A Happy New Year's Resolution
For a few years now, I’ve had an Economic Redress policy at Perennial Medicine. I do this in part because it feels good to stand behind what I believe in, but also because I want to introduce the Economic Redress concept to my community—especially to other anti-racist white people who often wonder what they can actually do to help end racism.
What is Economic Redress? It is an attempt to redress the economic aspects of racial injustice upon which this country was founded, by disrupting and re-patterning the way that our resources are currently being distributed.
As a white-bodied person in America, I am aware of my economic privilege in comparison with people who have darker skin than my own. However, ...
Alternatives to Trauma
Very often, despair and resignation may be a manifestation of unhealed trauma—specifically trauma that is no longer healthy.
What is healthy trauma?
Healthy trauma is a state of complete or incomplete dissociation from an injury that we do not have the resources to heal. This is why injuries that took place years ago—or centuries ago—can still remain unhealed. That is the nature of trauma—to remain unhealed, until we have the resources to heal.
But what if we do have the resources to heal?
When we do have the resources to heal, and our bodies recognize it, healthy trauma begins to heal, often immediately. However, there may be parts of us that are stuck in “trauma mode,” and do not recognize that ...
I read the autobiography of Frederick Douglass Jr. when I was in fourth grade. The part of the story that struck me the hardest was the description of little Frederick being sold up north to Maryland, to be a happy little white family’s very own first slave.
When Frederick first arrived, he joined a warm and loving family, filled with laughter and natural flow of kindness. Within a year, however, the family became cold and bitter. There was no more singing and easy affection, and there was severity where once there was kindness. The continuous strain of having to be “superior,” and needing to suppress their natural generosity and loving impulses towards a fellow human being—a child, in fact—meant ...
Why a Healer Needs to Consider Race
Too often, “I don’t see color” is translated as, “I don’t want to hear about racism.” The white person who said these words might not have meant it that way at all—but it is important to be aware of how we are coming across in a context where there really are a lot of white people who just do not want to hear or know about racial pain.
Those of us who are white healers supporting BIPOC clients do need to take some extra steps to signal clearly that we are ready to listen, and ready to have our awareness stretched beyond our own lived experience, into domains of experience that we haven’t known.