September 2022: Reconnecting with Our Full Humanity
If you were able to join us for an August gathering, thank you. The conversations about the legacy of white antiracism allowed for so many opportunities to identify with each other and explore some of the ways we all can be useful in the movement to dismantle white supremacy. We were moved by what one CWC member shared after one of the gatherings: “One of the things I’m working on is recalibrating my relationship with my intuition. The way I’ve been socialized racially has essentially disconnected me from my ability to perceive the dehumanization and killing of [Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color] and see them as the atrocities that they are. It’s so hard to admit that, but I think it’s one of the ways I am harmed by white supremacy…I’ve lost the connection with my humanity that instinctually knows right from wrong, which allows me to remain complicit as more BIPOC die. Even as I say this, I can sense the disconnection from my heart, as if it’s all just theoretical.” For many of us, there’s something to identify with in that reflection, so we thought we’d make the focus of our September conversations the ways we, as white people, have been impacted by our participation and complicity in the dehumanization of people who have been racialized as BIPOC and how, as a result, our ability to be a part of creating positive change is severely limited. We look to Dr. Joy Degruy, who is a nationally and internationally renowned researcher and educator, for guidance. Dr. DeGruy's research focuses on the intersection of racism, trauma, violence and American chattel slavery. We will watch the first part of this video (00:00 – 02:42) to inspire our reflection (feel free to watch the entire clip on your own if you’re moved to do so). Here are some questions to help focus our thoughts as we embark on this exploration:
What identification, if any, do I have with the little girl in the image Dr. Degruy showed us?
How have I been socialized to believe people who are racialized as BIPOC are less than human?
In what ways do my actions (or inactions) contradict my beliefs about people who are racialized as BIPOC?
What are some ways that I am reconnecting to my humanity?
As you watch the video and consider these questions, please also remember our prompt for August - white anti-racists - and specifically Anne Braden. While this work can be heavy, and it is often difficult to uncover deeper layers of our own ingrained racism, we have White antiracist role models. As we often say at the end of our gatherings, the community and the sense of accountability to each other that we cultivate at CWC is quite powerful in supporting us as we figure out this piece of the anti-racism puzzle. We can’t think of any other group with whom we’d rather be on this journey!
“Anything that robs us of our humanity is a danger to everyone.”– Dr. Joy Degruy