Posted with permission from Chris Crass
Notes to a white anti-racist on struggling to find her place to speak out, because she doesn’t want to be speaking for POC:
For me it’s not about speaking for POC communities, but when it comes to racism, I’m speaking primarily for white communities, for white kids who I don’t want to see grow up in this evil white supremacist system, for white people, many of us working class who have been screwed over generationally by ruling classes who have stoked the flames and encouraged white hatred, fear, resentment of POC communities and mobilized white racism to both keep POC communities down as well as white working class and poor communities down. Speaking out for white communities robbed of the humanity of POC, while having our own humanity twisted and distorted in the service of mobilizing wealth and power to the 1%.
So I bring in the leadership, voices, experiences of POC, not to speak for them, but to bring lessons, vision, insight, and history from POC (as well as white anti-racist history and insight) into white society, with the goal of freeing white people from the death grip of supremacy systems, and joining as many white people as possible to multiracial movements for collective liberation (which includes all or mostly white groups/institutions/communities doing justice work with a racial justice vision/culture in alliance/solidarity with POC efforts). We need tens of thousands of white people, courageously and passionately, winning over the hearts and minds of white people, so we can all get free.
I tap into and unleash my love for people, of all background, and my rage for white supremacist capitalist patriarchy, and support POC leadership while also cultivating, supporting, encouraging, and loving on white anti-racist leadership to move us forward.
Yes, we don’t want white people taking over Black and POC spaces and we live in a huge country, with so many people and communities. And we need to remember, as white anti-racists our primary goal isn’t just speaking up in white society, it’s helping break off as many white people as we can from white supremacy and helping lead them into the long river of multiracial democratic struggle for a better world for all of us, with racial justice at the core.
I encourage you to breathe, find inspiration and guidance from those whose leadership you respect, and begin finding your place, take actionable steps into the work, which is how you will find your place, through the practice of applying your beliefs and breaking through fear, you will eventually find your place. Yes it’s awkward and feels confusing, because white people coming forward for racial justice, and supporting POC struggles and leadership, is defying the logic and norms of white society, going with the flow of the death culture is what you’re suppose to do, so get awkward, walking into the work even when uncertain, and trust that we are making the way to freedom and structural equality, together. You are needed!