There is no time for white fragility, black lives are in danger. Begin thinking critically about racism in the spaces you inhabit and the choices you make daily.
Take action, do the work of dismantling racism and transforming racism from the inside out.
Examine and challenge your own racial biases, prejudices and conditioning. Identify any bias you may need to unpack and let go of. This is a process and if you are doing it truthfully it will be uncomfortable.
There's a few more days of Black History Month and while I believe we should be learning, reading and celebrating Black History all year long, I wanted to share my 3 favorite books about race, racism and how to be an antiracist.
Love in action begins with how you treat yourself. Self-love or becoming inwardly loving to all parts of yourself is critical in expressing love, kindness, and compassion toward others.
What if the 2 billion people around the world practicing yoga (poses) began practicing yogic principles? What if those same people began practicing antiracism? What if we used our yoga practice to awaken to our own suffering and the suffering of the world, then began healing and took compassionate action?
What if we really did take our yoga practice off the mat and into the world?
White Ally: A Guide to Cultivating a Deeply Spiritual AntiRacism Practice is available now on Amazon.
This is a book about a deepened yoga practice, a spiritual practice, of intense self-inquiry, of examining who you are and your racial identity. Below is a preview from the book.
I'm excited to share with you that my first book will be published soon!
White Ally: A Guide to Cultivating a Deeply Spiritual AntiRacism Practice
You can pre-order the ebook here and paperback will be available August 1st.
I have always loved books and began writing as a way of healing when I was twelve years old. It's been a dream of mine to write a book. However, this is not the book I had in mind. The way babies choose their parents, this book chose me in so many ways.
7 Ways to Reduce Your “Racism Footprint”
EARTH DAY, an annual event which began on April 22, 1970, will be celebrated next week. It is a day to celebrate the planet’s environment, and raise public awareness about pollution and climate change. We have been warned of climate change and the effects are now upon us with heat waves, fires, flooding, and droughts.
Healing Internalized Racism
As people of color are targeted, discriminated against, oppressed, or victimized by racism over a period of time, we sometimes internalize it. We develop beliefs, actions, and behaviors that support or collude with racism.
Internalized racism is when members of oppressed or marginalized groups hold an oppressive view toward their own group, or they start to affirm negative stereotypes of themselves. The person may feel a sense of inferiority and turn the experience of oppression inward. It is both a conscious and unconscious acceptance of the racial hierarchy that states whites are superior to people of color.
Internalized racism has its own reality and consequences in communities of color. There is a system that expands the power of white people and at the same time undermines the power of people of color.
Understanding Race: 20 Things Everyone Should Know About Race and Racism
By now we know that race isn’t real, but it still remains our deepest divide. It is time to take a closer look at race, begin redemptive conversations, cultivate deep healing and choose right or compassionate action.
It is important to understand the difference between racial bias and systemic and institutional racism. Racial bias, whether conscious or unconscious, often results in discrimination and prejudice towards people based on their race or ethnicity. Xenophobia and anti-immigration are examples of prejudice, bias and hate, but systemic racism is something different.
How To Talk To Your Children About Race
Raising Anti-Racist Children
Parents often avoid talking about race or racism to their children because they do not know what to say, or they believe it would be too painful or complicated for them. For many Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) talking about race is not an option, its essential in helping our children move through the world. There is a necessary and important conversation that parents of black children must have with their children about how to talk, dress, and act in the world, such a conversation may be a matter of life and death. ”…as a black person you can be killed for simply being black: no hands in your pockets, no playing music, no sudden movements, no driving your car, no walking at night, no walking in the day, no turning onto this street, no entering this building, no standing your ground, no standing here, no standing there, no talking back, no playing with toy guns, no living while black.” -Claudia Rankine
Racial bias is not learned by talking about race or racism. In fact, conversations about racism will help your child to unlearn racial bias that is systemic in our society. Similarly, talking about the LGBTQ community will not make your child gay. It will teach them love and acceptance.
Help your children develop respect, acceptance and appreciation for others from different backgrounds. Guide them in cultivating pride in their own identity and teach them how to combat injustices when they witness it. Expand the conversation beyond their own identity, so the conversation becomes about compassion and mutual respect for others. Teach them how to become a “we” community and not an “I” community.
If you wait too long to talk to your children, it just might be too late. The conversations are already happening. My 6 year old daughter has already experienced one of her peers at school telling her that she is ugly, her hair looks weird and her locs look like black cheetos. My 9 year old son was disappointed and hurt when one of his friends at school told him that his Golden State Warriors NBA basketball jersey that said, “The Town” on it, should say, “The Hood” because he is black.
We don’t want our children to internalize the messages that some people are more valuable than others.
Photo by Samuel Austin on Unsplash
10 WAYS TO PRACTICE ANTI-RACISM
Awaken . Analyze . Action .
“In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist -- we must be anti-racist.”
We live in a profoundly separate and unequal world. White supremacy is built into the foundation of this country, as well as the world. It’s not enough to be non-racist, white supremacy will continue even without individual racists. To overcome oppression and create a more just world, there needs to be mass participation in transforming basic systems in ways that will distribute power differently. However, there is important individual healing work to be done before many are able to contribute to an anti-racist movement. Integrating anti-racism practice into our yoga practice is an essential component for achieving equality, justice and liberation.
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