First, I want to say thank you for having the courage to acknowledge where you are at, what you’re feeling, and that you don’t know what to do. That’s such a great inquiry to be in. It’s powerful.
We have to start with compassion for ourselves and our people’s history. Not the release of responsibility, but compassion. Compassion is needed because guilt is an especially insidious weapon of the system of white supremacy. Guilt makes people defensive, obstinate, abusive, numb, powerless, etc. The system of white supremacy needed people like us to not only benefit from the system, but to be victimized by it too. It needs to keep us confused, embarrassed, overwhelmed. The system of white supremacy knows that if we all got clear on the true architects of our suffering and the suffering of others, we would destroy that system. We would put our money, our bodies, our lives on the line in the effort to bring down the beast. We must not let it keep us feeling guilty and confused.
Next, we have to get informed about the system of white supremacy, particularly how it has harmed us personally. No one else can do this for us. This isn’t the job of other groups of victims of white supremacy. Our lives, our families, our health, our kids, have been harmed and put at great risk. Our pain is real and everything is on the line for us. This is our responsibility. There’s a lot of avenues for getting informed. You can join a social justice organization that has clarity around some of the issues. You can find literature at the library on the topics. Youtube is amazing. There are lectures, testimonies, reports, etc. But beyond getting informed about what is going on and being clear about the architects of our personal pain, we have to learn what do to with that information.
The bottom line is we have to build power. I just completed a transformational week-long training with a faith-based power building organization here called Isaiah. http://isaiahmn.org/ There are national networks of organizing and powerbuilding organizations, the one I know the most about is PICO. http://www.piconetwork.org/
I know this is a lot and I’m still digesting it myself. I want to make the on-ramps to getting informed and building power much easier, less confusing, etc. Stay with me in this conversation. Share. Ask. Provide resources. We are all in this together.