Dismantling White Culture at Resonate

This is a bi-weekly work session open to all.

It comes from the suggestion by some Members that Resonate must practice dismantling its own white supremacy if it is to fulfill the work of its manifesto.

These sessions are intended to be a place where this work is imagined and practiced.

The work is not easy. Structural change is intimately connected to personal vulnerability. Healing and learning often come only after experience of pain and confusion. Repair from the trauma and toxic structures of our history requires care and patience like healing from any injury.

Participants should prepare to meet and hear each other with the generosity and vulnerability that new growth requires.

Suggested reading: White Supremacy Culture
by Tema Okun (10 mins)

Starting place for May 19 session:

  • Read Tema Okun text with special attention to the section on ‘Right to Comfort’ p. 7.

Questions:

  • Can ‘Anti-racist’ gestures (like land acknowledgements) actually be a vehicle for maintaining White Supremacy, avoiding conflict, and comforting the beneficiaries of colonization and dispossession?

  • What would ‘leaning into discomfort’ look like as a practical matter for dismantling white supremacy in Resonate spaces?

Rolling Session Notes: Link

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By the way, I couldn’t be there at the previous session, will the next one also focus on this text? I feel like, despite the reading time being short, the questions adressed are worth a dozen meeting alone (and all probably would deserve further reading obviously).

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I cant speak for the group, but I could imagine we will touch on this text repeatedly, especially since this week it looks like we will hopefully have a few more in attendance. Hope you can join us!

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I wanted to put this note somewhere before I forgot. For anyone interested in more things to read and engage with I think that Reni Eddo Lodge’s book, “Why I Am No Longer Talking to White People About Race” is a really good and important work. Here’s a link to an article she wrote of the same name: Why I am no longer talking to white people about race
Just wanted to throw this out to the group. I have read the book, but not the article. I wanted to recommend it before I forgot to share!

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Great piece. There’s also fundamental ignorance at the root of this. David Olusoga’s very well researched book

Is a great read… and also his experience of a backlash against so called ‘woke’ history

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Seem to have lost everyone. It froze… Will continue to try to log back in…

@Hakanto @KallieMarie @ryanprior My apologies for rushing the session. I see that the original call was for 90 minutes not 60. This seems like a much better estimate of the time that is necessary. I will be better prepared for that next time.

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Starting place for May 5 session:

  • Read Tema Okun text with special attention to the section on ‘Right to Comfort’ p. 7.

Questions:

  • Can ‘Anti-racist’ gestures (like land acknowledgements) actually be a vehicle for maintaining White Supremacy, avoiding conflict, and comforting the beneficiaries of colonization and dispossession?
  • What would ‘leaning into discomfort’ look like as a practical matter for dismantling white supremacy in Resonate spaces?

Rolling Session Notes: Link

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Great statement at the top of this piece about why this work is not a ‘BIPOC’ thing. (BIPOC = Black, Indigenous, People-of-Color). Published May 30, 2017.

On 22 February 2014, I published a post on my blog. I titled it “Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People about Race”. It read: “I’m no longer engaging with white people on the topic of race. Not all white people, just the vast majority who refuse to accept the existence of structural racism and its symptoms. I can no longer engage with the gulf of an emotional disconnect that white people display when a person of colour articulates their experience. You can see their eyes shut down and harden. It’s like treacle is poured into their ears, blocking up their ear canals. It’s like they can no longer hear us.

“This emotional disconnect is the conclusion of living a life oblivious to the fact that their skin colour is the norm and all others deviate from it.

“At best, white people have been taught not to mention that people of colour are “different” in case it offends us. They truly believe that the experiences of their life as a result of their skin colour can and should be universal. I just can’t engage with the bewilderment and the defensiveness as they try to grapple with the fact that not everyone experiences the world in the way that they do.
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illustration for long read by Reni Eddo-Lodge titled 'Why I'm no longer talking to white people about race'
‘Why I’m no longer talking to white people about race’ – podcast
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“They’ve never had to think about what it means, in power terms, to be white, so any time they’re vaguely reminded of this fact, they interpret it as an affront. Their eyes glaze over in boredom or widen in indignation. Their mouths start twitching as they get defensive. Their throats open up as they try to interrupt, itching to talk over you but not to really listen, because they need to let you know that you’ve got it wrong.

“The journey towards understanding structural racism still requires people of colour to prioritise white feelings. Even if they can hear you, they’re not really listening. It’s like something happens to the words as they leave our mouths and reach their ears. The words hit a barrier of denial and they don’t get any further."

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Room is open.

Saw this today, reflecting on the comments. Lots of dismantling to do https://twitter.com/michellecyca/status/1525198115304636416

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Sorry to miss this week! I am in the middle of moving house… massive relocate. Hopefully I’ll see everyone at the next one and be at least available.

KM

At the last session we established a kind of standing agenda for the sessions and spoke to the context for the initiation of this work at Resonate.

Today I’m hoping we can begin to outline a long-term, continuing process for learning to identify and work against white supremacy in co-op spaces.

Here are notes for today’s session and the last one (May 5).

Session Notes

I’ll be there in 15 :sunny: