Hold up a mirror. A guest post by Kat Weed on how to deal with white supremacists and the news

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Katherine Weed is a Pemberton resident and Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology student whose social feeds are full of insight. I asked her permission to share this recent post, from 22 August, in the hopes that it may be the first of many.

by Kat Weed

I’ve been feeling the heaviness of the events in Virginia and other demonstrations this weekend.

The enormity of the collective anger, blame and ignorance, has brought me to tears numerous times.

There was a time when I would have immediately spiritualized it all, or attempted to “turn it over to the light”, in order to quell the discomfort and anxiety regarding my own white privilege, as well as quell the intensity of my own grief, sadness and anger (because I would have feared being “stuck” there or mistakenly thought I was “taking on” something that somehow wasn’t my own).

I would have shielded myself from the harsh reality that racism is still alive and well, and the guilt that I, as a white person, will never experience such systemic injustice.

Instead, I’ve allowed myself to feel the pain.

And it feels terrifyingly raw, real, and hurtful.

Questions that have come up for me have been: who am I going to be in the middle of this? What can I do? How can I be most of service?

For me, I’ve realized that my answer is to double down on my own inner work, and most importantly, to hold up a MIRROR.

Because at the end of the day, the problem isn’t the hate-filled white supremacists who willfully display their ignorance for all the world to see… it’s those of us who would never consider ourselves “racist”, but who may in fact commit micro transgressions as a result of the racist, sexist nature of our cultural context.

I am going to do my absolute best to become more aware, and to work towards becoming an emotionally responsible human being.

If I’m willing to angrily accuse white supremacists of not taking responsibility for their own shit (in favour of blaming minorities for their problems), then I’d best be doing the work to take responsibility for my own shit too.

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