Racism is a disease whose healing must begin with the white body. “There is only one way through this stalemate,” says author Resmaa Menakem. Firmly and compassionately, White Americans must be confronted “to accept, explore and mend their centuries-old trauma around oppression and victimization of white bodies by other, more powerful white bodies.”
The victimization created by white supremacy throughout generations has not only darkened the souls of People of Color, but also remains entrapped within their bodies. Their voices have simply been taken away, their pleas for recognition of their dignity ignored, leaving a dark trauma within. The part that simply makes them smile has died, as it does for a lifetime following any traumatic crime where no amount of settlement nor change in law or policy has changed the trajectory of oppression.
As Resmaa Menakem says, “…white-body supremacy comes at a great cost to white people. There is the moral injury, which creates shame and even more trauma.” We, as white Americans, must begin the healing process of racialized trauma – “sooth ourselves, metabolize our own ancient historical and secondary trauma, accept and move through clean pain, and grow up.” I believe it is responsibility for us all in this lifetime to commit to healing current and intergenerational racialized trauma. But the process must begin with white bodies in order to move America forward.
From My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Hearts and Bodies by Resmaa Menakem (Part 1: UNARMED and DISMEMBERED, Chapter 7: THE FALSE FRAGILITY OF THE WHITE BODY, Pages 97-108, Book Club Selection of #HowWeHeal Book Club – Racialized Trauma, 2 Tuesdays per month, February through December, 6 to 7 pm, http://zoom.us/j/5602987293E