Episode 277: White Supremacy Culture – “Who is Qualified?”

Who is qualified to make a decision? Like it or not, it is in the human nature to continually evaluate our surroundings based on almost imperceptible judgements. Sometimes these judgements keep us alive. Our bodies remember things to keep us safe, to “jump out of the way” of all sorts of perceived dangers. Some of those dangers are real, like oncoming cars, and these imperceptible judgements help us make quick, real-time decisions. But let’s be honest, most of our judgements are not about life and death situations … but we react to them as if they are. Emotions like disgust, shame, jealousy, anger, hurt and anxiety all make our bodies react as if there were danger that could end our lives. I regularly think of conversations about race where white people describe the conversations as “feeling unsafe” when the conversation becomes challenging… and many laws have been written through the history of the nation to keep white people feeling safe at the expense of the actual safety of people of color.

But sometimes, the impact of these imperceptible judgements takes on a different quality when these assessments are about who is and who is not qualified to make decisions for themselves or make decisions on behalf of others. We are going to talk about what it means to “be qualified” today in our conversation about this characteristic of white supremacy culture.
Our team of Christian antiracism educators and friends talk about being qualified today, using the document White Supremacy Culture by Tema Okun, a link to which is in the show notes for this episode.
Let’s go now and listen to this conversation.