Image Credit: Paul Downey

The World Without Racism- an Origin Story

I knew when I started that this book could either be absolutely ineffective or it could end racism as we know it, forever.

As a black woman, I’ve lived with racism, talked about racism, learned about racism and looked for solutions to racism.

So from the beginning I wanted this book, to be for white people.  The white people who think all prejudice is bad. Who are nice and polite. And who are only offensive without meaning it, or noticing it at all. This is a book for those well-meaning White People with PowerTM.

But I didn’t know all of them, personally. Could I still speak to the whole race?

I hosted a focus group to help me find out: How should I talk to white people about race? 

I knew I would have to get this right on the first try.

We started by giving racism a shape. The shape represented a common definition of racism. Our racism had to have a head and a body. Could we all agree?

Everyone had an opinion to give. We decided that Racism was a big, translucent, circle, with many sets of eyes and a tail.

Next I asked everyone to imagine a new world. One without racism. I asked them to illustrate that world using as many sticky notes as they needed:

“How big is it? Is it on this planet? What kind of beings live there? What lives there?”

There were flowers, and people, and singing and colors, words like justice, equality, love and peace and a weird silence while we all drew things that already exist.

When everyone had put their new world sticky’s onto the chalkboard rendering of old world racism, I asked my group what they thought was stopping us from reaching that world.

…to be continued…

Eleadah R. Clack is now the Author of The World Without Racism; a How To Guide on Anti-Racism for White Culture

Join my Email List for Updates

On Race and Respectability Politics

Jay Smooth discusses Don Lemon and race respectability politics. 

Whole Wealth of Knowledge over at Ill Doctrine. Thank you Jay

Join my Email List for Updates

Image Credit: Top Coder Blog

The World Without Racism- an Origin Story, Part I

WORLD WIDE TRUTHS

The Nation of America doesn't exist in any parallel universe.

The World Without Racism has been waiting on America to live

The World as We know it has been fighting American power.

It's the purpose of humanity to act on behalf of humanity.


THE MISSION TO KILL OPINION

America’s true identity may be great, but it’s not pretty. This Nation was sent back in time on a desperate mission to kill opinions. She was supposed to be here alone.

But first she didn’t like her disguise, then she hated the shape of the earth, suddenly she was full of opinions.

So full, that she forgot the crisis.

‘Was it kill the race or kill the racism?” She asked no one in particular.

America won’t do anything to hurt humanity, but she has to do something. She trusts us to tell the truth.

But we have way too many opinions to be right.

ALL BETS ON

My money is still on America

In the World Without Racism there is no losing.

There are no weapons, and no war camps, no prisoners of this war. Nope, there are no consequences in the World Without Racism.

Everyone dies from mistakes, and no one keeps names. All of History is one big outcome.

If you had to murder America, for the World Without Racism to be born, would you choose fast or slow?

Sign up for the exclusive Part II: The Cheat Code

 Eleadah R. Clack is now the Author of The World Without Racism; a How To Guide on Anti-Racism for White Culture

This is Not Racist: Halloween Edition

How-to: Do Halloween Right

This Halloween I’m dressing as Don Draper. It’s my take on irony, because I know no one will get it: I don’t have Draper’s habits, his personality, a sense of the world he inhabits, I’m also NOT a white man…But I have a suit, and I got the idea from an old GQ post, that said if you have a suit you can be Don Draper too.

What’s Not-Racist about that?

Why do so many costumes tend to take a wrong turn when anyone can get away with wearing a suit; being Elliot Stabler, SuperMan, Richie Tenenbaum, Steven Colbert..? Seems there’s a lack of established character here not unlike my minimal knowledge of Draper- charisma.

But there is a way to get that kind of character development and depth, and maybe the acting skills to take on stoic-like 70s character costumes; by facing Halloween. That ultimate character arc only comes along when you have the right tools and means at your disposal. And Halloween is your stage.

This is Not Racist- is a guide away from gaudy costumes, through your own character arc. Build the kind of confidence you need to challenge racism, and avoid all other manner of underbelly costume gimmicks.

What’s the Big Deal with Being Racist on Halloween?

It’s really old. About as old as stealing land with a double barrel shot-gun and calling it discovery. *pinch*

Hurts doesn’t it? Maybe not so much anymore, look at that you’re already over it. Unfortunately for other people racist Halloween costumes, parties, and themes aren’t a pinch, it’s more like the ghosts of dead coming back to haunt us, then learning how to use Facebook. Isn’t it about time for all of us to move on? Move into some *other respectable adult costume* that includes suits, lots of alcohol, bad puns, and maybe rap music without making half the country mad at you?

Eleadah R. Clack is Author of This Is Not Racist; a How To Guide on Anti-Racism for White Culture

Join my Email List for Updates

Support the Written Work|The Writer

The Patriarchy is Personal

This article on street harassment is a little bit different, and I’m hoping that the context will change the conversation. 

When I see women in the street, I’m insulted. Beautiful women command your attention. Taking time out of my day just to ponder the mystery of beauty, the possibility of limitlessness. It feels like disaster, and neurons crashing into each other and yes I enjoy every second of it. Yes, women make me feel like that. And yes, I fall in love at least once a day. 

Not love at first sight. Not puppy love. Real love. It’s true. That kind of love that shows you yourself, is honest about flaws and still loves on. Women every day all over Beautiful Brooklyn give me this, and they don’t even know it. As a woman loving woman, this is real love. As a masculine body this poses a problem. I’ve had to question every street interaction I’ve had with women since really coming into myself. 

See even as a woman I can’t make all of the compliments and thoughts of first dates into a coherent line, and bring it to another woman without her being put off. 

And I really thought it would work whenever, because I’m a woman. But it doesn’t. Rarely. Yet I’m still drawn to them, that doesn’t go away. And I’m torn between the feminism yelling at me it’s street harassment and that feeling of living life on the edge that says just go after what you want. 

Just for clarification: There’s a difference between going after what you want, and going after everything you see just to go after something. 

Still I want to win, she got my attention so I want hers. If I never open my mouth will she ever know how utterly beautiful I think her hair is today?

If I never stop and holla will she ever know that I think she’s attractive? 

Yeah, right. I know my own endgame. There’s always more wrapped in a compliment coming off the street. And the bottom line is, if she’s as flawless as I’m making her out to be, she has someone, multiples probably, telling her this already. And if she’s anything like the women I actually want to date, she does not need me, a stranger, to tell her in public. People that know her, care about her, and are in her life let her know.And unfortunately if she’s really, Gawd, sooooo beautiful, she’ll also be catcalled by someone else, today. 

That’s the reality. I’m never going to be the only one saying it. I’m ‘competing’ with men of all types, guys she knows at work, people in her neighborhood. Fine. I try to talk myself up anyway, because I’m a woman, it’s different. 

I’m different, because I want to make black women feel special. But really, that’s not any better. The problem is patriarchy. That sense of entitlement that comes with a dick, that I can impose any thing I think, feel, or feel obligated to say, onto any woman at any time, in any place with no consequences. Even when it’s obscure, patriarchy is threatening. 

I’ve done it recently. I guise myself, thinking it’s better coming from another woman, but I still have the privilege of walking home at night and not hearing cat-calls and not feeling the very real danger of rape. As long as that exists, in the everyday environment, none of my comments will be welcome. 

As sociologist I’m fascinated by the exchange. What goes through me, every time I see women that stop my entire world that I want to stop theirs. Isn’t once enough? In other situations I’ve actually stepped in when women were being catcalled. When I’m with my friends its gross. There’s a part of me that is *still patriarchy, ready to protect or at least deflect when I assume women I don’t even know are threatened.

There is potential in every meeting. Unfortunately women aren’t allowed to take it, because it could be roofied. We of the masculine persuasion kill it all the time. I’d love to live in a world where women walk up to me, ask for my number based on my attractiveness and her feeling just right. That could exist! But in this world, why the hell would women ever feel comfortable everything that comes out of a man’s mouth is condemns masculinity? 

So the ultimate question for me and maybe some men, is what to do? I know that we actually can make a difference and offer security when asked, or when harassment happens around us. We can also keep hollrn and keep trying to make the magic happen. But really ‘how many times has it actually worked’, and after that, how many times has it worked out. 

The conversation between brothers, of all types needs to happen now. As long as public spaces feel unsafe for #yesallwomen we’re all losing. For now I’m keeping my urges where they need to be, off of the public streets and into mutual places where women can opt-in to my conversation. In the meantime I hold on to the complements and the suave, because the right time and place is never on the street.

Featured Image -- 58

TED Ideas in Business aims to shake up the same old thinking on professional development

Originally posted on TED Blog:

TED Ideas in Business are playlists that bring together talks of interest to professional audiences. Here, the art for "Hidden Trends and Systems" and "Skillful Presentation."

TED Ideas in Business are playlists that bring together talks of interest to professional audiences. Here, the art for “Hidden Trends and Systems” and “Skillful Presentation.”

For many, the words “professional development” conjure up memories of sitting in a human resources office, watching a series of awkward training videos and then taking a mandatory quiz. The TED Distribution Team realized: it doesn’t need to be this way. Earlier this year, they started to think about how companies could use TED Talks to get people thinking about their professional lives.

The team is now rolling out TED Ideas in Business, a collection of 25+ playlists curated around big topics in the professional world, like effective leadership, career development, the future of work, and good decision-making. The playlists range from “The Psychology of Success” to “Democratizing Innovation” to “Invasion of the Cyber-Workers.” Each list contains talks that can help crystallize goals, start…

View original 473 more words

Reality is a Work in Progress

  • Right now humans are more advanced than we’ve ever been technologically
  • We are also vastly unequal when it comes to sharing the resources of life and opportunity
  • Despite money and success people are more socially isolated  than ever before, especially in the western world
  • There are dangerous changes in the environment brought on by careless over-development

And yet, this is not the picture of reality that’s presented in media and in every day encounters. We live as if our positions are fixed, natural. Our actions only serve to sedate our fears.  Deep inside us is the awareness that nothing is stable, and that we could all be in another’s shoes.There’s a handful of billionaires and tyrants with the kind of stability that offers true peace of mind. And they have it because the vast majority of the world doesn’t. The first step to confront and change this reality is by admitting it.

It seems hopeless to look out and admit that everything you have could be taken away by one fell swoop of a teetering economy. New perspectives are daunting but isn’t that reason enough to risk it for something better? Take two or three steps back from your individual standpoint to look at the bigger picture. Think about consequences and the social reality we live in.

I write to face reality. My words will free the world.