BLUEPRINT FOR HEALING RACISM ALL RIGHTS RESERVED @ LOVE TASHIA ASANTI
What is the Blueprint for Healing Racism? The Blueprint for Healing Racism (BHR) is a work-in-progress document written by Love TaShia Asanti, award-winning journalist and activist to help heal the effects of racism and promote understanding across race, cultural identity and gender expression.
The BHR was created with input from activists, leaders and people from diverse backgrounds, races, cultures and identities. The BHR explains how the system of racism continues to thrive in America and across the world. The BHR is inspired by the teachings and research of luminaries such as Dr. Francis Cress Welsing, Behavior Scientist and Dr. John Henri Clarke, Pan Africanist.
The Blueprint for Healing Racism provides an overview of the how the system of racism functions in America and across the world. It also includes suggested tools that can empower victims and survivors of racism and practices that activists and allies can utilize. The BHR is a guide that can be expanded as understanding grows and healing deepens.
The Pillars of Racism To heal racism, we must first understand how the system of racism was created, developed and continues to flourish. There are ten key areas which dictate and determine a person's quality of life. The system of racism functions and is sustained through those channels. This section of the BHR identifies what we call, "10 Pillars of Racism," and asks readers to engage in, "reflective discussions" that stimulate critical thinking on strategies to facilitate healing from racism in America and across the world.
The 10 Pillars 1. Economics-Economics is among the primary channels that the system of racism thrives in. To understand how racism functions through economics, we must ask ourselves who controls America's and the world's economy? Who determines how and where wealth flows? Poet and activist, Amiri Baraka, once said, "If you want to know where the power is, follow the money." Identifying who controls the wealth and taking action to ensure financial resources are distributed fairly can change economic systems that cater to a single race and income bracket.
Reflection question: What actions support the redistribution of wealth in ways that give impoverished communities greater opportunities to live a quality life?
2. Education-Academic curriculums and educational systems set up the early messages and programming that influence core belief systems in youth and adults. The Blueprint for Healing Racism calls us to evaluate whether such curriculums reflect the true history and legacy of the world's most oppressed people and the people who oppress them.
Reflection question: What strategies can be put in place to educate the masses on the true history and legacy of White, Black, Brown and Indigenous people?
3. Entertainment-What companies and executives determine the bulk of messages and images that dominate mass media and the entertainment industry? Who reaps the lion's share of the profits from the sports, music and entertainment industries?
Reflection question: What strategies can be used to guide a portion of the billions of dollars in revenue from the sports and entertainment industry back to communities who've historically been denied a fair portion of the profits?
4. Health-We must learn who determines the degree of healthcare accessibility for the majority of America's citizens. We must learn who gets the lion share of profits from prescription medicines and medical treatments. We must learn the connection between public health and the distribution of non-GMO food and clean drinking water.
Reflection questions: What actions can be taken to educate people on health practices that support optimal health among those who have the greatest risk for preventable illnesses? What actions can be taken to redirect profits from prescription medicine and medical treatments that primarily impact BIPOC people?
5. Labor-Who designs and manages the labor force in America and across the globe? Who is in charge of the jobs and workplace hierarchy that determine the quality of life for individuals and families?
Reflection question: What are effective strategies to address discrimination in the labor force and create streams of wealth that empower communities with the highest unemployment rates?
6. Law-We must learn who is in charge of America’s law enforcement and judicial institutions. What role do those in charge play in ensuring our legal systems are unbiased? Who are the primary beneficiaries of profits from America's prison systems and law enforcement agencies?
Reflection question: What strategies can be utilized to hold judicial systems and law enforcement agencies accountable for racist practices and policies?
7. Politics-Who are America's most powerful political leaders? What role has politics played in sustaining the system of racism? In what ways does political corruption threaten the fabric of democracy?
Reflection question: What tools can be put in place to ensure citizen issues are addressed by political leaders? What tools can be put in place to hold leaders accountable for abuses of power?
8. Religion-Mainstream religious organizations played a key role in enslaving and colonizing Black and indigenous people. Some religious groups were major beneficiaries of profits from chattel slavery.
Reflection question: How have religious institutions profited from chattel slavery? In healing racism, is it important to learn more about the spiritual practices of one's ancestors?
9. Sex-Who controls the images and definitions of gender expression, sexuality and sexual identity in America? How do these images and definitions impact our sexual and reproductive health? Does sexual exploitation drive economic wealth and if so, who are the primary beneficiaries?
Reflection question: In what ways do a nation's sexual values and gender freedoms determine peace, happiness and social progress?
10. War-How did racism effect Black, brown and other POC who were enlisted in the military? How has racism effected the treatment of U.S. veterans? How does discrimination based on racial, sexual identity and gender expression impact the careers of military personnel?
Reflection question: What legislation needs to be put into place to end discrimination, avoid unnecessary wars and ensure wealth from U.S. military budgets are allocated with integrity?
Conclusion The Blueprint for Healing Racism is a snapshot of the work necessary to heal one of the greatest problems facing all of humanity. Every American, regardless of economic or social status, ethnic, cultural or racial identity, has been wounded by the rippling effects of racial prejudice.
We as Americans can facilitate healing by acknowledging our flaws and recognizing our gifts. Each person must take a militant responsibility for our nation's health and wellness. Together, we can become the country our forefathers and foremothers imagined. This is our Blueprint...
Blueprint For Healing Racism Manifesto-By Love TaShia Asanti (@All Rights Reserved)
Manifesto-A public declaration of policy and aims, especially one issued before an election by a political party or candidate.
1. Reciprocity i.e. Maat-We shall practice reciprocity. My Elders called it, "one hand washing the other." Americans will take care of Americans. This includes ALL Americans regardless of cultural or ethnic identity, gender expression, race or creed. Reciprocity includes respecting what is, what was and what is becoming. It is watering the tree that has or will feed us even when we have our own trees.
2. Territory-We shall share our land and real estate, and honor sovereign spaces. In the age of unscrupulous bouts for power and prestige, land ownership is an important part of empowering communities. Stolen land must be returned or paid for. We must make sure every American has the opportunity to be adequately housed.
3. Honoring Elders-We shall honor and respect our Elders. In indigenous communities, before one begins any major endeavor, they consult the Elders for guidance and blessings. The Elders share their wisdom which gives them purpose in their senior years and keeps them from feeling disconnected. The delicate balance between the aged and the youth is sustained through mutual respect, care and recognition. There are no throw-away people.
4. Honoring the Youth-We shall respect and honor our youth. The youth are our tomorrow. Their ideas must be listened to, considered, supported and implemented with respect and love. "The short hand cannot reach the top of the shelf. The long hand cannot fit in the jar. Together, we eat and eat well." Yoruba proverb.
5. Civility-We shall observe the act of being civil to one another-John Henri Clarke. Human beings have always disagreed on things. However, in indigenous society, they disagreed without destroying. There is a poignant line from a movie, "Yes, we fought. But we lived to tell the story." Americans must understand the importance of working together even in the midst of our disagreements.
6. Learning Our True History-We shall learn from our history how to be better human beings. Each person, regardless of social or economic status, should have the opportunity to understand who their ancestors truly were and are. Academic books must reflect historical truths. Researching family and world history together and using scientific data found in DNA to understand our journey forward.
7. Investing in the Communities Where We Live-We shall work together to make our communities stronger and healthier. Americans must recirculate wealth by supporting local businesses in the neighborhoods where they live. Business owners must honor diversity and hire ethnically diverse staff members. The exploration of installing community gardens will help eradicate hunger and poverty. Social justice issues must be recognized and addressed by a democratically elected contingent reflective of all residents.
8. Practicing Eco-Sustainability-We shall protect the planet we live on as if our lives depend on it. Every American should be trained in protecting the environment. There should be government incentives for embracing sustainable practices. If one can't grow their own food, they buy food from local gardeners and farmers. Natural bodies of water and nature preserves should be protected by residents, social and political leaders. Citizens must work together to keep neighborhoods clean, safe and thriving.
9. Iwa Pele-We shall practice good character and strive to be better tomorrow than we were yesterday. Iwa Pele (E-wah pway-lay), is an indigenous Yoruba phrase meaning, "Good & Balanced Character." Good character can be as simple as practicing random acts of kindness, discontinuing conversations that cause dissension and division, being honest and celebrating cultural diversity. Defamation of character is among the deadly destroyers of a cohesive communities. Rumors, gossip and slander breeds conflict. When people spread information with half-truths that vilify or paint an incomplete portrait of another, it harms not helps. Each American must focus on self-improvement and strive to be the best human being they can. We must seek out the redemptive qualities in each other. We must consider restorative justice where ever possible.
10. Self-evaluation-We shall seek out and excise unfounded prejudices, racial or cultural stereotypes and unhealed trauma that supports racial discord. We do not have to agree or condone any behavior or identity--we only need to respect people's right to be who they are unless someone's identity infringes on our freedom to be who we are.
Global Racism/Hate Free Zones
Writing the Blueprint for Healing Racism coincided with the establishment of global Racism/Hate Free Zones. The Healing Racism Academy calls allies and supporters to declare their business, home, neighborhood, organization, social media page or other public space as an, "Official Racism/Hate Free Zone." They may display both digital and physical stickers in the declaration of their space. The cost is $10 and includes a business, org or individual name being listed in a database as a zone with a commitment to being racism/hate free.