I CAN FIX IT Post 2 of 5

A "Now Art" Project by damali ayo

Two-thousand people were asked the 5 things individuals can do to end racism. Here are the solutions in their own words.

"I've found that really listening to people of color and believing their experience is eye-opening"

Shut up, already.

Listen to a person of color. No really, just listen. When a person of color is sharing their experience, resist any urge to jump in and minimize or excuse their feelings. Don't make it about you or what you are feeling in reaction to them. Don't talk too much or say predictable stupid nervous things, just listen. Don't try to fix that person or change their mind. Don't cry. It's not about you.

Understand that when a person of color talks to you about racism, they are trusting you. Treat that trust with the utmost respect.

Honor Experience.

Remember that people of color are sharing their true experiences not merely voicing an opinion. Understand that experience trumps opinion. Remember that people of color have experience with racism that you will never have, but don't use this as an excuse for asking "stupid questions" or not educating yourself.

When a person of color tells you or another white person that something he or she has said is offensive, don't get defensive. If you find yourself getting defensive, listen to what that person is saying and try to change your way of thinking.

Consider racism to be a form of violence or abuse.

Honor outrage.

"If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention"

When white people mislabel outrage as anger it scares other white people away from doing the work and gives ammunition to racists.

Remember that talking about things or speaking out and being heard is a good way for people to heal from trauma. Don't punish, dismiss, or demean any emotion that people of color express in response to racism. Don't tell people of color that their outrage will scare white people or make people stop listening. Don't' tell people of color that they should educate white people or be gentle. Do not silence or stifle the voices of people of color.

Don't impose.

Thing about what you say to people before you say it.

Don't impose your view on people of color.

Don't blame people of color for racism.

Let people of color choose what they want to talk about. Don't make every conversation with a person of color all about what you want to share or what you want to learn about. Don't bring up racism just because you are talking to a person of color.

If you do have a racial consciousness, don't be self-righteous about it. Don't brag. Seek to always deepen your understanding instead of striving to get to a "finished" place.

1 comment:

Kahri said...

love the last line.