Y’all know I typically preach nuance. This moment, however, allows us a glimpse of two pretty clear-cut foundational frameworks for white folks about racial injustice right now.*
1) a commitment to keep humble, keep learning, keep using that learning to do more effective anti-racist work internally, relationally, and systemically, and keep at it.
A person with this framework can be anywhere along a spectrum of knowledge and prior commitment, from just now realizing that white supremacy is a real, ongoing, pervasive evil in our society to embodying a long history in the struggle for a better world.
2) a belief – sometimes consciously affirmed, sometimes more subtly lurking in the subconscious – that one knows what there is to know, has done the necessary work to arrive at that conclusion, and is satisfied with it and one’s own place within that knowledge construct.
A person with this framework can also be anywhere along a spectrum of knowledge and prior commitment, from openly committed to a white supremacist ideology to long involved in the struggle against it.
For those of you who aim to fall into the first category of praxis, I invite you to reflect on what you do to keep from getting set in your ways or complacent in your learning and actions.
Do you know that this process of learning can be intrinsically life-giving for you and for others, even as it confronts great historical and contemporary sorrows? I assure you it can be.
For folks who fall into the second category – there is another way. Please know that – and know that if you’d like to orient yourself toward it, there are lots of folks who will be glad to walk with you with love on that journey.
* (I believe this categorization holds true for a lot of other differentials of power and oppression as well, including economic position, gender, (dis)ability status, sexual orientation and gender identity, religious identity, and so on).