I am asking that white people who consider themselves anti-racist ask what they can do on a practical basis to change the practical realities of white supremacy.
I assumed, when you used the word ‘irate,’ that you reacted to my writing that our group ask the white women to consider their privilege in their personal lives rather than default to the easier personal conclusion of ‘merit.’
These women claim to be 'anti-racist;' perhaps you don't. They claim to be doing anything they can to eliminate racism.
Racism operates to keep power and money in the hands of white people. Power and money is negotiated at higher levels. These higher levels (gov't, executive corporation, celebrity status=PR, etc) continue to experience very little changes at the higher levels: at those levels, white people still dominate. In publishing corporations, for example, this takes the form of publishing white people (women) and then, because they were the ones who were privileged with this publication initially, giving them the eventual prizes. Note that POCs get scanty, token chances only. It is a herculean feat just to get there. Quality is ignored.
So, to address racism, as a society we must ask how to shift that balance of power/money. If racism is to be eliminated, it has to be addressed at all levels, including on a granular/personal basis. Talking about racism can't eliminate it: only shifting back the money and power can do that.
Thus, when ANY white person is promoted, awarded, etc at levels at which this dominance is maintained, the question that will have REAL anti-racist impact is this: ‘why am I, as the individual white person, being privileged?! Why is yet another white person being privileged, INCLUDING ME?’
NOT why are OTHER white people being privileged (because I am the one white exception that earned it.)
Our friends take a very common white liberal stance: lots of other white people are racist. But they are the white women who ACTUALLY EARNED IT. Our point is that ALL people feel they've earned what they have.
If each individual white person talks about 'that racist over there' BUT then assumes IN ACTION that s/he doesn't have privilege, who will be the white person who takes action?! Each has absolved him/her/themself. Instead, each should assume PRIVILEGE FIRST.
Real anti-racism means acting to shift money and power back so that it is distributed among all peoples, which counteracts the original tack of shifting it to white people which was the point of its invention to begin with. Without action and the shifting of this money, there is no anti-racism. Only cheap talk.
So, anyone can admit that white privilege exists. The question is: what is that individual white person doing, IF ABLE, to change things? Our friends could consider their advantage and question their promotions. They could ask which of the many POC's around them actually qualified at a higher level. They could ask about the likely stances that these older white people have at these higher levels (studies show white people believe white people are naturally better leaders, and that these old white people with power are often not interested in promoting POC’s).
They would find a list of these actions which could be taken, which is likely why they become irate and don't want to discuss. IT COMPROMISES THEIR ADVANTAGE. But aren’t they claiming to be anti-racist??
They don't ask about their privilege, only about other white people's. They perceived that something more than (cheap) talk would be needed --a real change--and this ACTUAL change made them 'irate.'
That's not anti-racism; it is maintenance of power=white supremacy. Real changes will shift the balance of power and money.