Thursday, July 2, 2020

Book Talk | Dismantling White Supremacy Day 5


I began this book last week and would love to have discussions based on the prompts provided within the book. The book is set up so that after each day's reading, there are a handful of prompts to respond to. Feel free to respond to as many or as few as you like. I would love for this to be a discussion and a place where we can learn and grow together. Please be honest, because that is the only way anything will change.

Additionally, I have been compiling a list of books under the #BlackLivesMatter Reading List tab. I am usually adding books daily that I find, or are recommended by others. Please leave a comment on that page if you have titles to add. I hope you can find titles on this list that you will learn from as well.

Day Five Prompts

White Superiority - stems directly from white supremacy's belief that people with white or white-passing skin are better than and therefore deserve to dominate over people with brown or black skin (definition given at 23%)

1. Think back across your life, from childhood to where you are in your life now. In what ways have you consciously or subconsciously believed you are better than BIPOC?

Don't hide from this. This is the crux of white supremacy. Own it.

Let's talk!


  1. most people are too involved with their own problems to take this up, i surmise... i know i think about it from time to time but since we don't travel much and eschew humans whatever color they are, it's not a topic that is foremost in our petty concerns... maybe that's bad, but it is what it is...

    1. People have been responding to the various posts, this is day number 5. There are 28 days worth of materials. The scourge of white supremacy culture is EVERYONE'S problem, and we must address it head-on and directly. I think it is important to think about and discuss these topics, regardless of interactions. It is the only way to do better and I hope you will respond to future prompts and discussions.

  2. 1. I honestly do not know how to answer this one. I do feel like subconsciously when I first started teaching, that I knew more than the paraprofessionals who were an integral part of our classroom. I quickly learned that was not true, but I had this idea coming out of grad school that I had studied with these great and well-known professors, who spoke around the country and had written books, so obviously I had that knowledge and I knew more. Wrong, wrong, wrong. I don't know if this was necessarily an issue of our paraprofessionals being BIPOC, or just my blinders on coming out of grad school in thinking I had all the answers, when in reality I had no idea what the fuck I was doing. I quickly realized that there was absolutely no way I could ever do my job without the amazing women who provided endless support in our room for our students.

  3. This is a really, really difficult question to think about. I can't find a part of my conscious thinking that believes 'I am better than BIPOC' or 'whites are better than BIPOC', but I have to assume I subconsciously do. What about pity? What if I feel that I'm lucky to be white and BIPOC have had a harder time than me? If I met a random black person here in Omaha, I would assume I'm wealthier, have had better education, a better family life, better opportunities, etc. Does this mean I think I'm superior? I don't think I'm superior as a person but I think my life/environment has been superior and I've had to struggle less. But this kind of feels like pity.

    And then today on TV, I saw a black family who lives in a nice house and has good jobs, and I wondered how they became economically successful. It stood out to me, where as I wouldn't have questioned about a white family. But if I picture a room of successful BIPOC, I don't have any sense of jealousy or animosity or anything.

    So, I don't know. I have a feeling this question will be on my mind for awhile.

    1. I would agree that I do not consciously think I am better because I am white. But I have also had thoughts like you mentioned, and I think the 'pity' aspect is super important because of the whole 'white savior' thing that the book also discusses. I have felt major guilt in being thankful for being white at times. Not for being white, just being thankful for it, if that makes sense? And I can not imagine having to start having these terrible conversations with my baby at a very young age of how to interact with people in authority, especially police officers, if we were anything other than white. But then it is also super shitty of me for being thankful, because I literally did nothing to earn being white, it was just by chance. We see all the time how much harder life is for BIPOC, and now more than ever it is important to listen to those stories. Every day there are still police being violent with protesters, especially Black men and it infuriates me. A man was walking by with a protest crowd and was yelling at the officers. He was not physically aggressive in any way, but the officer shoved him and another came flying at him and knocked the guy to the ground. Then they TASED him. FOR NO REASON. He was not being detained or under arrest. He was assaulted by the police for YELLING at the officers. I can't imagine the kind of fear Black mothers and fathers have when their children leave home every day, or fears that husbands and wives have about their significant others not coming home.

      I agree those subconscious thoughts are there and unfortunately, I have had them too. It makes me feel icky and uncomfortable to admit it, but I have and I need to own it. But I do feel like this has lessened with time, as I did spend more time surrounded by BIPOC, as I taught at two predominantly Black elementary schools in the last eight years. Knowing more BIPOC as colleagues has been a huge asset.

      I think it is important to point out that you did notice and question this, seeing a Black family with economic success. I think part of the battle is immediately recognizing those prejudice or bias thoughts and turning the situation around right away, reminding ourselves we would not question if it was a white family.

      I'm really glad you've joined the discussion, you are also helping me see situations I did not notice/think about before!


Thanks for visiting my little book nook. I love talking books so leave a comment and let's chat!