Ignorance is No Excuse -- This is the third in a series of posts planned this week, where I share what white activists are saying publicly to other white people. Quotes today deal with why white people resort to denial and resist learning truths about the real extent of systemic racism in America.
Steve Wolf wrote:
“Whites are not fond of taking any responsibility for how this nation was founded on theft
Our entire material existence is predicated on forgetting who we currently are occupying, who we've destroyed to take it, and who we are currently destroying in our greed and lust
for power and ease. This issue undermines American exceptionalism with patriarchy,
racism and white identity that is literally created from this inhumane, colossal festering wound...which whites refuse to acknowledge, so refuse to begin doing the work to heal it.
I think of whites like Alcoholics Anonymous thinks of its members: You are never really not racist as a white person. You may well be a racist in recovery. You may be a functional
anti-racist. But you have a sordid history of racism in your past and a propensity for lying to yourself about it. Only constant working towards the destruction of racism -- and being an
ally to people of color and to Indigenous folks -- allows you to live another day without being a racist for one more day. Every day is a challenge. But I believe we can rise to this challenge, together."
Tigranes Utidjian wrote:
"As a white man in this fight, I find there is some destroying to be done, or perhaps
shedding light on the wound, which cannot be healed till it is seen and known. Some barricades to break down, arguments, sometimes fruitless, to be had (recently, white
men telling me minimum wage "enables" the lazy among us) need some serious
destroying, before or part of the healing. But my patience grows short…
From inside, I can say white civilization is full of a kind of essential misery. There are trivial miseries but there has been a great mistake in our view of self.
Supremacy (ideology) is the only choice available to the miserable. It is really a "grow up" issue -- "stop all this weeping, swallow your pride, you will not die, it's not poison." I don't
see much evidence of my culture clawing its way out of the pit: Donald Trump is the mirror, but if it is possible it can't be piece meal, there is no half measure. And nothing in our
history will be better for us than letting go of whatever we imagine the delusion of
Supremacy provides. Fall apart, start again, put the self back together, in relationship (embracing kinship with diverse humanity) this time."
Fannie LaFlore MS,LPC,SAC,EAP is the Developer and Lead Trainer of Healing From Racism Programs (HFR) which draws on her extensive Communications, Human Services, Entrepreneurship and Activism experience.