To White Race Educators
I typed this first with much more feelings centering language but I fear that it won't be heard so I am being direct.
Under no circumstance should an all white space be encouraged.
Under no circumstance should an all white space be encouraged within a business that is concerned about diversity.
Under no circumstance should an all white space be encouraged to talk about race, diversity, inclusivity, intersectionality, or any of the other concepts connected to them.
White people have problems seeing any non-white person as an equal, a teacher, an authority, or anything outside of the accepted trope of service that's been a stereotype of their marginalization.
If you are creating a curriculum around white folks that can't be comfortable around non-white folks, are those the people you want to embolden as racially educated?
If you are a white race educator, examine the fact that your entire business model reenforces this damaging behavior. It is violence. Do not take this work away from the BIPoC who are currently doing it. Not this project. Not another project in the future. Divest from the gatekeeping that maintains your authority.
Stop entering inboxes uninvited to offer your help from on high. It is not help to reach down from your perch and allow access to the few who you deem worthy, while pretending that the invitation to join your space isn’t through the back door — as the help. As an accessory to reenforce your goodness. As though the house isn’t built on the bodies of everyone who has accepted that invitation.
It was your ancestors who divided the world into white people and savages*. It was they who built the pedestal upon which you still reside.
You are asking to be paid for something that you should be doing for free.
Throughout our entire existence, marginalized people correct each other swiftly and throughly whenever we think that someone "might ruin it for the rest of us." The space that “the rest of us” have to navigate where we are always viewed as a collective, and therefore suppress ourselves for collective survival, you have turned into individual expertise to be leveraged within the oasis of white comfort. This is violence. You should be calling out behavior that "might ruin it for the rest of us" as part of our collective survival. As part of existing in whiteness. As part of allegiance.
As painful as this might be to hear — know that bearing the weight and fate of your whole people when you walk into white spaces is worse.
What are you without racism?
Are you any good?
Are you still strong?
Are you still smart?
Do you still like yourself?
These are the questions.
Toni Morrison is asking. I am asking. We are all asking. We are all still asking.
*Savage is a cruel word. It exists to define that which is “uncivil”, “ungovernable”, or “primitive”. It was formed to exist at the inferior end of a binary with whiteness as superior. As should be evident in my point above - I disagree.
This phrasing about the division of the world is not mine however I cannot find the source. And my ability to sift through searches with the phrase in whole or in part is low - I find the results deeply upsetting. If you have any recollection please share so that they can be credited. Also the same in reverse. Please don’t credit this phrase to me.