After the year we’ve had, you’d be forgiven for wanting to hide for whatever time is remaining. But maybe it’s not hiding – maybe it’s a form of hibernation? An opportunity to rest, recharge, and restore as we face the end of one year and the beginning of another.
I’ve been quiet on my blog – I’m more active on Instagram, but I’ve also been relatively quiet there too. Not because I’ve forgotten or moved on from the events of this year, but more because I’m trying to understand my place in it all – where do I fit, and how can I continue to keep adding value?
Reading Whites, a short essay by Otegha Uwagba has helped me in my attempts to reset and recalibrate, particularly calling me out for my default tendency to throw books at any problem I’m trying to tackle:
“I often worry that the exercise of anti-racism reading encourages white people to satisfy – even exhaust – themselves with swotting up on the semantics of the struggle, without necessarily translating that knowledge into real-world action.”Page 23, Whites: On race and other falsehoods, Otegha Uwagba
Uwagba goes on to refer to Saida Grundy, writing for The Atlantic in her article “The False Promise of Anti-racism Books”, calling out anti-racism reading as “mere filibustering – white people learning about their privilege and power without ever having to sacrifice either.” As Grundy says, “the answer to “What did you do?” would seem to be far more material for race relations than “What have you read?”
So, if you are like me, and look back on the Civil Rights history with a firm belief that we would have “done something”, now is our chance to do that. Now is our chance to learn, and ACT. To be aware of our privilege and DO SOMETHING about it.
What sacrifices could we make?
What could we give up?
If you’re not sure where to begin, perhaps you need to buy Uwagba’s book, and go from there.