Anti-Racism Reading List - 3/2/21
6 powerful articles worth discussing and sharing
Whew! What a start to 2021, am I right? Between the attempted Capitol coup and the inauguration, not to mention other events here at home, it seems there’s hardly been enough time to keep up with the reading. But I’ve made an effort anyway, and here are some of the articles that have caught my eye recently.
1. The 15 Most Common Ways Sex Abusers Deflect When Addressing Their Abuse by Catherine Pugh. Esq.
Despite the title, this article is very much about racism, and the similarities are fascinating. I’m sure this will make you think.
“I’m practicing my 2021 mantra: “Racism is abuse. Racist conduct is abusive. Call it what you what, but I’m calling it what it is.”
2. Why We Should Talk Less About “White Privilege” More About ‘“Anti-Blackness” by Joshua Adams
I’m always interested in making the language we use more precise, and Joshua Adams makes a strong case for a change in terminology.
“I think we are incredibly uncomfortable acknowledging how much the average person in America devalues blackness. Talking about “white privilege” feels like another way to kinda, sorta talk about what we know to be true; a baby step towards saying “there’s an elephant in this room.”
3. It’s Not Decolonize, It’s Desupremify by Jolie Brownell
Still on the subject of language use, Jolie Brownell explains that many people use the term “decolonize” wrongly, and there may be better terms for what we actually want to do, even if we have to coin them ourselves.
“I define this new term, desupremify, to mean the deconstructing, de-centering, and divesting away from dominant hierarchical logics rooted in white settler colonialism, heteropatriarchy, and racism.”
4. We Hire Diverse People To Make Them Like Us by Rebecca Stevens Alder
Rebecca Stevens Alder talks about a phenomenon that often happens in the workplace. Instead of welcoming diverse perspectives, there’s a push to make them fit in. It’s an interesting read, and fits with a study I read long ago about how hiring more women failed to change the masculinized culture of newsrooms.
“I have come to the conclusion that while they hire you for the diversity that you bring, once you set foot in their quarters, they try to homogenize you or simply put, they try to make you look and think like everyone else.”
5. I Am Not Your Minority by Indi Samarajiva
One of the reasons this article resonated with me is because I don’t feel like a minority. Instead, I recognized that I often move through spaces where I am minoritized. This writer lays out the facts and figures that prove that Black and brown people are the majority, and power dynamics are shifting.
“The very idea of a minority is based on a power relationship, but that power relationship is changing. The western world has shat itself on COVID (among other things) and everyone else is rising fast. We’re looking at a multi-polar world, where majority/minority perspectives make less sense. Everyone will be a minority. White people most of all.”
6. “Race-Baiting”, According to White People by Shawn Laib
In this article, Shawn Laib is talking to his people, pointing out that accusations of “race-baiting” are often borne out of a discomfort with facing the truth.
“It is not race-baiting to ask that people understand the weight behind their words. It is not race-baiting to think critically about which words are used in which situations and the implications of who you are using certain terms with.”
I hope you find these articles as interesting as I did. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
© Sharon Hurley Hall, 2021. All Rights Reserved.
Cover photo courtesy of Canva.
I am an anti-racism writer, a professional B2B writer and blogger, and co-host of The Introvert Sisters podcast. If you value my perspective, please consider upgrading to a paid subscription.
Thank you so much for these resources!
Great! Thanks so much for this list. I am grateful to be learning so much from so many perspectives. Regarding abuse of women or abuse of Black people or abuse of anybody by anybody else, recognition is at issue. My husband is a philosophy professor who works in the area of recognition, and it seems all abuse and much behavior boils down to the same concept of recognition---not recognizing the humanity of another person. It can become deeply personal and psychological (if you consider your own self-esteem, feelings, and behavior), but it is also very social and political---keeping someone down makes someone else feel bigger. There's white supremacy in a nutshell. Pretty obviously, however, that does not directly help the people on the receiving end, except insofar as it may help come to solutions, which I really hope it helps to do.