March 31, 2021

Episode 5- White Lies of Racism with guest, Kathy Castania-Part 1

Episode 5- White Lies of Racism with guest, Kathy Castania-Part 1

Get ready to have your current beliefs about race and racism challenged. In part one of this two part conversation, Linda's guest is Kathy Castania.  In this episode, Kathy shares how some policies meant to help people of color,  like affirmative action,  actually caused more harm than good. She also explains why white people have a hard time understanding the extent of racism and why it is a white problem. Linda also recounts the moment when her eyes were opened to the depth of racism in our country. This is not a feel good conversation and I hope you have the courage to listen. I invite you to open your heart and your mind to what's being said and be willing to doubt your current beliefs about racism. Kathy Castania is a diversity consultant who retired from Cornell University after 23 years as a Senior Extension Associate with the Cornell Migrant Program. Kathy has facilitated racism and diversity workshops at both the National and State levels and served as the Multicultural Education Coordinator for the NYS Migrant Education Program for 12 years. Kathy is one of the founding members of SURJ ROC (Showing Up for Racial Justice) and is co-chair of the Education Committee.

Linda Heeler  0:05

Welcome to Episode Five of the normal lives podcast. In this episode,
I have a conversation with Kathy Castania. Kathy is a diversity
consultant who retired from Cornell University after 23 years as a
senior associate with the Cornell Migrant Program in the Department of
Human Development. She is also the former Project Director of the
National Change Agent States for Diversity Project where she focused
on system change and managing diversity with the eight state Extension
systems that make up the CASD Consortium. Kathy has facilitated racism
and diversity workshops at both the national and state levels using a
developmental model that she designed called Opening Doors, a personal
and professional journey. For 12 years, she served as the
Multicultural Education Coordinator for the New York State Migrant
Education Program and has 30 years of experience in community
development. Even in retirement Kathy has developed and co facilitated
workshops for the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill School of
Arts and Science, the College at Brockport, the Gandhi Institute, and
more. Locally, she is one of the founding members of the local chapter
of SURJ, Showing Up for Racial Justice. She is co chair of the
education committee and that's where I met her. This summer after
George Floyd's murder, I was questioning why people of color why black
men and women were seemingly targeted. And I heard too many times if
they'd only comply, then this wouldn't happen. It didn't ring true,
something was off. As I was watching the news, I heard an interview
with rapper, songwriter and activist Killer Mike. He was upset and sad
and hurt and asked white people to go to YouTube and spend just 30
minutes watching videos by Jane Elliott. So I decided I would do just
that. I looked up Jane Elliott on YouTube and found a video of Jane on
The Oprah show back in 1992, where she did an anti racism exercise
with the audience. She had the audience separated into people with
blue eyes and people with brown eyes. The brown eyed people were given
preferential treatment, they were allowed to go into a room to wait
before the show where there were snacks and the staff was friendly and
helpful. However, the blue eyed people were given a special collar to
wear and weren't allowed to get out of line and didn't receive any
refreshments. The staff was cold and dismissive. And that was just the
beginning. The funny thing is, I realized that I had watched that
episode of The Oprah show when it first aired. Jane Elliott, who was a
teacher first did this experiment with her third grade class back in
1968, the day after Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. Video of
that is also on YouTube. And I watched that as well. She did the same
exercise with the brown eyed kids getting preferential treatment one
day, and the blue eyed kids getting preferential treatment the next.
And the students not only received preferential treatment, they were
told that they were smarter, and better. I really urge you to go to
YouTube and watch these videos. When I got finished watching both of
those videos. I sat on my couch and cried. My eyes were suddenly open
to what I didn't want to believe, that this is what has been going on
in our country for ever. I had not wanted to see it, but now I
couldn't not see it. And I couldn't not acknowledge it. On June 8, I

will never forget that day, I sat on my couch at 1030 in the morning sobbing because I knew that my friends of color, all people of color had been treated differently than I had been treated because I am white and they aren't. My heart broke and I just sobbed. It turns out that day I had a zoom meeting with my dear friend Michelle, who is a beautiful black woman and who I have come to love as a sister. We were part of the same organization and In our capacities, we had to have a meeting. And it's funny that that conversation was going to be around diversity. After picking myself up, washing my face. I got on this zoom meeting at noon, I asked her how she was doing and she said, Good. And then she asked me how I was doing and I immediately burst into tears. And of course, Michelle being Michelle, loving and gracious, she said, Linda, what's going on? Through my tears I told her what had happened. I could tell she was uncomfortable but she stayed with me. I went into I'm so sorry you've had to deal with this. I'm so sorry I didn't realize sooner. She was with me and gracious still, but she was quiet. And then I did the thing that is normal. I asked her, What do I do? How do I fix this? Tell me what to do. Yes, it was a normal reaction, but it was not the right thing to do. But I didn't know it at the time. And Michelle in her very loving, gracious way, she shrugged her shoulders and said, Well, I don't know. You could read a book. And I was like, oh, a book. Okay.
Do you have any suggestions? I continued to dig myself in deeper and I didn't even know it. I was so clueless. She said, Well, there's this book I've been reading called Me and White Supremacy, you could try that book. We went on and had our conversation and it was a little awkward. But I was sure I was okay. I was sure I had done the right thing. I ordered the book Me and White Supremacy but it took a while because it was on backorder so I downloaded the audio book. I ordered White Fragility and The New Jim Crow. I started doing all sorts of research. I also found an online program called What Lies Between Us. It comes to the topic of race and racism from a Christian perspective. I was so interested in learning about race and racism from that context, because my faith is very important to me. As I'm reading these books, and doing this program, I began to see the mistakes that I had made with Michelle, I realized that I went to her, someone who has been and continues to be harmed by this system, and asked her to tell me what to do to fix it. Well, guess what? She didn't create it, so it's not her job to tell me how to fix it. I need to figure that out for myself. I need to do the work. I also went to her and cried, she's being harmed, and I'm the one crying looking for comfort from her. Wow. Now, that's not to say that I shouldn't feel what I feel the sadness, the heartbreak. That's not what I'm saying here. I needed to feel that the problem is that people of color, and especially black men have been killed because of a white woman's tears. All a white woman had to do was cry and say that that black man caused those tears and they've paid with their lives for that. I came to realize the things that I did wrong that I needed to apologize for. So I texted Michelle and asked her if we could talk, but she kept saying she was
busy. And I kind of got the feeling that maybe she didn't want to speak to me because she was afraid that we would end up the way we did the last time. I finally texted her and said I understand what I did wrong now. I promise you that I will not cry and ask you how to fix this. I am figuring out how I can be a part of the solution. And I am sorry. Luckily, she accepted my apology and the next time we spoke I apologized again and ask that if I ever do anything to hurt or offend her, please tell me. I promise not to get defensive or cry. I love her and I want to be a support to her and have our friendship grow. And our friendship has grown. We have some of the greatest conversations from the white perspective and the black perspective. When I had this realization, this epiphany, I knew I needed to find other white people who were going through the same thing. Now SURJ, or Showing Up for Racial Justice had been on my radar for a few years because of an organization I was part of that wanted to be become more diverse. So I had spoken to people who recommended SURJ as a resource. After my epiphany, on June 8, I went to one of their general meetings, and then to one of their workshops called responding to racist remarks. It was a group of white people who were learning how to kindly but firmly and powerfully step in and stop the automatic of racism and racist remarks. This is the work I do as a coach, to stop the judgment. It's usually personal judgment, you know, that voice in our head. My job is to point out that that's not who we are. With this. It's to stop the judgment that's going on in our country. I knew immediately, I wanted to be a part of this organization. When I told Kathy I wanted to be a part of the education committee, she interviewed me, I had to answer a questionnaire about why I wanted to do this work. It was a process because this is sacred work. Thankfully, I was welcomed on to the education committee and have been helping with workshops since August of 2020. It is an honor and a privilege to do this work. Because if the world is not fair for all of us, then it's not fair for any of us. This is not a feel good conversation. Get ready to have your beliefs challenged. Are you willing to doubt your current beliefs about race and racism? I invite you to open your heart and your mind to what's being said, I assure you there is freedom and joy on the other side of this hard conversation. Here we go.

If you're looking for a one size fits all easy approach to changing
your life. This is not the podcast for you. However, if you are
delighted by tough questions, love hard and sometimes messy
conversations then you are in the right place. I'm Linda Heeler,
Professional Certified Coach and host of the Normal Lies podcast.
During my 10 years of coaching, I have helped dozens of clients change
their lives simply by questioning the beliefs that they thought were
true. Now it's your turn to uncover the normal lies in your life.

Welcome, Kathy.

Kathy Castania  12:46
Well, thank you for inviting me, Linda,

Linda Heeler  12:48
thank you for being here

Kathy Castania  12:49
I'm excited about this, this will be fun.

Linda Heeler  12:52
Me too. You make things so clear for me. And so I was really excited
when you agreed to come on this podcast. One thing I have to tell you,
though, I met you when I joined SURJ,  Showing Up for Racial Justice,
the Rochester chapter this past summer, and I decided I was going to
join the Education Committee. And I knew that you were the chair of
the education committee. So I did a little research on you. There was
an article in the Cornell Chronicle. And it was such a wonderfully
written article is called Cornell multicultural expert conducts
trainings on cultural diversity throughout New York. And I read this
wonderful article about you. And then I looked at the date, it was
1996 that that article was written and it was pertinent for today. Do
you remember that article being written?

Kathy Castania  13:49
I don't, I don't. I was interviewed quite a few times, because at that
time, I was one of the few people working for extension and Cornell
that was doing this work. So people were curious. I think it also made
Cornell look really good. Right? Yeah, I've been doing this at Cornell
starting in the 80s. And I was trying to form diversity committees to
organizational change.

Linda Heeler  14:13
That was really crazy when I read that date, because it almost seems
like nothing has changed in all of these years. But before we get into
the meat of this, how did you come to be doing this work?

Kathy Castania  14:26
There's so many answers to that. I don't know which one to pick. It's
like everything led me to this starting with a mom who had a passion
for social justice, but she wasn't out there in the world with it
because she was very much limited by our culture and sexism and all of
that. But she expressed ideas of fairness to me and my sisters a lot,
and she did it with passion. Like when something would happen that she
thought was unfair. She was a fighter. She grew up with 13 kids and
their family and they had to fight for survival. And so she was very
passionate about justice. I think that was probably my earliest
condition that I think affected me. But then there was a point where I
became really curious because my family experienced a lot of
discrimination as Italians working class. And yet my father's family
particularly, and my dad would often just say horrible things about
the black and brown people in our community. And that didn't make
sense to me. So I think I was always on a quest about why would we say
those things about other people if we didn't like it said about us.
And so I was confused, and I wanted answers. And then my good heart
took me into communities of color. Early on, I was a teacher and I
went into the inner city schools in Syracuse to work for a while. And
then I went into a community that had a large migrant farm worker
population. That's where I really began to see all the veil, all the
veils were taken off. It was like we were living in the north, but we
could have been in the plantation south just seeing the conditions
that farmworkers were living in. And that time, they were all African
American, and the big plantation home, the big home of the grower, and
then go back and you see all these shacks and huts and stuff. And my
eyes were opened big time. And I began to dig deeper. And over time I
got hired to do work on issues of migrant farmworkers. And they were
like our educators, because I said, Well, what do you want done? Like,
what do you what do you need, and they said, We need justice, we need
to be treated with respect when they come into these communities to do
important work. And they said that before they even said better wages
or whatever that meant something to them, and it hit my heart. And it
just led me in the direction of looking at issues of racism and
classism in the communities where farmworkers live. So I just started
doing workshops, a lot of them with mostly white people, because it
became pretty clear that the white community needed to wake up to what
was happening. And then starting a lot of organizations that
collectively, it was always about collective work with people in those
communities where we work together to undo racism. And then I came
home to myself, because after some years working with farmworkers, I
discovered that my mother and her 12, sisters and brothers were
farmworkers in those same camps, I didn't have that history. But I
often say, you know, so much of this brings us home to ourselves. So
then I got a history that I never had. And I learned about my family
and my aunts and my uncles working in those fields as children, but
it's just such a important thing for me to have. And I got that
because the hidden histories that we all live with which we can
interpret as lies, but sometimes it's by omission, like what is not
told to us. And so there was shame attached to the work. So my
mother's family didn't share that with their children because of the
shame. But there's nothing shameful about feeding people doing farm
work, where you're harvesting the food, like if they weren't part of
that chain, then it would never happen. Yet, they came through that
with a lot of shame. So this work is really their tool is for all of
us. Nobody could have told me how this would have made me a better
person and continues to make me a better person. Me. It's not about
always, like, what am I gonna do to help you, a piece of that is
definitely a part of it. It's not all kinds of drudgery. This is
horrible. They come with a it's joyful, it is the most joyful work
anyone gets to do.

Linda Heeler  14:45
 I agree 100%. But you bring up a really good point. And I'm going to
reference that article from 1996. You've got a couple of quotes here.
And one is we are all born with an enormous capacity for goodness, and
we all learn racism and other forms of oppression. We cannot be blamed
for learning the racism we were taught yet we have a responsibility to
try to identify and interrupt the cycle of oppression. Then you go on
and there's another quote, as the society grappling with issues of
diversity, we can change legislation, but unless you change attitudes,
racism won't go away. I have to say that hits me right between the
eyes, because that's what happened to me when my eyes were opened,
this past summer. I knew that there was individual racism. Yes, I saw
that. But I was not so aware of the systemic racism that was going on.
One thing that I learned and I'd like you to address this as that's
the way it's meant to be right? That really blows my mind because you
even said it's not lies, but It's by omission and that this is meant
to be invisible. Can you speak to that?

Kathy Castania  20:05
A system was created around us, none of us created it, our parents
didn't create it, it got created. And then we get born into it. And
now it's just it's running, the system is running on its own. It's
like a machine. And it's so effective that it keeps replicating
itself. That's why that cycle, I mentioned this going on generation
after generation. And because it's invisible, we don't even realize
it's just made normal. And the way that you use the word normal, it's
made to be like, that's just the way it is. And if you question it,
people will just either say, there's something wrong with you for
questioning it, or just go along to get along. It may not be right,
but that's just how it's done. And so there's all these underlying
mechanisms in place to keep us on that path. And most of the time, it
could be done by people who love us, like stay in our circles don't
cause too many waves. Why are you questioning that it's gonna cause
problems for us. All of those things are meant to keep us going along
to get along the path of least resistance. And so humans will do that.
And then we get deluded, like I said, in that article with the idea
that because legislation was passed, those were good. You know, that
we have to have some of those laws. But people got complacent. I mean,
particularly more progressive, white people. It was like, Okay, we got
these laws, but didn't see all these subtler ways in which this was
continuing to keep going. And so that is the harder work in some ways.
Yes, passing laws is hard. It is, the policy can change things
overnight, but we need it more policy around how do we change our
organizations. I mean, I love that all these organizations are now
saying we need to become an anti racism. I was like, Oh, my God, I
remember fighting in one of the organizations I was in because I
wanted a Diversity Committee. And I was told there could never be a
Diversity Committee, there would never be. So while that legislation
was being changed, there should have been all kinds of things put in
place at all levels that the societal level, at the organizational
level individuals make us all move forward in our consciousness of
what had just gone on for the hundreds of years that instilled this,
but we were all skimping along with little budgets on how to conduct a
workshop or do whatever. And so we're still in the beginning stages of
knowing how to do that, both inside organizations and with
individuals. And I feel a lot of the work still being done with
individuals is causing more harm. And that always worries me,

Linda Heeler 22:44 I want to know more about that. But yeah, bottom line, it has to start with the individual, you know, Be the change you wish to see in the world, we can change the systems. But unless we change the people who are organizing the systems and the legislation and doing it from a place that's not shaming, right, so speak more about what you just said,

Kathy Castania  23:08
I'm going to give you a personal example, we had a period where we did
legislation around hiring practices, where we realized there was an
imbalance, we needed to do something about creating an opportunity for
more people to come into our systems who have been historically
excluded. So Affirmative Action, whatever you want to call it. Now
remember white people were in charge ran all the organizations
carrying out something that they really didn't believe in, because
they didn't understand why we had to do that. They were just following
along. So a white person goes in for a job and the person they're
going to be talking to is another white person who may say to them,
you know, I'd hire you in a minute, but I can't cuz I've been told I
have to hire that black person or brown person in our community over
you. These things that are told are because this person who's in a
position of power has no idea why this legislation is important and
why it should be carried out. So it's actually one of doing more harm,
because white people went away feeling like, Oh, I would have gotten
the job, but I didn't. And it's because now it's reverse racism. So
the way white people who didn't understand this were carrying it out,
were really doing more harm. And I have to say where it comes into a
personal example, my father was a ward leader for the Republican Party
in our community. And he was someone in the Italian community who was
delivering the votes to politicians. Well, in return for delivering
the Italian vote, he got favors from the politicians. So if he had
somebody in our community who needed a job, he would go to the
politicians and he'd say, I have so and so's son wants to be a police
officer. Can you get him in? My father bragged about these stories, so
I know them. I know how the other side looked what white affirmative
action looks like. I know exactly what it looks like. So the police
men who is hiring or whatever would say, Oh, yeah, we're not supposed
to do that, you know, blah, blah, blah, but I have a system. I know
how to get that kid hired, I know how to put something on that
application that will tell the people doing the interviewing that they
have to hire him. That's called White Affirmative Action. Now, when a
black person came in to get that same job, did anybody say to them,
Oh, you know what, you're not getting hired, because we had to hire
Mr. So and So's nephew or neighbor, because he has more power than you
do, nobody ever said that.  All this was going on because why? The
people who were carrying it out had no skin in the game, they had no
understanding that racism was harming them, as well as our whole
community. Because none of that work was being done. It was only like
everybody's still operating moving forward in a system of privilege
and status. And everybody wanted their, their piece of it. So the
Italian Americans were like, Oh, great, at least we're better than
those people down there. Matter of fact, we have to keep them down so
we have somebody beneath us. And this has always been a way in which
that system has was created, we've got a system of hierarchy, and the
people who are closer to the bottom need to make sure that the people
beneath them stay there. It's incredibly threatening if we see someone
from beneath the group, let's say, Italian Americans, we see somebody
get elected president from down there. It's like, Oh, my God, we can't
tolerate that. And maybe not even know why.  Not even be able to
articulate because it makes me feel less than. That's the system in
place that isn't often unveiled to us. So I feel like people should
not be blamed for perpetuating it when we haven't been made conscious
of it. And once we're made conscious of it, then yes, it is our
responsibility to start unlearning.

Linda Heeler  26:51
This goes back to I had to educate myself this summer when I had my
epiphany. And I go back and I start doing some reading and some
history lessons. And I took an online course. And there were all sorts
of resources. That's one great thing about the internet now is you can
go on, and you can get so many resources. The history that I either
had forgotten about, which I don't believe that I was ever taught in
my classes. And I think that's probably on purpose. It was really eye
opening to me. And then to think that I had been living and I'm going
to use the word white privilege. I want to stop making that a bad word
like white privilege, white supremacy, ones that we can't use, because
a white supremacist that's a skinhead. So I can't be a part of white
privilege and white supremacy because I'm not a skinhead. Right? These
words hold so much weight. The other part of it too, is calling myself
white. Before the summer, Oh, yeah, I'm white, but I wouldn't want to
talk about it. I don't want to talk about race. I don't want to talk
about your black, I'm white. No, we just don't talk about race. And
that's one thing that I've learned, we need to talk about it, I can be
proud that I'm white. And I can talk to my friends of color and say,
Are you black? Are you African American? What is your ethnicity? As a
white woman, we just didn't talk about race.

Kathy Castania  28:28
And this is what I appreciate about you so much, and why the first
time you called me I was interviewing you left and right, because I
wanted to dig into your brain. Because where you were at, I hope a lot
of white people get to. That place of starting to see it and not
running away from it. So you both started to see it and you didn't run
away, you actually sought information in various places. For me, this
all has led me into a study of whiteness, I started focusing on
whiteness in the 90s. And that was this problem is a white problem.
Whereas  before that, part of the lie is that the people who are most
responsible for undoing it are the people from the group that is being
excluded, no matter what the group is. So if it's sexism, everything's
about women, writing about it, figuring it out and doing all that and
nothing about how do we get the dominant group to start taking
ownership for this problem? That was like a huge awakening. I think
the reason when we talk to white people about it, one is you're right,
we didn't talk about it. We didn't even know we were white, it didn't
become salient to us. When you're on the dominant side, you really
have very little understanding of how that dominance works and it's
all meant to be invisible. Whereas when you're on the excluded side,
the race is named, and you're put in the group. You're not even a
group if you're on the dominant side, you're just an individual. So
when things happen like white men do stuff all the time, that is
detrimental in our society, but you rarely hear people identifying
white men as a group. And that doesn't mean all white men are doing
them. But then when you see a lot of white men doing, and I always say
that if everybody who was out doing these mass shootings were black
women, we'd be having conversations all over the place like what's,
what's going on with black women? Why are they shooting everybody? But
you rarely hear, you don't know, 90 something percent of the mass
shooters are white men, you rarely hear what's going on with white
men, why are they doing all this shooting? Now, that's a great example
of why we didn't see our race, we don't see ourselves as members of
groups, we see ourselves as individuals when we're in the dominant.
However, when you're in the excluded, you see yourself as a member of
the group. So if somebody in your group does something, everybody's
like, Oh, my God, this woman just did that, or this person color this
is that if you remember that group, it's immediately like, no. But if
you're in the dominant group, when a white person does something, we
don't all go around saying, Oh, no, now we're all gonna be seen badly.
I wasn't a part of how we thought about ourselves. The whole idea of
whiteness, and how whiteness came to be, which is all artificial and
constructed, we're not white, we're many ethnic groups that got put
into a white identity. Once we understand that, we began to see how
each successive generation took on and continued and it keeps moving
and changing all the time on what whiteness does and what it looks
like. For me, I was in graduate school in 91. And I was looking for
books on racism. And I was in Cambridge, I was at a university in
Cambridge, I went to Harvard bookstore and I said, Where's your books
on racism? And then they said, in the black in the black section over
there, and I said, Well, where's your white section? And the look is
like, Huh, are you kidding? Like, racism has nothing to do with white
people, right? So it kept reinforcing the idea that racism is the
person who has been excluded. Sexism is the people who are being
excluded and letting off the hook, where the dominance was coming
from, and what we had to learn about how we learned it, how we learned
every day, how it's been asked of us to play along. So when people are

afraid of terms like white supremacy and white privilege, I don't use those in the early part of my workshop. So I wrote a curriculum. It's three days, I don't start with that we have to bring people to a place of being curious and wanting to know, how does this work, I didn't see it before now I'm seeing it, with all respect and compassion. Because we were all there at one time, doing it respectfully, not creating more harm, not creating more resistance is a piece of it. Everybody deserves that when you're going through unlearning something and then learning again.

Linda Heeler  32:52
that's one thing I love about the SURJ values or SURJ working
agreements, it's calling people in not calling them out. I'd love for
you to speak about that. Because I have witnessed the damage that
people whose intentions are great, they feel like we've taken too long
this needs to change and it needs to change now. And you're either
with me, and you're at my level, or you're against me. And you should,
you should, and it causes more damage than it does good. So, calling
in, what does that mean?

Kathy Castania  33:31
So one of the things that attracted me to SURJ was that I was already
doing work out there through Opening Doors. That's the project that I
started a long time ago. And it was all based on this idea of we're
born with a lot of goodness and intelligence and all of that, and that
we're socialized into this without our permission without knowing and
now we need to unlearn it. When I saw the SURJ values, I said, Oh,
yeah, I can get behind that because it was about calling other white
people in. So the complexity that we're in right now is that as we're
trying to become better allies, unlearning the socialized things that
we've learned there's a whole journey. We're on a continuum of
unlearning.  It's not an overnight event ever. It's a very long long
journey and that we came through a mythology around what it meant to
be white people and that was that already there good white people or
bad white people. That's part of the either or thinking that actually
is a piece, a characteristic of white supremacy is to think either/or.
So all the white people are trying to defend themselves. So when they
did something, of course, it was set up to make mistakes. Of course,
how can we not make mistakes? We were just not given the information.
We didn't have the histories, we didn't have relationships,  all that.
So we're going to make mistakes and when we make mistakes, and it was
like, Oh, no, I'm going to be put in the bad box. So then white people
were running around trying to not be in the bad box. And then when
white people were starting to get it, they wanted to get angry at the
white people who might have been a little further behind them, and
then target them.  It's all based on fear. And that fear of being put
in the bad box, right? So I think the first thing to do is get rid of
those damn boxes because they don't exist. We all learned racism over
the air we breathe, nobody escaped it. I don't care what you think
your parents said but you know what? We didn't escape it. We're all on

this continuum of unlearning. And so when we think about that, calling people in is to build people's ability to keep moving on that continuum, which is exactly what people of color want. They want us to keep building white people to keep moving forward. They don't want us to shut other white people down so that they just walk away and never participate again. It's our responsibility. And when I began to understand that was when I had the flip oppression so I often do this in order to inform myself. What I mean by flipping oppressions is I start thinking in one of my excluded group, one of my expert groups is being a woman. So then I think, what would I want from my male allies? Do I want them just hanging out with me and saying, I'm such a good man just see how good I am. I just got real mad at that other man. And I just pushed him. I'm like, No, I want you to go educate that other man, I want you to bring him in, I want you to help him, see how sexism works. That's your job. I may or may not do that well, because it's too emotional for me at some point, it's harder. But I want you there at my side helping to do that. This is part of undoing Dominator systems is that we work collectively across difference. And we work with people within our own group to call them in, it's probably some of our hardest work because we don't know how to talk about it. So now we're being asked to talk about it with people in our own group. One of the things that's hard is you are seen as a traitor, you're seen as someone who's not going along with your tribe. Yeah, people are afraid. And they haven't had models for our models were all about guilt and pity and shaming. And now we're creating new models. And that's exciting. That's part of the joy is that we're figuring it out together.

Linda Heeler  37:20
What I learned from this part of my conversation with Kathy Castania,
is that this system of oppression, racism was set up long before our
parents, grandparents, even our great grandparents were born. We all
have been born into it. So it's not surprising that we don't see it.
So it is up to us to change it. In the second part of my conversation
with Kathy, I have a question about using the word tribe. We'll talk
more about excluded identities, what that means and why it's helpful
to understand our own excluded identities. We also discuss the role of
shame and the damage it causes on our quest to become anti racist. If
you found this episode helpful, please share it. If you're also trying
to figure out how to be an ally to our friends of color checkout SURJ,
the national organization at showingupforracial, or our
local chapter here in Rochester, New York is That's There, you can check out the workshops that we offer. And
because we're holding all of our workshops online right now, please
consider joining us, I might see you there. I hope you will take a
moment to please rate and leave a review. I read every one so feel
free to leave any questions there as well. Or you can email Linda at
normal dash Thank you for listening, and I look forward to
part two of my conversation with Kathy Castania next week, until then,
make it a great day.