The fact that much of the globe operates under the concept of white supremacy means that this belief underlies decisions, actions, and even (ironically) support for equality.
May was Diversity Month in Europe.
And as part of their campaign, Spain launched “skin colour stamps” on the anniversary of George Floyd’s murder. The stamps and campaign were designed to “send a message against racial inequality”.
As you will see, contrary to its intentions, the plan ended up reinforcing the Colour Ladder (or the Ladder of Humanity as Isobel Wilkerson names it) – which values people according to skin colour, with white on top.
This is an example of the insidiousness of white supremacy; the way the concept is embedded and thus weaves itself into our day-to-day, constantly reinforcing the way we value people. So much so that we often don’t notice it running under the surface of communication, character development in TV shows, theatre, and movies, the way the news is reported and shown, organizational policies and processes, program development, school curriculum…etc….
Working for change – where to start?
As we strive for equity and equality, we all must do our own work to increase our awareness about white supremacy and systemic racism in order to catch and take a stand against them – and help to dismantle both.
Awareness is the first step to help create change.
Below are a few resources to help you raise your awareness about systemic racism and white supremacy.
Trumping the Race Card – A National Agenda, Moving Beyond Racism by Rodney Patterson
Caste – The Origins of our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
Me & White Supremacy by Layla Saad
Seeing White – podcast by Scene on Radio
Colour Code – A podcast about race in Canada (available on Spotify, Apple Podcast and The Globe & Mail)
All offer insights that help to wrap our heads around the pervasiveness and depth of systemic racism. Me & White Supremacy offers 28 themes with questions to guide your reflection.