How to make meaningful change
White Guyde To The Galaxy
If you are a white guy and you don't know what to do beyond donate and being quiet, I made you a list.
1️⃣ Buy and read some anti-racist texts. And sit with the discomfort. Maybe invite a few other dudes to be in a book club with you 📌
I curated this collection just for you. 😘
- An Indigenous People's History of the United States, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
- How To Be Antiracist, Ibram X Kendi
- How To Be Less Stupid About Race, Crystal M Fleming
- Killing Rage, bell hooks
- So You Want To Talk About Race, Ijeoma Oluo
- The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander
- They Were Her Property, Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers
- White Tears, Brown Scars, Ruby Hamad
- Why I'm No Longer Talking About Race, Reni Eddo-Lodge (UK-centric)
If you want to understand how tech is complicit in perpetuating systems of oppression:
- Algorithms of Oppression, Safiya Noble
- Rage Inside The Machine, Rob Smith
- Technically Wrong, Sara Wachter-Boettcher
You'll notice I didn't link them. I encourage you to do some work to support someone other than the world's first trillionaire. Find a local bookstore that might still be able to deliver/do curbside pickup. Look on IndieBound or Bookshop if you truly don't have local options or are stuck. Part of doing this work is not always taking the first, most convenient option.
I previously had included texts White Fragility (Robin DiAngelo) and Invisible Women (Caroline Criado-Pérez). Both of those texts have been shown to do harm to the communities they purport to support. If you'd like to read more why, here are a couple of perspectives:
What’s Missing From “White Fragility” > Caroline Criado-Perez is a TERF
I regret that I included them to begin with but I don't want to erase the mistake and perpetuate harm. I apologise for any harm that I caused Black folks and trans (and especially Black trans folks) by including them in these lists. I ask that if you choose to read these texts anyway, to examine them critically through an anti-racist, pro-Black, pro-trans perspective.
2️⃣ Unfollow everyone on social media and start over. Try to follow NO people who look like you* 📌
Follow a spread of race, gender (expression, identity), orientation, physical ability, neurodiversity, nationality, socioeconomic status. Use Tokimeki Unfollow to mindfully assess who you follow.
Note about who you follow: Follows are endorsements, even if you don't see it that way. To protect our safety, many marginalised folks will often look to see who you're following. You can continue of course to follow whomever you want. And we can continue to protect ourselves by using this as a barometer.
*I know you still will. I said try.
3️⃣ Spend a year only recommending and/or consuming media by people who don't look like you 📌
(And if you just recommend/consume media by abled white women, I will not give you pistachio thin Oreo cookies).
This applies in all aspects of your life: On Twitter, for jobs, for reading, for books.
Sound hard? Well, 1 and 2 outta help you. But yeah, it's hard. Consider why this is so hard, when most of the world isn't white or male.
4️⃣ For every time you get the impulse to talk (live or asynchronously), try to only do it every third time 📌
For the times you do talk, ask yourself:
🔹 Did I listen to understand?
🔹 Did someone already say this?
🔹 Am I adding something of value?
🔹 Are these my words to say?
5️⃣ Spend time connecting with your thoughts, then emotions 📌
Write down your observations in this new version of you. What do you notice?
Seek therapy/counseling if you have the means. If you don't think you need therapy, it likely means you're seeking it from people for free unknowingly.
Read this comic on how you shift that load (not THAT kind of load).
Never allow yourself to stay comfortable. Comfort is complicity. Discomfort means change. Sit with it.