To the People Who Look Like Me

American society is based on a caste system that those in power attempt to ignore. It is impossible to be white in America and not hold racist views. It is the responsibility of every white American to acknowledge their internalized racism and dismantle the colonizer mindset. This is how I, as a privileged white woman, have begun the my internal anti-racism work. I decided to write this blog to share my journey with all and to inspire others like me to do what needs to be done, beginning in our own homes. 

To the People Who Look Like Me

American society is based on a caste system that those in power attempt to ignore. It is impossible to be white in America and not hold racist views. It is the responsibility of every white American to acknowledge their internalized racism and dismantle the colonizer mindset. This blog is an in depth look on how I, as a privileged white woman, have begun the my internal and external anti-racism work. I decided to write this to share my journey with all and to inspire others like me to do what needs to be done, beginning in our own homes and minds. 

A man gestures to a National Guardsman during a protest in Newark in 1967. Photograph: New York Times/Getty

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The Miranda Responsibilities

A list of responsibilities I believe white people must uphold as long as we benefit from white privilege.

  1. We have the responsibility NOT to remain silent. Use your privilege to support BIPOC voices and call out injustice.

  2. Anything we say in relation to racial injustice and Black Culture can and will be as an ally, acknowledging that some places are not ours in which to speak.

  3. We have the responsibility to be educated. "You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.”- Harlan Ellison

  4. If we are not qualified and thoroughly educated on a subject, we will not voice an opinion until further research has been done.

  5. We must decide, at all times, to uphold these responsibilities.

Acknowledging Guilt

- When beginning the Anti-Racism process, I realized I would feel frustration and agitation. I came to find that these feelings stemmed from much deeper feelings of guilt. 

- The history of the US is, essentially, a series of wrongdoings committed by oppressors. Cognizing that you are a part of the oppressor class is an essential yet terribly difficult part of breaking the system of discrimination. The commonality I come across most frequently when attempting to have progressive conversations centered around race is White Guilt.

 

- I truly believe that privileged Americans feel an enormous amount of shame and guilt surrounding they privilege, whether or not we consciously acknowledge it. This guilt, while unrecognized, often manifests itself with denial, anger, and resentment. It is our responsibility to embrace the discomfort; it is the only way we can be true allies and ethical citizens. 

ABOUT ME

I'm a 17 year old high school student who has benefitted from white privilege while witnessing my friends suffer from a corrupt, discriminatory system.  I wanted to do my part while not speaking over BIPOC voices. I decided to depict my journey in dismantling the ingrained racism within myself and those close to me. 

"In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be anti-racist."

- Angela Davis

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Why Now?

I've been working on this for a while, trying to find the right outlet to share. The growing racial tension and more frequent injustice in the US as well as around the globe has prompted me to finalize this idea. 

In my own communities, my own family, my own mind, I recognize the racism that flies under the radar or comes across as inconspicuous opinions. Many people close to me are extremely hesitant to work to be an Anti-Racist and that needs to change. Ignorance and Apathy are gateways to hatred and bigotry. 

In the wake of tragedies like the death of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, git me with such guilt and sorrow that it was time to do something more. 

 

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Created in May, 2020.