Tag Archives: June BlueSpruce

‘Whiteness Is Not an Ancestor’ Book and Town Hall Event Explore Urgent Need for White People to Talk About Whiteness

by Sarah Stuteville

There is something so obnoxious about white people talking about whiteness. The constant compulsion to center white experiences, the fragility, the evasion, and the virtue signaling set me on edge (even as I participate in it). But the only thing worse than white people talking about whiteness is white people who ignore whiteness or refuse to talk about it. 

It was in this cringey tension that I held a copy of a recent collection of essays — and the centerpiece of this Thursday’s Town Hall event, “Whiteness Is Not an Ancestor: Essays on Life and Lineage by White Women.” The book — edited by Bellingham-based therapist, author, and publisher Lisa Iversen — is urgently personal. Whiteness is a system and all white people, past and present, have served to uphold it. Feeling the discomfort and pain in that truth — and using it to motivate change — is at the center of the project. 

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South End Stew: Conversation with Myself

by June BlueSpruce

I am full of despair.

I am feeling wild hope.

Everything I have worked for all my life is in jeopardy.

I have worked all my life to be ready for this moment.

Our country has lost its heart and soul.

Our country, founded on genocide and slavery,
lost its heart and soul long ago.
Our national wounds are exposed for all to see.
Now we have a chance to heal them.

Authoritarianism is more powerful than our movements for change.

Nothing is more powerful than love.
Our adversaries are weak. They have no roots. They will fall.

I feel depressed.

I know how to manage depression and have resources:
loving wife, community, bountiful garden, medications,
ancestors who have my back.
I know what to do. Time to get up off the couch and do it.

I feel powerless.

Those who would destroy our democracy want me to feel powerless.
Then their work is done.
As a white middle-class US citizen, I have more power
than most people in this country and the world.
I need to use it for the good of all.
We call on deep spiritual power that is visible only in its effects.

We are at a critical moment. National leaders who should stand up are sitting on their hands, or worse.

I have no control over anyone’s actions but mine. In this emergency,
how will I stand up to those who wield power like a weapon?
How will I join with others?

Our Constitution, our democracy is at risk. This has global implications.

The founders of our country, all white men of European descent, knew
our democracy was a radical experiment that might fail.
With their strengths and flaws, they did the best they could.
We still don’t know the outcome.
We have the opportunity to determine it.

These are the questions that matter:

What are we called to do?

How will we meet this moment?