Been working through Layla Saad's "Me & White Supremacy" workbook since the New Year. Every day poses new question meant to be explored and journaled.
Each topic asking the participant to examine one's experiences and soul, drawing out the stories, conjuring the biases, denying the denial.
"Don't comment unless you are willing to be all the way honest. I don't care about perfectionism. I care about truth, because truth sets us free and makes us better," Saad writes.
This falls into my 2018 proclamation of "Dig Deeper." The work is digging. Mining. Nosce te Ipsum paired with "Know the world." If I can see the roots of my own racism, dig deep enough to the source, maybe I can see the roots of other folks.
Maybe we can follow this thread back awhile, find the first Aspen that sprung from the soft earth that connected all the rest.
In my examination about Tone-Policing today, I came across my own role in silencing and marginalizing women of color. Years ago, while unpacking my role in cultural appropriation, making dream-catchers, I sought the council of my friend of Stiletz ancestry. She sent me an email/essay she had penned, exposing her feelings living in a world so bent on destroying and erasing her culture.
I used the article, in an excerpted form, to tell my own story of apology and guilt about the issue.
The essay itself was cut up, transcribed, and roughly used to assuage my own shame. The article in its entirety I was afraid of publishing, afraid of making my largely white audience uncomfortable, alienating myself from my base of support.
This is more than Tone-Policing, it's further Cultural Erasure and Cultural Hegemony. It's further marginalization. It's "taking some" but not all.
It's not just fear-based, it's power based.
Unwilling to defer my power I maintain a white-washed version of reality.
Soft, shrugging, non-threatening and fake as hell.
All I can do is keep examining. Keep doing this work. Shift the focus from my shame to my education. Keep going. Keep doing the work.
Listen to the source, keep digging at the source.
This year, 2019 in the Gregorian calendar, is about "Making a Mess." I don't feel I'm ready, and the concept of a mess terrifies the Capricorn Moon of deep-seeded desire for control. But getting outside of the white-supremacist comfort-zone is critical.
What is "Making a Mess" is actually "Cleaning Up," and "Clearing Out."
So far to go.