I was moved to share some creative writing with all of you. If you want to hear it rather than read it, click here.
Stuck (and the Way Forward)
As a White person engaging in anti-racist self-work, I have learned
not to center myself,
not to cry for fear that my tears might wield power,
to internalize the emotions that this work releases, and
to bury my own needs in service of others.
Sometimes it feels like a form of erasure.
Our emotions are invalidated because someone else suffers more.
Our fears and failures are harmful to those around us
so we must minimize and hide them.
Our experiences are inextricable from our privileges.
We can start to lose our individual identities
for fear of perpetuating marginalization and hate.
And culturally, if I am not White, if White has no meaning,
then who or what am I?
Do I even have a culture? Is it one I can be proud of?
Or is my culture colonization, genocide, and violence?
The roots of White supremacy
erased our cultures and differences
to create the idea of “White” as a group of people
in order to otherize the rest of humanity.
Some anti-racist work
can threaten to do the same
when we are
in competing with each other to prove that we are not racist
in otherizing to prove that we are one of the “good ones”
that we are worthy
The only way forward, out of white supremacy
is through love
of ourselves (even when we fail),
of each other (even when we are inhumane),
of our country (with open eyes).
Allowing or participating in
the dehumanization of anyone
contributes to our own dehumanization.
White supremacy robs all of us
of our ability to love and live freely.
It divides and separates us,
surviving through hate and fear,
competition and scarcity.
We must unite, not divide.
We must seek and share the truth to empower all.
We must release ourselves from shame
lest it turn us from love to hate.
And we must seek our own anti-racist identity
that is not written by white supremacy but is
informed by our shared humanity and intentionality.
Listen. Amplify. Follow.