Episode 281: White Supremacy Culture – “Worship of the Written Word.”

Have you ever had the thought that because someone doesn’t express themselves with proper grammar, that what they have to say is somehow less? Perhaps we don’t even think about the point the individual is making because they don’t express it according to the grammatical values we hold. Perhaps we never consider how these grammar rules historically came from groups of people with and agenda to exclude people from circles of power… and yet here we are doing the same thing. Judging or dismissing information based just on the way someone speaks or writes. Or have you ever noticed that to “prove” something in academic or legal writing that the way you justify the validity of what you are saying is to cite sources? What if your sources were oral sources, historical artifacts, or patterns of life that can be best understood through experience like art or dance? In western culture, which is deeply shaped by white supremacy, we place more value on documents or other things that are written down which use academic language and follow standard grammatical structures. We tend not to value to the same degree oral stories, experiential knowledge, or people or processes which are not documented or undocumented. White supremacy culture deeply values written words.

Our team of Christian antiracism educators and friends talk about this today in this episode we are calling “Worship of the Written Word.” We will be using the document White Supremacy Culture by Tema Okun, a link to which is in the show notes for this episode.