The Grand Narrative change, must take place using a Multi-Racial approach, I mean there are only 26 million Black people in this country of 300 plus million, but the direction on how to insert the narrative change needs to flow down from the people who have experienced repression. It is our life experienced that speaks to the how the very issue impacts us .
This is why it is absolutely crucial to dig deep into the motivation behind responses to racial injustice. We have to keep the main thing the main thing, and because performative activism, a form of pseudo advocacy is colonizing the sacred space of anti-racism. Historically, Black activism is about how we face life or death situations and organize around policy change. It is not for the sake of disruption alone.
One way to interrogate the motivation behind your reaction to racial injustice is to ask:
Why do I want to help- Because I feel bad or because racism is wrong?
One Part of the question is about you and how you feel, the other part of the question is about the issue.
If the first part of the answer is your main focus, I say examine yourself further because self-centrality will always become a distraction. It feels better to receive praise for your awareness than it does for you to do the seemingly invisible work of learning. Kudos and admiration are lifeblood for the performative ally. You want to help because you want everyone to know you feel bad. It is the reward for being seen for seeing.
This is how anti-racism becomes a cultural trend versus an effective policy change strategy.
I’ve seen this first hand on several missions trips and as an Outreach Director in inner city areas. It’s fun to sing songs, to get the hugs from the little kids on the margin. It’s what keeps people coming back. We love to be loved for our insertion into a world that we know we don’t necessarily have to insert ourselves into. However, anti-racism entails more than sympathy, selfies and apologies, and cannot be won by centering anything other than the offense that racism is.
Maybe the second answer is your focus. Maybe you do believe racism is wrong. In order to not live in the performative state, ultimately you will need to begin to do deeper work. One way to do that is to take stock of what anti-racist behavior looks, speaks and feels like in our own lives first, then begin the practice of positioning the experienced pain of others over your own thoughts and feelings about their pain. Finally, strategize action for specific policy change outcome.