by Summer Nettles
3 MINUTE READ
DAY 1: STOP SAYING YOU DON’T SEE COLOR
We know, Janet Jackson and En Vogue told you to be color blind in the 90s, but we’ve learned that assimilation requires homogeny. We don’t want to assimilate. People of Color want to be seen, heard and celebrated for who we are. COLOR RACIST RACISM Aggression People of Color aggression knee
DAY 2: STOP SAYING, “I’M NOT RACIST. I HAVE BLACK FRIENDS/ FAMILY.
Although friendships with people of color can be magical, they do not make racism disappear. Your “black” friends are probably tolerating your racism.
DAY 3: THANK YOU FOR ACKNOWLEDGING SYSTEMIC RACISM.
Please recognize YOU are:A: Part of the system,B: benefiting from it, andC: may have contributed to it via silence.
DAY 4: STOP MAXIMIZING OUR TRANSGRESSIONS WHILE MINIMIZING OUR CONTRIBUTIONS & YOUR AGGRESSIONS.
Looting and murder are NOT equivalent. (Also, the assumption that POC are the only folks looting is problematic).
DAY 5: TAKE YOUR KNEES OFF OUR NECKS.
Kneel beside us in sincere solidarity. There is no room for bystanders or backstabbers.
DAY 6: THIS MAY SEEM EASY, BUT IT’S HARD:
A: Label the feeling you get when you see/ hear racism.B: Develop a plan for how you’re going to address it.C: Do the plan.NOTE: To end racism, stay ready to confront racism.
DAY 7: PREPARE FOR SOME UNCOMFORTABLE CONVERSATIONS.
The anger you’re seeing is a reaction to the realization that white America exploited our common sense of decency to maintain the illusion of fairness. All these years, people of Color have been apologists for your behavior. We discussed plainly, amongst ourselves, that the system is rigged, but white Americans are oblivious to our oppression (not because they’re bad, but because it’s not happening to them). Amy Cooper’s conduct and George Floyd’s murder created the perfect storm. We could no longer argue that you didn’t know better. We have no choice now but to demand you do better. It’s a tsunami of wokeness outchea. Going forward we will be as intolerant of your willful ignorance as you have been of our minor infractions.
DAY 8: STOP MAKING BEING COMPLICIT IN YOUR PERSONAL OR ORGANIZATIONAL RACISM A CONDITION OF MAINTAINING EMPLOYMENT.
The image of racism that exists in the world is that of a white-hooded figure burning crosses in the night. The reality is far more insidious, a lot less obvious and often requires organizational agreement to sustain itself. The stress caused by enduring this sort of “racism lite” is called weathering and its slowly killing African American women and our unborn babies every day in the workplace.
DAY 9: RETIRE THE RESPONSE, “I DON’T THINK I’M RACIST.”
If someone tells you you’re being racist you’ve likely done/said something repeatedly to warrant that comment. You’ve demonstrated a pattern of racist behavior.NEWSFLASH: We don’t want you to be racist either! It takes a LOT of courage to tell someone they’re being racist. Don’t be discouraged by this conversation. If someone trusts you enough to TELL you you’re being racist they probably believe you have the ability to change. They wouldn’t waste their time telling you otherwise. Don’t let them down!
DAY 10: ACCEPT THAT YOU’RE NEVER DONE NOT BEING RACIST.
You’ll actually never be done NOT being any ist or ism. It’s like working out, if you stop, eventually, you’ll be out of shape. Sorry, there’s no certification, no degree and no Morgan Freeman to tell you you’re finished. You’ve got to police yourself! Simply put, people who stay “woke” don’t sleep on their shortcomings.