Accepting Our Racist Biases
For many White and White-passing folx starting the working of becoming anti-racist, we become so scared 😨 to do or say the wrong thing that we don’t do the work because we get stuck in that activated fear body.
And that’s where the work needs to start, to learn to be okay with being corrected or called out 🗣️, to release the perfectionist thought 💭 habits that keep you procrastinating and spinning 🌀 and being obsessed with being the A+ gold star ⭐ in every area of your life.
Just as with any other area of live, these thought habits keep you dysregulated when you think about your bias, your racism, your cassette tapes.
So instead, I invite you to welcome it 👋, to be open to failing on purpose, and to open your mind 🧠 and your heart ♥️ to Black and Brown people telling you that you F-ed up.
It’s not just okay — it’s a GIFT 🎁 for marginalized folx to give you their labor, including the labor of telling you that you misspoke, took a wrong action, centered yourself 🙋 in a conversation, were performative 🎭 in your allyship, optical, versus doing the work and being a true accomplice in this lucha.
Accept that you have bias and that you can work on it.
You will do it wrong AND take action 💪.
My beauty, you have to get regulated.
We as White and White-passing folx have to get regulated in our bodies and nervous system if we’re to be accomplices to black folx and other POCs and marginalized groups.
For anyone who needs a refresher on getting regulated, I invite you to listen 🎧 to episodes 48 and 61, which are all about polyvagal theory and the nervous system.
Barriers to Seeing Your Own Bias
So let’s talk about the barriers many White and White-passing folx are experiencing when trying to show up for Black folx right now.
The main one I see is that when you’re rolling around in your shock 😮, sadness 😥, disbelief 😦, you’re not taking action 💪.
When you’re in worry 😬, you’re not in action to change your life or the world 🌎.
When you’re focused on centering your own comfort in a situation, worrying about being called out or making a mistake, all of that can trigger us to defend ourselves 🙅.
To go into fight-or-flight (sympathetic)🏃♀️ or freeze (dorsal vagal shutdown) 😶.
And if we’re operating from either of those places, we are not effective, efficient, or helpful 😔.
We are not our highest selves.
We are not our most cognitively capable selves.
When you’re focused on your own shame or embarrassment or worry, your own people-pleasing and perfectionism, you’re physiologically not listening 👂, not thinking well, not showing up, not rising to your fullest capacity to use your voice 🗣️ for good.
Because science 👩🔬.
And a huge part of this work is to put aside your own shame, worry, and fear.
The more you’re able to put your own stuff aside by giving it love 💗 and care 🤗 — never by shutting it down — the more you can show up now to be actively anti-racist, to be okay with being wrong.
Do this work with love, gentleness, and above all, an open heart ♥️ and mind 🧠.
For more about the power of thought work in becoming an anti-racist ally and accomplice, listen to Episode 69 of Feminist Wellness.
Victoria Albina, NP, MPH is a licensed and board certified Family Nurse Practitioner, herbalist and life coach, with 20 years experience in health and wellness. She trained at the University of California, San Francisco, and holds a Masters in Public Health from Boston University and a bachelors from Oberlin College. She comes to this work having been a patient herself, and having healed from a lifetime of IBS, GERD, SIBO, fatigue, depression and anxiety.
She is passionate about her work, and loves supporting patients in a truly holistic way - body, mind, heart and spirit. A native of Mar del Plata, Argentina, she grew up in the great state of Rhode Island, and lives in NYC with her partner. A brown dog named Frankie Bacon has her heart, and she lives for steak and a good dark chocolate.