Good Ally what are you doing?

I gotta be real with ya’ll. There is so much wrong with our world today. There is plenty of work to be done and in every place that we are messing up, racism is at the foundation.

For some of you, that statement is just too unbelievable. But I stand by it, because it is true. You name a problem we are experiencing, healthcare crisis, mental health, environmental, injustice, agriculture, housing, education, the list goes on and on and the people that are affected the most are Black and Latino/Latinx, and Indigenous people. That is not because there is something wrong with THEM. It is because of a system that was not designed for them to have access to all of the privileges this country (the United States) offers to those who identify as White.

Oh, and it wasn’t designed for people who identify as Asian either, but they are not at the bottom in almost every category, but they are definitely affected by it, think anti-Asian violence.

Four years ago, I was on a business retreat with five other women. We had just finished breakfast and three of us were hanging out talking and one of the women, Kathy, turned to me and said, “I would really like to work with you again, I learned a lot when you were coaching me on conflict, but you know what I would love? Have you ever thought about creating a program for White people like me who don’t know anything about racism, but would really like to learn and do something about it?” Then Debbie joins in, “Yeah, if you put together something like that, I would join in a minute!”

You see, Debbie and Kathy had grown up and lived in a world where their loved ones, friends, teachers, spiritual leaders, and everyone who influenced their thinking, and their lives were White. But when they joined our business coaching group, they made friends with Black people, Filipinos, Japanese, Hawaiians, and Latinas for the first time in their lives, and what was one of the topics among us folks of color, besides building our dreams, running our businesses, and living our best lives? Racism of course, and Debbie and Kathy having never been privy to our side of the conversation before, although having lots of experience with hearing racist conversations and complaints about Black people from too many White folks in their world, found themselves unable to relate or believe what we were sharing.

Now, the honest truth is that Debbie and Kathy had no idea how much they were liked by their new friends because most Black and other folks of color do not trust White people enough to have these conversations in their presence. Did you know that? Oh, I can go into that another time, but this is BIG. We talk about it in On The Matter of Race.

I am inviting you to consider what it is you are really doing as an ally when it comes to racism.
Is what you are doing helping us to dismantle it?
Is it helping you participate in conversations about racism in a way that does not frustrate your friends/co-workers who are most affected by racism?

While considering your own answers try listening to some other White allies.
Those who have been in an On The Matter of Race Journey have a lot to say about it. Check them out below.

Tara Before OTMR: Was taught that being nice was all that was needed in order to get along with Black people. She even spent her whole life making a common mistake that a lot of nice White people make.
Watch her video after OTMR

Kelli Before OTMR: Lacked any understanding of how systemic racism operates and was afraid to speak up and talk to other White people about racism for fear of backlash.
Watch her video after OTMR

Karen Before OTMR: Believed that she needed everything sorted out before she could have a conversation about racism so she remained silent. Like many White people, she wanted that “I can never fail with this checklist that just does not exist.
Watch her video after OTMR

Sarah Before OTMR: Saw herself as a “nice”, White person who believed that racism was episodic, not systemic and mostly happening in the South. She and her husband both came into OTMR afraid to but wanting to have conversations about racism especially with their White friends and their children.
Watch her video after OTMR

Are you on a learning and unlearning journey?

I’m right there with you. Join us here.

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