White Supremacy — As Explained to my 6-year-old
White supremacy. Let’s imagine a big piece of plywood that is on top of people’s feet squashing people’s toes. White people stand on the plywood, and are unable to leave it.
Being white traps white people on the white supremacy board- none of us aren’t on it. And the people with their feet under it can’t get out from there.
The people getting their toes squished have every right to be angry because they are in constant pain. There are white people jumping up and down on the board because they are mean. The people in pain get to scream at us that they are in pain and we are contributing, even if you and I aren’t the ones jumping, because they hurt and we are, in fact, here on the board. There are people who try really hard not to move so as not to make it worse, but that doesn’t “fix” it and the people in pain still get to scream at us. Then there are people who are on the board, but trying to break it up into pieces so it isn’t hurting people’s toes. When it’s all broken up, we won’t be stuck on it anymore and no one will be under it being hurt, so this seems like a good plan.
The people under the board are trying to break it to pieces, themselves, but they can’t reach all over the board the way we can. We are here trying to do this, but we are looking at it from on top and can’t see it all that well the way they can from the side. So we work together. But even while doing that, it’s squishing people’s feet more, so the people in pain are going to be yelling about the white people hurting them. Our job isn’t to fight about how or what someone said about their hurt. Our job is to keep working on breaking the board to pieces until it doesn’t hurt.
In really complicated ways, things like school and work and doctor care and lots of pieces of our lives are like that board, so in all those spaces we need to listen to the people being hurt tell us about what we can’t see and then use our freedom and power to reach throughout the things causing the problems to break them down.