White people are told to make sure BIPOC voices are dominant in conversations and work to dismantle white supremacy culture.
I get that.
I also hear the voice of Reesma Menakem, the author of My Grandmother’s Hands. Here are a few remarks from him while being interviewed along with Robin DiAngelo, by Krista Tippets on a podcast titled Toward a Framework for Repair, aired July 9, 2020.
…when white folks and allies say that they’re allies, and what can we do, and you think you’re being helpful; or what should I do now?, and you think you’re being helpful, there is such a brutality to your words that, many times, I can’t fool with white folks. I can’t be around you. I need you to leave me alone. I need you to not ask me what my opinion is of a Black man getting murdered with no regard.
…and they’re going to have to start really beginning to figure out how they build culture around abolishing white supremacy.
Anything other than that, for me, really is — and you’ve heard me say this before — really is performance art. It is not real. If you’re not going to be with other white bodies for three to 10 years, grinding on specifically about race and specifically about the things that show up when white bodies get together to build culture, then I can’t fool with you.
The idea that people can come up to me and ask me, what should I do?, when we have Google, is just crazy on its face.
… white folks have got to do this work themselves,
NOTE: this is a powerful interview and it is worthwhile hearing these words in Reesma Menakem’s own voice. You can listen to the full interview here: On Being Podcast; July 9, 2020.