Updated: Jul 3, 2020
At this point, I'm always late to the party. By the time I learned about #BlackoutTuesday it was in full swing and reactions from the thought leaders, educators, and activists I had just this week begun to follow were pouring in.
So, I posted a black square, carefully didn't tag #blacklivesmatter and realized that #amplifymelanatedvoices and #BlackoutTuesday were two separate efforts. The latter causing problems as the black squares flooded the informational hashtag feed.
So, I deleted the black square post and doubled down into my efforts to amplify the voices I'm finding and bringing into my feed.
My efforts to be anti-racist more often than I am racist are going to be rife with these kinds of missteps, re-evaluations, and decisions. It was actually helpful to read the comments on an industry post made inappropriately on Tuesday: the Pilates Method Alliance (PMA) posted tone-deaf content on aging seniors. This led to comments by the Pilates community's black educators asking to be observed and the PMA deleted their comments. Effectively silencing the entire black representation in our industry that interacts through the PMA.
Now, living in Canada, I had reservations as to the effectiveness of the PMA, a predominately United States organization. This response has solidified my distaste for posturing.
I am seeking out more information so that I can take action and I can only do that by doing exactly what is being asked: buy from black businesses (which means doing the work to find them), read black authors, listen to black voices, seek out black content, and show up differently.
The more I interact with anti-racism the more clearly I realize just how complacently racist I had been, likely still am, and have been taught to be.
It's completely frustrating to understand that I was literally taught this system; that I am a victim that victimized others. That I am oppressing, segregating, upholding, and perpetuating by living and working within this system. I am racist.
The work of being anti-racist is ongoing and requires attention to do right in the moment regardless of convenience or resistance. I'm going to have to practice a lot. That, at least, I have some knowledge around.
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LEARN + READ
This article by Ibram X. Kendi, professor and the director of The Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University.
Eloquent Rage by Brittney Cooper (@professor_crunk)
White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo (@diangelorobin)
How To Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi (@ibramxk)
Resources will be added ongoing to this list. Suggest those you found in the comments below by signing in as a site member. *Extra points for Canadian content.*