We’ve reached an interesting societal point.
In times past, entities announced, “Tell us what you think.”
These days, it’s “Let us tell you what you think.”
Such seems the case, at least, regarding racism.
Not wholly contradictorily comes a recent offering by the American Booksellers Association.
As reported by the Washington Examiner, the ABA will host a “racial justice” workshop.
The event will focus on an infrequently-targeted group: white women.
It’s a generous gesture: Per a Zoom meeting description, the organization will let ladies navigate the treachery of “sexism and misogyny.”
But also, it will aid them in fixing their “internalized white superiority” — which they have, even if they don’t know it, I assume.
And as it turns out, when it comes to needing enlightenment, it isn’t just Caucasians with birth canals:
This workshop is open to all booksellers, regardless of how they identify, but will speak specifically to white cisgender women, trans women, and non-binary folks who have internalized feminine gender norms.
Participants will probe three behavioral patterns:
The workshop came to be courtesy of a request from nonwhites to a couple of women.
The peach-colored pair, apparently, were functionally far-sighted:
This program was created after People of Color asked workshop facilitators Ilsa Govan and Tilman Smith to take a closer look at their behaviors and assumptions as white women and do the work to learn with and educate other white women.
These days, getting schooled about oneself is all the rage.
And it’s a good thing, in the case of People of the Pale.
If a smorgasbord of cultural messages are correct, unmelanated Americans are treading water in a sea of sinister sensibilities.
The world’s full of unwitting white supremacists:
It’s become so powerful, it’s contagious:
But American Booksellers Association is fighting the good fight.
And they’re absolutely right — if someone has internalized racism, it should be exorcised.
Then again, it’s dubious one can be convinced their thoughts aren’t just that.
Still, conscientious companies are trying.
In case you missed it…
A Whistleblower Shares a Racial Justice Lesson From Coca-Cola: 'Try to Be Less White'https://t.co/gwAuJo1VUE
— Alex Parker (@alexparker1984) September 10, 2021
And fortunately for white women, there’s now a book:
Proceeds from Govan and Smith’s book, What’s Up with White Women? Unpacking Sexism and White Privilege in Pursuit of Racial Justice, benefit Tsuru for Solidarity and (black history museum) The Unspoken Truths.
As for the former, from the official website:
Tsuru for Solidarity is a nonviolent, direct action project of Japanese American social justice advocates working to end detention sites and support front-line immigrant and refugee communities that are being targeted by racist, inhumane immigration policies.
Among Tsuru for Solidarity’s stated goals:
- Coordinate intergenerational, cross-community healing circles addressing the trauma of our shared histories
- Educate, advocate, and protest to close all U.S. concentration camps
Incidentally, Ilsa Govan — the Zoom registration page makes clear — is an “antiracist facilitator.”
The Seattle leadership coach cofounded Cultures Connecting, “which has helped countless organizations put their vision of racial equity into practice.”
As for her fellow Seattle facilitator:
Tilman Smith is an educator, consultant, facilitator, and activist focused on racial justice, white privilege, internalized sexism, and internalized white superiority.
These days, knowing oneself is complicated.
If you doubt it, consider the wisdom of How to Be an Antiracist author Ibram X. Kendi.
From the University of Rochester Newscenter:
The only way to beat racism is to admit we’ve been racist in the past, Ibram X. Kendi told a virtual audience of nearly 3,000 Wednesday night as the University of Rochester celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Address.
“The very heartbeat of racism is denial,” the best-selling author, antiracist activist, and Boston University professor said in an hour-long Zoom event. “When people say they’re not racist, they’re sharing the words that white supremacists use. Jim Crow segregationists said they weren’t racist. Lynchers argued they weren’t racist; the problem was the people they lynched. Slave owners said the same thing.”
So which are you — the person who knows they’re racist, or the person who knows they’re not racist and so is therefore racist?
If your response tells you you’re ill — particularly if you’re a white girl selling books — an upcoming Zoom meeting could be just what the doctor ordered.
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