Introduction to Part 2

So, you have done some internal and interpersonal work and feel ready to take action to dismantle white supremacy. Great!

Here are some principles to keep in mind:

  • Not everyone can do everything. We all have time and resource constraints that we have to contend with. Don’t let your inability to do everything become an obstacle to your inspiration to do something.

  • Similarly, we all have different skill sets and backgrounds. But again, just because you may not be suited to do one thing doesn’t have to be a roadblock to doing something that you are better suited to do.

  • It is important that we be guided by the leadership of global majority people when we are taking action. Global majority people are the recipients of racism and, therefore, are the experts on what we can be doing to dismantle white supremacy.

Okay, let’s get started!

 
 

Things We Can Do With Our Physical Presence

  1. Get in the streets and support global majority organizers in your community, when they have expressed a desire to have white people present (sometimes they do not – it is always appropriate to ask). Global majority people have been organizing resistance to white supremacy for centuries and they know what they are doing. Follow their lead. Ask what you can do to be most helpful and then do it.

  2. Actively assist with organizing efforts led by global majority people. Following their lead, help to design and print fliers, and paper your communities. Do not ask for compensation, and spend your own money in these efforts. Offer to help in other ways by sharing information about their organizing efforts where they ask you to. Do not attempt to take over. Simply follow their lead and do what they ask.

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Financial

There are ways we can use our financial resources to dismantle white supremacy too.

  1. Shop and do business with businesses owned by global majority people. Here is a suggested list of businesses owned by global majority people. This is a form of reparations, which global majority people are owed. If you are unsure about the case for reparations, read this article which lays out the argument clearly.

  2. Give money to organizations run by global majority people. Many white-led activist organizations do good work, and they are important. But we must be clear about this: if white-led organizations were going to end white supremacy, they would have done it a long time ago. Here is a list of organizations run by global majority people that you may wish to support. 

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Professional

Many of us are leaders in organizations, businesses, and/or government agencies. This gives us a lot of power to address white supremacy at our workplaces. Even if we are not in a position of leadership, there are still things that we can do.

  1. Demand that your organization conduct a racial equity assessment. These are tools designed to assess the racial dynamics in businesses and organizations and to determine whether and how racial harm is occurring. There is plenty of information about racial assessment tools online. Google the term, read about them, and then recommend a few programs to your organization’s leadership team or Human Relations Department.

  2. Demand that your organization have in place leadership and mentorship programs to promote the leadership of global majority employees. These must be carefully crafted and developed in reliance on the meaningful leadership and input of global majority employees. If possible, ask a senior global majority employee if he or she would like to design and lead it, and then follow his or her lead. If not, listen to what global majority employees say and make sure their input is included in a concrete and meaningful way. If your response is that your organization does not have any senior global majority employees, or any global majority employees at all, contemplate that fact and commit to changing it.

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Political

 

This one can be hard for people who are not used to engaging at the political level, or who do not think of ourselves as “political people.” That’s okay. We can help with that.

  1. If you have gotten this far, you probably understand that white supremacy is not “those people over there.” It courses throughout our society. It comes from laws and policies that advantage white people over global majority people. This has been the case throughout the United States for centuries, and we must understand that these laws must be changed. We can demand that our state and local public officials immediately fund an exhaustive study to determine how our state and local laws advantage white people over global majority people, and then monitor that process. Once the findings have been made, we can demand that our state and local public officials change the laws. Finding contact information for state and local officials is not difficult. Simply Google your city or state’s city council, state legislature, mayor, or governor. All public officials have web pages containing their contact information.

  2. Once we truly understand the need for urgent action, we can reach out to public officials. We can figure out who represents us in our local legislature, state legislature, and in Congress. We can find their contact information. We can share the contact information with our friends and circles. We can request meetings. We can attend hearings and testify, demanding that local officials address systemic inequality. We don’t have to accept lip service in response.

  3. Assuming you agree with their values and positions, you can actively campaign for global majority candidates for office. We can do more than just vote for them or post about them on social media. We can volunteer for their campaigns. We can go door to door for them. We can give our time to their efforts to get into office – we need more global majority people in positions of leadership.

 

Okay, so how can we hold ourselves accountable for doing this work?

Accountability

Accountability is one of the key aspects of doing anti-racism work. Otherwise, it is often too easy for white people to turn away, forget, or ignore the racism that we see around us. In addition, it is much easier to do this work when we are doing it in community. We can hold each other accountable and encourage each other at the same time.

How can we hold ourselves and each other accountable? We recommend that each person engaging in this program commit to doing at least one of four things in this area:

  • Find a friend who is willing to commit to doing this work with you. Check in with each other once a week and ask each other what actions we have taken that week. Commit to taking specific actions the following week.

  • Create a circle of friends. Come together on a regular basis and discuss what actions you have taken. Commit to taking specific actions you will take during the following week.

  • Post the specific actions you are taking on social media and ask your friends and followers to hold you accountable by following up with comments.

  • Sign up for the One Thousand Arms Accountability Plan. We will email you monthly to ask what you have done to take action against racism. We welcome additional conversation!

Okay, so what now?

 

What Now?

Global majority people have been asking us for centuries to use our privilege and institutional access to dismantle this brutal system of oppression. We have been hesitating the entire time. There is no legitimate place for hesitation. White people’s hesitation is costing global majority people’s lives. It’s that simple.

It seems daunting, and it is. But ask yourself: “Now that I know what to do to help protect the lives of global majority people, what are the implications of hesitating?”

A Note of Thanks

One Thousand Arms is infinitely grateful to the countless global majority people who expended time and resources to review, edit, and provide feedback on this action plan. It takes emotional labor for global majority people to educate white people about racism, and we are grateful for the support.