Unlearning Everyday Racism
Unlearning Everyday Racism

Even the most well meaning white people have racist beliefs. Despite our efforts, racism is ingrained in us from birth and enforced in our thinking and behavior throughout our lives. If you are ready to try some new ideas and strategies to uncover and uproot the racism in your thinking and behavior, check out some free resources at https://www.kalissascopes.com

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From the Podcast & Blog

June 14, 2019

Reality Check Part 2

I am spending a lot of time this month with the amazing ideas from the book Stamped from the Beginning and the article “Fighting racism, battling burnout: causes of activist burnout in US racial justice activists” Linked is the second activity I created using these treasure troves. 

This week’s Whiteness Card is Reality Check Card #2; the focus is on exploring how we center our own self interest and how that leads to taking instructive critique from people of color personally. You can also find the full article and more about the book at that link. Use the questions to interact with me if you want to. Go to www.kalissascopes.com and find the free resources and tools area. I would love to support your exploration!

Thank you for bringing your best self and most honest efforts to all of your anti-racism work!


June 4, 2019

Racism Reality Check

How often do we think that we have done enough work on our racism? That among the whole of white people we are probably at least in the upper 25% of “good white people”? Because we don’t issue anonymous surveys to every POC we encounter every day and because we are cocooned in whiteness, colonialism, white supremacy we remain unaware of our impact on the people of color around us. A solution is to listen to and read what POC tell and have told us for many, many years and honestly apply it to ourselves.

Research on burnout in activists of color caused by white activist behavior is a treasure trove of reality check for all white people. Whenever we are tempted to think we have done enough work on our racism it helps to keep quotes like this from a burned-out activist of color: “…my white allies aren’t really the allies I thought they were…”

This list of behaviors that contributed to the burnout of POC activists is a list we can use to understand our own beliefs and behaviors that are negatively impacting the POC in our everyday lives. Commitment to unlearning this everyday racism means commitment to education, awareness and action. In the following weeks I will break each of these out into Whiteness cards but wanted you to have the whole list right now. 

  • Bringing our privilege and entitlement everywhere we go
  • Our unexamined racist views and behavior 
  • Pushing back and refusing to scrutinize ourselves 
  • Forcing POC to teach us about racism
  • Resisting learning from POC
  • Perceiving ourselves as more racially conscious than we are
  • Our lack of lived knowledge and our lack of respect for lived knowledge
  • Delusional perceptions of expertise
  • Taking instructive critique personally
  • Racial privilege that allows us to not understand the complications of systemic racism
  • Demonstrating our entitlement by entering working spaces with POC without the basic understandings needed to engage effectively
  • Requiring POC to expend energy dealing with behaviors of white dominance 
  • The inability or unwillingness of white activists to understand how whiteness is socially constructed to reify and justify racism

This week’s Whiteness Card is Reality Check Card 1; the focus is on how we center our own self interest and how that leads to bringing our privilege and entitlement into our daily interactions with people of color.  Also check out Ibram X Kendi’s book Stamped From the Beginning, and the article “Racism, whiteness and burnout in antiracism movements” for more about all of these issues.

Thank you for bringing your best self and most honest efforts to all of your anti-racism work!




P.S. If you like the Whiteness Cards you can check out the membership that brings you 2 cards a month along with options for group discussion and one one one text chat with me. https://www.kalissascopes.com/teaser/courses/view/..

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May 8, 2019

Dying of Whiteness Part 1

I just finished a book with some interviews that shocked me and I want to share some of what I learned with you along with some actions white people can take to unlearn the twisted thinking he describes. The book is “Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment is Killing America’s Heartland”, the author is Jonathan M. Metzl. 

The book is full of interviews and deep data dives into the “heartland” of the US. He found direct evidence that white people would rather die than lose our perceived place in the racial hierarchy. Now maybe this doesn’t initially surprise you but when he shared a story of a man dying of liver failure who “voices a literal willingness to die for his place in this hierarchy rather than participate in a system that might put him on the same plane as immigrants or racial minorities” It hit me hard. He is talking about actually dying of lack of healthcare and being glad to do it! 

Whenever I am furious, angry, embarrassed, confused, by another white person’s take on racial matters I know that I can make a real and immediate difference by searching within myself for these attitudes, rooting them out and actively unlearning them. This process makes a difference for the next person of color who interacts with me, helps me make better decisions about systemic interventions or actions I want to take and keeps me out of fear when I talk to other white people about racism. 

Here is the practice I came up with for this week, I would love to hear what you think about it…

Dying of Whiteness 1 -Whiteness Cards

I am moving all of my free resources to one place, if you have any trouble with the link above please let me know so I can fix the issue for everybody.

Thank you for everything you do to make this world a better place!

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