On Wednesday we had our first meeting as the Anti-Racist Educator at UWS. It was a warm, encouraging, and empowering start to our organising with a wide network of educators, students, and people in education in Scotland.
We came to discussed what racism means to us, and how it impacts us in our day-to-day lives in education. This went from the treatment from teachers, lack of representation in the workplace and school, and the general fear around provoking white fragility by talking about race. We found a lack of willingness on the part of (white) leadership to tackle racism, and agreed that providing a truly anti-racist, decolonised education starts with ourselves, our capabilities, and the legitimacy of our experiences.
Similar to the Decolonising Education workshop held with the NUS Black Students Conference, we thought about what white privilege looks like in Scotland: how are white people structurally advantaged by racism? We made a collaborative poem by grouping together our different contributions. Have a read below - what could you add?
What is white privilege?
Not being asked if you have a bomb in your bag as a joke
Not being told you look exotic
Not being looked upon as not being equal
When you invite a workman to do a job in your house and he doesn't first ask when you came to this country, or what job you do
Enjoying the superiority and elite discourse around language, food and clothes
(On the part of a large supermarket) not seeing that to name a dark chocolate duck 'ugly' is unacceptable
Not having to prove British values
Not having your right to belong be questioned
Being able to walk through life without having to think about how you're racialised
Not being told you are clouding their vision
Being an upstanding citizen
Being above suspicion
Not feeling the colour of your skin when walking into an all-white gathering
Not being assumed to be a terrorist
Not having to think about the colour of your skin at all in life/health/wellbeing - basically, your entire existence