I have a friend, who is White, who says maybe during this time in history, during this time of movement in racial justice that White people have to make some concessions. My response is maybe. I guess I’m more concerned with why they are making the concessions than the concessions themselves. I see well intended White people hold back in circle practice to let the people of color speak first. I see well intended White people march for inclusion when their own lives and inner circles lack inclusion. I even had a White woman during the time of the marches around George Floyd’s murder send my family some Indian food. All these things seem noble on the surface but if you look deeper it can be the same old story in different clothing. I think it just might be the savior archetype. I think it might still be more about the giver than the receiver of these things.
It all depends on the why. If you are doing these things because you think it’s the right thing to do or because you want to use your “privilege” to help out of a sense of obligation then I ask you, no, I beg of you, please don’t. I had a coach that once said to me, “When we do things from a place of obligation we automatically contaminate the relationship.” When we give out of obligation we usually expect something in return, even if that something is only acknowledgment or appreciation. Then we are really a taker not a giver. I think these things keep us stuck not move us forward.
But, if you are doing these things because you know that your own liberation is tied to mine, you see my deep humanity, and this is what you can do in that moment, then okay. Make sure that everyone has the opportunity to speak, that you are marching for inclusion and inviting it into your own life, and then you can order a meal and invite the breaking of bread together. This is where the healing is found for each of us, and for all of us.