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This thread is to create an online archive of resources, tool-kits and strategies for anti-racist organising, and to better understand what terms such as “ally”, “anti-racist”, “white privilege”, “safe spaces” and “accountability” really mean. None of these pieces provide magickal answers, and all are open to further critique and reworking.



    • raceprivilegeidentity
    • Posted May 14, 2009 at 10:34 pm
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    Working to Create Anti-Racist Spaces: A Practical Guide for White Dominated Social Justice Groups

    Prepared by S. Kardash & S. Lamble
    (document also used for the Space Audit workshops at the gathering)

    Read (PDF)

    While institutional change is becoming a greater priority within organizations, most antiracism workshops devote little attention to the structural impacts of the physical spaces that groups use. Accordingly, office areas, meeting spaces, event venues, libraries and social spaces may be neglected in anti-racism work.

    This guide has been designed to address questions of race and space within whitedominated activist organizations. It starts from an assumption that confronting racism “means challenging all sorts of cultural ideas that exist not only within us as individuals, but are entrenched in the way we do things, think about the world, and the organizations we are part of” (OPIRG-Peterborough, p 7).

    The exercises included in this guide are designed to initiate thinking about how physical spaces perpetuate or challenge racism.

    • raceprivilegeidentity
    • Posted May 14, 2009 at 10:49 pm
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    Feminist Racism
    By red (from Race Revolt #2,

    Unconscious Racism Happens…

    When we expect our non-white friends and allies to educate us about white privilege and racism

    When we see ourselves as victims of a racist society, oppressors unable/unwilling to shake off race-gifts and perks.

    When we’re so scared of screwing up that we don’t even try – whether that’s pronouncing people’s names or naming a problem as its happening in our communities.

    When women who say they are anti-racist, or want to be anti-racist, fail to do any of the work in shooting down their racism and replacing it with strategies of communication, activism, and learning.

    When we discuss ‘women’ but we’re really only discussing (middle-class) white women.

    When we accept stories that non-white women only got involved in feminism in the 1980s.

    When organisers (for e.g. Ladyfest) select a non-white performer and congratulate themselves on a multi-ethnic bill.

    When white women use images of non-white women for flyers, zines, posters and such- as if ‘colour’ could be added to a group like a P-R exercise.

    When we talk about ‘Black feminism’, but not about ‘White feminism’.

    When we know nothing about non-white history, culture, traditions, activism and theory, through which to find our own places of knowledge and critique.

    When people refuse to consider whether their politics/agenda/language appeals or makes sense to non-white communities and individuals.

    When an event has only one race-related workshop, or none at all.

    Whenever ‘gender’ is seen as the root or primary oppression.

    When ‘anti-racist’ white women fail to move out of their comfort zones.

    When we accept and recycle noxious racial stereotyping.

    When white women appropriate struggles as their own (equating racism and sexism as the same thing, for example) or act as patronising ‘savers’ of non-white and ‘Third World’ women.

    When we read bell hooks and think that’s it for learning about anti-racist feminism.

    When we remain wilfully uninformed.

    When we hold the arrogant assumption that non-white women would/should want to join racist feminist groups.

    • I don’t care list like this are BORING. More to the point they pretend that RACISM (coz thats what were talking about is it not) can be condensed to an exhaustive list it cannot. Also there is NO SUCH THING as UNCONSCIOUS RACISM, people are aware of there privilege and are ACTIVELY ignoring it. Stop appropriating black writers.And using the term non-white is problematic it suggest that white is the default race.

    • raceprivilegeidentity
    • Posted May 14, 2009 at 10:54 pm
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    Guidelines for Being Strong White Allies
    By Paul Kivel

    Read (PDF)

    • raceprivilegeidentity
    • Posted May 14, 2009 at 10:57 pm
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    Colours of Resistance, Organizing Tools

    Essays and toolkits include:

    A Katrina Reader (compiled by Rebecca Gordon, Jaimie Harrow, Sharon Martinas, Rob McBride, Tev Monnin, and Ryan Wadsworth)

    The Past Didn’t Go Anywhere: Making Resistance to Antisemitism Part of All of Our Movements (by April Rosenblum)

    Anti-Oppression Training Groups in the US (courtesy of School of the Americas Watch)

    What I Wish I Knew: My Own Goals for Anti-Racist Practice (by Catherine Jones)

    Reflections and Thoughts on White Anti-Racist Organizing from radicals of color and white anti-racists (compiled by Anti-Racism for Global Justice)

    When calling me your beautiful sister is not enough (by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha)

    The Male Privilege Checklist (by B. Deutsch)

    Challenging patriarchy in political organizing (by Harsha Walia)

    Tools for White Guys (by Chris Crass)

    Racist Activism 101 (by Nadine Mondestin)

    Shinin’ the Lite on White, Part One: White Privilege (by Sharon Martinas)

    A list of demands (from women at a gender liberation conference)

    25 ways to tokenize or alienate a non-white person around you (by basil, billie, qwo-li, jenn and colin)

    Ten Things to Remember: Anti-Racist Strategies for White Student Radicals (by Chris Dixon)

    Anti-Oppression Organizing Tools (from Los Angeles Direct Action Network)

    • raceprivilegeidentity
    • Posted May 14, 2009 at 11:06 pm
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    Not the Master’s Tools:
    A glossary of terms used in anti-racist feminism

    • raceprivilegeidentity
    • Posted May 14, 2009 at 11:11 pm
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    Anti-Racist Concepts & Terms to provoke new ways of thinking

    Racism is a white people’s problem.

    Racism = race prejudice plus power.

    Being corrected by a person of color is a form of caring.

    White People need to be accountable to people of color.

    Target – the subject of racism or other isms. You can be privileged as a hetereosexual, and also a target as a Black person.

    You can be both privileged (as a heterosexual, a male, a white) and a target (as a person of color, an LGBT person, a woman).

    Gate-keepers: The People’s Institute definition: someone who has access to power/influence over how resources are used (a power that is neither good nor bad – it depends how you use it) and uses their white power to open, rather than limit, people of color’s access to such resources (networking, jobs/promotions, boards, etc.)

    Aversive racism: People who hold egalitarian views and believe they are non-prejudiced but also hold unrecognized negative racial feelings and beliefs that can produce unease, fear, even disgust.

    There’s no such thing as a non-racist: doing nothing supports the system.

    Whites need to listen to and believe the experience of people of color.

    It’s not people of color’s job to educate whites.

    Accountability – checking with people of color on your anti-racist strategies.

    Both/and thinking – to get away from oppositional discussion, practice both/and thinking.

    Credentialing – quizzing people of color about their job or education to see if they are “equal” to you.

    Touristing – enjoying being with black people without acting as an anti-racist ally.

    “The Negro is a sort of seventh son, born with a veil, and gifted with second-sight in this American world — a world which yields him no true self-consciousness, but only lets him see himself through the revelation of the other world. It is a peculiar sensation, this double consciousness, the sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity. One ever feels his twoness – an American, a Negro; two warring souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.”
    — W.E. B. DuBois, Souls of Black Folk

    • raceprivilegeidentity
    • Posted May 14, 2009 at 11:22 pm
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    Unlearning Racism by Ricky Sherover-Marcuse

    Ricky Sherover-Marcuse led unlearning racism workshops in the United States and Europe in the 1970s and 1980s.

    Trained in sociology and philosophy, she was the Jewish-American wife of the German philosopher, Herbert Marcuse.

    Sherover-Marcuse believed that we all participate on the giving-end as well as the receiving-end of “systematic mistreatment,” if only as children. A more neutral way to talk about these issues is “target-group” for oppressed and “non-target-group” for oppressor.

    Piece includes:
    * A Working Definition of Racism
    * Towards a Perspective of Unlearning Racism: Twelve Working Assumptions
    * Strategies for Winning Allies
    * Strategies for Being an Effective Ally

    Read more:

    • raceprivilegeidentity
    • Posted May 14, 2009 at 11:28 pm
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    Anti-Racist Organizing: Reflecting on Lessons from Quebec City

    by Pauline Hwang, May 2001

    From my conversations with community organizers before and after Quebec City, there are problems with basing ‘the movement’ in groups that have historically alienated, and poorly represented, “marginalized” communities. Particularly when many members still have trouble listening non-defensively to these criticisms.

    Read more:

    • raceprivilegeidentity
    • Posted May 14, 2009 at 11:33 pm
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    Ain’t Gonna Let Segregation Turn Us ‘Round: Thoughts on Building an Inter-Racial and Anti Racist Student Movement

    By Amanda Klonsky and Daraka Larimore-Hall

    Include racial justice issues in your organizational discussions and analysis.

    Commit to doing serious work against racism as part of your organizing and to forming meaningful, principled alliances with people of color organizations in your communities.

    Make sure that your agenda isn’t set before considering the goals and demands of activists of color. Too often, white activists think of the issues that they are working on as “universal” and approach activists of color asking them to join their “big tent”. Why aren’t white activists holding themselves accountable in the same way and viewing racism as a universal concern?

    Take steps to create a more tolerant culture within your own organization. Sometimes, white culture is “invisible”, meaning that methods of work, choice of music, food, ways of communicating, etc., are thought of as “progressive” ways of doing things, instead of “white progressive” ways of doing things. One way should not be held up as “authentically progressive”, especially when that cultural form is typically or historically white.

    Consider the needs of people of different backgrounds than your own. Can people with jobs attend your meetings? What about people with children? What email list or social scene do you have to be a part of, to hear about meetings?

    Work to build long term, authentic and trusting relationships with organizations led by people of color in your community. As we stated above, white activists are prone to “shopping” for minorities. Too often, when it comes time to host a conference or chose speakers for a rally, white activist organizations are out looking for brown faces, when they haven’t supported the daily work of anti-racist organizations all year long.

    Speak up when people of color in your community are being attacked! Don’t wait for the Black Student Union on your campus to write all the letters to the editor of your student newspaper. It is time for white people to police their own communities around these issues — after all, whose responsibility is it to fight racism in the white community?

    Listen harder, and better. Too often, white activists try to be the savior — instead of the ally. One of the legacies of the early Civil Rights Movement’s organizing style, which came from people like Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer and Bob Moses of SNCC, was the deeply rooted belief that there is no one who knows more about the experience of oppression than those who are oppressed themselves. Simply put, go to meetings of people of color organizations, find out what they are up to, and help out. Period.

    Working in an inter-racial coalition can be a difficult and humbling experience, but also a sweet one. The most important things we should take with us on this winding road are a willingness to be vulnerable, to make mistakes and be self critical, and to listen to each other. We have a lot to learn, and we need all the brains and hands we can gather. Within the movement, as in the civil rights movement of the 60’s, we need a “division of labor,” in which the special responsibilities of various groups are recognized. Andy Goodman was one of the many who acknowledged his own responsibility and sought to accept leadership from African American activists. To broaden and deepen today’s movement, we need to learn from that spirit of listening, uniting and acting with courage.

    • raceprivilegeidentity
    • Posted May 19, 2009 at 1:14 pm
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    Defining “White Privilege”

    By Kendall Clark,

    white privilege, a social relation
    1. a. A right, advantage, or immunity granted to or enjoyed by white persons beyond the common advantage of all others; an exemption in many particular cases from certain burdens or liabilities.
    b. A special advantage or benefit of white persons; with reference to divine dispensations, natural advantages, gifts of fortune, genetic endowments, social relations, etc.
    2. A privileged position; the possession of an advantage white persons enjoy over non–white persons.
    3. a. The special right or immunity attaching to white persons as a social relation; prerogative.
    b. display of white privilege, a social expression of a white person or persons demanding to be treated as a member or members of the socially privileged class.
    4. a. To invest white persons with a privilege or privileges; to grant to white persons a particular right or immunity; to benefit or favor specially white persons; to invest white persons with special honorable distinctions.
    b. To avail oneself of a privilege owing to one as a white person.
    5. To authorize or license of white person or persons what is forbidden or wrong for non–whites; to justify, excuse.
    6. To give to white persons special freedom or immunity from some liability or burden to which non–white persons are subject; to exempt.

    • raceprivilegeidentity
    • Posted May 19, 2009 at 7:09 pm
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    The Privilege of Politeness

    Posted by: Naamen Gobert Tilahun on The Angry Black Woman

    One item that comes up over and over in discussions of racism is that of tone/attitude. People of Color (POC) are very often called on their tone when they bring up racism, the idea being that if POC were just more polite about the whole thing the offending person would have listened and apologized right away. This not only derails the discussion but also tries to turn the insults/race issues into the fault of POC and their tone. Many POC have come to the realization that the expectation of politeness when saying something insulting is a form of privilege. At the core of this expectation of politeness is the idea that the POC in question should teach the offender what was wrong with their statement. Because in my experience what is meant by “be polite” is “teach me”, teach me why you’re offended by this, teach me how to be racially sensitive and the bottom line is that it is no one’s responsibility to teach anyone else. And even when POC are as polite as possible there is still hostility read into the words because people are so afraid of being called racist that they would rather go on offending than deal with the hard road of confronting their own prejudices…

    Read more,

  1. I don’t find the phrase ‘white people beginning to engage in anti-racist work’ appropriate. It fits into a popular idea of anti racism being some kind of interesting journey for white people to embark upon, and I think, with relation to colonialism, white have gone on enough journeys. Instead of talking about starting about stopping being racist, why don’t people just stop being racist, right now?

    • raceprivilegeidentity
    • Posted May 29, 2009 at 3:04 am
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    The description of this thread has now been changed to “tool-kits and strategies for anti-racist organising”.

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