Anti-Racism Daily: A Demand, Not a Request

Dear Friends, Loved Ones, & Strangers alike – Dear all members of this community – all readers, listeners, patrons in any form:

I write today with a request for you. Scratch that – a demand.

Huh. A demand. Looks like I’m making an ultimatum. I almost hesitate to do so. I fear it reinforces my negative self-perception that “I have rigid boundaries” and that “I am over-serious,” feedback I have received before, and not unjustly.

I’ve been rigid. I had anorexia. I was the queen of rigid. But I’m also very flexible. I identify as a flexible being whose use of rigidity, when it happens, comes only from conscious choice.

We don’t want to be rigid all the time, but we’re certainly entitled to our non-negotiable. We’re entitled to our limits. We’re entitled to our boundaries. This is a first chakra issue.

As Anodea Judith (who, for the sake of transparency, I will tell you is a white woman) says in her book Eastern Body, Western Mind

“The first chakra is the most specific and limited level in the system. A limitation is a boundary, separating something from what is around it in order to define it. A boundary creates a necessary limitation that allows us to have something whole, something specific.”

A boundary creates a necessary limitation that allows us to have something whole, something specific.

Anodea Judith, Eastern Body, Western Mind.

Today, this blog has a new boundary. From now on, in order to read a post, listen to a recording, watch a video, leave a comment, or engage with the website in any capacity, you must first subscribe to Nicole Cardoza’s newsletter, Anti-Racism Daily.

According to the website, Anti-Racism Daily is our “daily reminder to dismantle white supremacy.” Editor-In-Chief Nicole Cardoza calls it a “Work in Protest.”

To quote Cardoza:

Anti-racism work doesn’t start and end when the protests do. It’s a practice, which means we do it consistently, over time and with vigor. Racism is our default practice. Therefore, we need to consciously commit to practicing anti-racism in all that we do.⁣

Nicole Cardoza, Anti-Racism Daily

Each email includes “an urgent and tactical action you can take to practice anti-racism each day,” “insights on the systemic and interpersonal practices that uphold white supremacy and systems of oppression,” and “clear and tangible resources to support your education” (Cardoza, ARD).

Cardoza is a wellness practitioner who is working to bring wellness to all. Thus, her work is compatible with this blog.

From now on, I will include a link to her subscription form at the end of each of my blog posts, right beside my own subscription form, and I will install it retroactively on old posts, as well. I have also created a new category of blog posts specifically addressing Race, Racism, & Anti-Racism in the wellness community, and beyond.

Remember: This is a demand, not a request. In the words of 12-step recovery, which I practice, but do not speak for, “Our common welfare should come first. Personal progress for the greatest number depends on unity.”

Our common welfare should come first. Personal progress for the greatest number depends on unity.

Alcoholics Anonymous

Like I said: I hesitate to make an ultimatum, but in the name of anti-racism, I must. A daily commitment to anti-racism is now one of my Non-Negotiable, and if you wish to engage with this blog, it must now be part of yours, too.

Let me be very clear: Nicole Cardoza does not support or endorse my work. I support and endorse hers. Please do not associate her work with me or judge it based on anything I have said. I am simply sending you her way.

I am not not-racist. But I want to be anti-racist. I’m committing to being anti-racist, which means acknowledging the racism within me. Just like in AA, and other programs of recovery, the first step is admitting you have a problem. Recovery from Racism is no different.

I admitted that I had an eating disorder. I can admit that I have racism, too. I exist in a white body, and I stand on stolen land. How could I not have it? That’s like saying, “I have generations of addiction in my genes, but I couldn’t possibly become an addict.”

I have racism, sexism, and homophobia, all internalized within me. That is not my fault – but it is my responsibility. It is my responsibility to deal with them. To heal them.

In recovery, we have to make amends to the people we have harmed while engaged in our diseases. Well, what about the people our ancestors have harmed? Not just the people, but the places? The land? The language of “amends” is very similar to the language of Reparations.

If your freedom is tied to mine, and mine to yours, then tied, too, are our illnesses. Eating Disorder Recovery is tied to Racism Recovery.

Eating Disorders are diseases of competition, comparison, and disconnection from the value of the Human Body. So is racism. The 2 are not unrelated, and that’s why it is perfectly appropriate for me to support Nicole Cardoza on this blog. The work is compatible, not irrelevant.

If racism is something you don’t wish to question, and anti-racism you don’t wish to practice – well, I understand. My recovery teaches me, “Judge not lest ye be judged.” But, I feel for you, and I hope you reconsider. I hope this moves you in some way. And I hope you understand, that while you are a worthy being, you are no longer welcome to engage with this blog. I will happily sacrifice and shrink my readership for the sake of principle.

As I said before, to engage with this blog, you must support Nicole Cardoza’s work and engage in Anti-Racist practice. This is a demand, not a request. This is an ultimatum.

Of course, there is non practice way for me to police this – and policing is not in my job description – but I don’t have to police you. Your conscience will do it for you. Your conscience, along with your karma.

Consider it an Honor System.

This is not a punishment. You are not in trouble. This is an opportunity. An invitation. Please say yes.

-Bella Florence


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