Monday, June 29, 2020

21 Day Antiracist Challenge - Part 1

I've been taking part in this 21 day Anti-racist challenge on IG and I'm half way through it. Mehcad Brooks, whom I know as James Olson/Guardian on the TV show Supergirl, has been giving daily prompts for people to take part in this challenge. Some are quite simple, some are hard truths to swallow, and some can be taxing to do, but all are necessary to 'heal the collective consciousness' as Mehcad always says. 

I've never known myself to be an active racist-shouting slurs or thinking down upon anyone based on the colour of their skin, but I'm seeing through these prompts and by what I read and discover everyday that although not malicious, subconsciously I was racist. Through these prompts I've been able to recognize certain behaviors I've never noticed before. I know my silence about about the suffering of the oppressed is wrong and that I need to actively be anti-racist from here on out. Being anti-racist starts from within and taking those years of ignorance, inherent bias, and generational racism, and learning to build a new foundation of understanding, acceptance, and love upon it. 

Part of these daily prompts are journal entries, so I've decided to pop them here on my blog as a way of keeping me accountable, anytime I need reminding; and to encourage others to take part, even if it's just one exercise, to help do their part in healing the collective. To change actions and policies, you must first change hearts and minds. 💗

Not every day was a Journal exercise, so it does skip around a bit, and I'm only on day 11, so there will be a part two of this in 2ish weeks. 
If you want to take part/see Mehcad's original videos, then follow him on Instagram @MehcadBrooks He has some very enlightening videos and posts outside of this challenge so please follow him and open your heart to what he has to say! These videos are also posted on @antiracism_collective , all in one convenient place if you want to jump straight in. 



Think of your loved one(children, spouse, etc)-whom you love more than anything else in the world and think of a statement you would say to that person to describe that at any point in time they could go missing or be killed because of racism.
Next paragraph, after hearing Mehcad's story about what he witnessed at 12 years old, explain to him(a 12 year old) that this is what happens to black men.


We have to be safe, we have to be smart, and we have to always ALWAYS look out for one another. How you deal with certain people might mean the difference between coming home to me safe, or not coming home at all. Baby boy, you are my everything. I don’t ever want to lose you. So we have to stay alert and never let our guard down. There are bad people in this world who will want to harm you for no good reason at all. //

                This is one of many reasons why you as a black man have to be on guard ALL the time. Some people are out for blood and they will get it, without any repercussions. Until everyone and I mean EVERYONE is seen as equal across the board, then this and many things like it will continue to happen. People are blinded by unconscious bias, so they don’t always think what they are doing is wrong, but you know. You know in your heart that this is wrong. All you can do is be on your guard and be smart about what you say or do.



                Imagine you have a black child and be specific about what you would say to them in ‘The Talk’—The talk that every black family has to have with their loved ones about how to protect themselves by police, to make sure they stay safe and alive.  If you're brave enough, post this to your feed/Story. 




                Write down every time that you can remember that you had that ‘policing mentality’-any time you policed someone’s tone, their presence, their proximity to yourself or someone else you love, their speech, thought process, etc (by 'policing mentality'…this could mean anything from getting bored of what they have to say, to moving to the other side of the street or clutching your purse tightly, etc). If it minimized their freedom in ANY way (even if you just thought it), write it down.

Then, Draw a circle next to your list with your initials inside it. Anytime one of those assumptions were PROVEN right (you clutched your purse tighter because YES that person WAS going to steal your purse, etc) draw a line from that point, cross the line, into the circle. This is your Inherent Racial bias. Every time one of the assumptions could NOT be proved….These are missed opportunities/relationships/interactions you could have had if it weren’t for your racial bias.

Day 5 Prompt 

        Loving.  Intelligent. Athletic. Truthful. Patient. Dishonest. Guilty. Toxic. Transcendent.  

    Next to each one of these attributes, write down the group of people you think is best suited to that word. Then make your own list of 5-7 words, and write down the group of people that best describe those new attributes, examining any bias you may have had in the first part.

Loving - Family

Intelligent –Scholars

Athletic –Young Men

Truthful – Kids

Patient – Childminders/ People who work with kids/Mothers

Dishonest – Government officials/Politicians/lawmakers/lawyers

Guilty – Criminals

Toxic – Narcissists

Transcendent – Yoginis/Wanderers/Travelers

My Words:

Giving— Humanitarians/Those who care for Community

Friendly – Children

Trustworthy— People who are transparent

Intuitive – Empaths

Vain— Social Media Influencers

Hostile – People who know they are in the wrong, but carry on

Pessimistic – Those with low self confidence



    Write down your feelings about ‘The Doll Test’ after watching the 5-10 min video. Then, make a 1-4 minute video of your own explaining how you felt while watching it and also what we can do to help heal that bias in society.

    It was upsetting to watch. It makes me sad that these children have this preconceived notion in their head about certain people. I’m disturbed at how traits like ‘nice’ or ‘mean’ or ‘smart’ are pointed out based on a doll’s appearance.



                Hand write a letter to yourself, to your ancestors, to society and set forth new agreements with the collective consciousness.

Day 11 Prompt

                Write down 6 positive words to describe America. Look up a moment from black history-The Tulsa Massacre and do as much research/learning on the event as you want. At the very least, read what it was and what generally happened there. Then write three words to describe the Tulsa Massacre.



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