The Catalyst Project is an organization that teaches white people how to help stop racism, which is a really great thing to do. I learned that anyone can make a difference in society no matter how they have been affected. The woman that came to talk to us was an incredible person who is really changing the world- which was inspiring to me and my friends. She has been involved in activism for a long time. During the workshop, which was about five hours long, she spoke of the history of racism in the United States, providing us with varying definations of the concept. She taught us about its orgins as something instituted by the wealthy to divide poor whites and blacks for the purpose of preserving and increasing their wealth.
We went on to talk about more recent examples of whites resisting white supremacy. These activists realized that just because they benefitted from the system in place did not make that system just. They understood the imprtance of solidarity, another word we talked about.
Martin Luther King's wise words, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere," were really relevent to our discussion because they summed up what we were learning: even if a problem doesn't directly affect you, it still matters because it directly affects someone else. It is in the interest of white people to end white supremecy because we want to be to be surrounded by different cultures and traditions. When this happens, we all benefit instead of one race benefitting from the domination of others. We benefit from the diverse viewpoints that different cultures bring forth. I hope that our society can rise up and become one where no single cultural story subordinates others.
We closed the workshop with a query asking us to reflect on this exact idea: why do you want to work to end white supremecy? How is it in your interest? When listening to my peers and teachers say what was in it for them, I realized something. I realized that as I have progressed in the educational system, starting at inner-city public schools and now at a social justice-centered semester school in Nevada City, California, I have been surrounded by more and more white people. It is in my interest to end white supremacy because I want to be surrounded by many cultures and people from all over the planet!
Ever since this workshop, I've been looking through a really clean pair of glasses. I am now able to identify racial injustices in our world and that is half the battle of defeating them.