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July 8, 2020

White Progressives: This is How We’re Failing BLM.

Let’s be real.

This isn’t a comfortable topic, and I applaud you for being willing to open up this article and feel the discomfort.

The Black Lives Matter movement has been big, heart-wrenching, awe-inspiring, welcome, and challenging.

For those of us who are white, to finally acknowledge the depth of suffering that our black friends and family have gone through is deeply humbling.

It has inspired me to do some research on antiracism, and one of the books I’ve been reading is White Fragility, by Robin DiAngelo, PhD.

In it, she writes:

“I believe that white progressives cause the most daily damage to people of color. I define a white progressive as any white person who thinks he or she is not racist, or is less racist, or in the ‘choir,’ or already ‘gets it.’”

Whoa.

I had to take a breath after reading that.

And here’s the thing: I don’t think it is being a white progressive that is dangerous. I think anytime we think we’ve arrived, have the answers, or know it all, we are in trouble.

Anytime we get defensive about ourselves, how we see the world, or who we are, we are stuck.

To be react defensively means that we assume we know better than somebody else. Or that our experience is more valid than theirs.

But here is the thing: defensiveness is insecurity.

The true essence of us knows we are essence. There is nothing to defend.

When we get defensive or think we “know,” we are sunk. I’ve seen this in my own spiritual journey over and over and over again.

So this antiracist movement is incredible. It is such a deep spiritual teaching about the willingness to stay humble…no matter what.

It is about being willing to be slayed, to have everything we thought we knew be demolished into a pile of rubble. It is about being so courageous and so strong in who we are that we can let any place we don’t understand, don’t know, or think we know be shattered and refined.

It means letting go of what we thought we knew and getting more in touch with our essence.

To walk this spiritual path, we’ve got to have the courage to be open. To see our own faults. To see the ways white privilege has been operating in our own lives without our knowledge.

To be spiritual means to be so strong that we are willing to be humbled completely. About racism and about everything else—our false stories, about the dysfunctional places inside of ourselves that we are loyal to, who we think we are, and what we think we know.

It is in the humbling that transformation can happen.

Allow yourself to be humbled, in all things and in all ways.

That is our point of power.

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