Nothing I am going to say here is novel. It’s not original in epiphany. I’m just sharing thoughts, nothing more.
I finished “How to be Less Stupid about Race” by Dr. Crystal Marie Fleming. I very much enjoyed the book, and I gained some new insights that I hadn’t had before. But what is highly interesting to me is that I’m starting to gain what Dr. Raul Pacheco-Vega calls “concept saturation” – “the point when you are seeing the same concepts repeated over and over again.” He speaks about it in terms of citation, and in Flemings book, she references a lot of people whom I have read and/or follow on twitter. It’s good confirmation for me that I’m ready to take the next step: activism.
I know that my 1.5 years of study is not complete. There are many more books on racism and intersectionality to be read. I just put “White Fragility” onto my hold list at the library. I still have books I own that I need to read. It’s a slow process, but it’s getting done.
The last chapter of Fleming’s book talks about ways to combat white supremacy. Redistributing resources was among the lists. It reminded me of one of the earliest interactions I had with Dr. Nelson Flores, in which he was kind enough to tell me that linguistics will not solve the problem – redistribution of resources will. My naivety of the system from then to what I know now… I don’t know, it’s kind of remarkable. Indescribable. I was so naive. I know there’s still a lot I’m naive about. But I’m glad to be more in the know.
One of the suggestions Fleming gives is to choose a piece of the white supremacy pie to attack. There is a myriad of ways people are oppressed, and it’s impossible to take on them all at once as a single person. It was a nice reminder that to be anti-racist, you do not need to carry the world. Language is still my interest. And while I have decided that pursuing higher ed right now is not in the cards, I will continue my self study in the way that fits my lifestyle. In the meantime, activism needs to take a bigger role in my life.
I’ve already made introductions to the Jewish and Muslim communities. I’ve joined my local NAACP and attend their monthly meetings. I’m researching what kind of anti-racist organizations function near me. Unfortunately I think everything is based out of the nearest large city, which is about 40 miles away. I’ll make it work somehow. I’ll see what other kind of volunteer opportunities arise near me.
I feel comfortable in the anti-racism knowledge I have now. I feel like I can talk about it with some confidence. There are a few concepts that I would like to have better understanding of, but that’s just a matter of taking the time to research and read about it.
I plan to write here more just to clear some thoughts from my head and share where I’m reading with all of this. Academia is still a far off goal, but for now, it’s time to Do The Work.