White allies: Thoughts and conversations for today’s movement

White allies: Thoughts and conversations for today’s movement

Racism is a fundamental issue in today’s America. The rise of Donald Trump’s minions fostering open and vitriolic hate against “the other” isn’t something new. It is a continuation of deeply embedded beliefs, policies, and practices that have been in existence since the founding of this country. It is not sufficient for only people of color to lift their voices and take action against it. We will never defeat it unless there are strong white voices engaged in the battle to send it to the dustbin of history.

For the past two Sundays I’ve featured strong white allies against racism and white supremacy from two time periods. The first was on Albion W. Tourgée from the time of Reconstruction, and the second on Joan Trumpauer Mulholland, from the modern civil rights era.

Today, I’m having a conversation with white allies from Daily Kos, from my university, and two (on tape) who are key white organizers in the Moral Mondays movement.

Learning about racism, recognizing racism, and becoming an anti-racist ally doesn’t happen in an instant—it is a process. We are all shaped by our associations and experiences. It is important for us to hear how others came to the table and joined the struggle. This is true for all of us—no matter where we fall in the socially constructed boxes of “race.”

I am dedicating this conversation to the woman who shaped my relationship to white people, and who also taught me early on about racism from whites. Because of her love and guidance, I have actively sought out white allies. You will meet some of them here today.