Where in the moral spectrum does racism lie for white people?
"I think it’s realistic to expect people to give up power out of a sense of moral duty, but how pressing is that sense of moral duty?"
Many white people are opposed to racial injustice and they feel a distinct discomfort that it is undeniable. But it's often not much more than simply the case that they would prefer to not see it, rather than have to actually do anything about it. And social media presents them with easy and off-hand ways to publicly display solidarity before moving on to the next amusing cat video. Beyond a brief tut-tut, there is no serious intent to do anything about it.
"But there’s a thing called the principle implementation gap … they think racism is bad and they want it to be over."
“White people talk a big game about allyship and dismantling racism but when it came to the prospect of maybe losing their jobs or getting in trouble at work in order to take a stance against racism, they weren’t willing to do it. That for me pushed up against the boundaries, the extent to which they think racism is a bad thing.”
“That stuff is easy to do,” she says. “There is a reason why the concept of allyship that has now become popularised is not the one that I talk about: it’s incredibly demanding and hard. How hard is it to give up your Instagram page? Makes you look good. Probably makes you feel good as well. Genuine allyship is probably not going to feel good for white people. It means giving up power, money, wealth, opportunities, things that will change the quality of your life and make it feel relatively worse. No one is talking about those very unsexy actions. It requires loss."
We are in a crazy position in the seeking of racial equality where the victims of our white guilt are expected and required to help us deal with our burden because we don't have the necessary tools ourselves. We need to be helped to carry our load.
There is an absurd contradiction revealed by research into racial inequality — that contradiction is often termed the “Principle-Implementation Gap.”
Basically, it's the paradox that, while white Americans concede that equality is correctly an ideal, they refuse any move that would do anything about it. You can read the full research paper here...
Meanwhile, how are we doing in bridging the racial divide here in Australia?
Australian Human Rights Commission
Agenda for racial equality 2012-2016 - Agenda for racial equality
It's now the end of 2020 (at least 8 years later than when that agenda was written) and —for all the equality we've achieved, since then in our own country— that planned "Agenda" could simply be re-titled to be 2022-2026.
Click the link below to read the full Guardian Interview by Nesrine Malik, Sat 14 Nov 2020
After George Floyd’s death, Uwagba began to think about white ‘allyship’ and why support often felt performative. In the article, she discusses why her new book offers a break from the ‘black reading list’
Otegha Uwagba and Yomi Adegoke Live Chat
Whites: On Race and Other Falsehoods by Otegha Uwagba
Paperback $16.99 at Amazon Australia
Otegha Uwagba grew up in south London and is the founder of Women Who.
"Women Who is a platform dedicated to helping women think, work, and live better, by fostering environments that allow them to make vital connections, share essential information, and (of course) have plenty of fun along the way."
She is a consultant, speaker, and writer who also provides a podcast, and a weekly newsletter along with Instagram and Twitter commentary,
Uwagba also wrote a career guide, "Little Black Book: A Toolkit for Working Women," that became a Sunday Times bestseller.