orate…that struck me was perhaps the most important, the most obvious and the most personally disturbing: I was a much bigger part of the problem than I had ever realized, or been willing to admit. It opened me up to deeper questions about my own role in creating corporate culture. I don’t feel t…
Thank you for the simple acknowledgement. It actually is not anything to take lightly. I (a 45 year old Black Southern woman born and raised) often struggle to have such discussions with my White friends because they are so dismissive. I get tired of being told “I’m too sensitive” or “I’m misinterpreting what they meant” when it comes to subjects of race, gentrification, behavior, policing etc.
I was run out of the field of Sexual Assault as a leader in my field because I was a Black woman advocating in a predominantly White arena. White men and women in advocacy and the criminal justice system systemically “takeover” discussions of feminism for people of color as if they have a lock on it. When we try to stand up for ourselves, bring perspective, speak our truths or simply work for the common good of all mankind, we are ignored, shut out, overlooked, terminated, talked down to, overstepped, and ultimately forgotten. I wish we could have more united front on feminism, but as long as we have the spoken and unspoken caste system here, I don’t think it will ever happen.
The founding forefathers and petty tyrants of this nation that constructed these systems and institutions are long gone, but their great, great, great, great grandchildren got the memo. They are never going to let go of their biases, and they make sure they create laws an hold positions to reinforce their beliefs. These long-held beliefs keep persons of color from working next to you by denying opportunities. From neighborhood design, to education, to just plain old job applicant screenings. Too many studies have concluded that employers are biased during the screening and hiring processes. This includes racism and sexism.
These biases are deep-seeded, tightly held, and will continue t remain in every institution this nation was founded upon. As long as we have a nation who fails to remember it’s history (read the 13th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution), history will continue to repeat itself sadly. I have absolutely no expectation in my lifetime that things will change, but I am happy to see that people are willing and able to freely discuss institutional racism and feminism.
Thanks for the great piece. A discussion on another day for me and my friends. (sighs)