Moving Outward - Related to Privilege
A Few days ago I sent out an email seeking fellow white men to work with me on starting a national project intending to support abortion rights - probably through focusing upon a single women lead organization - where we could (hopefully) significantly help the effort in one or more ways.
This particular issue seems particularly important to me now because the U.S. Supreme Court will be taking on an Alabama case which likely will allow states to ban abortions from 15 weeks on. Mississippi seems poised to have a case outlawing abortion nearly entirely, if not entirely.
Given the recent changes in Supreme Court judges, it seems very, very likely that the Alabama case will be validated by the Court by at least a 5-4 vote, and quite likely a 6-3 vote.
Abortion is an issue that should be a men's issue. It remains, however, largely a women's issue.
We. white men, talk about accountability as in:
Organizing White Men for Collective Liberation is a national network mobilizing white men to learn, grow and take action against white supremacy and patriarchy. We recognize this work is long overdue and believe it is particularly urgent in this political moment, as racism and misogyny drive white men to contend for, and consolidate, power with increasing violence. We mobilize white men who acknowledge our complicity in perpetuating oppression, who understand our mutual interest in ending cis-white male supremacy, and who are ready to take bold action to dismantle the white supremacist patriarchal system.
In response to my attempt at outreach, I emailed one white woman and about 30-40 + white men. To date, the woman has responded positively, and one man has indicated an interest in supporting, but not co-facilitating leadership.
I, obviously, can not jump to conclusions as to why white men are not responding to my effort, however it is telling to me.
It seems logical to me that:
1. To the degree that we have privilege, we have a natural tendency to defer efforts of others - at times speaking positively, but seeing no urgency generally, and:
2. IF - we are going to really change and become part of the "solution", rather than being the primary problem, we are going to need to act proactively and:
a. Move ahead - seeking to be leaders - in bringing change about, and
b. Where - either it isn't "my cause" or as individuals we lack the capacity to do significant work we need to help find others to do the work, as well as supporting others in that work - as in: "I'm too busy for x, but I think that y might be a good person to help you" or: "I will share this idea amongst those around me, and hopefully, with my support, several others will reach out to you".
I remain unconvinced that we, as white men, feel the urgency to do anything beyond brief and often limited/tentative efforts and that we, as white people, really, for the most part, lack urgency to really do what it will take to take on racism and end it.
This being said, it is important to me to try to learn from where my efforts seemingly fail, and find ways to be more effective and to get my work done - as successfully as possible.
Moving - ahead - through - "self-growth" - is part of what is necessary. Where our growth - is part of us reaching outward, often into areas that are beyond our comfort zones, I see a lot of hope. Where we are "moving ahead at my pace" - I see a likelihood amongst the vast majority of us, that we are not deeply committed - to taking on societal oppressions and tacitly are accepting the status quo.