What privilege does not mean that your life hasn’t been hard. It means that your skin tone is not one of the things making [your life] harder.— Surinder Karu @SKGEducator, Twitter, May 12, 2020
White awareness means understanding the unearned privileges (White privilege) that come from being white in countries like the United States, United Kingdom, and Germany, where whites are the historically dominant group. If you are a well-meaning white person wondering what you can do to help your society become more just for people of color, you are in the right place.
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We recognize that there are plenty of conditions that create suffering. These include socio-economic injustice, class systems, environmental injustice, and religious injustice. We recognize the universal nature of suffering. We also recognize that people of color suffer because of their skin tone.
“Video evidence of unjustified shootings of black people is so jarring in part because it exposes the terms of the [unequal] racial contract so vividly.”Adam Serwer, The Atlantic, May 8, 2020
We are here because of racial injustice. This is not self-improvement for White people that end when we feel better, but an effort to extend equitable liberty and freedom to all people of color. White awareness is an important conversation to have with everyone you care about.
Please use the resources here to inform yourself and compassionately speak with others. More people are becoming aware of historical injustices and the value of equity, diversity, and inclusion in large, pluralistic societies. To be clear, we are not promoting white supremacy.
This website shares many resources to help well-meaning white people discover and learn about anti-racism to dismantle systems of white supremacy, including police brutality, mortgage discrimination and red-lining neighborhoods, and mass incarceration of people of color.
[By] ‘White supremacy’ we do not allude only to the self-conscious [private] racism of white supremacist hate groups. Instead, we refer to a political, economic, and cultural system in which whites overwhelmingly control power and material resources, conscious and unconscious ideas of white superiority and entitlement are widespread, and relations of white dominance and non-white subordination are daily reenacted across a broad array of institutions and social settings. (Ansley 1997: 592)
The topics of White Awareness and White Privilege require skillfulness to raise because it is easy to tap feelings of defensiveness, guilt, fear, confusion, or anger. Moreover, the topics take on extra emotional charge in workplaces, schools, and other organizations. As teachers, authors, and leaders in our communities, we are committed to social justice. Our mission is to offer a curated list of resources to help facilitators working in this area to raise and extend awareness of white privilege in ways that are compassionate and ethical. Therefore, feel free to share, cite, and use these resources.
Volunteers for Social Justice. (2020, May 1). White Awareness. Retrieved from https://www.whiteawareness.com/
Ansley, F.L. (1997) White supremacy (and what we should do about it), in R. Delgado & J. Stefancic, J. (eds)(1997) Critical White Studies: Looking Behind the Mirror. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, pp. 592-595.
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