An Open Letter To White People: On The Benefits Of Being Anti-Racist
You keep being told you MUST ‘do the work’. That you ARE racist even though you don’t feel it. That you ARE causing harm even though that’s the last thing you’d want to do. And yet, apparently, you are.
“WTF?!! This is SO unfair. Why do I need to repair the harm my ancestors caused and what, exactly, do I get out of this? Equality? Hmmm. But doesn’t equality mean that WE (white people) have to give up power to ‘them’? WTF?! Why would we do that?”
And there’s the rub: What is in it for white people to give up the power they hold and have worked so hard to gain and maintain over the centuries?
To understand that I believe we have to go right back to the beginning…Why did white people (men) feel the need to subjugate and dominate their fellow Black and Brown men in the first place?
- Fear of superior physical strength.
- Fear of superior intellect.
- Fear that if they didn’t dominate they would be dominated.
- Fear that they would not be/were not enough.
And so they crushed that fear by crushing what they feared…
- By enslaving the people they feared.
- By colonising their lands.
- By taking everything they had.
- By setting up the world in a way that maintained their own dominance.
…in an attempt to demonstrate their superiority, when what they were really doing was covering up their fear of inferiority.
Fast forwards to today and NOTHING has changed.
In fact, in the intervening centuries, things have actually gotten worse…
The Black and Brown people they feared haven’t actually become inferior, they’ve grown even more superior. Black and Brown excellence has thrived out of necessity and the gulf – instead of closing as white people hoped it would – has become ever wider.
“Shit. This wasn’t meant to happen. Now what do we do? There is NO way we’re giving up our power now. And here we are…in a vicious circle of our own making. WTF?!?”
So what IS in it for white people to give up their power, to even up the balance of power and work towards equality for everyone?
Here’s what is in it for you…
- Freedom from fear.
- Freedom to know you are actually (good) enough, flaws, weaknesses and all.
- Freedom to be enough, just as you are.
- Freedom to stay in your own lane and focus on yourself.
- Freedom to focus your energy on becoming and being excellent without spending all your energy trying to maintain your power at the expense of someone else.
…Because while you’re busy looking over your shoulders out of fear, working hard to keep ‘others’ out, from a place of fear and continuing to be driven by fear, you are STILL being controlled by and reacting to the very thing you fear…
And the people you fear? They are far too busy working to become excellent just to overcome the hurdles you put in their way to even be seen as ‘good enough’ by you.
- Instead of being driven by fear of others’ excellence, you focus on cultivating your own?
- Instead of denying your fear, you acknowledge it? Embrace it? Actually deal with it instead of being driven, unconsciously, by it?
- Instead of ruling by domination and subjugation to cover up your fear of not being good enough, you lead with trust and faith in your own abilities to be good enough?
- Instead of leading with/by fear, you lead with love and trust that people will follow you because they choose and want to not because they fear you?
What if – by giving up the power you hold and keep currently by force and threats – you actually stood to gain more authentic, more real power than you could ever imagine in the process? What if THAT is the strongest, bravest thing you could do?
Wouldn’t that feel good? Wouldn’t that feel a relief? Wouldn’t that feel like…freedom?
That’s what I call leadership.
Ready To Face Your Fear?
We can help. We provide a safe, supportive and action-oriented space to work towards your anti-racism with no BS, no judgment and nothing but unwavering, kind support on your journey. For $50/month only.