Consciously Unlearning Racism

By Susan Shehata / July 12, 2020 /

This question came up in the “Dismantle Racism” group that I am currently facilitating, and I thought I would also share it here.   We have been indoctrinated into a white supremacist system, so we have much to learn and unlearn.   Q: What does it mean to me to “unlearn?”   A: I believe…

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Your point is valid. It still causes harm.

By Susan Shehata / July 6, 2020 /

Nowadays, we tend to take strong positions. And people are often seeking to point out who is RIGHT and who is WRONG, or who is causing more harm.   But, consider this: an individual or a group can have valid points and still be causing harm to themselves and/or others.   This is part of…

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Releasing the Good/Bad Binary

By Susan Shehata / June 29, 2020 /

Good. Bad.   Bad. Good.   We have an attachment to binary thinking and absolutes, which limits us from addressing the real issues.   Yes, not all cops. Yes, not all white people. Yes, not all men. Should I go on?   Do you see how we get caught every time?   There is a…

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I Didn’t Know How Bad it Was

By Susan Shehata / June 26, 2020 /

“I didn’t know how bad it* was.”   I don’t believe you.   Now, stay with me a minute.   It’s not that I think you are lying. Not at all. It’s that I think you knew how bad it was, but you felt powerless to change it.   And because you felt powerless, you…

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How to interact with passive-aggressive Aunt Phyllis

By Susan Shehata / June 23, 2020 /

Hard Conversations Example #1:   As you may know, mediation and conflict coaching is part of my work. I thought it would be helpful to share some ideas.   Many of my friends on social media are making really thoughtful, conscious posts about racial injustice. And then, I read the comments…   The passive aggressive…

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Survival Strategies and Denying Racism

By Susan Shehata / June 22, 2020 /

There are people who will never acknowledge that systemic racism exists, even if they know it does. Because, to do so would alienate them from their family and friends who are attached to racist ideology. The need for belonging will override any need for truth or justice.   This may strike you as shallow (or…

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Why We Don’t Like Being Corrected

By Susan Shehata / June 19, 2020 /

Do you know why we don’t like to be corrected? It’s actually a trauma response.   It’s an “authority imprint” from our childhood.   Let me explain.   When we were young, and we engaged in a behavior that required correction, it often came with a raised voice or a disciplinary action. Depending on how…

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An Oppressive Society Depends on our Shame

By Susan Shehata / June 17, 2020 /

My fellow white friends, maybe you are shutting down because you are hearing messages like your hashtags and your posts and your book clubs are not enough.   So you stopped.   And you know what? That’s what an oppressive system counts on—that you will feel shame and that you will stop.   But here’s…

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A Consciousness of Convenience

By Susan Shehata / June 15, 2020 /

I remember what it was like the week Robin Williams died by suicide. For a brief moment in time, we had a collective conversation about mental health. It was powerful.   And then it stopped.   Until the next famous person died by suicide. Collective conversation. Abrupt ending.   School shootings. Collective conversations. Abrupt endings.…

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Racism as a Belief

By Susan Shehata / June 9, 2020 /

Living in a world with so much racialized trauma, it is impossible for white people to not absorb some racist beliefs into our Consciousness.   It doesn’t make us* inherently bad people. It just means that we* adopted beliefs that were commonly held and taught, at some point. And, perhaps, we never took the time,…

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