Examining Whiteness

The Whiteness Study Group – Who We Are and How You Can Join!

The Whiteness Study Group (WSG) is a self-created group of AMM members/attenders with a dedication to understanding issues of race and whiteness and facilitating ways for AMM to participate in this process.  The WSG is not a committee! While most members of this group also participate in the ongoing Education Committee’s book group on Fit for Freedom, Not Friendship, we feel both need and urgency to bring our (and the Meeting’s) study of these matters further along (as per AMM’s minuted commitments to studying this issue that go back as far as 2012).  We are engaged in studying this issue, reflecting on how it impacts our own individual, spiritual lives and the collective life of the Meeting.  We presented a proposal for how AMM may productively devote the agreed upon 15 minutes per month at MFWFB to consideration of race and whiteness.  The WSG is actively engaged in preparing these presentations, including a monthly presentation, a monthly movie night, and (as of this writing) at least two workshops open to members and attenders in 2018. Organization:  We are a loosely organized group!  However, we are meeting regularly with each meeting date/time established at the time of the previous meeting.

Next meeting!  February 22, 2018 at 4:45 p.m. (in the Meeting Library). Interested?  Just show up!  (Email in advance to receive an agenda before each meeting.)  We also  welcome your input and responses.  You may email them to: sarahmalone1949@gmail.com

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Implicit Bias:

Implicit Bias test:
https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/takeatest.html

Defining Implicit Bias

Also known as implicit social cognition, implicit bias refers to the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner.  These biases, which encompass both favorable and unfavorable assessments, are activated involuntarily and without an individual’s awareness or intentional control.  Residing deep in the subconscious, these biases are different from known biases that individuals may choose to conceal for the purposes of social and/or political correctness.  Rather, implicit biases are not accessible through introspection.

The implicit associations we harbor in our subconscious cause us to have feelings and attitudes about other people based on characteristics such as race, ethnicity, age, and appearance.  These associations develop over the course of a lifetime beginning at a very early age through exposure to direct and indirect messages.  In addition to early life experiences, the media and news programming are often-cited origins of implicit associations.

A Few Key Characteristics of Implicit Biases

  • Implicit biases are pervasive.  Everyone possesses them, even people with avowed commitments to impartiality such as judges.
  • Implicit and explicit biases are related but distinct mental constructs.  They are not mutually exclusive and may even reinforce each other.
  • The implicit associations we hold do not necessarily align with our declared beliefsor even reflect stances we would explicitly endorse.
  • We generally tend to hold implicit biases that favorour own ingroup, though research has shown that we can still hold implicit biases against our ingroup.
  • Implicit biases are malleable.  Our brains are incredibly complex, and the implicit associations that we have formed can be https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/takeatest.htmlgradually unlearned through a variety of debiasing techniques.

Implicit Bias test:
https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/takeatest.html

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Update  8.19.17
Hello Friends,
Below are links to connect you to articles and videos related to our work on whiteness, white supremacy, and racism.

Toward the bottom of this page, you will find the readings we shared last Fall and earlier this year, as well as three videos from the Putting Racism on the Table series. Also below that are a few additional readings that were helpful to my own growth in this work.

More immediately below, you will find links to a few articles that were published or shared (again) in the days following the White Supremacist Rally in Charlottesville. These writings were shared with me by members of our Meeting, or by other friends in the wider Quaker and Faith-based community.

Thank you, again, for your commitment to this challenging and vital process of growth and (hopefully) transformation of ourselves and the systems and institutions in which we live.
Tina Kachele, Clerk, AMM
kekachele@earthlink.com

 

Recent articles

Carrying the Weight of How the White World Imagines You
https://onbeing.org/blog/miguel-clark-mallet-carrying-the-weight-of-how-the-white-world-imagines-you/

Converting Hidden Spiritual Racism in Sacred Activism: An Open Letter to Spiritual White Folks
https://virginiarosenberg.com/blog/2016/7/10/converting-hidden-spiritual-racism-into-sacred-activism-an-open-letter-to-spiritual-white-folks

Racial Equity Tools: Implicit Bias
http://www.racialequitytools.org/act/communicating/implicit-bias

 

Video resources:

**A NEW GREAT RESOURCE!! (a series of short videos from Seattle: scroll down the page for different parts of the project)
https://projects.seattletimes.com/2016/under-our-skin
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Putting Racism on the Table is a series of videos that will help us develop a shared vocabulary to move deeper into this work. Each of these sessions comes with a set of questions we may use for discussion.
Feel free to watch or listen on your own; we will organize community viewings and discussions as time and energy allow.

Full website here: http://www.puttingracismonthetable.org/

Podcasts:

Youtube of sessions here:
I call your attention in particular to three sessions:
Structural Racism, by John A. Powell
Discussion Guide – Structural Racism – john powell

White Privilege by Robin DiAngelo (she is the author of the concept we have been studying called White Fragility)
PuttingRacismTable_Discussion Guide – White Privilege

Julie Nelson on Implicit Bias:
Discussion Guide – Implicit Bias – Julie Nelson

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READINGS

Below are links to the AFSC guide on “Denormalizing Whiteness” as well as the readings we have shared from that guide so far. Feel free to access additional readings and resources from the AFSC Guide and share your thoughts as we learn and grow together!
Whiteness for Friends FINAL_0

What Is Whiteness_ – The New York Times

Understanding Whiteness | Calgary Anti-Racism Education | University of Calgary

White Fragility-Why Its Hard to Talk White People Racism

White Fragility Is Racial Violence | Huffington Post

White Fragility_DiAngelo_fullpaper

TheSubtleLinguisticsofPoliteWhiteSupremacy

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES that may be of interest to you:

https://melmagazine.com/a-practical-guide-to-whiteness-in-the-age-of-trump-ea96515ac2a1#.ss75ybg2b

http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/11-things-white-people-can-do-be-real-anti-racist-allies

https://thsppl.com/i-racist-538512462265#.kkyw49t5t

http://www.friendsjournal.org/white-garden/

“People of Color are in an Abusive Relat… (with White America)

‘mAbsolutelyAngryBlackWoman

Letter_Birmingham_Jail

 

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A recent blog post from AFSC on learning our stories connects to our witness on immigration: “The stories we tell- Reckoning with our…e | AFSC