People let loose at holiday parties after a little too much-spiked eggnog or champagne on New Year’s Eve. Unguarded conversations at these festive events often result in unintentional racist remarks from white co-workers. A Chicago-based group called Make Yourself Useful is offering workshops on how Black people could manage those situations and white people could avoid them, The Chicago Tribune reported.
“Racism persists because a lot of White people aren’t concerned with race in their daily lives. They affirm and coddle one another’s experiences, which creates an echo chamber and reinforces racial hierarchies,” said Jenna Jackson, a University of Chicago Ph.D. candidate in Black politics, adding that whites should realize that colorblindness is an illusion.
Make Yourself Useful is hosting its second “Anti-Racist Holiday Preparedness Party!” Participants will discuss strategies on how to initiate productive, open conversations about racism and current affairs. In addition to role play, participants will discuss ways to interrupt racism effectively. “It’s about a slower, less public method of accountability, versus a call-out, which is more geared toward shame and chastising. No human being is disposable. But, there is also a lot of socially ingrained racism. We’re asking how you can sit with those two things at the same time,” co-organizer Latham Zearfoss said.
Jackson called it “admirable” that white people are increasingly “interrogating their positions in system power.” Those self-disruptive strategies, however, must be taken to the next level and become “dismantling strategies.”
Here are ten comments that could seem innocuous— especially after drinking a few at the holiday party— that White people should avoid, and Black people could use for constructive correction:
“Racism is a thing of the past.”
“You need to let go of the past.”
“Racism goes both ways.”
“I’m dating someone Black, so I’m colorblind.”
“If … made it, why can’t other African Americans succeed?”
“Why aren’t Black people doing more to help themselves get ahead?”
“I know what it feels like to be discriminated against.”
SOURCE: Chicago Tribune