Weeknotes 75 - You don’t know anything yet
- I started a film club at work with another colleague. Our first video was DiAngelo’s white fragility lecture. We had a frank discussion about it in a group of white people (the event was open to all but the theme of the lecture might not have had broad appeal and that’s fine). I felt grateful that we got to work together on thinking through what the lecture brought up and setting the expectation that we can help each other be accountable. At the same time it forced me to recognise how rare it is for me to talk to other white people about race, which is a sign of both privilege and moral cowardice.
- I know that a lot of people are (rightly) criticising DiAngelo’s work as racism 101 written by a white person when it’s just as easy to reach for first-hand knowledge and material produced by people who actually experience racism. But it’s easier to accept the message of your own silent complicity when it’s coming from a white lady who understands how hard it is to break white solidarity protecting white people from the discomfort of thinking about racism, and yet still does it.
- Yesterday I read a paper titled Playing the Bullshit Game: How Empty and Misleading Communication Takes Over Organizations. It presents bullshit not as something bad people do because they’re bad, but as a social practice that reinforces identities of members of a community and helps them get stuff done (although can also undermine the group and its goals when it goes too far or becomes exposed). It’s interesting to think about other behaviours that on the surface seem like simple individual choices, and recontextualise them as social behaviours.
- I finally learned how to make sewing patterns for jackets, shirts and tops fit me correctly. One of my shoulders is quite a bit further forward than the other, which made it harder to diagnose what was causing fabric to always pool at the base of my neck. After some experimentation I realised that I need to correct for square shoulders. I thought there was only one way to do that, but I’m starting to realise there are lots of different approaches. Just when you think you know something… you discover you don’t know anything yet.