Prior to the previous post, I just started drafting up a blog post to really spell out the values of anti-racist work. While the previous post gives the root of what my value is, this post will share the fruit of that root. Harm none is a good starting point, but there must also be action. That would be my second value.
It is not enough to harm none, not in a society that gains profit on the backs of marginalized communities. One must also be actively involved in community to help shape policy that will help the marginalized get the equity needed to live a quality life.
Those are some fancy ass words. Policy, marginalized, equity, quality. In context you can get a sense of what those all mean, but what does it mean in terms of action? I think it would be best to define those words individually so you can see how they fit together.
Policy are laws that create guidance on how a society should run. Nearly every aspect of our life has policy created around it, and if you’re part of the dominant culture, you probably benefit from those policies.
Dominant culture means white people. White people are dominant because they make up most of the bodies that create policy in government, schools, hospitals, housing authority, etc. etc.
If you’re within the marginalized community, you fit within one or more of the following identities:
woman, BIPOC (black, indigenous, people of color), trans, disabled, queer, immigrant (i.e. non-US born citizen)
Equity means that resources are redistributed so that those within the marginalized communities get what they need to be on equal footing with the dominant culture.
To spell it out differently, people of color are given the opportunity to get resources that would give them the same quality of life as white people. That means they receive resources for well-funded schools, hospitals, mental health services, housing and food security, safety, etc.
Quality means the lack of struggle. No one should have to struggle to live. No. One.
Now that those are somewhat better defined, what would action look like? To be honest, I’m still learning. But here is what I have learned so far:
Action = involvement. Showing up. Being active. Helping to formulate ideas. LISTENING. Being available for the follow-through. Talking to other people and bouncing ideas around. LISTENING. Keeping in mind those who will benefit the most as you create new policy ideas. Possibly running for office yourself. LISTENING to the marginalized. Uplifting the marginalized. Allowing the marginalized to SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES and SUPPORTING THEIR IDEAS.
These are great things to speak of in the general, but what do the specifics look like? That I am still learning as well, and I haven’t yet seen it in practice. Luckily I’m on the edge, waiting for that crest to fall. I will report back once I see the results of action in action.