Anti-Racism Training

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It can be challenging for Jews who are seen as white--and benefit from the privilege that whiteness confers in the U.S.--to understand that some of their thoughts, feelings, and actions spring from a sense of white safety that they aren't even aware of.

At our South Bay General Meeting on May 2, we were so lucky to have Rabbi Amy Eilberg lead us through an exploration of a modern understanding of "racism". She explained why Jewish, white and white-passing, social-justice activists must reckon with it. 

 

Rabbi Eilberg emphasized that we shouldn't understand racism as rude acts by one person toward another. Instead, racism is a system of interlocking parts. Racism includes institutional, inter-personal, and internalized pieces. The pieces have worked together for centuries to create and maintain white supremacy. Together, they cause deep suffering. Each piece violates our Jewish conviction that every human being is created in the Divine image.

Educating ourselves is our first step in reducing our own passive and active maintanence of this system of racism.

We watched part of Robin DiAngelo's video, "Deconstructing White Privilege" . We recommend this video to our members.

What everyday actions can we take to help dismantle racism? We talked about these actions:

  • Call people's attention to their racist assumptions
  • Challenge people's racist speech
  • Advocate for policy changes
  • Work in solidarity with impacted people--do not imagine that white people's role is to "help"
  • Be willing to make mistakes
  • Listen to people of color
  • Don't expect people of color to teach you--they are busy
  • Talk less
  • Let into your heart the agony of fear and the anger felt daily by impacted people

We listened hard and shared frankly.

Thank you to all who came.

Thank you to Rabbi Amy!