Our initial Racial Justice Core Group met from September 2017 – June 2018. Included below is a summary of their experience.
At the end of their time together, the Racial Justice Core Group identified their key learnings from this intensive experience. These include:
- The U.S. has not confronted its history of racial oppression. The history we learned omits many key moments and ideas integral to that oppression. Controlling that message allows whites to maintain control and power.
- The concept of a white race was an invention intentionally established to consolidate power and create cheap labor.
- Our nation has faced multiple historic opportunities for transformation, but no true transformation has occurred. At each opportunity, powerful whites have resisted to maintain their supremacy and privilege. Institutions need to be upended rather than transformed. Tweaking and charity are not transformation.
- Racism is pervasive in all parts of society and persists today. Racism is systemic, intentional, and foundational in the support of white supremacy.
- Segregated housing and schools perpetuate segregation in all of life.
- Our criminal justice system’s practice of modern-day enslavement is enshrined in the Constitution.
- We must remain conscious of white privilege and work to decenter whiteness and dismantle racism. White supremacy is inherent in the way white people move in the world.
- The concept of “white privilege” is not to be taken as a personal attack; we must move past the idea of personal guilt to a commitment to fighting a system. People accustomed to white privilege may see equality as oppression or loss for themselves.
- Collective liberation means that I understand that my liberation is tied to yours. I further understand that societal transformation must be led by those most marginalized. To decenter whiteness, we must show up in solidarity to support the cause but not to lead it.