- Ilsa Govan
Norm for Anti-Racist Activism: Stay Engaged and Expect Non-Closure
How many of us start trying to find ways to mediate or show the commonalities in our beliefs when witnessing racial conflict between people or disagreeing with someone ourselves?
How many are willing to stay engaged and understand the root of the disagreement?
How many of us have ended a conversation, only to go to someone else we knew would agree with us and talk about why the other person was wrong?
How many are willing to challenge ourselves and our friends to consider we might be the one’s who need to change?
Racism and White privilege is carefully crafted and constantly changing form. In order to address it, we must stay engaged with the knowledge that we may not see closure.
Today we are seeing the biggest wealth gap between Black & Latina/o and White people since this data began being reported in 1984. With all of the hard work, pain, even death people have experienced trying to dismantle racism in the past, it is no surprise that many feel disheartened.
At the same time, I still hear people (mostly White, but not all) in workshops talking about how racism is something we worked through and no longer exists. It is as if acknowledging the reality would mean they were racist. Or maybe it is just that confronting the truth means they have to see their world in a different way and question their silent complacency.
We have to find new ways to honestly connect, build coalitions, look deeply at ourselves, and continue despite the obstacles. We need passion and willingness to engage one another and recognize and address systemic issues.