The videos on how to engage from Luvvie Ajayi, Jay Smooth and Tom Rietz helped put some things in perspective.
1. Telling Thoughtful Truths and speaking truth to power is hard. And when I do share these difficult statements or questions I must ask myself 3 things:
a. Did I mean it?
b. Can I defend it?
c. Did I say it w/love?
And if the answer is yes to all three, then I can calmly accept the response or reaction I may get.
2. Because sometimes a seed needs to be planted because the journey to being fully anti-racist is a long one and we are not perfect. Those who resist engaging in the hard conversations have a longer journey, so we must be patient.
3. When engaging in hard conversations, remember no one is completely good or completely bad.
4. When we believe we must be perfect to be good it makes us adverse to recognizing our own inevitable imperfections which allow them to stagnate and grow.
5. We must look at being a good person as a practice that we work on every day. One powerful anti-racist experience does not immediately take away all our implicit biases. We are all working in a historical social construct designed to NOT make sense that was created to rationalize and justify indefensible acts.
6. When trying to reach a white person who does not want to engage in a race conversation:
a. know my own story and how it connects to anti-racism work—this will help me understand my beliefs
b. listen to the other person’s story and learn why they hold their beliefs, notice to what level they are disconnected from society
c. Understand what happens when the two stories connect, where is the common ground? Allow for questions, show your vulnerability and acknowledge your imperfect nature, but why it is important to make social change to eliminate racism.
I feel like I need a workshop in #6.