Pause On The Play Ep 16
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Hello hello there, and welcome back to Pause On The Play. It is amazing to see you here as always, where you are challenged to examine your beliefs, question your predisposed notions, and consider realities you may be unfamiliar with in order to understand that they too are real. I am your host and conversation MC for the day, Erica Courdae, here to get the dialogue going.
I'm going to keep this one hopefully short and sweet, on the shorter side today. I actually came in, I had a few things that came up for me, and I felt as though they needed to be addressed head on. I have conversations regularly where this does come up, and I think that it is something to be, again, talked about, and I hope that this really does trigger for you to have some conversation on your own as well as coming on over to Instagram and having this conversation as well in an open forum.
Racist and/or the word racism is a word that is connected to actions. If you have actions that are racist in a moment, that does not make you a racist. Saying something racist does not make you a member of the KKK or a white nationalist. Side note, both of these are the same. Please do not let anyone tell you anything different. They are the same. The second is just being used now, because it's more palatable. I'm going to say it again.
Saying something racist does not make you a racist.
I bring this up, because you've seen a lot in the media recently where that word, racist, triggers people to immediately say, "Oh, no no no. We can't call it that. That's not what that is. You need to call it something else. You need to change that." No, call it what it is. You need to call things out when they are what they are. Softening it, changing the word to something that's easier to digest or easier to be able to claim is not how change happens. It's dumbing it down. It is not the thing to do.
Making it palatable isn't making change. It is pandering to delicate sensibilities. I don't want you doing this. I want you to feel brave and do what's right. I think it's possible to make change without imposing shame. I am here doing the work that I do, because I do believe that there is work that can be done without calling someone a dirty racist. However, if you have actions that need to be addressed, we can address them and then have dialogue on how you can make change and do better going forward.
Can't do anything about what you have done, but you can do something going forward. But if I don't tell you what you have done to ... Say it's me, and I don't tell you what offended me. You don't have an opportunity to make a course correction. You don't have an opportunity to make any kind of shift to be different or better going forward, because someone else may not be quite as nice.
That conversation could look very different, and that does not mean that I am going to tiptoe around everything, but if I trigger you into immediately feeling shame and this becomes an argument, nothing comes from that.
Now, every situation is not the same, so let's also address that, but it doesn't help to immediately just begin the finger-pointing or the, again, shaming that sends someone into a shame spiral, then they center, and then it doesn't help. It's not helpful, so that isn't how I choose to do things. But I also want you to acknowledge that, if someone does not impose shame on you, excuse me, that doesn't mean that you may not feel shame.
But you will carry and work through your own shame in the way that you need to in order to get to the other side. And if you feel shame around something, then as Brene Brown will tell us, it's a good indicator to get curious and figure out why. Shame is not a catalyst for change for me. However, it is an absolute indicator that there is something going on that you do want to dig farther into, so do not use shame as a reason to not do the work, because then you're just likely going to get shame on the other end, because you're not doing the work.
Dumbing down necessary changes that need to happen isn't something that ... It's not going to be helpful, so trying to, again, not use the word racist, because it makes it easy. No, no. Because when you do that, you're now negating the drama, pain, and damage still being done to those effected by systemic racism and a collective base of teachings that do not support everyone equally from day one. That needs to go, so therefore, you can't dumb it down. Not calling a racist action, comment, or statement racist is negating those things.
We're not available for that. We're not doing that. You must call things as they are. You can't dictate how others bring things to your attention, but you can get curious about how you feel about them. Again, if something comes up and you feel a certain way about it, ask yourself why. If you see something and you see someone being called to the carpet in order to course correct, but you feel a certain way about it, ask yourself why.
It's possible that you may center yourself out of defending what you feel, if it was you, defending your actions or yourself as a person. But it is then your responsibility to correct that action, as centering negates the validity of what was said. Because when you center, that means that you are now going into that space of, "Well, because I said that, I'm not a racist." Or, "Not all people that do XYZ are racist." When you begin to go into that place, you are now saying, "Oh well, wait a minute. I need to feel comfortable, and because my comfort comes first, you can't say to me what you feel. I need to now let you know that that's not okay, because that's not everybody."
Well, the person didn't say everyone. If I say to you, "Hey, that was racist," I didn't say every white person that said something racist is a racist. That's not what I said. If I say to you, "That was offensive. That really was not okay, and we need to talk about that," but you immediately say, "Well, I mean, but it's not like I'm a racist or anything." Well, now you're centering your feelings to negate mine. We're not going to do that.
If you do something, you have to keep in mind intent does not erase impact,
and so if you offend or hurt someone, you address that. You apologize, and then you figure out what happened and what you can do differently, period. Centering is not helpful, and I'm actually going to go into that on a episode coming up, because I want to go through some of these terms, just in case maybe you're not as familiar with them. Because I want to make sure that, as we're having these conversations, that you know exactly what it is that we're talking about.
To go back, racist and/or racism is a word that is connected to actions. Saying something racist does not make you a racist. It makes you someone that has space to grow. We all have space to grow, but if you are not willing to acknowledge when an action has crossed the line, then there is work to be done. If you don't realize the privilege that you take for granted, then there is work to be done. When you don't acknowledge a system that you were born into that favors you over others that do not look like you, then there is work to be done.
You need to do the work, so that everyone can benefit. And when it gets difficult, I need you to persevere and allow your resilience to kick in. And when you feel the need to defend yourself, your feelings, your thoughts, or your actions, remember this is not about you. I want you to consider that, and the one thing that I want to truly ask you to take away is what comes up for you with the word racist or racism.
I want you to come on over to Instagram and tell me about it. Or come on over to Erica Courdae. You can drop it in an email, and you can let me know your feelings about it as you're signing up for our upcoming workshops. What workshops, by the way, are those? Oh, so glad you asked. If you love Pause On The Play, it's just one iteration of how I use conversation for connection and as a catalyst for change. Our DEI In Business Workshop Series is another. These are virtual workshops, we hold them in Zoom, featuring audience-driven conversation about how you can bring DEI into your business and make some real impact.
This is not about perfection. This is about being in action now imperfectly to begin to become the change you want to see.
Each workshop is 60 minutes and allows you to ask questions and receive actionable steps on topics like changing your mission statement in your company to reflect your DEI values, creating a schedule for internal DEI audits and reviews, and removing misaligned businesses from your vendor list, as well as whatever it is that you bring to the conversation where you need support. These virtual workshops are here for you to use your impact and your platform to be a catalyst for change. Visit EricaCourdae.com today and click Courses in the menus to learn more and reserve your seat. These workshops aren't complete without you, so come join us in the room.
The conversations we have here are to normalize the challenging things and make them a part of your normal exchanges. This is how we remove stigma and create real change and connection, cross lines and recreate boundaries to support, not separate.
If you enjoyed this podcast, show me some love by subscribing, sharing it with a friend, or leaving us a review. Reviews are the fuel to keep the podcast engine going. Let's get more people dropping the veil and challenging their thoughts, feelings, and actions. Speaking of keeping it going, if you don't already follow and engage with us over on Instagram @ericacourdae, come on over there and do that. I really want to talk with you, so DM me and let's do this.
I love being here and creating the bridge for you to walk over to become the change that you want to see. Join us next time, and until then, keep the dialogue going. Bye.