With so many reading lists advising people to read up about race, one critical factor is missing from the calculation.
We assume the reason racial progress is lacking is insufficient knowledge.
But, with the amount of information in the public domain, much more change could have been possible, if only there was a listening attitude, a learning aptitude.
Race is social capital.
Here’s a 7 step guide, to make sure every body profits, and no one pays the price alone.
But also online resources.
Remember 2 kinds of listening: with the ears, and with the heart.
With people closest to you.
In casual conversation, challenge stereotypes.
Be ready to deal with emotional blockers- denial, shame, aggression, fragility, even tears, as friends & family grapple with loss of privilege.
3-Organize for Change
Have conversations with people not close to you : extended social and business networks, social media platforms & maybe even community groups.
At this stage you believe in what you know, and are creating platforms for conversations to become sustainable, and change to begin.
Representation is the biggest platform.
Support more representation in the cabinet & government offices, where structural & systemic change is enacted.
Laws can be changed to reflect the new state of knowledge on social justice & equality.
5- Economic Change
Jobs, education & mobility reflect active ceding of the most powerful privilege - wealth.
Current race-based gaps in education & wealth will remain for generations, without Marshall plans, targeted education subsidies, reparations, and ending race based hiring, to close centuries of structural economic disparities.
Better representation of educated minorities in banking, insurance, law courts, police, universities, hospitals and other institutions.
Beyond token, performative ‘diversity programs’, public & private institutions should allow qualified people to be represented in decision making positions, regardless of race.
7-Social & Cultural Change
When dominant racial groups see ethnic minorities in new institutional roles, mental models of what it means to be ‘other’ can be unlearnt.
Race based thinking starts to unwind it’s grip on behavior, more people relax and
see minorities differently: as actual, equal, complete humans.
In response to new social attitudes,
Black people and other minorities can finally say they perceive a new different experience.
At last, we can give up fighting, and live.
End of racism. Everybody happy, ever after.
When will all this happen, you ask?
Right after people go beyond news headlines, and reading lists, and make personal, social and institutional changes with what they learn.
But are we open to learning?
Cos there’s not enough reading in the world to de-racialize a culture that does not see what the problem is.
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