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RACISM IS A DISEASE WHOSE HEALING MUST BEGIN WITH THE WHITE BODY

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

THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS CALL TO ACTION AND GUIDELINES FOR PACING CHAPTER READINGS

For the #HowWeHeal BOOK CLUB on RACIALIZED TRAUMA

A CALL TO ACTION,

JANUARY’S RACIAL EQUITY CELEBRATIONS,

PACE of TWO BOOK CLUB SESSIONS,

PACE of CHAPTER READINGS, and

DISCUSSION POINTS TO SHARE

A CALL TO ACTION FOR AMERICANS TO RECOGNIZE THAT HOW WE END RACIAL DISCRIMINATION IS NOT ONLY ABOUT THE HEAD, BUT ALSO ABOUT THE BODY

My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies” is unique in that it is a self-help book that not only brings awareness of the history of  intergenerational trauma that has been created over 401 years in our county, but calls for action to heal racialized trauma, using  a step-by-step process, through Body Practices based on the latest neuroscience and practices of body-centered psychology. Trauma is in the body and cannot be solely transformed through talk about racism and anti-racism. To pull out of the grips of racialized body trauma, both individually and collectively, we who care about ending racial discrimination now have at our fingertips concrete steps to take to engage in the process of repair.

JANUARY’S FOCUS on the MLK DAY MARCH AND FESTIVAL and the CELEBRATION of A DAY OF RACIAL HEALING in Arizona and Phoenix

Each January is filled with preparation for the MLK DAY MARCH AND FESTIVAL and the CELEBRATION OF THE DAY OF RACIAL HEALING (the Tuesday immediately following MLK DAY).  The Day of Racial Healing marks the re-launching of the #HowWe Heal BOOK CLUB on RACIALIZED TRAUMA, our communal RACIAL HEALING CAMPAIGN PROJECT.

PACE OF TWO SESSIONS  There will be two consecutive Book Clubs Sessions (4 Meetings per Month) – February through June and July through December with 20 hour-long discussions per session on Tuesday evenings. Holidays observed will be St. Patrick’s Day, the Tuesday following Labor Day, Election Day, the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, and ending on the second Tuesday in December.

PACE OF CHAPTER READINGS  At the close of each meeting, group members will determine the number of pages to comfortably cover in preparation for the next Book Club discussion.

THREE CONSIDERATIONS IN DETERMINING THE PACING OF READINGS

Number of Pages, Body Practices and Re-Memberings of “My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies” by Resmaa Menakem MSW, LICSW, SEP, ISBN 978-1-942094-47-0

The Front Matter of the Book – 20 Pages

“Special Praise for My Grandmother’s Hands,” Pages i-iv

               4 Pages

Title Page, Page v

               1 Page

Copyright Page, Page vi

               1 Page

Table of Contents, vii-viii,

               2 Pages

“Caution: Do Not Cross This Line Without Authorization,” Pages ix-xi

               3 Pages

“Watch Your Body,” xiii-xiv

               2 Pages


“Acknowledging Our Ancestors,” Pages xv-xvi

               2 Pages

“Our Bodies, Our Country,” Pages xvii-xx

               3 Pages

The Body of the Book – 298 Pages

PART I: Unarmed and Dismembered


Chapter 1: YOUR BODY AND BLOOD, Pages 3-26

            23 Pages, 1 Body-Centered Practice, 18 Re-Memberings

Chapter 2: BLACK, WHITE, BLACK, BLUE and YOU, Pages 27-36

            9 Pages, 4 Body Practices, 7 Re-Memberings

Chapter 3: BODY TO BODY, GENERATION TO GENERATION, Pages 37- 56

19 Pages, 1 Body and Breath Practice, 10 Re-Memberings


Chapter 4: EUROPEAN TRAUMA AND THE INVENTION OF WHITENESS, Pages 57-66

9 Pages, 1 Body Practice, 9 Re-Memberings


Chapter 5: ASSAULTING THE BLACK HEART, Pages 67-86

19 Pages, 2 Body Practices (one with 4 Parts), 12 Re-Memberings


Chapter 6: VIOLATING THE BLACK BODY, Pages 87-96

9 Pages, 1 Body Practice (with 4 Parts), 3 Re-Memberings


Chapter 7: THE FALSE FRAGILITY OF THE WHITE BODY, Pages 97-110

13 Pages, 3 Body Practices (General & for White and Black Readers), 8 Re-Memberings


Chapter 8: WHITE-BODY SUPREMACY AND THE POLICE BODY, Pages 111-128

17 Pages, 2 Body and Breath Practices (General and for Law Enforcement), 12 Re-Memberings

Chapter 9: CHANGING THE WORLD BEGINS WITH YOU, Pages 129-136

            7 Pages, No Body Practice, 5 Re-Memberings

PART II: Remembering Ourselves


Chapter 10: YOUR SOUL NERVE, Pages 137-150

13 Pages, 11 Body and Breath Practices, 11 Re-Memberings


Chapter 11: SETTLING AND SAFEGUARDARING YOUR BODY, Pages 151-164

13 Pages, 6 Body and Breathing Practices, 11 Re-Memberings

Chapter 12: THE WISDOM OF CLEAN PAIN, Pages 165-176

11 Pages, 2 Body Practices, 4 Re-Memberings (One with 4 Parts)


Chapter 13: REACHING OUT TO OTHER BODIES, Pages 177- 180

4 Pages, No Body Practices, 10 Re-Memberings


Chapter 14: HARMONIZING WITH OTHER BODIES, Pages 181-186

5 Pages, 18 IN ALL – 11 Body Practices to Do With Friends, Family Members, and Others You Know Trust, and 7 Body Practices to Do in Groups Whose members Know and Trust Each Other (Church Groups, Block Clubs (correct spelling from book), Etc.). to

Chapter 15: MENDING THE BLACK HEART AND BODY, Pages 187-198

11 Pages, 11 Body Practices to Do Together and 1 Body Practice (With 3 Parts), 3 Re-Memberings

Chapter 16: MENDING THE WHITE HEART AND BODY, Pages 199-214

            15 Pages, 1 Body Practice, 10 Re-Memberings

Chapter 17: MENDING THE POLICE HEART AND BODY, Pages 215-236

21 Pages, 5 Anchors to Practice in stressful or potentially dangerous situations unless the situation calls for immediate, split-second action, 6 Body and Breath Practices from Chapter 11 and 2 Body Practices from Chapter 12, 19 Everyday Practices to feel good and stay (or get) healthy, and 12 Suggestions for Creating and Following your own Self-care Routine (from Chapter 11, Pages 159-163), 11 Re-Memberings

PART III: Mending Our Collective Body

Chapter 18: BODY-CENTERED ACTIVISM, Pages 237-244

7 Pages, Grounding and Settling Activities in Chapters 10, 11, and 12 and Tasks “If You’re an Event Organizer, Planner, Leader, Or Speaker” and “If You’re a Frequent or Serious Activist,” 8 Re-Memberings

Chapter 19: CREATING CULTURE, Pages 245-252

            7 Pages, No Body Practices, 9 Re-Memberings

Chapter 20: CULTURAL HEALING FOR AFRICAN AMERICANS, Pages 253-260

7 Pages, No Body Practices, 2 Re-memberings with 8 Suggestions for promoting social and cultural healing among African Americans


Chapter 21: WHITENESS WITHOUT SUPREMACY, Pages 261-274

13 Pages, No Body Practice, 7 Re-Memberings (One with 13 Points of what the creation of a new culture will ideally include in a transformation led by white people)


Chapter 22: RESHAPING POLICE CULTURE, Pages 275-286

`           11 Pages, No Body Practices, Steps to Create a Community Policing Model, designed to have decentralized power, so the patrol officer can take care of things in his or her responsibility area, changing metrics of arrest to those of crime reduction, justice and problem-solving – “If you’re a patrol officer or some other on-the-ground public safety professional” or “If you’re a precinct captain, police chief, mayor, or other leader “


Chapter 23: HEALING IS IN OUR HANDS, Pages 287-292

5 Pages, 1 Body Practice, 7 Re-Memberings


Chapter 24: THE RECKONING, Pages 293-298

5 Pages, No Body Practice, 7 Re-Memberings

The Back Matter of the Book – 10 Pages

AFTERWORD, Pages 299-304

            5 Pages

FIVE OPPORTUNITIES FOR HEALING AND MAKING ROOM FOR GROWTH, Pages 305-306

            2 Pages, 5 Opportunities – Own your own; with another trusted, caring person; healing in community; with the help of a body-focused healing professional; or with the help of a trauma therapist

ACKNOWLEDGING MY CONTEMPORARIES, Pages 307-309

            3 Pages

DISCUSSION POINTS TO SHARE AT MEETINGS As you’re reading group-selected chapter/s, please note powerful quotes, research findings, body practices, unique insights, or historical facts and choose an outstanding one to share with the group that particularly broadened your perspective on racial equity and/or racial healing.

“White Fragility” Unfreezing the Stalemate in White America

Much of fragility is trauma driven, freezing out confrontation. “There is only one way through this stalemate. White Americans must accept, explore, and mend their centuries-old trauma around the oppression and victimization of white bodies by other, more powerful white bodies.”

“Constricted bodies, frozen attitudes, and closed minds are common side effects of racialized trauma (and trauma in general).”

“Until racialized trauma is addressed, changing attitudes or opening minds is large impossible, especially on a large scale. However, once white Americans begin this all -important healing process, minds, nervous systems, attitudes, relationships and culture can all have a little more room to grow and transform.”

From My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Hearts and Bodies by Resmaa Menakem (Part 1: UNARMED and DISMEMBERED, Chapter 4: THE FALSE FRAGILITY OF THE WHITE BODY, Page 104, Book Club Selection of #HowWeHeal Book Club – Racialized Trauma, 2nd Tuesdays, February through November, 6 to 7 pm, http://zoom.us/j/5602987293Edit

VIGILANTE OR RACIST – Bernhard Goetz, 1984

“Where is Bernhard Goetz Now? ‘Trial By Media’ (NETFLIX) Subject Still Lives in NYC,” Gretchen Smail, May 11, 2020

“During the criminal trial, Goetz famously admitted that he wanted to kill the teens. “I wanted to maim those guys. I wanted to make them suffer in every way I could…. If I had more bullets, I would have shot them all again and again. My problem was I ran out of bullets,” he said. Despite this damning confession, the predominantly white jury found that Goetz had acted in self defense and was not guilty of attempted murder. Goetz served 250 days in prison. (Cabey’s family successfully sued Goetz in 1996 and won $43 million, but per Newsweek, it’s unclear how much of that he was actually paid.) (FYI he declared bankruptcy afterwards, per Netflix, the one-year prison sentence was for carrying an unlicensed gun, and the Cabey family lawsuit’s jury was composed of 4 blacks and 3 Hispanics.)

.

WHITE FRAGILITY “I feared for my life”

AN EXAMPLE OF “WHITE FRAGILITY” “I feared for my life.”

“On Tuesday, the Phoenix Police Department named 30-year-old Mark Rine as the killer of Rumain Brisbon, an unarmed black man who was gunned down last week after the officer reportedly mistook a pill bottle for a gun. “Cop Kills Unarmed Black Man in Arizona,” 12/9/2014 “Thus white fragility grants permission to white and police bodies to regularly kill Black ones—even if unarmed, unresistant ones—in ostensible self-defense.”

From My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Hearts and Bodies by Resmaa Menakem (Part 1: UNARMED and DISMEMBERED, Chapter 4: THE FALSE FRAGILITY OF THE WHITE BODY) #HowWeHeal – Racialized Trauma – Book Club Selection, 2nd Tuesdays, February through November, 6 to 7 pm, http://zoom.us/j/5602987293Edit

WHITE FRAGILITY as a Reflexive, Protective Response

White Fragility is “a way for the white body to avoid experiencing the pain of its historical trauma inflicted by other white bodies. ” (Page 108) “There is only one way through this stalemate. White Americans must accept, explore, and mend their centuries-old trauma around oppression and victimization.” (Page 109)

From My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Hearts and Bodies by Resmaa Menakem (Part 1: UNARMED and DISMEMBERED, Chapter 4: THE FALSE FRAGILITY OF THE WHITE BODY) #HowWeHeal – Racialized Trauma – Book Club Selection, 2nd Tuesdays, February through November, 6 to 7 pm, http://zoom.us/j/5602987293Edit

WHITE FRAGILITY as a Reflexive, Protective Response

White fragility is “a way for the white body to avoid experiencing the pain of its historical trauma inflicted by other white bodies.” (Page 108) “There is only one way through this stalemate. White Americans must accept, explore, and mend their centuries-old trauma around oppression and victimization.” (Page 109)

From My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Hearts and Bodies by Resmaa Menakem (Part 1: UNARMED and DISMEMBERED, Chapter 4: THE FALSE FRAGILITY OF THE WHITE BODY) #HowWeHeal – Racialized Trauma – Book Club Selection, 2nd Tuesdays, February through November, 6 to 7 pm, http://zoom.us/j/5602987293Edit

Conversational Guide for Communities on the Need for Racial Healing

“Talking About Racism, Racial Equity, and Racial Healing with Friends, Family, Colleagues and Neighbors” from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation at dayofracialhealing.org

This process provides opportunities to acknowledge the tremendous damage inflicted by individual and systemic racism. When grounded in empathy and oriented toward equity, it has restorative potential to affirm the inherent value of all people.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES: dayofracialhealing.org and “Let’s Talk” by Teaching Tolerance and the Southern Poverty Law Center