The way we treat each other will either be our liberation or our doom…
Navigating predominantly w.hite workplaces as a B.lack person not only means dealing with microaggressions, gaslighting, lack of transparency and access to opportunities, exhausting code-switching and working twice as hard, it also means dealing with our own insecurities.
Scarcity mindset (”there can only be one”), stereotype threat (fear of confirming negative stereotypes, either ourselves or through others who may reflect badly on us), internalized racism, imposter syndrome, fear of failure & losing; the list goes on…
These fears and insecurities can insiduously lead us to toxic behaviors, like w.hite people pleasing and prioritizing w.hiteness, competing for attention, jealousy & mistrust, respectability politics, gatekeeping & information hoarding, scrutiny and unfair expectations.
But what’s the end game here? I mean really.
What exactly are we competing for? Who really benefits from it? How does it impact our community?
We’re being lured with the assumption that if we play (read win) this game we’ll finally be awarded the precious membership card. We’ll be "one of the good ones”
Let’s be real: that’s NEVER a compliment, it’s an isolation and division tactic of w.hite supremacy.
No matter how much individual success you end up achieving in the process, when we let these toxic games pit us against each other, we start reproducing the psychological and emotional abuse. Every time we allow ourselves to become weapons of oppression, w.hite supremacy wins, again and again.
In the words of Audre Lorde and Bell Hooks: "The master's tools will never dismantle the master’s house" (AL); "The enemy within must be transformed before we can confront the enemy outside.” (BH)
Resistance is being kind, and caring, and intentional. Resistance means sometimes calling each other out on our shit, with humanity and compassion, to help each other grow. Resistance is refusing to partake in our own oppression. Resistance is making the invisible visible. Resistance is protecting each other. Resistance is celebrating and lifting each other up. Resistance is love.
This is how we win. Together.