White People Must Eradicate Colonialism and Racism
Here's Some Resources on How to do That
SMASH THE PATRIACHY and COLONIALISM
This innocent Black child was pepper-sprayed by the police.
Black families don’t have the option to not talk about racism.
Also, if you’re able, be sure to purchase from BIPOC/BAME artists, entrepreneurs, and companies. And donate to organisations – grassroots is always best in my opinion – led by and helping BIPOC/BAME communities.
We have a lot of work to do and it's well past due. So let's get started!
WHAT GOT US HERE?
Patriarchy and colonialism go hand in hand. Colonialism, in my view, is a by-product of white patriarchal ideology. White supremacy and racism – learned behaviours/beliefs – and white privilege are undeniably tied to Euro-colonial ideology. I spend some time here focusing on colonialism specifically as it manifests in Canadian and Australian history as well as the ‘Scramble for Africa.’ It’s important to understand its place in our collective history: how it is the foundation of the white privileged, white supremacist, and racist constructs we live in today. Basically, what got us here? What did our ancestors do and not do to cause systemic harm and trans-generational trauma to our relatives? I highly recommend Gerald Caplan’s The Betrayal of Africa as a quick read on colonialism in Africa.
"There's only one race. The human race. Humans created racism."
- Jane Elliott
In the same way that male violence against women is not a ‘women’s issue’ but an epidemic and crisis men must fix, colonialism and racism are not problems for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, Person of Colour) to solve. It’s for white people to fix.
Men – not women – are the only ones that can truly end violence against women, right? The same goes for the systemic violence against and trauma of racialised people: only white people can stop it because we are the ones that benefit from and normalise it. Our ancestors created a false construct that dictated value based on skin pigmentation. It’s idiotic and hurts and kills people.
To prove the fact that hate is learned, Jane Elliott is an educator that has devoted her life to teaching white people to dismantle their racism. Here is a recent interview Elliott did with Jimmy Fallon talking about MLK Jr and her Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes exercise. It’s followed by a video of Elliott on Oprah in 1992. It’s the complete episode and it demonstrates how hate and prejudice are learned behaviors – and can be learned very quickly. Learn more about Jane Elliott’s work here.
As a white woman and a feminist, it’s taken me far too long to notice we subconsciously subscribe to toxic elements of ‘whiteness’, of white supremacy without a second thought. Everyone deserves dignity, safety and joy. I rob others of that when I don’t address racism and colonialism. Some of us don’t want to feel uncomfortable. Well, our BIPOC relatives are living daily trauma, being assaulted, or murdered. I would rather feel momentarily uncomfortable and correct course than allow white supremacy to continue. Wouldn’t you?
Despite being that autistic kid devouring information about Nelson Mandela, Gandhi and the Tibetan genocide, I was oblivious to colonialism and white privilege. I only started to realise the internalised colonial view of the world in 2011 AFTER I had founded an NGO working in Uganda (founded 2008). Finally in 2014 I officially closed shop on that NGO. However recognising colonialism and then recognising my complicity in racism back home were two different journeys. I think we all like to think, “I’m not racist” but we fail to critically analyse our environment and see how it’s stacked up to benefit us and harm others. If we don’t actively engage in dismantling the system, nothing will change.
Below is an article I wrote in 2017 about my own internalised white privilege and supremacy. It talks about an experience in 2009 involving work where I behaved deplorably toward a Black woman.
First up is a look at patriarchy’s colonialism and the danger of a single story narrative. The videos are informative and many use humour to show us how our stereotypes and ignorance cause harm (like buying those damn TOMS shoes! Stop it! Buy SoleRebels instead!)
Second up is a specific look at racism in the present day, unpacking white privilege and how to talk to our kids about racism.
WHAT IS COLONIALISM, WHITE SAVIORS AND GOOD INTENTIONS
(aka DON’T BE A white-mansplaining BONO!)
In this section, we look at what our ancestors did and how we continue to harm others, mostly unconsciously. The videos are laid out in an order that will help give you a solid foundation. The first video, Colonialism in 10 Minutes is an excellent way to, as the filmmaker writes, “put present-day problems in historical context.” Next up is Poverty Inc. Followed by A Day Without Dignity which explains how our donations can destroy local economies in developing nations and make people poorer. This is followed by a few videos on Indigenous people. Then you’ll find lot of cheeky fun short videos done by Radi-Aid and The Guardian and lastly some TED talks.
Note Andrew Mwenda’s TED talk (below) is featured in ‘Poverty Inc’ where U2’s Bono, a white man, heckles him and white mainsplains him during his talk. He literally interrupts a TED TALK! WHO DOES THAT?!? Apparently white people? Imagine a white man with zero credentials nor expertise in the subject feeling so confident in his arrogance and ignorance to boo a Ugandan man DURING A TED TALK? The white man presumes to know more about the life of people in Mwenda’s country – Uganda – than Mwenda himself. The white man, Bono, and his white mansplaining is an example of good intentions steeped in colonial superiority and Eurocentrism. Bono doesn’t think he’s wrong! But the truth is, he IS wrong. As women we know how irritating mansplaining is…need I say more? Don’t be a Bono!
Poverty Inc. How racist colonial attitudes continue to harm and impoverish developing countries
Some people get upset watching this doc. It’s okay. Be upset and then question yourself why. I’m a reformed aid worker and attest this doc speaks the truth.
Genocide of Indigenous people of unceded territory of Turtle Island and now-called Australia by Euro-colonial invaders – our ancestors.
A Day Without Dignity. How aid in the form of free clothing, shoes etc can and does devastate economies and increase poverty in developing regions.
Fun videos and inspiring TED talks on colonial racism and how stereotypes cause harm and keep us divided.
RECONCILIATION, UNPACKING WHITE FEMINISM, PRIVILEGE, RACISM, COLOURISM, AND DISCRIMINATION
COURSES, BOOK, AND WEBSITE LISTS
RACHEL E. CARGLE
Rachel E. Cargle of the US has two offerings for unpacking white feminism.
“Rachel Cargle is a public academic, writer, and lecturer. Her activism and academic work are rooted in providing intellectual discourse, tools, and resources that explore the intersection of race and womanhood.”
Leonie Dawson of Australia wrote an amazing blog post on racism and her (our) complicity as a white woman. It lists resources as well.
Her resource list is posted below for convenience. I’ve removed all her links to Amazon to buy the books in the list below so if you’re looking for direct links to purchase them via Amazon, go to Leonie’s post. However do consider purchasing from an indie bookseller. Your local library may carry some of these books and if they don’t, as an ally you can recommend the library bring them into the collection.
(I realise this list is currently USA-centric. If you’ve got recommendations for racial justice resources for Australia + across the world, I’d love to hear them! I’ll keep exploring too!)
- White Fragility: Why It Is So Hard For White People To Talk About Racism: Robin DiAngelo
- Talking To My Country – Stan Grant (Australian based)
- Dark Emu & Young Dark Emu – Bruce Pascoe (Australian based)
- So You Want To Talk About Race – Ijeoma Oluo
- Me & White Supremacy – Layla Saad
- I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness: Austin Channing Brown
- White Spaces Missing Faces: Why Women of Colour Don’t Trust White Women: Catrice Jackson
- This Will Be My Undoing – Morgan Jenkins
- Heavy – Kiese Laymon
- Your Black Friend: Ben Passmore
- You Can’t Touch My Hair + Other Things I Still Have To Explain: Phoebe Robinson
- March: John Lewis
- Braving the Wilderness: Brene Brown
- Hard Conversations Book Club
Online Resources + Educators:
Important Note: It is important to not just expect an education on racism free from BIPOC. If you’re not buying their books, consider purchasing their programs or supporting them on Patreon.
- List of Resources for white people growing equity literacy and justice consciousnesses towards solidarity
- Layla Saad: White Feminism, White Supremacy + The Silencing of Black Women
- I Need To Talk To Spiritual White Women About White Supremacy (Part One + Two)
- Dismantling White Dominance in Women’s Entrepreneurship
- Non-white spiritual teachers, mentors + guides
- Pretty For An Aboriginal podcast
- Desiree Adaway
- L’Erin Alta
- Leesa Renee Hall
- Rachel Cargle
- Rachel Ricketts
- Glennon Doyle (shares her experience of becoming “racially sober”)
YOUR CHILDREN AND RACISM
Here’s some links to articles on how to talk to your kids about racism and ensure they experience diversity of culture through friendships and experiences.
Expose your children to other cultures through art, food, travel, and friendships while having the difficult conversations around race and racism. Links follow videos: