“Dear Black People, I’m Sorry”

A young poet recently went viral after his mother recorded his slam performance of the poem ‘White Boy Privilege‘.

We here at The Written Revolution applaud the young poet, Royce Mann– He chose to tackle racism head on! He confronted the elephant in the room, and pointed out white privilege as a seed of racism.


How did this kid get it!? He’s probably just awesome! But the truth is he must also have amazing parents who’ve taught him anti-racist values. Big ups Royce. You keep hope alive.

The Written Revolution would like to dedicate this special poem to Royce:

Dear Black people
We hear you
Your cries fall not on deaf ears
We hear you
We speak promise and forgiveness, and righetousness
for you

Dear Black people
We know 
That survival through it all is not enough
We know that to thrive, 
Is to let youth breathe
To exhale hate and oppression
To breathe in and trust
Dear Royce
We hear you 
Words that cross boundaries and borders
Like oxygen
Invisible privileges 
and life-changing perspective
Dear Royce
we thank you. 

 

 

 

 

Using Your Race to Turn the Tables on Race

White People with PowerTM are doing pretty well in the world today. Because you’re white you have privilege. “White skin privilege is a transparent preference for whiteness that saturates our society” <Tolerance. Org>

Take it from another white person “It doesn’t mean that I, as a White person, don’t work hard (I do) or that I haven’t suffered (well, I have known struggle), but simply that I receive help, often unacknowledged assistance, because I am White.” – Jon Greenberg, Everyday Feminism.

#TWWOR will show you how to use that privilege to wipe out racism. Through practice, awareness and unlearning white people everywhere will forge the tools to conquer racism. Start with awareness. If you don’t know the patterns and behavior of white privilege you can never use it against racism.

Practice and unlearning go hand in hand. Question things that could be racist. Practice noticing things that could be racist and practice speaking out. Realize that your privilege means people will listen to you when they wouldn’t otherwise. Use those opportunities to fight racism.
Think about it; people automatically look up to you and see the good in you (see Dylan Roof)

Most people default to courteous to assist you. Most of the time people are kind and beneficial to you. You get the benefit of the doubt all the time. People assume you have money, education and power. People assume you mean them no harm.

People hear you more, give you more space and respect your space more. If you don’t believe me, all you have to do is observe the world around you. You may not notice it at first because you’re so used to it, but if you pay attention to how much listening happens to the people of color around you, then compare it to how much you’re listened to I’m sure you will see the difference.

But again, this just means when you speak out against Racism people will listen. You can win the battle against racism by observing and calling it out.

In most situations where you’re using your power you’ll even get credit for having a really good idea. The whole world benefits from one less racist thing happening. Racism loses a fight and gets weaker. Since it’s not able to reproduce in a situation you shut down, the next time that situation comes up, racism doesn’t replicate.

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Anti-Racism FAQs

1. What’s the difference between Race and Racism?

Race and Racism are different but defeating one is defeating the other.– Race and Racism are different though very closely related. We want a world without Racism, not a world without race. Race helps us categorize. Racism has no useful purpose. Race can be a source of meaning and culture. Racism is a political weapon. Race is a noun. Racism is a verb– not actually, but it is action. Racism is a deadly assassin creeping through our institutions and causing harm and lowered life-expectancy.

If we can defeat racialized thinking we can defeat racism. If we can defeat the idea that race is what divides us and come to agree that racism is actually the culprit we can win the war. Racialized thinking uses race as an excuse to not see racism. Racialized thinking separates people from their actions, excusing racist behavior–robbing us of individual accountability. This goes for white and black people– white people are never held responsible for their racist actions, intentions or thoughts; black people, instead of being seen as individuals with diverse interests, are coded as either black or non-black.

Categories are not the problem. Race categories help us to understand the world. Without race, we wouldn’t have a context for our history- black and white help us see the colors of a future world. Black and white help us see right and wrong. Slavery was clearly wrong. White people were clearly in the realm of moral evil. Without understanding race black and white become gray. If we understand that race is just another category of person, we see that people mistakes and that people all deserve the same opportunities to succeed in life.

Defeating racism means defeating a system that is stuck on unequal. Winning the war against racism doesn’t mean that we abolish race entirely– that we all become one shade of acceptably light brown– it means that all skin colors are valued equally.
2. What is The World Without Racism?

Short Answer: a book

Medium Answer: The World Without Racism is a self-help guide to anti-racism for white culture

Long Answer: The World Without Racism is an idea – Even if it’s just in my imagination, the world without racism exists at some level. Imagination is how we get our greatest inventions. Imagination is also a target of racism. I’m telling you, racism is a clever enemy- but not bright. Racism attacks our imagination because it’s an easy target. Imagination is all ideals and optimism. It’s easy to create shade where there’s sun.

Existing in the future is still existing. This world and this universe are so much larger and more majestic than words could ever do justice to. If there is to be a future without racism then that means it already exists just because it will exist. It’s like a baby or a start up. An idea without a physical manifestation is still something, an idea is something, and if it’s something then it exists.

Existence is taken for granted in this world, but it won’t be in the world without racism. I think we’ll get so close to missing our boat that when we finally arrive in this much better, healthier, cleaner place– we’ll be eternally grateful to each other. That’s another catch– we have to get there together. There is no going alone. In order for racism to cease existing the world without racism must come into being and vice versa. In order to get to the world without racism we have to go through the world with racism. The world without racism doesn’t exist without the world today–the world with racism.

3. Where did racism come from?

Racism is an aberration- Whether by accident or on purpose racism was invented. Like an invention it had many versions before and will likely have many after–hopefully one of those being a non-existent version, a version where we can talk about racism in the past tense. A version that is just a distant memory, like dial-up and honeycomb cereal.

Many white people contributed to creating racism. Whiteness itself was also an original inventor of racism. Racism was created to protect white women from threatening black men–men who were in chains at the hands of white men. In order to make sense of this racism stepped in, there was no logic just pure emotional hatred.

The many mutations of racism are what make is sneaky, tricky, clever and not-so clever all in one. It is dynamic. Honestly we were never meant to stay within the boundaries of racism. Where people are concerned there will always be change. Where people are oppressed and degraded there will always be blowback. From the very beginning of it’s existence it was doomed to end this way.

4. Why is Racism so important?

Racism is the lynchpin of all other systems.

A lynchpin is what keeps the wheels on a bike or other machine. It prevents the wheel or other piece from sliding off of the axle. It holds the system together through its integration into our institutions. Racism doesn’t have an institution of its own (capitalism has the economy, imperialism has the government and military, patriarchy has the dichotomy of gender to rely on) Racism is just infused throughout all of the other systems. Racism “holds the various elements of a complicated structure together” (Dictionary.com).
Our complicated structure includes sexism, racism, imperialism, capitalism, homophobia and transphobia, global warming and climate change and patriarchy. This system is only able to move and be flexible because racism holds it up on ‘wheels’. Our systems of oppression are moveable and sometimes interchangeable because we have racism as a malleable piece of the puzzle. Racism flows while the other systems are meant to create walls, bars, cages- racism is meant to create poison.

It’s a perfect balancing act. Racism allows the system to circulate–because black people experience all of the other oppressions but only black people experience anti-black racism. It’s like having a control group for experiments. Black people are subjected to every oppression, including racism. To be clear we’re all affected by all of these systems but the most adverse affects reach black people first every time. Black trans women are the most vulnerable group in our society right now besides children, and technically any black child could grow up to be a black trans woman.
5. What’s Anti-Racism?

Anti-Racism depends on Action– THe only way to defeat racism is to move with it. Like sports you must go where your defendant is going. Move your feet. Keep an eye on it’s weak spots and target them like your life depends on it. The first step is becoming aware that this battle is happening– once you’re in you’re in.

Then you have to practice, learn your weapons, learn the controls and take a few test shots.

Anti-racist actions are when everyday people stop racism by pointing it out (aim), seeing its intentions and stopping it from directing the situation. Racism works by being an invisible hand that guides people towards the satus quo.

The good news is that we already have the momentum. Actually, the hardest part is already done. Once you get started everything else is about direction.

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The Real Identity of Racism

We think of racism as one dimensional and we’re wrong.dead or alive.jpg

As a sociology student one of the first things I got under my belt was the Standard Definition of Racism (SDR)TM

Racism “Is when social policies, procedures, decisions, habits and acts do in fact subjugate a race of people and permit another race to maintain control over them . .  Racism involves having the power to carry out systematic discriminatory practices through the major institutions of our society Any attitude, action or institutional structure which subordinates a person or group because of their color . . . Racism is not just a matter of attitudes; actions and institutional structures can also be a form of racism.”(source)

But the more I studied the more I was convinced that my professors had were just slightly off on the topic. Something about that definition above just doesn’t capture the pure evil inherent in racism as a social reality.

If racism were built, literally like an institution it would be pretty simple to either blow it up, like a building, or destroy it in one fell swoop. If it were just prejudice and individual preference, education alone could theoretically take care of the issue.

This is all assuming that we as a society want racism to actually end and are taking steps towards that reality.

But since neither of those have happened , then racism must be something else entirely. The beast must be an actual beast. Something that requires cunning, guile and specific anti-racism tactics in order to destroy.

Racism is the most evil thing on this planet.

It has no other goal but to destroy humanity, and destroy it from within. It is even capable of change and deception to this end. So it occurred to me, racism must be a sentient being.

That’s right. I think racism is conscious.

Our definitions of racism place it in the limiting context of language. But racism is clearly something more forceful than it’s definition implies. Racism isn’t well-articulated because it’s single goal is to cause chaos and disruption in this human family.

It’s the foundation that our society is built upon, it’s the stalk that grows our economy, feeds our families and shapes our government. That racism is also the root of terror in our society is no coincidence.

But the thing that makes racism a living, maybe even breathing thing is that it has a purpose. Racism was created, discovered,  implemented and institutionalized with a goal in mind. It was programmed.

And then it learned. And then we lost control of it.

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The World Without an Anti-Racist Superhero

What makes an anti-racist superhero?

The ideal hero doesn’t quite know he’s a hero yet. His powers are still undeveloped though they may be showing through in other ways.

They may be an activist already, already politicized, passionate about a just cause.

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An anti- racist super hero may not be fully aware yet. They could be as young as 16 (that’s usually when superpowers present themselves). Anti-racism super heroes regain touch with their youth to fight racism in smarter and more fun ways.

Before TWWOR the anti-racist superhero might have been a teacher, or a developer, a political aide, a truck driver, a freelancer. They’re probably educated or have plans to get an education. He will be confident. They might be well dressed, but mostly they were normal.

Anti-Racist Merits:  They’re confident, smart, hard workers.

Anti-Racist Weaknesses: They’re alone, They’re new to this world, and they are unsure about their powers.

But with every action or decision they are consciously thinking about how to abolish racism for good. That’s their bottom line. They chose to read #TWWOR because it’s a resource for them to accomplish their goal.

Ultimately what makes an anti- racist superhero different is that they will be willing to pick up this book. #TWWOR is a beacon calling out to all would-be anti-racist heroes “Read me and save the world”. #twwor
After #TWWOR the anti racism superhero will be a shining beacon to all mankind. Most will settle for an alter ego. They will probably keep their day job, since they’re good at being undercover. A quick change in a telephone booth, a secret life, a hero’s suit and mask.

Without anti-racist heroes we can’t win.

In The World Without Racism anti-racist superheroes will learn how to unlock their powers and control them. They will learn the true nature of the enemy we are all up against. Then they’ll be given tools to help destroy it.

Ultimately each anti-racist hero will have their own story and I cannot wait to read them all.

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The World Without an Anti-Racist Superhero

The Darkest Timeline

Are we in the darkest timeline?

Let’s assume that multiverse theories exist and that there are numerous other parallel universes that may or may not resemble the one we’re in now.  Let’s assume that all those parallel universes are lined up best possible outcome to worst.

In some of those universes racism doesn’t exist. The two or three choices in our history that ended up as an ingrained racist system never happened, happened slightly differently or racism just never  caught on.

With all of our potential worlds and all their potential outcomes lined up against each other is our planet earth still something to be proud of? How far from center are we and how dark does our world get?

 

hero
PHIL SUSSMAN Vice Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli presents the Distinguished Service Cross to Staff Sgt. Christopher B. Waiters Oct. 23, 2008 during a ceremony at Soldiers Field House.

The many millions of choices that have been made since the beginning of human life on any earth have all added up to create the potential future of any timeline.

Most potential futures still have a mathematical chance of happening.

Even TWWOR. That reality still has a chance. But the one factor that affects our decision making also affects our ability to have TWWOR: Racism

Of the many decisions we make in a day, racism is constantly lurking and aware. Even with small wins like simple disregard, it adds up.

Racism could be the cause of our darkest demise. It stops us from achieving our destiny as greatest timeline- by putting one group against each other, in terms of what’s not best for the rest of the world.

This is our darkest timeline. We’re in dire need of an  anti-racist hero. Likely he will need outside help.

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The world Without Racism is a key to your powers. Learn more.

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The Standard Definition of Racism TM

Racism “Is when social policies, procedures, decisions, habits and acts do in fact subjugate a race of people and permit another race to maintain control over them . . Racism involves having the power to carry out systematic discriminatory practices through the major institutions of our society. Any attitude, action or institutional structure which subordinates a person or group because of their color . . . Racism is not just a matter of attitudes; actions and institutional structures can also be a form of racism.”(source)

Race is an important topic in American policy today. We’ve seen many recent tragedies occur due in part or in whole to racial injustice.

1943_Colored_Waiting_Room_Sign.jpg
Image Credit: Esther Bubley

It’s pretty obvious that black people are treated differently in this country.

Racism is the cause of our subjugation and the subject of our attack.

Racism is about control. Racism “permit[s] another race to maintain control…”. Control can be defined as authority, direction, charge, government, jurisdiction, management. If you look at the majority of positions of power in this company –CEOS, Judges, Congressmen, business Owners, managers– you will overwhelmingly see white faces.

 

Racism involves power. It is about having the power to systematically carry out racist practices- To systematically do anything you need a system –one like our education, government, police, housing or banking systems. The arrangements of our society help us to classify needs and get things done. But they also perpetuate racism when we are not carefully aware of how racism operates.

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Image Credit Ivy969 

The complexity, and conformity of a system make it easy for racism to replicate itself. It takes the coordination of the system- paperwork, filing, communications, goals, planning and budgets– to make sure racism slips into the fine print of our community initiatives and planning, to make sure racism enters our thoughts, hearts and lives. Racism turns our own bureaucracy against us. Racism becomes instituted in the system through attitudes, habits and decisions.

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Any attitude– including ones that dismiss Racism as unimportant, non-existent, or not problematic– is a form of racism. Attitudes and thought patterns are just as problematic as institutional structures. Defeating Racism is especially a matter of these structures but it is also about reaching hearts and minds.

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Image Credit Fibonocci Blue

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The World Without Personal Power

The World Without Personal Power

Power is an interesting topic. There are thousands of books on the subject ranging from academic to menacing. Power drives many of our daily choices. This or that brand of cereal, this TV network or a competitor. Many times we don’t see a person in power, other times we do. The lady running the DMV, a police officer, a doctor. Those are powerful positions.

One thing is true. Humans like when we are in power. We dislike when power is ceded to another. Power ruins nations and builds great walls, and armies. The common saying ‘absolute power corrupts absolutely’ is an example of power gone too far. When power is taken away from us we crumble.

But there are other kinds of power that can’t be taken away. One is the power to read. You can be jailed, beaten and robbed but no one can take that power away from you. There’s also a personal power inside each and every one of us. Personal power is our ability to wake every morning and see beauty in another day, even when the world looks bleak.

Our personal power has more to do with mindset and less with brute force.

It is our power to connect sincerely with others, the power to be honest about situations are the way they are. Honesty is important for power, which is why so many leaders lie and twist their words in the quest to get ahead.

Unfortunately in our world, power is used to corrupt. In and of itself power is neither bad or good. With systems of racism, sexism, homophobia and classism in place- power goes swiftly to the head.

Not enough of us can use our personal power for good.

Our personal power is that ability to tell the truth to ourselves and then live in that truth. It is the power to see complexities in a way only humans can, and to reach through them and still find a way to connect. It is the power to change things just by having the thought.

Within our personal power there is the power to expose racism. A highly important task in the battle. Since racism is an idea with no physical form, it can only be exposed by other ideas. Our personal power and our personal truths expose racism by showing it first in ourselves, then in our close interpersonal relationships until the exposure finally ripples outward into every system created by man.

Once racism is exposed the battle begins. Learn who wins in The World Without Racism.

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The World Without the Voiceless

voiceless

This is the voice of humanity.

With all the possibilities on the web and all the media on the web, there are still only a few perspectives being expressed. Thousands of writers and contributors, all say the same things with the same intention to inform. Yet those who need most to be heard are silenced.

We are all so disparate in part because that is the nature of life- many petals to one flower. But at our roots we all yearn for the same sun. We all seek the same sense of belonging, we all want to flourish.

That cry to be seen is the same throughout. For some it is stifled before adulthood. Others lose their way along the long roads of doubt, consumerism and capitalism. We all get lost at some point. In the World Without Racism, it becomes a little easier. There is one less beast to compete with, One less wolf in the forest. Once we’ve eradicated racism, we know we can disrupt and disengage from capitalism. It is only a few steps to our final destination.

Buy into your own voice.

You can still change the world. You always have been able to. No matter how much racism has tried to hold you back in the past, you’ve always found a way around it. The World Without Racism is just here to remind you; remind you of the world we really wanted when humanity first said brotherhood, life and liberty, justice for all.

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The World Without a Voice

Climate change is the number one evidence of racism- Its the scream of thousands of years of overexertion, segregation, and consumption.

Just like a dying organ, or a tree rotting from the inside we’re going to whither away if we don’t get help for our problem soon. Racism has plagued us since the 1800s, and patriarchy since before that. We the people have been struggling to keep hope alive as the rich grow richer.

A dying humanity is the consequence of a dying earth.climatechange.jpg

We lack empathy for ourselves most of all. Our ability to forgive and truly live even when we are wronged is tainted. We lack passion in our careers even as we work more. We spend less time with our families, less time with ourselves. Where is all of our progress now?

We have stopped moving forward because we got very comfortable in our fear of what’s next. In our fear of losing our luxury materials-In our fear of being too different. We would rather defend racism than our right to individual joy.

All of the distractions will fall by the wayside if we’re faced with water, food and oil shortages. We’re not there yet and we don’t have to hit the brink. If we come together now, The World Without Racism comes to be.

There’s a need to re-revolutionize the way we think about all of this. We are all connected. This is a basic fact. No one is helpless and no one is innocent. The more we are attuned to our likenesses rather than difference, the less of a need to classify and treat people differently based on social boxes.

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