Thanks to everyone who has participated in our ongoing community conversations on Racism in America: The Souls of White Folk.
We had a wonderful and dynamic discussion today, covering a variety of personal experiences and depth psychology perspectives on racism in America.
Below are some comments from Alliance member Dale O'Brien regarding his experiences:
I'm 65, Caucasian white, but was voluntarily bussed into a predominantly poor, predominantly black Catholic elementary school in S.E. D.C. As altar boy, I served at many funerals. What was obvious to me was the different way that whites and blacks grieved. White funerals were family and friends, trying to hold back grief, bodies separated by empty spaces. By the first day of the start of the next work week, the whites were expected to be back at work, grieving over.
Black parishoners came as a community. An entire community of female mourners sat together, hip to hip, shoulder to shoulder, and WAILED a grief so all-encompassing that this white boy grieved a soul he'd never met.
I do not remember the name of the Native American tribe, but I'll never forget the story of the tribe's grieving ritual. Females cut their normally long hair off at ear level, males cut their normally long hair off at shoulder level. At least some of the women cut their legs to cause bleeding, as only one part of an elaborate days-long ritual of mourning.
Thanks for bringing us as together as much as is possible in our rich white men's internet of separateness, our web of separation.
Many, probably most, (but thankfully, not all) white men tend toward separation and segregation.
At best, one spiritual day separate from the work week is allowed. To this mind set, race is a "separate" issue from economics, "psychology", etc. Mind, to this mind set, is separate from body, separate from soul. To them, diseases and mental conditions are separate phenomena.....etc., etc.
Here are some readings that Dale recommends:
Near the end of his life, C.G. Jung was interviewed for the BBC. (Video is available on YouTube).
Jung said that to live without myth and the knowledge of the history of one's region is "a disease," "a mutilation of the human being." And so, I'd like to share with the group some historical reading suggestions. (I have lots more suggestions than time allows here.)
* Michelle Alexander on THE NEW JIM CROW
* Gearald Horne: THE COUNTERREVOLUTION of 1776
* anything by W.E.B. DuBois
* anything by Howard Zinn
* anything by John Hope Franklin
* anything by Vine Deloria, Jr.
* James W. Loewen: LIES MY TEACHER TOLD ME
* Eric Metaxas: AMAZING GRACE (or the film, same name)
* Ronald Wright: STOLEN CONTINENTS
* Charles C. Mann: 1491
* Dee Brown: BURY MY HEART AT WOUNDED KNEE
* Gloria Jahoda: THE TRAIL OF TEARS
History as Music:
* Mighty Mo Rodgers: BLUES IS MY WAILIN' WALL
* NO MAN CAN HINDER ME
Sometimes the soul of white folks are called to document the devastation our ancestors inflicted upon people of color. Here Phil Cousineau shares the story of the Lakota Nation's efforts to recast the story of the massacre at Wounded Knee through the ceremony of Wiping the Tears. This is a ceremonial walk and ride that still occurs annually.
The annual ride to Wounded Knee is in December. Here are some of the words of invitation you can find at the site below along with another short video....
ALL OF HUMANITY suffers multi-lineal, multi-generational trauma and carries a grief so deep, so profound, so massive as to bring us to our knees in awe, overwhelm, shock, and pain buried in denial. We have WOUNDED KNEES! WE HAVE WOUNDED HEARTS! All peoples have suffered for so very long, indeed our Earth is suffering with us! The choice in clearly dawning — either grow and heal together or perish if we continue alone.
Mark, thank you so much for posting these. They are right in sync with our ongoing conversations on racism, trauma, and grief work.
Thank you for this Mark!
Thank you so much Dale!
thank you Dale + Mark for these invaluable resources...so much to learn...so little time...and I ask myself...can I get to it all within a reasonable response time frame [context in content]...then, there's the reflective and contemplative posture I am currently into... timeless digestion. The titles by themselves speak volumes...sure hope I can get into the details of each...in a timely fashion?
I personally, would love to hear something personal from the voice of the person offering resources...what in that particular "piece" moved them...in the here and now...sharing the diamonds...the gold nuggets...the gist...there are so many good and worthy stories out there to read...this way...we [DPA community] can collect our community...collective consciousness.
As I have an opportunity...I will dive deeper into these resources...and share my experience, exposure to same...Peace + Love Linda
Here is another interesting resource: Ken Burns and Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. discuss race and Burns' film on Jackie Robinson.
A wonderful article on racism, women, and the incomparable African-American jazz musician and singer, Nina Simone:
Written by Ta-Nehisi Coates.