A former student and current college student sent me an email with the subject line “How Do I Open Their Eyes?”

Their story is one that resonates with me since they have found themselves quarantined during Covid-19 “with my parents and neighbors, all of which I would say are very religiously right leaning.” During the more recent re-energized #BlackLivesMatter movement, they have experienced yet another challenge as they confronted those around them to support #BLM, but “was unable to get a word in because I was simply outnumbered by conservative white men.”

This is a journey that fits into this racism scale that details the challenges facing white people who genuinely seek to rise to the level of allyship/abolitionist:

Racism scale copy

The work of dismantling racism includes confronting whiteness and white privilege in order to eradicate both—and this is the work of white people in confrontation with white people.

There is a sizable faction of “conservative white men” who will not listen, will never listen, and will never move beyond their white fragility and white denial.

But racism cannot be overcome in a state of fatalism.

Here then is a reader, some resources for doing the work by white people and for white people who aspire to allyship/abolitionist: