zaterdag 27 juni 2020

LET'S SIT AND TALK - impression June 27, 2020

Today I was asked by police to identify myself, cause the people who saw me on their survilance cameras wanted to know who I was and what I was doing.
I was again inviting people to come sit, connect and talk about racism and whitesupremacy. 8 very different and inspiring conversations with people from various backgrounds, perspectives and ages.

I thank those who took up the invitation for their time, openess and honesty. I feel grateful you shared with me. Special thanks to @ntenomo_marie for letting me share this footage of our conversation.

#endracism #endwhitesupremacy #projectcolorwhite #letssitandtalk #connection #solidground #conversations

LET'S SIT AND TALK - Rotterdam Centraal

"I am a 'blanke' (Dutch colonial term for white) hereosexual middle aged man. When I apply for a job I am at the bottom. I am the most discriminated against."
This he states as he walks up to where I sit. He doesn't want to sit down. When I engage him in a conversation anyway and let him know that the term is white and that 'blanke' stands for pure, innocent, without sin, he agrees that he is definitely not innocent, but that he doesn't associate those things with the term 'blanke'. When I explain that when you apply for a job with a not-Dutch name you will have less to zero change of being invited, he agrees, but argues that women, immigrants are being put ahead of him, the white guy. He claims that it is economically smatter for a business owner to hire white peers, because people of color will give the boss more trouble. I make clear that a projected bias is at the root of this example. He agrees something is off. When I talk about institutional racism he argues that it was only institutional when slavery was still legal.

There is a reason I ask people to first sit and connect before we start talking about these very uncomfartable and confronting subjects. Most people approach this from the head. This goes especially for white Western people who have being raised and find themselves submerged in a culture and society that praises ratio, individuality and seperation of private and work life. It is not that I believe that one conversation with this particular man will do the trick of connecting him with the bigger picture. He showed all the signs of white fragillity and the classic centered approach of if he doesn't feel or sees it that way then it doesn't apply to the rest of the world. I explained that people of color have a vastly different experience on a daily basis because of racism and whte supremacy. He went for the 'but I see online posts and videos where people of color say discriminating things about white folks'. He laughs uncomfortablity when I explain that racism can only be white people dominating people of color because of structure of power imbedded in our society. He walks off commenting he might look at all these things.
Talking, sharing, listening from a place of connection and mind you compassion, is a way to open up and let in what has been shut out by force for so long.

#endracism #endwhitesupremacy #solidgroud #projectcolorwhite #conversations #letssitandtalk

LET'S SIT AND TALK - Rotterdam Centraal

Mostly it is young people, mainly women, of all plumages who are the ones who dare to take up the inivitation and sit down to connect and share. They're also the ones nodding pleasantly or acknowledging the action of 'Let's sit and talk'. It's quite different with older people. When passing I see a flare or glare or mist of disinterest move across their faces, they look away like they brushed off an annoying fly. Others do everything to make it seem me and my chairs are not there, like dancing around the pink elephant in the room. It is not much different from the silence I encounter when I talk online about dismantling racism and white supremacy, and Project ColorWhite. White people in general do not feel the urgency of addressing racism and white supremacy or related subjects and issues, which goes along the lines of 'if it doesn't touch my reality, I don't need to look at it'. When pressed they express that they have other very urgent personal matters to attend to, which ofcourse goes for most of us.
When talking to people who openly confess to following the word of God (Christianity), another wall goes up, one that is though to pinpoint. They seem to think that all the failings in the world are down to not accepting God into our lives, that the world started to fall apart when faith stopped having the center stage in our lives and society, that only the return of God will save us. This train of thought makes it an individual failing and leaves out any refelction on the faith itself and how it behaves on this earthly plane. They hold the idea that when you accept God into your life you will then only act in His grace and love, not seeing any difference between people or even race. But the reality is very different when we look at history, with evidence of force and violence in all areas of life. I believe that being with or of God does not exempt any of us from being indoctrinated with racial and patriarchal biases and judgements. We are after all on this Earth, living a human life.

Why then should we feel compelled to look at anti-racism and dismantling white supremacy, make it a part of our daily lives?
Every human, everything on this Earth wants to be seen, heared, feel valued. That connection we are looking for, that feeling of belonging and being seen for who we are, feeling our lives and being have a profound meaning and worth, not just for ourselves but for all.... that connection has been hugely compromised. Through our lives runs a deep segregation. First through the denial and thus misinterpretation of the Divine Feminine, the Feminine Power, making the feminine less than the masculine. Second through the believe in the illusion of race and the hierarchial structure based on that illusion, where the white race is dominant above all others. This enormous divide has brought about many atrocities, happening to this day. Like the police brutality that keeps rising, the killing of innocent lives of people of color and also those who differ from the norm like transgender people. Also the literal state of our Earth and all the climate changes. It's a divide we shouldn't keep ignoring if we want to move beyond the stage of survival and thrive through connection. The segregation is everywhere, racism is everywhere driving those with power and privilege, draining all others. I believe that the doing of racial discrimination will come back to haunt us when we strive to be fully embodied spiritual human beings, when we don't acknowledge that there are mayor issues like racism, white supremacy and patriarchy which keep affecting our systems, governments and our indvidual lives. So yes, there is an urgency knocking at our doors, as white people in particular we are being called out.

#endracism #endwhitesupremacy #movebeyondracism #solidground #bebetterancestors #solidground #projectcolorwhite #dailypractice

dinsdag 16 juni 2020

LET'S SIT AND TALK - 2nd edition, June 27 2020
Come on white people, connect with me and talk about anti-racism!
(Others are welcome too.)

2 minutes of silent connecting
then open up to talk, listen and share.

Saturday June 27 2020 you can find me at Rotterdam Centraal from 14.00 – 18.00 hours, I will be sitting somewhere on the square in front of the station. There will be two seats. One will be as an open invitation for you to take a seat and connect with me.
Change is here. There is no denying or avoiding it anymore, for instance with all the current demonstrations that are going on around racism, police brutality and violence. And us white people need to figure out how to show up and do our part. To be frank: it is long overdue. So, Let’s GO!

The work of anti-racism is a life long commitment. It can make you feel lonely, depressed, scared. It can bring up isolation, confusion, resistance and anger while you feel the very ground shaking under your feet. I know I feel like that at times. It is time us white people start to share and explore amongst eachother, and not rely on the emotional labor of people of color any longer. It is time for us to visibly show up and be part of the shaping of this new world of connection, compassion, unity and equity.

This is not about me having answers, or white people taking the lead while these changes are going on, or being performative. This not about feeling sorry for ourselves for the hard work we need to do. This is about taking responsibility, sharing, exploring questions like ‘how can we/I contribute’, showing up with the aim to expand in awareness.

So…… Here’s how we’ll do it….
First we will sit and silently connect by looking in eachother’s eyes for 2 minutes. Really drop down and feel the moment. After that we can talk, ask questions, listen, share…. whatever comes up that needs to be discussed and seen.

In this time of covid-19 we feel disconnected with all these rules and regulation. Therefore I will mark 1,5 meters physical distance between the seating and show how we can come together and connect anyway.

I practice Non-violent Communication and Radical Selflove. Please remember to be respectful and open for both of us.

If after this you as a white person would like to explore further on the subject of anti-racism, you are welcome to come and connect here in Project ColorWhite.

If you feel you want to come in support of the cause and work, I would appreciate that.

Merel van Haastert
Project ColorWhite
Solid Ground

zondag 14 juni 2020

LET'S SIT AND TALK - June 13, 2020

LET'S SIT AND TALK - June 13, 2020
A small impression...

First time taking Project ColorWhite to the street to start these difficult conversations, face to face, in connection.

Thanks to those who were brave enough to take a seat. I appreciate your openess to share and talk with me.

LET'S SIT AND TALK will return on a frequent basis. Check the pages of Project ColorWhite Facebook and Instagram for coming dates.

#endracism #endwhitesupremacy #projectcolorwhite #solidground #letssitandtalk #conversations #connecting