[chrysalis.activism] Book Group: Me and White Supremacy

Anna McFall annasmcfall at gmail.com
Sun Aug 23 22:48:04 CDT 2020


Maybe for this Wednesday, if we meet, we can agree to finish both day 6 and
day 7 (week 1 review)? That will speed us up slightly but not add much
extra work.

8/19 roles for the record:
Anna - Facilitator
David - Present
Stacey - Guardian
Topher - Note-taking

On Wed, Jul 1, 2020 at 10:13 PM David Ginsburg <dav9dg at gmail.com> wrote:

> 7/1:
> Anna - Guardian
> David - Note-taker
> Stacey - absent
> Topher - Facilitator
>
> WHITE FRAGILITY - Notes
> - overlaps with white exceptionalism ("I'm a good white person")
> - from last time: people tend to focus on the individual but we're being
> asked to look at the system we live in and our role in that
> - people get defensive because they want to be a good person
> - what does white fragility mean to BIPOC? white fragility makes a white
> person an unreliable ally
>    - On tactical basis (not just not the right thing): e.g. can't rely on
> them, have to be wary of what it means emotionally to engage with them
> - part of self dismissing existence of being complicit in systemic
> oppression ("maybe we don't know the context [for a given situation]")
> - what to do when there is an individual who is toxic?
> - parallel to "believe the victim" -> just believe the BIPOC
> - "white people" as shorthand for "the group of people who benefit from
> white privilege"
> - fear of BIPOC because of possibility of fucking up an interaction
> - moderating discussions of racism in a classroom was easier than figuring
> out racism and antiracism in your own social life: the "classroom
> discussion" is a known genre of discussion and involves challenging
> students to confront it but not yourself doing it on a personal level
>   - teacher knows it's their responsibility to play a certain role in that
> context (define your own roles vs having the roles set up for you)
> - "white people": frustrated to be lumped in a group, but it also exists!
> - legitimately proud of being a white person by using my whiteness (e.g.
> white privilege, etc.) for good
>   - proud of using this power effectively
> - Dissociate identity to feel less attacked on a personal level
>   - I am a white person vs I have whiteness
>   - I have whiteness
>   - I have whiteness: covers white passing (about how people perceive you;
> it's not personal)
>
> How to become more resilient:
> - Accountability: how to address avoidance?
>   - celebrate wins (e.g. share stories when we were able to have
> mindfulness around defensiveness)
> - Noticing/mindfulness: when feeling a feeling with another person, notice
> having the feeling and deciding what to do with it
>   - would like to notice feeling of defensiveness and decide to calm
> myself, not act, stop & listen, maybe ask questions, don't jump into
> defensiveness
>   - positive reenforcement: celebrate whenever you can do this in small
> ways
> - "Don't be sorry, be better"
>   - be proactive, carve out time to do the right thing
> - What to do about performative allyship? Antidote: *listening* without
> needing to signal wokeness, and *amplify* others
>   - seek out more opportunities to *listen*
> - witnessing/listening/observing regular things (e.g. art, music, joy,
> beauty) from BIPOC sources
> - Be curious! Antidote to nervousness and social anxiety
> - Creating safe space for risky challenges? Risky challenges are not safe,
> but having a circle to process emotions in a safe space can support you
> taking risks
> - Process your emotions! Cry, etc. But don't do it in the moment in a
> burdensome way for BIPOC.
> - Show up as an adult and not a child trying to please (performative
> allyship is childish)
> - Personal development is your own time and space. White fragility has
> impact on BIPOC, so yes you should process your emotions
> - How to use privilege for good? Economic: redirect money to black-owned
> businesses
> - We feel tendencies to step away and not look at this, so what's the
> motivation? What are the benefits for us of addressing our white fragility?
>   - Helps us be more free
>     - Fragility: largely about avoidance and fear. So addressing it helps
> us be more free!
>   - Feel a sense of alienation from BIPOC, so addressing our fragility
> fosters more authentic connection
>   - Want to feel good (source of fragility is not wanting to feel bad), so
> we are defensive, but that feels worse!
> - How can we detach and make it not personal?
>   - Remember that it's about the other person. Curiosity and refocusing on
> how the other person is feeling.
>   - Refocus on the actual problem.
>   - Say "this is not about me"
>
> On Wed, Jun 24, 2020 at 9:57 PM Anna McFall <annasmcfall at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> 6/24:
>> Anna - Note-taker
>> David - Facilitator
>> Stacey - absent
>> Topher - Guardian
>>
>> WHITE PRIVILEGE - Notes
>> - Perfectionism as an attribute of white supremacy, patriarchy, capitalism
>> --> being "called out" hurts more in this framework, and isn't as
>> productive
>> - "I can ignore racial injustice and care for my intimate group of
>> friends, and it's not incongruent."
>> --> Don't have to fight big systems if not Black or brown, if focused on
>> just taking care of loved ones.
>> --> Same set of concerns means something completely different about how
>> you have to engage with systemic issues.
>> - "There's a way you can be authoritative and take care of business
>> without being a fucking asshole!"
>> - Our deep learning models show us our own biases
>> - AND SO MUCH MORE!
>>
>> <333
>>
>> On Wed, Jun 17, 2020 at 9:05 PM Anna McFall <annasmcfall at gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>>
>>> Next time (6/24):
>>>
>>> To do:
>>> *Day 1 - Reading + journal reflections
>>> *Read appendix section on Circle Way process (if desired)
>>> *Review the two PDFs Saad mentions from the Resources section of
>>> thecircleway.net.
>>>
>>> Anna or David (if present) - Facilitator
>>> David
>>> Stacey (if present) - Note-taker (takeaways at the end, any questions or
>>> themes (opt-in notes))
>>> Topher - Guardian
>>>
>>> On Wed, Jun 17, 2020 at 5:40 PM Anna McFall <annasmcfall at gmail.com>
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>>> Hi all!  I have a bunch of composition and tiny spiral-bound notebooks
>>>> if you need a journal.  I'll bring them tonight.
>>>>
>>>> <3
>>>>
>>>> On Mon, Jun 15, 2020 at 10:37 AM Anna McFall <annasmcfall at gmail.com>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> I just mean all of Part 1, though we could do Day 1 also, to initiate
>>>>> the structure.
>>>>>
>>>>> On Mon, Jun 15, 2020, 9:40 AM Christopher Lin <
>>>>> powertothepenguins at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>> Thanks, Anna!
>>>>>>
>>>>>> 30 pages works for me. Just to be clear, because page numbers are
>>>>>> always wonky for me with ebooks, does that mean all of Part I and some of
>>>>>> Part II, Week 1?
>>>>>>
>>>>>> On Mon, Jun 15, 2020 at 9:37 AM Anna McFall <annasmcfall at gmail.com>
>>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>>
>>>>>>> We've decided to hold up to an hour of book group work after a
>>>>>>> dinner break following our Wednesday evening activism committee meetings.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> We will be starting with *Layla Saad's Me and White Supremacy*, a
>>>>>>> full-length book of guided reflection based on Saad's original 2018
>>>>>>> workbook, which grew out of an instagram challenge she created for white
>>>>>>> folks to reflect on their experiences.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> I'm working on ordering a hard copy of the book for the house; in
>>>>>>> the mean time, I've attached an epub, and you can shoot her some dollars at
>>>>>>> her PayPal below.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Layla Saad's Paypal <https://www.paypal.me/laylasaad>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> It seems fitting to *read the first part--about 30 pages--before
>>>>>>> our first meeting*.  Does that work?
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> In our first meeting, we can take a look at the structure and decide
>>>>>>> how many "days" we want to do per week.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> <333 Looking forward to this!
>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>>> chrysalis.activism mailing list
>>>>>>> chrysalis.activism at moomers.org
>>>>>>> https://mailman.moomers.org/listinfo/chrysalis.activism
>>>>>>>
>>>>>> _______________________________________________
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>
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