It can be confusing and challenging for white folks who don’t see themselves as racist to acknowledge the subtle, and not-so-subtle, ways we exhibit racial biases and stereotypical thinking. This can be true even for people who are in close relationships with people of color and committed to being anti-racist.
In episode 12, Drs. Brandy Liebscher and Danielle Beck talk about racial microaggressions and the research of Chinese-American psychologist, Dr. Derald Wing Sue. Along the way they delve into the emotional process of taking responsibility to unlearn racial microaggressions in our own lives – a difficult and humbling experience, but hopefully transformative one as well.
Recommended resources for episode 12 (click on links provided):
Racial Microaggressions in Everyday Life by Derald Wing Sue.
How microaggressions are like mosquito bites (video: language warning)
How can I get through to people who see things so differently than me? What if I lose all my credibility and influence?
These are questions we commonly hear, and have asked ourselves many times, when it comes to talking about race and racism. In episode 11, Drs. Brandy Liebscher and Danielle Beck discuss ways to approach these often polarized discussions in a pro-active, strategic, and relational manner. They also explore the importance of building coalitions in order to be effective and sustain this work for the long haul. They wrap up this episode emphasizing the need for humility and a willingness to take risks (with a few co-hosting bumps along the way).
Resources discussed in episode 11 (click on links provided):
“There’s at least one thing I know for sure: I am going to need allies in this fight. Isolation guarantees my ineffectiveness. Conversely, being part of a posse, however small, makes me harder to dismiss. So I commit to building a community of fellow rebels as I map my lines of dismissal.” -Abraham Lateiner
*Our apologizes, in advance, to Abraham Lateiner whose anti-racism work we discuss in this episode. We realize we pronounced his last name wrong without any semblance of consistency.
In episode 10, Drs. Brandy Liebscher and Danielle Beck talk with Allison Thomas about her passion for researching her ancestors who were enslavers dating back to the 17th century in Virginia. Allison shares her family’s legacy, with humility and emotional honesty. She also discusses how racial healing can only occur if we are willing to tell the truth and face our history as European Americans and the ongoing impact of slavery in our country.
Allison Thomas’ Bio:
Allison Thomas is a partner in Larger Than Life Productions and is currently producing for theater, film, and television. Allison produced the CG-animated movie, The Tale of Despereaux, executive produced Seabiscuit, and co-produced Pleasantville.
Allison also headed a public relations company specializing in technology start-up companies. Clients included Steve Jobs’ NeXT Computer, Pixar, and RealAudio. Prior to that, Allison worked in the public sector for President Jimmy Carter, Governor Jerry Brown, and Senator Alan Cranston.
Allison serves on the steering committee of the Southern California chapter of Coming to the Table, a national organization that provides leadership and resources for healing the wounds of racism rooted in slavery. Allison has also served on the boards of the USC School of Dramatic Arts, Oakwood School, and the California Women’s Law Center (co-chair), among others and was Los Angeles Public Library Commissioner for Mayor Richard Riordan. In 2004 The California Women’s Law Center honored Allison with their Pursuit of Justice Award.
Use of the term "enslaved people"
You may have noticed the term “enslaved people” was used in this episode rather than the word “slaves.” Here’s a brief article that speaks to the importance of using language that humanizes rather than dehumanizes others. Link here.
Resources discussed in episode 10 (click on links provided):
Coming to the Table
Additional resources Allison recommended for our listeners:
Sharing a podcast about race and racism is one thing. But when it’s specifically for white people, not surprisingly, there’s a lot of uncertainty about how to recommend this podcast to white friends and family. In episode 9, Drs. Brandy Liebscher and Danielle Beck offer some suggestions and challenges for how to help spread the word about the podcast, mindful of the sensitivity that often surrounds white people and racism.
Danielle also talks about a recent brush with podcast “fame” and Brandy cracks jokes about it the rest of the episode (minus the previously mentioned sensitivity).
In Beverly Daniel Tatum’s well-known book, Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? she makes a helpful distinction between being actively racist, passively racist, and actively anti-racist. Unlearning racial implicit (unconscious) bias is an important step towards becoming actively anti-racist in one’s identity and way of life. In episode 8, Drs. Brandy Liebscher and Danielle Beck explore what research tells us about unlearning biases and how to apply it in our daily lives.
This episode is a follow-up to episode 7, entitled Are All White People Racist? (No. Well, kinda of. Let us explain). In episode 7 Brandy and Danielle focus on what implicit bias is and how it can impact us in ways we don’t realize. In order to get the most out of episode 8 we recommend you listen first to episode 7.
Resources discussed in episode 8:
In order to try and answer that question you need to understand the difference between prejudice and racism, know what systemic racism is, and be aware of implicit racial bias. All of which, Drs. Brandy Liebscher and Danielle Beck talk about in episode 7.
Because this episode takes a more instructional approach, it’s been divided into two parts. In part 1, Brandy talks about racism vs. prejudice, systemic racism, and the importance of being actively anti-racist (even if you’re not overtly racist, which we hope you are not!). And in part 2, Danielle provides an in-depth, research-based explanation of implicit racial bias and how it impacts our daily lives.
An upcoming episode will focus on how to unlearn racial biases in our own lives.
Resources discussed in episode 7:
This week we say farewell to President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama and face an uncertain future with a new president and administration. In this episode, which originally aired after the election, co-hosts Brandy Liebscher and Danielle Beck share, with rawness and openness, their own emotional response to the election and how to push forward.
In episode 4, Drs. Brandy Liebscher and Danielle Beck grapple with the reality of a Trump presidency. They share their own emotional turmoil in the wake of this election, mindful of the fear, pain, and anger of those already vulnerable and marginalized in the United States. They also discuss their resolve to support white people who are committed to anti-racism and racial justice and what that means for the Facing Ourselves podcast. And if you're worried about those upcoming conversations with friends and family at Thanksgiving, they got you covered there, too.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out Brandy’s article about the importance of "repurposed space" for white people committed to racial justice.
For support and guidance on moving forward, including how to handle those difficult conversations at Thanksgiving, be sure to check out these resources:
Brittany Packnett's article White People: What is your plan for the Trump presidency?
Southern Poverty Law Center's Speak Up: Responding to Everyday Bigotry
Showing Up for Racial Justice Thanksgiving discussion guide
PICO National Network (multi-faith community organizing)