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9 Ways to Fight Racial Discrimination Daily: Dear Fellow White People.

Updated: Mar 22, 2022

On this International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination it seemed like the perfect time to post my first ever blog. As a new business owner, I don't often take the time to write, but when I do, you can bet it will be in exactly the style I speak, riddled with poor grammar and spelling errors. I ask your forgiveness in advanced, but I am more concerned with getting this onto something, somewhere. This post was spurred from an impassioned conversation, and I have paused my to-do list to turn to near rantings on the internet (as in my Millennial nature). My purpose in writing this is to help point other white people in the direction of positive allyship. If this is your first time reading some of these ideas, as you continue your journey, get ready to get a little "uncomfy" as you find out that you are not perfect and you may be a product of years and years of systemic racism.

One important thing you should know before I share 9 Ways to Fight Racial Discrimination Daily, is that these ideas come from people of color and most of the subjects discussed are microaggressions, hence the "daily" add-on. These are small steps that you will likely be able to participate in daily. On a larger scale, check out some incredible literature about how to create big change.... I want to share with you some steppingstones to how I learned these 9 Ways... and how you can further your knowledge, as I am still doing. A lot of what I know comes from hiring Dr. Michelle Mitcham (owner of Tallahassee Woman Magazine, Professor, and overall impressive, multi-titled human being and friend) to speak to myself and staff.

Why is that important? I'm white and I've been "invited to the cookout". And if there's one thing about me (despite being an only child), I like to share. In this case, I' like to share the stories and first or secondhand experiences of black people in our community. If black people feel safe with me, I need to take that and do something with it. It's not enough to "earn" invitation into friendly spaces and accessing stories with people of color. I do this to help change the narrative, without speaking over, but rather amplifying black voices within my scope of influence. It's hard to help people understand another perspective when you've not experienced any of it firsthand. It isn't the job of black people to reach out to us and teach us how to unlearn negative traits and learn how to be good friends. And trust me, you want black friends. Black people are talented, interesting, and the community occupies every positive attribute you can imagine, so we need to be sure that word is getting out, rather than the divisive words we often hear.

Here are the 9 ways you can help stand beside people of color in the fight to end racial discrimination:

1. Listen to People of Color.

This is what I mean above. Be sure the way you plan to help is something that is wanted and identified as helpful, by black people and share, inform and amplify those requests. Avoid responding or reacting out of guilt, shame and ignorance. Listen, learn and amplify black voices. Listen more than you speak (says the woman writing an article on the subject of racial discrimination).

2. Acknowledge your inherit privileges.

I recommend watching or participating in a "privilege walk" to get an understanding of how race affects the opportunities and judgement we receive. Ask yourself what scenarios you are treated differently or better because of your skin color.

3. Examine your biases.

I don't know about you but growing up I felt like being "color blind" was the most progressive and best way to deal with racial differences. I mean, I did love Envogue's "Free Your Mind". And attempting to be kind to myself, this was better than alternatives that I could have grasped from some of my childhood surroundings and influences. However, I still cringe to think of some of the seemingly harmless views or phrases I regurgitated. I am now 31 years old, and continue to care very much about equal rights, and dismantling the patriarchy, but that doesn't mean I'm not ignorant about so many things. We don't know what we don't know...So continuing to learn and understand ourselves is incredibly important in fighting our own biases. I have The Conversation by Robert Livingston to thank for insight on this issue.

4. Call out racism.

Your uncle's obviously racist jokes at family dinner to a business that is never inclusive. Know your audience, and approach people the way you see fit. In 2022, we will try and give the benefit of the doubt, that people have blind spots, or old habits that they need to be accountable for but allowed to fix. Whether intentional or not, let people around you know that racism isn't okay, and it's dangerous to perpetuate those ideas.

5. Adopt an intersectional approach to life.

All oppression is connected. We cannot fight injustice while ignoring racial injustice. If you take any subject of inequity, no matter how valid, you will find that it affects the black community that much more. Women', gay, disabled, any minority group when combined with black experience is different. This goes back to the inherit privileges, whiteness in itself puts you a step ahead in inclusive consideration in our society.

6. Support small business.

Even in small ways, if a small business tries to support minority groups, your money will serve the community. Small businesses often use their platforms and scope of influence to affect positive change. Using your wallet, your social media and word of mouth, aids in supporting the ideology behind the brands you love. Obviously, this means supporting black owned business definitely helps in a vital way.

7. Try not to "unfriend" racist family.

Okay, I said "try" for a reason. When I first started getting comfortable with being uncomfortable about race, I was already 26 years into fighting with racist family members, but with more information, more real-world experience, the rage set in. There are people I love, to this day, are still "deleted" from social media and in some cases, my life for their racist views. I'm not mad about setting boundaries for myself, but I am now at this place of... share, share, share! Social media is a tool. Maybe you'll make a difference engaging, maybe you'll post something, and it'll hit someone that saying "Black Lives Matter" is the minimum. The book that helped me in meeting people where they are, is We Need to Talk, by Celeste Headlee.

8. Pressure leader to end brutality toward POC.

Contact your local representatives about demilitarizing the police and holding police and politician accountable for improper use of power and discriminatory laws/tactics. This is how we make a greater impact. Demand fair and equal treatment. Record and help when you see injustice. Be a witness. Don't call the police on a person of color over something petty...

9.Keep that energy!

Don't wait for days like today to take action or speak up. These should be habits- a steppingstones on which to make further improvements and create change.

How is this related to Remedy Spa? This is a subject effect our clients, our staff, our friends, our families... We care for people for a living. We provide a safe space for all, and we care about your safety, your growth and happiness. I am a spa owner, but I'm just a person watching the same news, walking around in the same world as you... experiencing racism, often perpetuated by people that look like me, and I benefit from societal favoritism that I'd rather leave behind than see hatred and disadvantage spread. I hope that rather than contacting me about my beliefs, debating or deciding to take your business elsewhere, you might consider that we care about you too...

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