The events at Charlottesville one week ago ignited, yet again, the conversation on racism and White supremacy in our country (as if it ever really went away). I’ve come to realize that despite the years and years we, as a nation, have spent talking about racism, there still exists a seemingly unbridgeable divide in people’s understanding of racism. The past week alone, I have seen religious and lay White Catholics say, “I don’t have a single racist bone in my body…” or “I love everyone regardless on skin color, but…” They talk of reconciliation and forgiveness, without really taking any initiative to truly understand the insidious nature of racism and White supremacy.
It’s all terribly frustrating. But I get it. Racism is a complex, overwhelming issue to talk about, much less understand. And, I also recognize how difficult it can be to critique racism, White supremacy, White dominance, and White privilege when some (both Whites and people of color) benefit directly from it. However, unless we all (both Whites and people of color) actively, intentionally, and diligently resist racism and White supremacy, as well as our individual and collective reliance on White privilege, we will continue to partake in a system of oppression that kills our very humanity.
As the great Angela Davis said, “In a racist society it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be anti-racist.” Our anti-racist activity will necessitate that we educate ourselves. We must read up on the history of racism and White supremacy that this country was founded on. We must educate ourselves on the psychological and sociological dynamics operating behind these systems of oppression.
I’ve put together a list of resources (books, articles, videos) that I have found helpful in increasing my own racial conscientization. These resource will be found under the new Anti-Racism Resources section of my blog. I hope you find it useful, not only in advocating for racial justice and equity, but also to acknowledge and help shed our own reliance on racism.