This morning I came across an article written by an African American young woman sharing her experiences of not being included in predominately white spaces, and our (Black culture) "need" of inclusiveness. My immediate thought was: This will never happen AND that's ok.
To be honest, it is time we ARE HONEST with ourselves. Racism is a psychosis. It's deeply embedded in this society and even the most "well intentioned" white folks can't unravel it's roots nor are they obligated to. Yes, inclusion and equity sounds nice on paper but try moving that into action and the push back is real. Equity, inclusion, along with diversity have been trampled into the ground with overuse and over emphasis in text, with not one ounce of implementation behind them. We know this because nothing has changed and there have been no improvements in disparities of any kind, yet the government and foundations shell out billions of dollars a year to reverse racism's effects.
The truth is that power is never willingly shared nor has it ever been. No wars have been won by the jaded asking politely for power. Not promoting war, so what comes next: Black folks will stop asking for permission to be included. We'll continue to create our own spaces, places and resources, and this society as we know it will collapse because it cannot sustain without us.
One reason inclusiveness is not a good thing right now is because we, the Black culture, need healing. A lot of it. We need space to do so, without white folks which may seem nearly impossible because what we've learned is that white folks don't like to be excluded. The number of calls I receive from Blacks looking for a hideout from enduring the daily microaggressions is unfathomable. Our office has become more than a safe space for Black mothers but a safe haven for Black professionals, and I'm rightfully protective of that space. I'll shield us in whichever ways I can.
Soon will be gone the days where black folks politely correct a well meaning non black/brown person for ill behavior and microaggressions. As much as our history has put us through, not one more second should be wasted on educating how to treat us better, with respect and with dignity. The question is: What do we do as a culture, as a people together? We have many subcultures within the Black culture, and not all Black subcultures are in solidarity with the Black culture as a whole. Years of conditioning can be thanked for that, as well as the false "color-blind" fantasy world some would like to believe they exist in.
Last month, I launched a consulting firm after I received a number of inquiries from companies/organizations struggling to understand what equity, inclusion and diversity actually meant for their company culture. The result, not many are interested in making that a reality, because again it just looks so great on paper. After careful thought and consideration, I realized that I am definitely not interested in teaching white folks how to be better people to their brown and black colleagues. It's impossible anyway because as stated above, racism is a psychosis and white folks will always convince themselves and us that they know better about us than us. So I decided to pull back completely on that approach and reshift my energy. I am here to uplift and empower my culture, and my culture only. My focus is solely on the healing and betterment of Black culture and communities. What I will commit to is working with companies/organizations who are transparent about their lack of knowledge and expertise in Black and brown cultures, and those who genuinely want to empower and uplift their black and brown employees, clients, etc.
Essentially, the lack of this approach is the reason why we never move the needle on tackling any disparities or inequities. White folks rarely move out of black folks way in order to do what is right for our people and culture. It's an unjustified power struggle and this problem is exhaustingly persistent in Cleveland, and has everything to do with my focal work, Black babies dying.
I've officially digressed in an impossible fight and all of my energy is being poured into uplifting and empowering the Black culture. For those on board, I'm easy to reach.