging is in keeping with the leadership of the action and those communities. Do not go to other communities' protests and actions for the selfie opportunities. If that is your motivation, you are better off staying home and continuing to study what is daily and historically at stake for indigenous peoples and People of Color.
- Constantly learn about the systemic nature of racism, intersectional oppression and colonialism. Become clearly informed on how and where racism and oppression show up in the social, economic and political structures of your local, state and federal governments and around the world. Know that the dominant (anti-)culture resists learning about how to identify these systems and patterns and there are people who will directly and incorrectly criticize you for seeking clarity.
- Do an informal and/or formal cultural assessment of your place of work/school/ organization to define
- if there is a diversity policy/statement/program
- if the diversity policy is being funded, supported
- if the diversity policy is being implemented
- what the goals are for this program, are they adequate and are they being substantively influenced, controlled by indigenous people or People of Color
- who or what department is responsible for seeing the diversity program implemented
- if People of Color, indigenous people, women are being paid equally for equal levels and responsibilities of work
- what the patterns of work are across the organization. Are more PoC, indigenous people and women contract, part-time, temporary as opposed to salaried or tenured? Are there more in custodial services than in management? What are the demographics of the board or administration? Are marginalized peoples in token or window-dressing roles?
- if People of Color, indigenous people, women are holding similar levels of control and responsibility as their European/white counterparts
- what the hiring and firing practices/history has been around marginalized populations
- what the effects of racism within the organization has been within the organization and how it is best to move forward to hold the organization accountable for systemic change/transformation. How will you share this information with the PoC there? Have they done this work already? When and how do the PoC need to move forward to hold the organization to their policies or to better, yet unwritten policies/demands? What strategies and tactics will be used for change? Will you need support of unions/departments/particular people or the external community? Be honest and open about whether you are willing to jeopardize your job/position in the interest of justice and anti-oppression. Keep in mind that many more PoC, indigenous people and women have paid a higher price for longer than you may be considering.
- Raise the issues of race and oppression at work/school/social organizations. Open the conversations and create allies and learning processes in the interest of making substantive change in your organization. Get answers that help chart paths of change and transformation. Persist in that work. It is part of the justice process.
- Join or organize groups of your peers and others to meet regularly to educate yourselves and others and mobilize people for actions to support Communities of Color and indigenous people.
- Bring groups of informed and motivated activists to demand answers and accountability at police stations, courthouses, city halls/statehouses, housing authorities, etc,... when government officials/police are complicit and guilty of racist and oppressive activity or messaging/policy. Seek out and confirm leadership of indigenous people and People of Color when you begin organizing or mobilizing actions. Make sure those organizers/speakers are informed early in the process. Be willing to accept their leadership and direction if they so choose to give it.
- Bring groups of informed and motivated activists to demand answers and accountability at insurance companies, banks, businesses, transportation companies, retail outlets, restaurants, etc,… when employees, staff and/or management are complicit and guilty of racist and oppressive activity or messaging. Seek out and confirm leadership of indigenous people and People of Color when you begin organizing or mobilizing actions. Make sure those organizers/speakers are informed early in the process. Be willing to accept their leadership and direction if they so choose to give it.
- Occupy places of racist activity and resist the presence of racist and oppressive organizations or groups of people everywhere, whether they are a school, group of neighbors, suit-wearing business people or members of a country club. Demand change with the presence of your body.
- Call your government/civil servants to support anti-racist and anti-oppression legislation and policy. Hold them accountable with your emails, letters petitions, phone calls, texts and physical presence when they step out of line with what PoC and indigenous peoples need. Know that due to European/white/class privilege, your direct interests may not be reflected in that work. Those sacrifices are often necessary to create greater justice for everyone. If you are not ready to make sacrifices, you should possibly continue to educate yourself on the nature of racism and oppression and what it means in the daily and historical lives of oppressed populations.
- Hold local and national TV/radio/media stations and outlets accountable when they disseminate racist and oppressive or appropriative media. Agitate and protest for stories and narratives, images of PoC/indigenous peoples made by PoC/indigenous people. This could mean resisting colonial narratives in westerns, "classic" films, boycotting theaters that show racist movies, organizing call-in campaigns against racist DJs/radio personalities, un-joining journalism or other websites that hire racist writers.
- Boycott all racist companies and corporations, even when it is not convenient for you. There is a cost to creating cultures of justice. Avoiding your inconvenience is not worth the on-going oppression of even one person. Clearly, too many people are affected by the continuity of many corporations and businesses and they must be put in check and change their practices as soon as possible. Support and buy from PoC/indigenous owned/controlled companies and businesses.
- Study and learn about environmental racism. Dismantle the privileges that you are afforded by certain public "services" like incinerators, landfills or waste dumps being located in or near Communities of Color/indigenous people. Understand that environmental groups and non-profits can be just as racist as any profit-hungry corporation. How much you like a particular organization may have nothing or everything to do with how it supports and facilitates structures and practice of racism and oppression.
- Consider the inevitability sweeping future changes in national and regional governance, economics and land and resource allocation when you manifest the correct political and cultural changes into anti-racism and decolonization. be willing to step up powerfully into that process of positive change.
- Learn empathy and compassion beyond your own narrow, limited and particular needs and those of privileged populations that benefit from the oppression of others.
♦ We do not suggest that these are the only things or all the best things to be done in the interest of dismantling racism and colonialism, but that this is our offering to the work already going on all over the world, our offering to motivate and activate new workers for justice across the Global Village and create support for those who have made such serious and effective steps in this interest to date.
We thank all those that came before us that showed us the way to reawaken us to what it means to live in a world of justice, balance, validation and peace.
#Ancestors #womenwaterpeace #nowisthetime #thetimeisnow
© 2017 Ukumbwa Sauti, M.Ed., moja mediaworks llc