One request I’ve been hearing often, from Black anti-racism educators to those of us white people who are aspiring to be anti-racist and abolitionist, is “Collect your people.” An expression that means when someone in your group is misbehaving, you have a duty to try to talk sense into them. In this context, when the fellow white people in our lives say and do racist things, we need to call them in. Explain why it’s problematic.
As opposed to huffily writing these people off as “my hopelessly racist friends and relatives.” It all starts with us; we are ground zero for shining a light and calmly but firmly explaining. (As opposed to self-righteously and theatrically “calling-out,” which is a bad approach.) We can’t go saying, about white people behaving badly, “Oh, I don’t claim them! I’m not like that!” Collecting our people is really important and I’m working on getting better at it.
Ally Henny, Portia Noir, White Woman Whisperer, and other antiracist educators I’ve mentioned on this blog are urging us white people to please do this. Go listen to these Black women’s videos, read their writings. They make things make sense, that I’ve never been able to make sense of before about the world of whiteness. And how we can help fix things.
And here’s a bit of reading I just now found by googling “Collect your people.” Hope you find these helpful! Google is our friend!
(What does dismantling systemic racism have to do with the climate crisis and re-greening the planet, you might ask if you are new to this blog? Everything!! Two words for the root problem are: “colonizer culture.”)
• collectyourpeople.com “For my white folks, with love”
• The White Allies’ Guide to Collecting Aunt Linda (medium.com)