HEALING FROM TOXIC WHITENESS TO BETTER FIGHT FOR RACIAL JUSTICE
The election of Donald Trump has been traumatic for people of color and white folks alike, but for very different reasons and in many different ways.
Since the election, there has been a huge public display of and many private conversations on many white people's feelings of shock, dismay, and despair. This is in large part related to realizing how deeply embedded racism is in the United States.
Many anti-Trump white folks are painfully baffled at how so many Trump supporters fail to see the racism and harm in his campaign. And then they, in turn, are also painfully baffled when people of color point out the racism in their everyday actions - including around processing their post-election shock with people of color.
This is leaving many white people who wish to be anti-racist feeling like their understanding of what is racist and what isn't is really limited and not knowing what to do. And this is an appropriate first step toward becoming more anti-racist and is an important things to acknowledge.
To understand why, it's important to remember that white supremacy, in a myriad of ways, trains white people to not notice when racism is happening since it's not happening to them directly and to think having racist beliefs makes them a monster. This makes it really emotionally difficult for white folks who want to be anti-racist to actually acknowledge the fact that we were all fed racist messages our entire lives and that racism inevitably lives within us all. People of color just have their own experiences to counter those lies; whereas, white people do not.
However, racism and toxic whiteness is not inherent to white people. White supremacy imposes that on to white people, like it imposes systemic racism on to communities of color. And while it is not white people's fault that they were born into this racist society, it is their responsibility to decide what they wish to do with the situation they're living in.
So in order for white people to act in anti-racist ways and work in solidarity with people of color for racial justice, they need to acknowledge the racism that exists - both within themselves and in their communities. And this is a lifelong journey of healing and liberation from white supremacy - and that's ok.
That's why we're sharing this video recording of a past Compassionate Activism online workshop, entitled "Healing from Toxic Whiteness." It helps white people understand how you've internalized white supremacy so you can choose another way - an anti-racist way of showing up for racial justice.
In workshop, you'll learn:
The underlying reasons for the emotional resistance many white people have to addressing white supremacy and get the tools to begin releasing it.
Why it is of the utmost importance that white people acknowledge the racism in themselves before they will be able to fight the forces of racism around them.
A framework to understand how white supremacy has actually harmed white people while also materially and socially benefiting them.
A powerful tool for getting in touch with the pain of having internalized racism so that you don't unnecessarily prolong feeling that pain or put the burden of that pain on others, particularly on people of color.
We hope that these frameworks and techniques will work to give you some of the support you need to begin healing the pain of white supremacy in yourself and the world.
Download the PowerPoint that accompanied the workshop here and the transcript of the workshop here.
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