PSA: Doers of Anti-racism work need to know it comes with getting checked.
Please if you’re talking about a PoC, do not call their challenging you on racism being woke. It implies they had to be awakened to a problem they have always lived. No amount of reading can stand up to their lived experience. This is for everyone, whether you lean left or right. Is there no side of discourse where our voices or safe and not seen as a threat? Don’t do anti-racism work if people can’t challenge you when you’re wrong.
Please stop quoting MLK like it’s a trump card. Find some contemporary Black people to quote. There are plenty of leading Black thought leaders since 1965. You’re just showing your lack of knowledge of the Black community. It’s so tiring to have someone try to explain to you what you already learned the hard way. It’s so tiring having self-proclaimed allies get angry or try to diminish your words rather than be held accountable.
If you mess up publicly, expect to be called out publicly. There are people watching that think like you do and they need to learn as well. We don’t want to call you out. We just can’t be silent. I can’t be mad if you don’t understand how you have wronged me. We don’t sit around wanting to cancel people. And if you still have an audience you’re not canceled. Feeling guilty is not same as shame. Please stop using buzzwords to garner public appeal. It’s disingenuous.
People seem to be all about empowering PoC until they are the one that needs addressing. We all mess up. It also appears as anti-racism work where everyone is okay being an expert even if they aren’t a target of the oppression. People should be, like in area of marginalization work work, referring people to leading thought leaders of that demographic. That should be seen as attack if that is asked of you. If Black people tell you they don’t feel represented in the work you doing that should be enough for you to introspect on the critique.
If we are going to work together to ensure no one is oppressed blind spots need to be acknowledged. Not one of has all the information. So those with lived experience should able to bring awareness of where any of ours might be. Does it rub our ego? Absolutely! It’s part of the process. We can’t do better until we know better.