Individual Transformation

Everyone is impacted by the system of racism, and therefore has to tenaciously walk against that system. As Beverly Daniel Tatum describes, "I sometimes visualize the ongoing cycle of racism as a moving walkway at the airport. Active racist behavior is equivalent to walking fast on the conveyor belt…Passive racist behavior is equivalent to standing still on the walkway. No overt effort is being made, but the conveyor belt moves the bystanders along to the same destination as those who are actively walking. Some of the bystanders may feel the motion of the conveyor belt, see the active racists ahead of them, and choose to turn around…But unless they are walking actively in the opposite direction at a speed faster than the conveyor belt – unless they are actively antiracist – they will find themselves carried along with the others." Whites and people of color are both impacted by structural racism, though the costs and consequences are significantly different, and our awareness of the system usually also differs greatly. Working for racial equity at the individual level often involves understanding the concepts, building the confidence and skills to work toward racial justice, and being accountable

The system of racism is set up to be manipulative, enigmatic, and vicious, which means it is critical to be supportive of each other, to not expect perfection, to always remember our linked fate, and also to take time for self-care.

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