Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Checklist for White Allies Against Racism

Checklist for white allies against racism
How often do you behave as an ally to people of color?

Adapted from notes from John Raible: "I devised this checklist after thinking, as a person of color, about the white people I know with whom I have developed some degree of trust. I wanted to articulate the specific behaviors I see them engaging in which lead me to appreciate their actions on behalf of students of color and against racism in general."

Read through the checklist to get a feel for what constitutes "ally behavior" on the part of white anti-racists. How many apply to you! Use this scoring scale: 4 = all the time 3 = most of the time 2 = some of the time 1 = rarely 0 = never
Part 1
1. _____ I am present at meetings to make sure anti-racism is part of the discussion.
2. _____ I demonstrate knowledge and awareness of the issues of racism.
3. _____ I use the language and political worldview of anti-racism.
4. _____ I continually educate myself and others about racism.
5. _____ I recognize my own limitations as a white person doing anti-racist work.
6. _____ I raise issues about racism over and over, both in public and in private.
7. _____ I realize "it's not about me." I can be objective and avoid over-personalizing issues that people of color raise.
8. _____ I can identify racism as it is happening.
9. _____ I can strategize and work in coalition with others to advance anti-racist work.
10. _____ I attend to group dynamics to ensure the inclusion of people of color.
11. _____ I support and validate the comments and actions of people of color and other allies. (But not in a paternalistic manner!)
12. _____ I strive to share power with people of color.
13. _____ I take a personal interest in the lives and welfare of individual people of color.
14. _____ I use my privilege to communicate information from the dominant group to people of color.
15. _____ I hold high expectations for people of color.
16. _____ I reach out to initiate contact with people of color.
17. _____ I listen carefully so that I am more likely to understand the needs of people of color.
18. _____ I can adopt and articulate a person of color's point of view when it may be helpful.
19. _____ I can accept leadership from people of color.
Part II (Includes the characteristics in Part 1)
1. _____ I work side-by-side with people of color on tasks, projects, and actions.
2. _____ I can debrief with people of color to give and receive "reality checks" and affirmations after meetings, events, and actions.
3. _____ I readily understand–with no explanations necessary–a person of color's position or perception.
4. _____ I have joking relationships with individual people of color.
5. _____ I can vent with and be present for people of color when they need to vent feelings about racism.
6. _____ I debate issues with people of color and take their ideas seriously.
7. _____ I take risks in relating to people of color and take their ideas seriously.
8. _____ I demonstrate shared values with people of color, for example, impatience with the rate of change, anger and injustice, etc.
9. _____ I know the private lives and families of friends who are people of color.
10. _____ I can relax and socialize and be at ease with people of color.
Part III - The following are some problematic areas where white people seem to get stuck. Do they apply to you?
1. _____ I am not clear on the words people of color prefer to use to identify themselves.
2. _____ When people of color point out racism as it is happening, I feel personally attacked.
3. _____ I rely on people of color for education about my own (& institutional) racism.
4. _____ I use meetings and organizing time to establish my anti-racist credentials.
5. _____ It is important to me to point out examples of "reverse racism" when I see them.
6. _____ I have been told I act in a racist manner without knowing it, but I think I'm being an ally.
7. _____ I speak for people of color and attempt to explain their positions.
8. _____ I focus on mediating between people of color for other whites.
9. _____ I see my role as interpreting the behavior of people of color for other whites.
10. _____ I prefer to spend anti-racist time & energy dealing with my personal feelings and issues rather than moving the anti-racist agenda forward.
11. _____ I intellectualize about the struggle rather than live it daily.
12. _____ I wait for people of color to raise white people's awareness.
13. _____ I know well fewer than five individual peers who are people of color.
Copyright 1994 by John Raible by Kathryn RussellSUNY Cortland - PhilosophyLast modified on 1-04-01

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