Know Your Facts to Undo Myths & LiesFeb 02, 2022
When it comes to talking about race and racism (just like any important topic), people believe the myths and lies they grew up with, filling in the spaces left blank by an education system that prefers to ignore systemic oppression (or give it cursory treatment) rather than teach the facts about American history.
Growing up, most of us learned a very narrow version of American history that focused on the accomplishments of a few white men, excluding a lot of what’s documented about the inhumanity of those in power. That history also excluded the contributions and accomplishments of Black people and other people of color, as well as women, except for a very few who get celebrated every year during Black History Month and Women’s History Month in February and March. And even those few have their quotes and stories distorted by the media and people in power.
With the current trend of conservative lawmakers trying to make it illegal to teach history, specifically about racism and the contributions of people of color and women, and the wave of book banning that is sweeping through our nation’s schools, how will we learn the facts and make sure we pass them down to our kids? The bottom line is that it’s up to us. We get to choose what’s important, where we want to make a difference, and the most effective way to learn and share what we know.
Spending hours in class or the library or even online looking for trusted sources just isn’t feasible for most of us. We’re already overwhelmed just trying to maintain some kind of normal life during a pandemic. We’re searching social media for information and having a hard time separating facts from intentional disinformation and people unintentionally amplifying misinformation.
What if I told you that you can undo the work in baby steps? That there is a way to make antiracism a habit that doesn’t take an unreasonable amount of time that you don’t have? That you could build your knowledge and confidence with support and accountability?
Knowing your facts is the second pillar of my system for sustaining social justice:
- Know Your Facts
- Undo the Work
- Rest and Celebrate
It just makes sense. Once you can ground yourself and manage your emotions, you can take in uncomfortable information without being defensive. And that opens you up to learn so much faster. You can process a little at a time - without the blame, shame, and guilt that can block your progress.
Knowing your facts is more than keeping up with current news and memorizing history. It’s also comprehending concepts and systems. Understanding that:
- racism is a system (discrimination is what happens at the individual level),
- intersectionality impacts how people experience racism
- oppressed people often internalize their own oppression and alter their behavior based on the messages they’ve received from society and that have been passed down through generations
And there’s so much more. Where to start? Start with Inspired by Indigo. My system for sustaining social justice is a fun, healthy, and simple (not necessarily easy) way to make antiracism (and transforming other isms) a habit. Because in the end, what you do is what makes an impact. Knowing your facts gets you there, though.
As a member of Inspired by Indigo, you’ll receive a weekly offering, following the four pillars. Offerings usually include a video that’s no more than 30 minutes, along with handouts and links to more information. And this isn’t just a lecture. Each video includes breathing practice, dancing, or other embodiment exercises to remind you to stay grounded. And it’s all available on an app you can download to your phone or tablet.
I’m all about baby steps. Doing a little at a time on a regular basis creates a habit. There’s a place for discussion in the community section. There are also self-care and protests playlists, using music to reinforce the lessons.
Members are saying:
“Love this path and process!”
“Thank you for the reminder to keep up with our belly breathing and to track our progress. It has been such a game changer for me. I never realized how much tension my body holds in that area.”
“The areas I need to work on are clear. However after taking some workshops with you, Sacil, I have found a voice and language to go with it.”
Ready to start intentionally living your values of respect and equity with confidence and knowledge? Join now and:
- reduce your anxiety about learning and talking about race and racism
- learn facts about history, systems, and concepts related to racism and oppression
- get suggestions and encouragement on how to take action in your daily life and make antiracism a habit
- connect with a community who are unlearning and undoing together with respect and love
February is the perfect time to join. Celebrate Black History Month by supporting a Black woman leading change with love.
Not ready to take the leap, yet? Start small. Download 7 words to know when talking about race and racism below because agreeing on what words mean is essential to meaningful conversation.
If you’re ready for change and you do nothing, what happens? You continue to
- be anxious and awkward or silent in the face of oppression
- be uncertain about historical facts and how systems work
- support oppression by not challenging the system (silence supports the ones with the power)
- feel isolated because you aren’t connected to a group of like-minded people who are undoing the work
So take the first step to move from anxiety to confidence and silence to action.