Latest in a series of posts responding to the George Floyd killing
Alison Steele is a Liberty High School alum who traveled the world looking for adventure and purpose before finding it in Pittsburgh. She has made it her mission to help others make more informed decisions around how they interact with people and the planet.
from Steele’s Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist, Part 3
I think part of the reason why it’s so hard to change the systemic racism in our country is that it requires those of us with privilege to accept, examine, and adjust things that are so intrinsic to our daily lives, we don’t even know they’re there.
Time to Act
I do think that reading [Robin DiAngelo’s] White Fragility [Steele is in a discussion group] is an important first step – at least it has been for me in helping to identify my biases and defense mechanisms when I’m feeling challenged, guilty, and/or uncomfortable. But while it’s a good first step, it can’t be a last step. Growth is uncomfortable, if not painful. If you are committed to being anti-racist, you need to come to terms with the fact that you’re going to make mistakes and be embarrassed, but ultimately learn how to be a better ally (if ally is even the word we should use).
In my first post, I shared a reading list that will help other people like me learn more than what we were taught in school and what we see on the news. In the second post, I shared a list of organizations that are doing good work to combat systemic racism and promote equity locally, regionally, and nationally; if you don’t know what else to do, you can financially support their work. In this last post (for now), I am including a list of resources that can help you get involved in shaping local policy by voting and reaching out to your local elected officials.
Did some of you think Gadfly was serious and somewhat unhinged in his response post to his friend Steele’s part 2? Naaa, tongue-in-cheek, trying to make a point about white-person defense mechanisms as his subsequent post makes clear.
Working through the resource section at the end of Steele’s post, Gadfly focused on the Obama Foundation Anguish and Action site, and there found the 2015 Obama era 21st Century Policing report and especially, as we approach a Public Safety meeting on the Reynolds/Crampsie Smith Community Engagement Initiative, the chapter on “Building Trust and Legitimacy,” which is, of course, the foundation of the whole local police/community relationship.