When Black, Indigenous and women of color call me out it is generally always constructive, thoughtful and meaningful. It is usually about making sure to think from others perspectives, to be inclusive and to acknowledge my privilege.
When White men “call me out”, it’s very often about protecting themselves and keeping themselves on top (consciously or subconsciously).
I have learned a lot from being called out by Black, Indigenous and women of color in the last 7 years. I honestly didn’t listen enough at first. I read all the comments, but I didn’t fully get it. About 5 years ago I started to get it more and I have worked on understanding more and more every year.
They have shaped me into being a much better human. Thank you to each of you for calling me out for the sake of inclusivity, equality and justice.
You know, for the most part I’ve listened to white men enough. I’ve had the better part of three decades of that. I’m not saying that there are not a lot of fantastic White men out there. There absolutely are and many of my heroes are White men. But not enough of my role-models and heroes are Black and Indigenous women. It’s not because they aren’t as heroic, but rather it is because White men have run the show and chosen who becomes heroes in the movies, media and history books. Most of the narratives that were fed to me in my formative years were from White men. I’m changing this.
White men have had WAY more than their fair share of the power, for way too long.
I am 1,000% for distributing the positions, the platforms, the power equally to Black, Indigenous and women of color and to all women. This to me would be one of the most effective ways to dismantle a broken system that serves the minority and replace it with a system that serves the masses. A system that comes from a place of care, compassion and desire for the well-being of all. A system that takes care of our environment, our fellow species and our humanity. This is not racist or sexist against White men. This is about equal distribution in a system that is so ridiculously unequal and has been since the foundation of the nation I live in and long before.
So PLEASE, you amazing, powerful women and you women finding and solidifying your power, keep on calling me out when I need to be called out. Keep calling out men. I will listen and I will teach my White male friends to listen. I have learned so much from you and have so much more to learn each day. And I will ACT on what I learn from you.
RobI want to give a big thank you to my friend Nevada Littlewolf for calling me out to acknowledge my privilege at a conference in 2016. This photo is with her at American Indian Community Housing Organization (AICO) in Duluth, Minnesota and the portrait is of an Ojibwe woman as a symbol of resilience and “a potent declaration of the issues facing Native American women such as violence, sex trafficking, and environmental racism.”