Me and White Supremacy, by Layla Saad, Day 3: Tone Policing

All my #MeAndWhiteSupremacy posts are in response to the prompts in Layla Saad’s book of the same name. I recommend it wholeheartedly to white educators and learners as a way to really dig deep into the ways that our white supremacy has permeated our behaviours and patterning. The first step to disrupting these is to be aware of them. I haven’t copied the prompts here, because Layla deserves to be paid for her work. If you have the means, consider purchasing a copy for your local library! If you’d like to read the book but your library doesn’t carry it and it is cost-prohibitive to you, please message me and I will send you a copy or pay for a digital copy for you.

Day 3 | Me & Tone Policing

Though I thought that at least I’ve never done this out loud or to someone’s face, I realised after reading the comments on Layla’s Tone Policing post that I may well have done it explicitly and not even realised the implications of what I’d said. Implicit bias is strong and something I need to continue a lifelong fight to dismantle; this means that our actions may often be swayed by racist ideas even if we are not consciously aware of them. I even caught myself for a second tone policing in my head while watching the Day 3 video, as I felt myself start feeling defensive or wondering if Layla was generalising. I have caught myself expecting cookies for myself or other white folks just for “trying” or for understanding something about our privilege 😠

White friends, how have you noticed yourself tone policing, and what are you doing to change these patterns?

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