Stop talking about politics.
There are several posts I’ve seen in my feed on LinkedIn that say that they don’t want to see politics in the “professional” space. This is a space for networking and work and business ideas, they say.
When white supremacy and characteristics of that culture show up in our places of work, in the exchange of ideas, and in the systems that hold up our organizations, then you bet they are going to make their way into conversations and spaces designed for networking and work and business because they impact if, how, and why we show up.
When they show up in policies and executive orders like “Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping” that try to ban critical race theory, which offers a framework to wrestle with white supremacy in the United States, then yes, we are going to talk about it.
Though America would like to frame itself as a society committed to equality, it in fact is not. If our employers and organizations are committed, however, to equity and equality and inclusion, then we have to understand how white supremacy culture shows up and have a plan to create a workplace where that is not welcome. And this goes for faith-based and religious institutions as well, since I myself am a deaconess in The United Methodist Church and work with(in) these orgs.
There is much learning and unlearning to be done.
Here’s a list, culled from Dismantling Racism: A Workbook for Social Change Groups, by Kenneth Jones and Tema Okun, ChangeWork, 2001, of how some of those characteristic from the folks at SURJ (Showing up for Racial Justice) might show up, and suggested ways to counteract or correct.
What does the work of dismantling institutional racism look like where you are? How are you able to show up in these spaces when you’re told explicitly or implicitly, we don’t talk about that here?
In this moment when Asian lives are specifically being targeted, I’ve been pondering quite a bit what is it like to show up in spaces where my pain is not perceived because there is a general ignorance about Asian experiences with racism, especially as we continue to be used as examples of the model minority and tools of white supremacy .
Peace, friends, and solidarity in the work ahead.