An Anti-Racist Glossary of Actions and Terms Every Accomplice Needs To Know

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The American Society has long valued the comfort of whites above the protection of security, livelihoods and the equal rights of blacks. Changing this means confronting white fragility, an autolytimization of defensive white people assumes when the race is crossed. “Be fragile when entering a conversation about race, and any topic for the case, you can easily focus the conversation of your own feelings,” says Michelle Saahene, activist, coach, and co-founder of anti-racist movement From Privilege to Progress. “These feelings become your main focus” rather than the topic at hand.

To dismantle institutionalized racism, white people should be aware of how their own white fragility is detrimental to that mission. Next, learn other terms and actions that, together with white fragility, move the approach away from anti-racism and towards the protection of the feelings of those whose sustenance does not depend on fighting for it. Once you are aware of these examples of white fragility and is responsible for yourself, you can call (and call) to others to achieve real progress.

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Your anti-racist glossary of white fragility examples and actions


Definition: The centering is when a white person prioritizes his feelings and experiences about the life of black individuals. According to SSAAHENE, the focused phrases may include: “I am trying it, and it never seems good enough”, “if the blacks were not so angry, the message could be heard better”, and “always seems to say the wrong. Thing, so I’m just going to shut up “.

“[White Guilty] prevents you from what you should focus on: the insurmountable fact that blacks have faced racism and violence in this country for hundreds of years, and the need for whites to move through these feelings To take action in the systemic sense oppression, “she says.

IRL Example: One recent example is the “I Take Responsibility” PSA from June, Where 14 white artists were declared through a short black and white video clip that they, thus “assume responsibility” for their role in social racism.

The PSA may have been created with good intentions, but its impact was lost the brand because it focused on the celebrities and actions that claimed to be taking instead of simply doing those actions or staggered white students and amplifying black voices.


Definition: Erase is the act of erased, co-opting, stealing and appropriating the ideas of black, indigenous people and people of color (Bipoc), and that usually happens without attribution or credit to the original concept. For example, it is informed that Betty Boop was originally based on Esther Jones, a Black singer with a signature “boo-oop-a-doo.” However, white actress Helen Kane is more popularly recognized as the model for the famous cartoon character.

IRL Example: During a Well+Good TALKS panel in collaboration with inclusive wellness organization Dive in Well, racial-justice educator, spiritual activist, and Well+Good Changemaker Rachel Ricketts relayed an incident of erasure. In June, a few whites working in the well-being community announced plans to organize a virtual retreat focused on how to be anti-racist, which billed as an edition of “Black Lives”. This stimulated multiple comments about the social networks of black women, including ricketts, who pointed out how this was coop, backpacker and profession of BLM movement with white women who educate, which is useless and not an act of support. Despite the time and emotional energy they are dedicated when trying to educate the organizers of this event with such comments, the event finally advanced without any acknowledgment of receipt, sorry or credit where the credit was due.

“They proceeded with that event, and basically simply silenced the [black women],” Ricketts said during the conversations. “They took some of our suggestions, but without crediting any of us or who made any declaration about what had happened or addressing the damage in any way, form or form, mostly making the naked minimum so they could get away with what They wanted, and then silence the rest of us. ”


Definition: The Flighting is a technique of manipulation in which a part is psychologically undermines another by making their own sanity question and reality. Racial gaslighting, In particular, Sajique and works the reactions, answers and feelings of Bipoc. It may seem that “it’s just a joke, you’re being too sensitive,” or “not everything is about color”, or “you’re exaggerating, what I said is not racist.”

IRL Example: At the height of the uprisings following George Floyd’s murder, activist, energy healer and Dive in Well founder Maryam Ajayi experienced gaslighting. Two white women in the well-being community asked him to participate in Instagram, without compensation to educate his audience. When Ajayi asked about a mutual exchange for his work, they said they did not have the budget to pay it, and they said that “they respected their limits” if I did not want to do it. Ajayi clarified that this was not about the limits or money, but an equal exchange for his work as a black woman who experienced so much trauma. After she offered some ideas for mutual exchanges, they decided to close it and not support your work.

When she called them out on Instagram (Anonymously) as a lesson on how brands should not address black educators for their work, they responded with a video that exhibits a behavior of gasoline light.

“The situation was badly characterized [and] Villainizó, they used words like ‘angry’,” Ajayi said during the conversations. “They used my name with complete disgust, and they said that their black friends told them they did not do anything wrong, [when] lives anti-black within all and is our work to dismantle it.”


Definition: Put it clearly, silence is violence. It is complacency and inaction when racism is witnessed, sometimes get rid of feeling that a white person is not qualified to talk about what is racist.

“By choosing to” let the experts “take this fight for humanity, you are opting for outside and essentially co-signing what happens to other humans,” says Saahene. “How many more people work together, the more we can do and faster, the reason why systemic oppression still exists is due to massive comfort and complicity.”

IRL Example: Dive in Well was founded after Ajayi very publicly called out “manifestation expert” and To Be Magnetic (formerly Free and Native) founder Lacy Phillips. Ajayi had joined a Facebook group led by Phillips, and when the talks became issues of racial inequality, Phillips began to eliminate those who were talking about. Ajayi then wrote an article on Medium calling her out, which essentially went ignored. “Many people in well-being saw it, they left viral,” Ajayi said during good talks. “Nobody did anything, so the immersion was born in the well.”

While the negative experience was able to provoke a healing community, he also left Ajayi emotional and physically devoid. She transmitted her experience in conversations: “He took a lot of energy from me to the point where he could even walk for a couple of days, and then I experienced so much damage and reprisals of well-being people,” Ajayi said. “I had black and brown women who were close to me who continued to support this person’s work, which is violence on its own.”

People were even presented to recognize that they had seen the article in question, did not care, and they were going to continue working with that person. “And then they experienced harm and I wanted him to come and save them,” he said.

White Tears

Definition: White tears refer when white people wear crying or complaining like a defense mechanism to avoid talking about their role in racism, or racism in general, says Saahene. It is derived from the lack of emotional resilience when talking about difficult problems, in particular the race, which resulted from the privilege of not having to face it. And it can appear in a crowd in different ways.

“For example, when the little siren should be thrown like a black siren, white girls lost it, the Internet reaction, tears and indignation were clearly indicative of their privilege of representation in every facet of life that are being threatened , “Saahene says. “When they were called to their racism, they doubled with more tears, instead of empathizing with the fact that there had been only a black princess of Disney, he chose tears on empathy. They wanted their protected privilege, while black girls wanted only A more representation “.

IRL Example: According to Saahene, white tears can also appear with a “well-intentioned” white person. She experienced first-hand with her white friends when she became an activist.

“When I started talking about systemic racism and the ways in which white people are accomplices in a particular conversation, a 26-year-old friend stopped talking to me for three weeks,” says Saahene. “This was a friend who talked almost daily, when I asked to talk about the silence and deep pain that had caused me since I had not done anything for her, she broke into tears, I, on the other hand, was without tears, although I was the one who experiences racism, and that he had been a ghost for a close friend. ”

While SSAAHENE finds that the shame and the fault of her friend were understandable, she rejoined the conversation of herself. “In those situations, the black person or another non-white person let the white person throwing the tears, essentially focusing their feelings instead of the problem,” says Saahene. “This type of frailty will not stop not wanting to talk about the race and, without a doubt, permembrely through other parts of a person’s life,” says Saahene. “It should not be taken lightly, the next time someone gives you” white tears “, remind them of your privilege, and that you are not the ones who have to experience real racism.”

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