Me and White Supremacy: Day 28 Journal Questions

kevineleven
5 min readFeb 28, 2023
“Me and White Supremacy” by Layla F. Saad

I’m leading a group discussion circle on “Me and White Supremacy” by Layla F. Saad. I’m taking the journaling challenge daily throughout February even though I’m not white. If you happen to be white, why not take the challenge? If I can do it, you can do it too.

Day 28 Questions (from the text):

1. Write three concrete, out-of-your-comfort-zone actions you are committed
to taking in the next two weeks toward antiracism.
These could be uncomfortable conversations you need to have,
significant changes in your life you need to make, someone you need to
call out/in, sincere apologies you need to make, announcements you
need to make, organizations you need to begin volunteering at, etc. Make
these actions as specific as possible (what, where, when, how, who, why,
etc.) and also make clear how you will be held accountable for these
actions (e.g., choose and notify an accountability partner).

2. Starting today and over the next week, begin to write down your
commitments to this work.

Craft a commitments statement that you will be able to refer to every day and especially on the days when you forget, make mistakes, or begin to slip back into white apathy. Your commitments are not what you will try to do or hope to do but what you will do.

To craft this document, go back through all the days of this work and
recall the ways you have done harm and the ways in which you are
committed to change. Think about what you are ready to commit to in your personal life, your family life, your friendships, your work and
business life, and your community life.

Use any or all of the following writing prompts to help you craft your
commitment statement:
• I am committed to showing up for this lifelong antiracism work
because…
• I am committed to challenging my white fragility by…
• I am committed to using my voice for antiracism work by…
• I am committed to challenging racism in other people with white
privilege by…
• I am committed to uplifting, supporting, and centering BIPOC by…
• I am committed to financially supporting the following BIPOC
movements and causes…
• I am committed to decentering myself as a person with white
privilege by…
• I am committed to continuing my lifelong antiracism education by…
• I am committed to the following values that will help me to practice
antiracism…
• I am committed to breaking through my white apathy by…
• I am committed to showing up even when I make mistakes by…
• I am committed to using my privilege for antiracism by…
• I am committed to challenging my optical allyship by…
• I am committed to being a good ancestor by…

Commitments are strong statements of solidarity and action. They are
not guarantees that you will actually do the work, but they will help focus
you so you know what work you are supposed to be doing. Commit to this
lifelong work. Write it down and then live your life accordingly.
To ensure that your commitment statement does not become a
symbolic document that pays lip service but does not follow through with
action, keep it somewhere where you will be able to see it every day. Do
not just leave it in your journal. Post it up in your home and/or workspace where you will be able to access it every day and be reminded of what
you are committed to. If working through this book with family members or
coworkers, consider creating a family or organizational commitment
statement too.

To create accountability, share your commitment statement with a
person or persons in your life who are also committed to social change
and antiracism work. Keep one another accountable to showing up in the
ways that you have committed to. Do not let one another slip back into the
behaviors we have explored in this book.

Remember: You do not have to write it all down today. Begin today but
continue this over the coming days, weeks, months, and years. Your
commitment statement is not a solid document set in stone. Treat it as a
living, breathing, evolving, and ever-deepening statement that reflects your
own growth in this work and your commitment to antiracism as a lifelong
practice

In the final week, it would seem the author is giving us a bit of a reprieve. Perhaps that’s because we did a lot of the heavier lifting early on. If the first three weeks were about going deep, this one is about spreading wide what we’ve learned, and making sure our impact in our anti-racism journey resonates as far as possible.

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I wanted to have this done yesterday. But seeing as part of my personal work in this area is to relinquish a little perfectionism, I’m ok with it coming a day late.

A second reason I wanted to do the Me and White Supremacy challenge, was because I am constantly preaching to people to step out of their comfort zones for social justice, change, and the collective greater good. Not embodying what I try to inspire in others would make me a hypocrite. So I stuck to my word — I went deep, got real and personal, and in public no less. Mission accomplished — and even though I honestly was not the target audience for the book, I found it useful in this regard.

Lastly — I knew that doing this workshop out loud and in public would increase my sense of commitment. And that’s what the final chapter is all about. I’m feeling pretty good about it. After almost three years after the great racial awakening of 2020, who else can say the same?

As we transition from Black History Month and into Woman’s History Month, I’ve got to say — the sheer bravery of Layla F. Saad to first make this a challenge on instagram, then publish a book based on the challenge is staggering. If simply doing the exercises she outlines in these chapters had me feeling this deeply each day, I con only imagine how emotionally taxing they must have been to write. Bravo.

I’ve had mixed responses to my challenge. I’ve had continual praise from some. Silence from others. A couple people told me I should be ashamed for promoting this book, and that I was someone who hated white people. If you ever hear someone conflate white supremacy with white people please kindly tell that person to shut the hell up. For my sake and for yours. Let it always be known — you can detest white supremacy white loving white people. I’m living proof.

Onward.

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