Part 2: Week 4 Summary
Week four, entitled “Power, Relationships, and Commitments,” deals with white feminism, white leaders, one’s relationship with family and friends, losing privilege, and one’s values and commitments.
Day twenty-two focuses on white feminism (or “mainstream” feminism), which Saad defines as a range of feminist theories which addresses only the struggles of white women, oftentimes at the expense of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). Saad cites historical instances in which the Western white feminist movement has, since its very inception, marginalized or oppressed BIPOC. In 1913, for example, suffragist Alice Paul was vehemently opposed including BIPOC women in the first suffragette parade. Saad argues that the appropriate ideological response to white feminism is intersectional feminism, as long as it is firmly committed to putting the struggles of BIPOC at its center.
Day twenty-three focuses on white leaders—that is, white people in positions of responsibility, power, or authority. Examples of white leaders include our politicians, community leaders, worship leaders, teachers, mentors, and bosses, and so on. Saad points out that if one is in a position of leadership and power, one can do impactful and meaningful anti-racism work. Even if one isn’t, however, one can still contribute by challenging and holding white leaders to a higher standard.
Day twenty-four is entitled “You and Your Friends.” In this chapter, Saad encourages readers to look at their own friends and personal connections and examine how they respond when these people exhibit white supremacist behaviors. One’s friends and personal connections aren’t limited to one’s innermost circle; close acquaintances such as co-workers, colleagues, family friends, and the members of one’s spiritual community are included. Saad emphasizes the importance of using one’s personal influence and existing rapport in doing anti-racism work. Because social proximity is involved, there is a greater likelihood of successfully instilling conscious anti-racism practices in one’s friends and personal connections than in strangers.
Day twenty-five is about family. Saad prefaces this chapter by pointing out that each family has their own specific problems and issues. No matter how complex one’s family dynamics is, however, it does not exempt one from the responsibility of doing anti-racism work. As with one’s friends and personal connections, one wields a great deal of influence over one’s family members. The home is also the first place one learns—or doesn’t learn—white supremacist beliefs and behaviors. It is therefore important to use one’s own position in one’s family to widen and deepen the anti-racist knowledge and practices of one’s family members.
Day twenty-six is about one’s values. Saad defines values as personal standards and principles which guide how one chooses to live one’s life. A person’s values determine which...
(The entire section is 702 words.)