Giving Compass' Take:
- Vu Le lists some signs that you or your organization may be falling into the role of the white moderate, standing in the way of racial justice progress.
- Do some of these signs apply to you or your organization? How can you better support racial justice?
- Read about using white privilege for good.
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Here are a few ways you or your organization or foundation may be perpetuating this sort of well-meaning white moderation that’s preventing progress. This list, aggregated from colleagues across the sector, is not comprehensive. Also, all of us, including people of color, are prone to many of these because this is what we have been taught. We all need to constantly examine ourselves and make adjustments:
- You call for unity and for people to get along after the violent white supremacist attack at the Capitol
- You steer away from publicly condemning white supremacy, racism, fascism, etc. because that might affect your funding
- You center the feelings of white donors and avoid anything that could make them uncomfortable
- You encourage people to be more “civil” or to use a “respectful tone” when having conversations about race and other challenging subjects
- You avoid anything that you think may be too “political”
- You are more worried about affecting your org’s reputation or upsetting team dynamics than you are at the inequity of pay and power allocated to Black, Indigenous, women, LGBTQIA+, disabled people, and other marginalized folks
- You strive to create “objective” processes for grants, jobs, etc., believing that that would ensure those with the most merit would be selected.
- You use white-people-determined standards such as academic writing, formal credentials, “articulate” speech, and “professional” personal appearance to judge people and organizations’ intelligence and effectiveness, which often rewards white men and white-led orgs
- You believe it’s more important to hoard resources for the future than to spend out more to effectively address current injustice
- You avoid race to focus on class as the basis of so much of the injustice in the world
Read the full article about signs of being a white moderate by Vu Le at Nonprofit AF.