Third Tradition Epitome
There is nothing more soothing nor healing than someone outside of your race confirming your daily lived experience of racial bias. While the majority of folks dismiss the feelings of people of color and deny their part in the daily injuries to Black and Brown people, a few brave souls take up the mantle to call out this everyday damage.
These people are the Epitome of the Third Tradition, that is they bring harmony to the cognitive dissonance between good intentions and actual impact. A Third Tradition Epitome identifies their part in the biased treatment of people of color even when it’s uncomfortable for them to do so.
White anti-racist lecturer and writer Tim Wise says: "What white liberals must understand is that people of color owe us nothing. They don't owe us gratitude when we speak out against racism. They don't owe us a pat on the back. They don't owe us a god dammed thing. And if all they do is respond to our efforts with a terse 'about time,' then that's too bad. Get over it."
Tim Wise, "White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son."
This is why Tim Wise is a Third Tradition Epitome.
Emily and Sarah Kunstler
Emily and Sarah Kunstler are the daughters of one of the most socially conscious activist of our time William Kunstler. Recently his daughters captured their father's uncompromising fight to bring justice to those who society dismissed in the film Disturbing the Universe. Emily's ability to look deep into her own thoughts on race and prejudice makes her a Third Tradition Epitome.
"I remember my father telling us that all white people are racist including me and Sarah. But I didn't understand what he meant at the time. He meant that we are blind to the depth of our own prejudice and that as long as there is prejudice there can be no such thing as a fair trial."
Emily Kunstler, Filmmaker, William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe
Bishop Gene Robinson
“And let's remember that gay white men are white and we have benefited from that privilege forever. And there is a lot of racism work to be done within the gay and lesbian community...one of the things that I have learned about is not to speak for people of color, so I won't be doing that. Because I try to learn as much as I can from people of color."
Dr. Robin DiAngelo
“Yes, there are police executions and police murders and those are extreme and brutal but I think the most hostile, toxic environment for People of Color on a daily basis is Unexamined Whiteness.” Robin Di Angelo
Source: Public Lecture, Seattle WA, 2018
In the wake of our country’s struggle with police brutality, it’s quite affirming to scan the world and witness others call out the dehumanizing acts against Black bodies. I have stood in many a rally with white allies, marched thousands of steps with thousands of white supporters. Yet, I came away more injured than when I began the activity. I even wondered was it worth congregating with activists who equate fighting racism with simply holding signs and fervently chanting slogans while marching down Market Street.
Up till now, in their private lives, these resisters of racism remain oblivious to the daily microaggressions they emit into the atmosphere of People of Color. When and how do these avid anti-racists check the toxicity of their daily routines, to check if and when it harms People of Color?
Dr. Robin Di Angelo accurately cites the source of the most prevalent damage People of Color experience in our daily lives which stems from whites’ inability to realize that “all white people are complicit with racism” and that unless guarded against, with every step you oppress, with every breath you oppress. (June 21, 2020)