white supremacy culture = anxiety29 Jun 2020
a few months back, i was having a conversation with my friend and deep collaborator, maureen white, about tema okun’s white supremacy culture characteristics. a few days after that conversation, i had a realization:
even though the word ‘anxiety’ doesn’t appear anywhere on that document, one of the obvious effects of white supremacy culture (WSC) is anxiety. i might even go so far as to say that anxiety is the affect of WSC.
i believe anxiety is one of the ways that bodies handle the necrophilic practices that make white supremacist society possible. this anxiety can manifest in all bodies, differently for sure depending on the racialization of the body, but it does and i see it all the time in my work. anyway, i could go on about that but that’s not what i wanted to write about today…
recently, i offered an exercise to one of my coaching clients to try and link their anxiety at work to the different elements of WSC. i suggested writing out each element on a post-it or piece of paper near their desk. each time they noticed being stuck in anxiety (and the noticing in and of itself is a victory!), i said they should try to see if they can root in one of the WSC characteristics. if they could, put a tally mark under the characteristic.
we haven’t yet had our next session to see what insights come through with this practice, if any, but i am excited to see what happens!
if anyone else wants to try this practice and let me know what happens, i’m all ears!
words / writing / post-processing
240w / 12min / 5min