Do you find yourself wanting to speak or write about certain topics, but you hold back, wondering:
- Will my followers still like me?
- Will I be rejected?
- What if I offend them?
- Will I make them uncomfortable?
- What if I lose my place amongst my peers?
- etc. etc. etc.
Then I ask you this: is what you’re saying really AUTHENTIC at all? What do you do when there is an inconsistency between your personal morals / politics and your online voice?
This comes up with almost all of my clients at one point or another.
It’s my belief that we cannot (and should not) separate our politics and personal values in the name of keeping our clients comfortable. Doing so is inauthentic and ultimately dishonest. And if you’re a white person in the personal growth / spirituality / coaching business, then now more than ever it’s your RESPONSIBILITY to inform and educate your clients on the politics of social justice, anti-racism, and the reality of co-opting and appropriating cultural practices, language, symbols, and tools.
Here’s where you can start:
1. Acknowledge your privilege / ignorance / inherent racism.
This is not an attack against you as a person, but rather a pointing out how white people inherently have access to practices, language, “trends,” etc. that have resulted in discrimination and punishment of the people whose culture they belong to.
2. Start following BIPOC + LGBTQIA+ people who are doing this work.
LISTEN to their advice as people who have LIVED this oppression and experience the pain of white supremacy first-hand. Do not ask them for labor unless you first offer to PAY THEM. Here are a few that create regular free and PAID content for anti-racist education: @rachel.cargile @laylafsaad @blackvogue_se @leesareneehall @gutsygirlart @chaninicholas @feminineshift
3. Call on your dear friend Google.
If you can Google search for a new restaurant / movie trailer / celeb news, or troll Netflix for hours, you can search for articles and videos that help you understand the intricacies of systemic injustice, white supremacy, and cultural appropriation.
4. HIRE AND PAY BIPOC / LGTQIA+.
One of the best ways to take a stand against systemic racism and discrimination is by hiring the people who are at the hands of this oppression and paying them a fair salary. This is especially true for positions in your company that are responsible for business management, content creation, branding, and marketing. This does NOT mean asking them to educate you on anti-racism theory / or asking them to recount their experiences to help you understand why their advice is valid. This can be painful and traumatic. See step 1 and 2 for education opportunities.
5. Remember, your discomfort pales in comparison to the literal danger of being BIPOC / LGBTQIA+.
So when you’re ultimately confronted by the discomfort of your own inherent privilege, check yourself and remember the wise words of Rachel Cargile: