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

Christopher Lin powertothepenguins at gmail.com
Mon Aug 24 10:55:53 CDT 2020


Sounds good to me! Thanks for the forethought and the role recording.

On Sun, Aug 23, 2020 at 8:48 PM Anna McFall <annasmcfall at gmail.com> wrote:

> 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!
>>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
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>>>>>>>> https://mailman.moomers.org/listinfo/chrysalis.activism
>>>>>>>>
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