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Underlying Beliefs and Myths of Racism
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Dr. Maynard Brusman - Emotional Intelligence & Mindful Leadership Dr. Maynard Brusman - Emotional Intelligence & Mindful Leadership
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: San Francisco , CA
Wednesday, July 22, 2020

 

Underlying Beliefs and Myths of Racism

Unfortunately, part of being raised as a white person in our society is to be raised functionally illiterate when it comes to racism. It's not about being good or bad; nice or mean. According to DiAngelo, the idea that racism is a conscious bias held by mean people is the most effective adaption of racism.

In truth, racism is a system of oppression; it is a complex, multi-layered system infused in everything, everywhere, and probably in your organization, too. Even the best leaders can be blind to it.

Racism is built on a foundation of underlying beliefs, assumptions, and myths, many of which are unrecognized, let alone understood. (And I don't have to understand it for it to be valid.)

Racism Myths

  • Nice people cannot also act in racist ways.
  • Racism can only be conscious and intentional; unaware good intentions cancels it out.
  • White people who experience oppression/have suffered cannot act in racist ways.
  • My race has no bearing on my perspective on the matter.
  • I have proximity to people of color (POC), therefore I am free of racism.
  • I have no proximity to POC, therefore I am racially innocent.
  • My learning is finished/I know all I need to know.

Other beliefs that support racism:

  • As a white person, I will be the judge of whether racism has occurred.
  • I am qualified to determine whether the experiences of POC are legitimate.
  • If I don't understand it, it isn't legitimate.
  • As a white person, I know the best way to challenge racism.
  • I have no accountability to POC, yet I am confident that I am free of racism.
  • White people are objective on racism.

The Real Truth

  • The racial status quo is maintained by white comfort; change will be uncomfortable.
  • Comfort is not the same as safety; white people are safe in discussions about racism.
  • Feedback on white racism is difficult to give; feedback from POC is a gift and indicates trust.
  • Feelings of guilt are normal, and the antidote is action.
  • It takes courage to break with white solidarity; support those that do.
  • Interrupting racism is more important than a leader's feelings, ego, or self-image. Humility is key. Expect to grapple as you grow.

Dr. Maynard Brusman

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News Media Interview Contact
Name: Dr. Maynard Brusman
Title: Consulting Psychologist and Executive Coach
Group: Working Resources
Dateline: San Francisco, CA United States
Direct Phone: 415-546-1252
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