By Chris Crass
Note to a white anti-racist struggling with white resistance in his mostly white church to #BlackLivesMatter: you and I and other white anti-racists need to believe in the potential of white people. But it will generally be a minority of white people who will move. For us we need to develop an approach that does not expect support from other white people, but expects we must develop that support. This way we aren’t devastated by the lack of it, we can have more appreciation for (not take for granted) the support that is there, and cultivate other white people’s thirst to end white supremacy and develop their courage to work for racial justice.
So for example whenever you post something to a congregation/group FB page about racial justice, first ask 3-6 other white in the community you know privately support or you think might support it, to be ready to post their support and share their own thoughts about what you post – to help build momentum for racial justice, to practice asking others to step up, and to give other white people the opportunity to be on the right side of history.
Try to let folks know if they need support or have any questions to let you know. And ask those folks who are supportive to join you in public demonstrations and community racial justice events to put consciousness into action.
Our goal as white anti-racists isn’t just to challenge racism, it’s significantly about building up other white people’s anti-racist consciousness, commitment and courage to act. And again not to expect it, as white supremacy trains white people to be compliant, supportive of, ignorant of, and enabling of white supremacy. As white anti-racists we need to grieve this reality and set our minds on freeing other white people from the poison of white supremacy by encouraging and supporting those we can to get involved, and when we argue with the roadblock people, we do it to make them less effective, and with an eye towards the people who are witnessing this exchange, knowing they are usually the people we’re actually trying to reach and move.
I encourage you and all of us who are white anti-racists, to cultivate our skills at asking other white people to join us, not from guilt or shame, but from a thirst to overcome fear and be on the right side of history. White people, under white supremacist ruling class rule,were never meant to see Black people and other people of color as fully human, our job as white anti-racists is to see that system, and then look for ways to help white people fight against it, to join beloved community. And in the meantime, to build your home base of people and community that nurture and feed you, to go back into the work – sometimes that’s our church, and sometimes it isn’t. Love to you.