Highly Recommended: White Supremacy and Violence Beyond the Bullets
We read this article and each really liked it for different reasons. Here is a quick take on what each of us found powerful about what Akailah Jenkins McIntyre had to say:
Aparna: Powerful with refreshing honesty is the continued feeling that fills me when I read and re-read Akailah Jenkins McIntyre’s post. All too often I have heard comments like ‘change takes time’, ‘be patient’ or ‘not everyone is committed to doing this work’. This post highlights so many thoughts and feelings I have had as a South Asian educator. The questions in particular are a touchstone that I can use to hold myself accountable. I will also use the questions and reflections as opportunities to hold those around me accountable. Anti-oppression work cannot be done by one individual. This post is an excellent reminder that every moment to question and reflect on ourselves is an opportunity to guide us as we make a commitment to change.
Lindsay: I found the whole article really made me stop, reflect, and consider my own actions. I've returned to it a handful of times since it was published at the beginning of the month. I appreciate her concrete examples and questions. As a teacher, the call to celebrate joy rather than trauma resonates with me: "If you are well versed in our trauma, you must too be well-versed in our joy and resiliency." In the past year I've been making an effort to bring into the classroom successes, and brilliance, and joyful stories of Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour.
Riisa: It is the urgency, pointedness, and specificity of Akailah Jenkins McIntyre’s post that speaks to me. Too often in talking about systemic racism, white people are inclined to euphemize, minimize, or distance themselves from where racist trauma is being enacted. I appreciate Jenkins McIntyre specifically naming as violent the daily racist acts committed by many white people. If you are white and are not listening to what is written here; if you are not comfortable answering the specific questions she generously offers white people for reflection; if you are content to go about your life without actively working towards antiracist change in yourself and the world; then you are enacting racist violence. This post is a valuable mirror. I appreciate being able to return to this post often to reflect on my own daily actions.