On this rainy Sunday, I am reflecting on the events of the past weeks. Thunder is rumbling ominously overhead, as raindrops fall in heavy curtains onto the gardens below. It always takes me time and stillness to process events going on, before I can attempt to wrap some clumsy words around what I am feeling.
I am deeply saddened by the daily violence and systemic racial injustice towards Black people that is being highlighted with the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and many more. I am aware that these issues are not something that is happening only in the US, this applies everywhere, including here in the Netherlands, and I am part of problem. As a white woman I am realising how much I have benefited from white supremacy my whole life. Acknowledging my privilege feels uncomfortable, as it should, and I want to sit with that discomfort and dig deeper. Like many, I’ve been pondering: how can I be actively anti-racist? How can I be a better ally?
On this journey of understanding how be anti-racist, I commit to listening to the experiences of Black, Indigenous and people of colour and proactively spending time doing the work of unlearning white supremacy. There is no magic switch, it wont happen overnight, it is a long and necessary unraveling. This means that I will keep reading and educating myself to understand the complexities of the deep-rooted systemic racism and how it impacts my behaviour. I will reflect on how to bring the focus back to our common humanity and how to take personal actions to contribute to change. I will not shy away from uncomfortable discussions about race and inequalities, even if I fear I don’t have the ‘right arguments’. I will make mistakes and get it wrong, and when that happens I will receive the feedback humbly and learn from it to do better next time.
2 thoughts on “Unlearning”
I too felt like you. I struggled to find the words to address my white female privilege. I have so been working on what can I really do to help with change as I live in a rural area and don’t interface with a ton of people. I appreciate your honesty and your thoughts.
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Thanks for your message. Indeed it’s not easy to know how to create change, but already learning more and being open is a big step in the right direction. It will be a life-time of unlearning and taking action to make the world as we know it evolve, where ever we are based. I’m glad for this global awakening:-)