What questions about the white supremacist insurrection do I need to ask and answer for myself to shift towards accountability and action?

Graphics from @ohhappydani on Instagram

(Originally posted on @carolinepritchardwrites on January 7, 2021)

For white people like me to engage in hard, honest conversations with kids *and* adults, we have to interrogate our own biases and do the work for ourselves. Demanding answers and resources from BIPOC folx, often strangers, repeats the same cycle of expecting free labor from those oppressed by the systems we are claiming to deconstruct. Thank you @britthawthorne and @teachandtransform.

I’d love to hear from others about what this personal interrogation looks like after yesterday. Here are some of the questions on my mind— so I can educate my own self and identify the defenses that come up for me when seeking out answers:

▪️ Why does saying “America is better than this” ring hollow, particularly for BIPOC? Did I feel shock and surprise by yesterday’s events? How does that reveal a socialized whitewashing of our country’s history?

▪️ How did Trump’s rhetoric incite this violence? How are leaders and citizens who echoed these sentiments with their voices and votes complicit? What are ways supporters will minimize the events, “other” those involved, and further distance themselves while continuing to support the same systems and rhetoric that caused it? What are ways I distance myself from whiteness and engage in the same complicity in my own life?

▪️ Why is it dangerous and racist to conflate yesterday’s attempted coup with Black Lives Matter protests? What is the specific U.S. history of white mobs attacking people and systems when their supremacist delusion is threatened?

▪️ What personal responses to these events are performative by design? What will it mean for me to move beyond hot takes and towards meaningful action in my own life? How do things like calling Stacey Abrams “magic” play into this performance, particularly with no follow-up action?

Swipe for @ohhappydani’s powerful depiction of shifting from the cycle of inaction to action. For me, identifying questions and actively seeking out answers is one step in the “rejection of performative allyship in exchange for the real, vigorous work.”

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