Today I’m going to talk about something I’ve never talked about before: racism.
So, why this topic? I'm passionate about a lot of different important matters– media literacy, the oversexualization of girls and women, recovery, sex trafficking, Autism awareness, LGBTQ rights, but the reason I'm talking about this now is because I think there's a lot of people who might relate to my experience and learn from this conversation. Also, what dawned on me is that if I’m passionate about female equality, if I want things like equal pay and the same rights for women as we have for me….isn’t this the same thing? Equality for all people, not just equality for women.
So, maybe, selfishly, I’m here talking about this as a way of apologizing for my own ignorance. Maybe it’s a way for me to process the feelings around it. And for the record, I know that equal rights for people of color matter more than white people's feelings. I know that. But, I think for people who may be just “waking up” here, I needed to at least mention it. At any rate, I thought it would be helpful to do it all out loud and basically, I have some intentions for this episode:
- To talk about my journey as a white person in America and how for me…coming to terms with my own racism, how I've unknowingly contributed and what I'm doing, feeling and thinking now.
- Walk my talk in that to create change, we need to have these tough, uncomfortable conversations. I'm open to talk about a lot of hard topics, but this one has been probably the most uncomfortable yet.
- To encourage you to get honest with yourself. I promise I'll be 100% honest in this episode and can 100% guarantee I'll want to throw up.
Because at the end of the day, this podcast is about living your kick-ass life, it’s about you gaining the skills to have conversations about tough things that no one wants to talk about. Typically, no one wants to talk about vulnerability, shame, and fear and I ask you regularly to talk about those. I teach classes on how to do this. And this is what this podcast episode is about. Me having one of those hard conversations and inviting you to do the same. I don't expect you to go out and join a black lives matter chapter, or speak out publicly about this if you're scared (but if you want to, GO DO IT). Today is about talking about something that needs to be talked about.
Again, I am really uncomfortable having this conversation. I’m afraid. Afraid of saying the wrong things. As someone who’s so new to this conversation, there’s a good chance I’ll get it wrong. I’m afraid people will say, “Please don’t. Please go back to just regular personal development stuff and save this topic for ‘real activists’”.
However…I feel called to do this. I was never called to appease the critics. I was never called to make everyone comfortable. I was called to create space and permission to talk about things that matter. To talk about the stuff no one wants to talk about. To talk about the things that make us uncomfortable. I was called to encourage everyone to be brave while being brave myself.
And I hope I’m doing that for you today.
In this episode I’m bringing in my friend Kelly Diels and you can read more about her below.
In this episode you’ll hear:
- What is institutionalized racism and how does it work.
- What is white privilege and how it plays a role in our everyday lives, and how we can use it for good.
- Andrea and Kelly share stories about participating in racism unknowingly and what they’re doing going forward about it.
- HOW do we make change?
- And more
Video Kelly mentioned about using white privilege to stand up to racial inequality.
The Case for Reparations by Ta-Hehisi Coates
Desiree Adaway’s group program on making diversity an asset to your personal and professional life.
I’m a copywriter and a Marketing Communications Specialist. I specialize in website content (bios, work-with-me pages, sales pages, blog posts, lions, tigers, bears) and integrated online campaigns. I’m also a freelance writer and you can find some of my essays at Salon,Jezebel and xoJane. I have a BA with honours in Poli Sci and I’m an unrepentant feminist. My feminism is about justice.
Love + Justice. Always. You can find more at kellydiels.com.
Hey, guess what? You can now access this podcast on Google Play Music Under “Podcasts”. Simple search for “Your kick-ass life” and subscribe.