I am grateful to this training for shining a light on many of these issues, especially those of systemic racism and the history of how our entire society has been built by dehumanizing people of color. The two sentiments that stuck out to me the most and will stay with me:
Our system is not broken, it was intentionally built this way, to protect white people and keep white people in power. I myself am a white woman, and I work as a social worker at a large organization in Texas, serving a population predominantly made up of people of color. I often talk with my colleagues about how the system we work in is very broken. Yet, over the past few weeks, we have been realizing that that it is actually built intentionally, upon values of capitalism, and white supremacy, because they are so intrinsic in our societal values, to keep people of color in poverty. We work with people who have recently gotten out of incarceration and the fact is, no matter how many resources are provided for these individuals, they are very very few job opportunities for them, anywhere in our society, let alone a well paying one. In a capitalistic society, that makes it near impossible to live a comfortable life.
The reason discussing these issues is so uncomfortable for all people, especially white people, is because these norms have been present in our society for so long. They are all we have ever known, and in essence, it feels like they keep us "safe" because we know what role we are meant to play. We unknowingly enter into an unspoken contract, that we will stay "asleep" essentially, to keep these structures in power. When we "wake up" and questions these structures and the foundations they are built on, it goes against a number of societal norms we have accepted all of our lives and it is inherently scary and uncomfortable. Recognizing this truth and naming it is an important step in moving forward.