The Joy of Unchoosing*
White supremacists vs. white supremacist thinking and culture
So, not one person I know at UU is a white supremacist; however, most all of us have been well-taught and trained to think in white supremacist ways to live well in this white supremacist culture. I fully recognize that I have been well-taught and trained, and it has taken me 30+ years of going at it from different directions to actually realize that is what it is. And I’m still realizing I’m trapped in it to different degrees on different days in different ways. But now that I can name it and recognize it, I can choose it or unchoose it; unchoosing it at times is risky, but there is power – and joy – in being able to have the choice rather than remaining at the mercy of that particular mindset that allowed white supremacy and racism and the other horrors we see in our world to become a thing. Because racism is not a natural way people act in the world: it is something we are taught. Looking at someone different from us in some way – gender expression, skin color, language, eye shape, spiritual belief, etc. – with suspicion and fear and hatred is not natural: it is something we are taught.
As a country – and now as a world that has been colonized by this white supremacist mindset over the centuries – the only way we can find our way out of this mire that has been created and we all have to live within is to say “no.” I no longer will subject myself to this mindset that has created what we are seeing today and that black people, indigenous people, non-cisgendered or non-binary people, and all who have been abused and killed as a result of white supremacist culture have been saying for years, centuries: please just see us as human. We don’t want to take your place and make you suffer as we have at your hands historically and today: we only want to live and enjoy life and celebrate the things that matter. Honor the earth, honor the spirit in every person, be generous of spirit, share power, love family. We’ll have conflict still, sure, but it would be resolved in nonviolent ways, not the violent ways demanded by white supremacist culture.
For those further interested, some of the basics:
- Ibram X. Kendi, Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America
- –, How to be an Antiracist
*thank you to Colleen for the blog title