I know we all want racism to end already, but what are we actually DOING?
Here are my top three tips for ending racism in our lifetime.
1. Explicit asks
The most brilliant part of white supremacy is its illusionary nature. If it were a creature in the wild it would stun humans with color and trickery. We would be so stunned that we’d go to our grave without a hint of what just happened. It works just like a peacock, or chameleon to make you think that it’s not there.
What to do: Ask- could this be racist? Is there an element to racism I’m not understanding? What’s not equal about this picture? What’s distorted about my perspective?
Self reflectively and consciously ask yourself and those you trust. Stew the answers and serve over rice.
2. Vote locally
We often miss the forest for the trees when it comes to racism. We’re detailed in the violent pieces that result in lost lives. But we miss the kindling, and matchbooks. We when we can’t see racism at the local level, we can’t see ourselves as part of the problem or the solution. Locally, racism is redlining. It’s schools and taxes and neighborhood character.
White supremacy looks a lot like coincidence and chance encounters.
It’s having one black neighbor in your building and just as you happen to be moving another black family enters the picture.
What to do:
Put your vote where it counts. Navigate more carefully the line between your best interest and the best interest of all your black friends.
If we want to eradicate racism for good, the local level is the most crucial piece. It’s what stands between personal friendships and institutionalized racism. If you vote to institutionalize racism you can’t really be a good white friend.
3. Teach your family
In 30 or so years when you have kids of your own, you’ll pass on to them everything you know about Skiing, and Investments and Twitter, and the good old days. Since the family institution is one place where we learn how to be racist you’ll also teach White Supremacy if you’re not careful.
What to do:
If you teach your family explicit anti-racist values the next generation won’t have to face any of the same problems we’ve had with race. You can learn more in The World Without Racism: a how-to guide.