I just finally listened to an excellent Addicted to Race podcast episode, which features white bloggers and anti-racist activists vegankid and Rachel. This episode is a must for any white person hoping to begin challenging racism and white supremacy personally or publicly.
Vegankid, for example, discussed the various spheres of influence in which we work when wanting to affect change. First, change happens within us (of course, internal work continues as we move out into larger circles), then in our circle of friends and family, next the community, the country, and the world. This was helpful to hear, because as vegankid said, many people fear taking any action at all since they feel they'd have to jump right into the public sphere. Not so. There are so many small steps we can take. And we don't all have to drop everything and become completely and solely dedicated to racial justice. As Rachel said, if every white person just did some introspection, and coupled it with learning about race and racism, the world would be so much better off!
The other part of the discussion I found interesting was about white guilt. White guilt is such a widespread phenomenon, and is in a way indication of awareness of white privilege and white supremacy. But it can be a paralyzing emotion. As vegankid pointed out, guilt diminishes when we take action. I can say I'm experiencing that right now, though I am just beginning to discuss race and racism out in the open. What I do feel very strongly is fear, pretty much any time I post or initiate discussion on these topics. Though this fear is real, it is crucial to act inspite of it, I feel. I will probably say and do stupid stuff, but I can only do so much learning in isolation. And it's only fair that I take up some of this responsibility instead of leaving it to others or hoping racism will go away if I don't think about it.