Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor by Layla Saad
We are living in an unprecedented time right now. We have the power to act in ways that can truly affect change. Social media is one way to capture the attention of the public and steer them toward a common goal. Saad was able to do that with a month long Instagram challenge. For anyone not on the platform, or for those who might have missed it, this book is for you.
The title of the book is somewhat alarming. I don’t know anyone who claims to be a white supremacist, yet we have all benefited from the colour of our skin due to practices, laws, and ways of life that award us privileges and deny others.
“White supremacy is a system that is upheld by individuals who benefit from it. And it is up to each individual to pull out, confront, and own their part of the narrative that keeps the system running.”
It’s a simple fact of life that we need to wake up to, combat, and change, because this doesn’t have to be the norm.
Said writes, “I am not talking about the physical color of your skin being inherently bad or something to feel shame about. I am talking about the historic and modern legislating, societal conditioning, and systemic institutionalizing of the construction of whiteness as inherently superior to people of other races. Yes, outwardly racist systems of oppression like chattel slavery, apartheid, and racial discrimination in employment have been made illegal. But the subtle and overt discrimination, marginalization, abuse, and killing of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) in white-dominated communities continues even today because white supremacy continues to be the dominant paradigm under which white societies operate.”
We can work at becoming allies with BIPOC. Here is a great definition of what that means by “PeerNetBC. They define allyship as ‘an active, consistent, and challenging practice of unlearning and reevaluating, in which a person of privilege seeks to work in solidarity with a marginalized group. Allyship is not an identity—it is a lifelong process of building relationships based on trust, consistency, and accountability with marginalized individuals and/or groups. Allyship is not self-defined—our work and our efforts must be recognized by the people we seek to ally ourselves with.”
We can all do better.
“If we don’t challenge each other to use our platforms for better than our niches or what our quote-unquote brand is, what are we doing as influencers? If we can’t activate our audiences at the times it’s important or needed, then what do we have these platforms for?” —Luvvie Ajayi
Are you ready to combat racist ideologies and stand up for a better world? I certainly hope so. Read this book and find out about the ways white supremacy has infiltrated all areas of life. Reflect on how these changes may have helped you and what you can do differently to level the playing field.
And don’t stop here. Seek out more great literature about the topic.
Further suggested reading