From the artist: Each month corresponds to a different subject from “Characteristics of White Supremacy Culture” written by Tema Okun. These characteristics are things I wish to interrupt and unlearn inside myself and I am inviting you to practice this lifelong work with me.
(January) PACE- Unlearning a sense of urgency (February) BREATHE- Unlearning defensiveness (March) PRACTICE CONFLICT- Unlearning a fear of open conflict (April) SINK. SUBMERGE. REMEMBER. Unlearning individualism (May) ALIGN- Unlearning power hoarding (June) CONNECT- Unlearning the idea that there is only one right way (July) REPAIR- Unlearning perfectionism (August) REDISTRIBUTE- Unlearning that progress = bigger/more (September) PROTECT- Unlearning quantity over quality (October) DEEPEN INQUIRY- Unlearning either/or thinking (November) GRIEVE- Unlearning the idea that logic is more valuable than emotion (December) CONSULT ANCESTORS- Unlearning the right to comfort
Select images and accompanying text:
PACE | Unlearning a sense of urgency.
Imagine moving at the speed of trust. Imagine what is possible when you allow your values to direct the pace. Pace often determines the goals, who can be involved, and how thoughtful the decision making process is. Where does a sense of urgency show up in your life? Where does that message come from and can you choose something different?
PRACTICE CONFLICT | Unlearning the fear of open conflict.
Conflict can be so complicated and hard. It can also offer the opportunity to practice engaged listening, humility, and compassion. In this way it is such a gift! It offers us the chance to explore our own boundaries again and again. Role play with trusted folks in your life. Are you present and engaged? If not, when did you mentally leave the situation? If you are listening and genuinely curious about the other person’s experience, that is good indicator that you are present and the interaction could lead to more understanding and trust.
ALIGN | Unlearning power hoarding.
There is enough power when it is used with people instead of over people. What kinds energy feel like renewable resources to you? Love? belonging? Move towards those. Deepak Chopra says, “what you pay attention to grows.” What do you want to grow? Who do you want to build with? Build alongside? Our current systems grant some folks power and not others. Are any of your current circumstances in the way of others accessing their power? Who do you consider a guide or an inspiration? You can look to these people or groups as a compass and position yourself so you are able to boost their goals and they are able to boost yours. More power is activated when it is shared and strategic.
I won’t lie to you - this will break something
in you, a dam constructed by generations of
your ancestors to hold back the horror.
You will find bits of their heart in the mortar,
pieces broken off and placed between
bricks like prayers for safe-keeping.
This work is a pickaxe. It strikes at the core of you.
It begins, slowly at first, then all at once a deluge of
greed and blood, stones coated with the best intentions,
which mistook stepping on the backs - the necks -
of brown bodies for survival. The torrent destroys the tale
you were told about your family, your people, the way
the world works, and whose sweat lubricates the machinery.
When the flood waters recede, there is only a plain
of pieces which need putting back together. We can
only survive without a story, a structure, something that
makes sense for so long. There is infinite potential
in reconstruction. Creativity is possible if it weren’t so
damn overwhelming. There is richness to be found
in the destruction, a fertility that comes when
truth can no longer be held at bay.
Sink your hands into the unplumbed history
of your earthen soul, find the secrets
buried there: your great grandmother’s Gaelic tongue,
the name your German family traded for one softer and
more palatable, the thousand small ways your people
cloaked themselves in whiteness and bequeathed it to you,
marking you same and robbing you of your roots
in their story. You have a role in the lineage now.
It is equal parts reclamation and restoration. Wade in
to the mud, dig deep. Give them back what they buried
in the name of safety. They need it back - to recover, to rest,
to restore them. They need it and so do you.
Author Mallory Everhart on Twitter: @MalloryEverhart
Postcard by Stacie Renné
Warrior Printress Design
Excerpt from project description: I’m in a 6+ year collaborative relationship with 4 other queer white clowns as we develop a show (and post show workshop) about our ancestry, the construction and practice of whiteness, and other ways to be inside our skins as we engage in reparations, and contribute to destabilizing the ‘white cultural void’. My collaborators are: Chenda Cope, Patrick Costello, Sarah Lowry, and Travis Sehorn.
Read full description at Eli's website: https://www.elinixon.com/future-ancestor
Four Points of Reorientation for White Christians Committing to Anti-Racist Solidarity, By Rev. Smash
1. When people are wailing in the streets, God is there. As people of God,
we should be there too. The incarnation was a demonstration of embodied
solidarity. God’s new way of creating covenant required that God relinquish
power in order to show to complete and utter solidarity with humans. God
took on the vulnerability of human skin to be with us and to experience
what we experience. Incarnation, relinquishing power for the sake of love,
is a model for us. Incarnation is literally embodied, vulnerable solidarity.
How must we be vulnerable to show solidarity with those who are
harmed and hurting? How can white folks relinquish power for the sake of
2. Civility is not a christian value. It is a value of empire, utilized by those in
power to squash any sort of resistance and/or radical transformation. Jesus
was not civil. If he were, he would not have been executed by the state for
acts of sedition. Jesus was a threat to civility and status quo.
Calls for civility are typically pointed at people of color as they
demand respect and resourced. In our society, white folks are not
mandated to be civil. In our current context, white folks are allowed to
display incivility due to hurt feelings, while black folks are called uncivil for
demanding that their lives matter.
We mustn’t forget that Jesus’ 12 disciples were beheaded, skinned
alive, speared and crucified. If only they’d been a bit more civil, perhaps the
authorities would have spared them their lives. “Civil" societies have always
been violent to minorities, political dissidents, and resistors of the status
quo. We must squash the idea that justice-making must be civil and polite.
Civility does not equal peace, nor justice. Without justice, there will be no
How have we harmed black folks and other people of color with our
calls for civility? Who have we silenced with our demands for politeness
(whiteness)? What tenets of white supremacy culture cause us to worship
civility? How can we resist civility and demand justice?
3. Jesus absorbed violence so that others would not have to. The crux of
the gospel is that our savior literally took on violence and death for our
redemption and our thriving. Jesus absorbed the violence of empire, was
brutally executed, and rose again, proclaiming victory over the state death
What does it mean to follow a savior who was willing to absorb
violence? What can we learn from a God who became the poor and
suffering servant? How do we use our resources, our power, and our
influence to absorb the violence directed at people of color?
4. Radical activism is good eschatology. The kin-dom of God, God’s
dream of a mended, whole, and peace-filled creation, is our hope beyond
hope. The capital C Church is supposed to point toward that dream. It’s
supposed to be a placeholder for the kin-dom. However, activists,
anti-racists, anti-fascists and anarchists actually have the most robust
vision of God’s kin-dom, where there is justice and abundance and joy.
When I hear people shout, “We are unstoppable, another world is
possible!” I know they are working for something new and revelatory.
We say we want to reform reform reform, and we forget that it is
actually death that brings new life. We can’t reform our way to the kin-dom.
Are we actually dreaming of and co-creating a new world, or just
perpetuating the status quo that harms so many of our siblings? While the
Church often points toward a future we know and have already
experienced, radical activists point toward a new reality where love reigns.
What in our society literally needs to die? What systems need to be
demolished so we can imagine something entirely new? How can we
imagine a hope beyond hope and how can we help co-create a world that
is mended and made new?
Artist: Jen Bloomer @radicistudios
For more from Jen, check out RADICI STUDIOS at www.radicistudios.com
Song at Bandcamp: https://katherineparent.bandcamp.com/track/smoking-gun
About the Song: I wrote a PhD dissertation about white Lutherans and racism in MN, and at almost every meeting my professor would tell me that I would "never find a smoking gun" of proof. In a lot of the histories by white authors that I read, the denial went so deep that it was disorienting. I started writing this song to affirm what I knew was true.
He leans back in his easy chair
Says, "I can't deny what has been done...
but you need more proof! It's not quite there
And you'll never find a smoking gun..."
These big white lies on every page
Find a nicer word for "hit and run"
If you tell enough you change the frame
To a hole the shape of a smoking gun
(No one here pulled the trigger!
Better get your facts straight, hun
Yeah so buy it, we deny there's
Ever been a smoking gun)
Who bought the shares? Who planned the war?
Oh my ancestors, what have you done?
It's the same old tale you told before:
that the other side "had a smoking gun"
(All the big shots made a killin'
We're still trying to hide the fun
Point the finger, still it lingers
This whole town's a smoking gun)
So fan the flame and spread the smoke
Try to silence every truthful tongue
But it's obvious, the whole world knows
That America is a smoking gun
creditsreleased October 16, 2020
Original song by Katherine Parent
Produced by SEE MORE PERSPECTIVE
© all rights reserved
Artist: Justin Turkus
We are white cultural workers who believe our own freedom is intertwined with the struggle against white supremacy.