March 2023: What Is Truth?
Happy almost Spring! We want to start this month by acknowledging two important celebrations in March that you may not be aware of: International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on March 21st and Cesar Chavez Day on March 31st. These two days that focus on some of the truths about racism got us thinking something a CWC member recently said: “I’ve always been told that the U.S. is the land of liberty and justice for all. I’ve heard that from my family, in school, on the news, and from most politicians. But, as I dig deeper into our history, I’m learning about the many lies I was taught about racism and white supremacy and it makes me wonder what other misinformation I’ve been absorbing that I’m not aware of yet.” We wonder the same thing, so this month we’ll look at two different resources to inspire our conversations around our relationship with truth. The first is this video from TikTok that talks about the limited access white people historically had - and currently have - to truths about ourselves. The second resource we’ll turn to is this brief excerpt of an interview with James Baldwin about “certainty.” Here are some questions to help us focus our thoughts:
What is my current relationship with the truth about whiteness and racism?
What dominant narratives have I been told that have kept me from truths about whiteness and racism?
How do those narratives continue to show up in my life and how are they affecting my ability to be an effective anti-racist?
Where am I accessing counter narratives and stories of resistance that challenge the dominant narratives I’ve been told?
How can I amplify and maybe even be a part of creating counter narratives and stories of resistance that challenge the dominant narratives about white superiority in the U.S.?
You may notice that we don’t say “the truth.” We believe that multiple truths can coexist at the same time. We also believe that, as white people, our intuition has been damaged by our socialization into a culture rooted in white supremacy and racism. Perhaps some of us learn to ignore that feeling in our gut that tells us when something isn't right as a survival mechanism within in a society that dehumanizes and oppresses Black, Indigenous, Latiné, Asian American, Pacific Islander and other People of Color. If so, it seems that part of our work as white people might be to recalibrate our relationship with our intuition so we can navigate this complex world with insight, compassion, and a true ability to be useful in dismantling racism and white supremacy.
We hope you join us at one of our gatherings this month to share your own experience with truth. As always, if this topic doesn’t inspire you, come to a gathering anyway and share anything that is on your mind or heart.
"I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality.” ― Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.