Links on anti-racism
Race diversity in the UK bi community
Before we start
The original page was written by me, Lucy. Obviously people will want to edit it - but here's where I'm coming from in compiling it. I'm by no means an expert on anti-racism work. I'm trying hard to phrase what I'm saying here sensitively and accurately. In places I have had to generalise a bit, for conciseness and because I can't quote individuals. If I say something you think is wrong, offensive or stupid, please edit this article and explain, if you don't mind doing so, on the discussion page what the issue was, so that the next person to come along and make an edit can also avoid the mistake. And please accept my apologies for getting it wrong! Lucy K 19:45, 25 June 2011 (BST)
What is this all about? Why are we talking about race in the bi community?
It is obvious to anyone at a Bicon that the vast majority of the people there are white. This seems to be the case at most other events run by 'the bi community' too – that is, the kind of events that people who go to Bicons might attend, such as Bifests or local groups.
The people of colour who have attended Bicon report that they very often experience incidents of racism and/or white privilege. Common examples include: people being rude, saying insensitive or clueless things, assumimg that a person of colour is in the wrong place (that they aren't actually at BiCon), or expecting people to explain why they require safe space in workshops just for people of colour. It is not surprising, given this situation, that these events and groups are not experienced as welcoming to people of colour and that they are concerned about participating.
Obviously, it is absolutely wrong if a person, or a group of people, is discriminating against others or mistreating them based on their race or colour, even if this is not intentional (it is about the effect the action has, not the intent behind it). As this is clearly happening at bi events, the organisers and attendees need to work on ways to ensure that it stops, and everyone can feel welcome and included, and participate equally.
Alongside the obvious wrongness of racism, there's the issue of how having an overwhelmingly white 'bi community' (at least, the bi community centred on these types of events and groups) makes that community poorer. If the community aspires to be 'the UK bisexual community', and create a movement to support the rights and wellbeing of bisexual people, it needs to represent, include and involve the widest possible range of bisexual people, and not exclude some groups and ignore their experiences. It shouldn't be a movement just for some bisexual people. So it's really important, in the interest of all of us, that white members of the community learn about these issues, understand them better and put their understanding into action.
Please note: while it is great if people of colour who are part of the bi community (or even those who aren't!) are willing to share their experiences and explain the problems they have encountered, it is not their responsibility to do that, to educate others or do the work of changing the community themselves. It's everyone else's responsibility to put the effort in. Otherwise we are just asking people who already have to deal with racist behaviour directed at them to spend their time and energy helping out the very people behaving offensively.
I'm going to offer some links for people to begin reading about these issues. Please add more.
Please bear in mind some readers may be just starting to learn about these topics and others may have read about it a lot already. If you read something here and you don't understand it, don't give up – try another link instead.
None of these links are specific to bisexual communities. Some of them discuss racism in feminist activism – while bi activism and feminism aren't the same, there is useful overlap.
What are Racism and Privilege?
- Teaching and Learning Anti-Racism: A developmental approach. By Louise Derman-Sparks and Carol Brunson Phillips. (Education Resources Information Center abstract)
- A Guide to Racism 101 for Clueless White People by tamago23
- Some basic points to understand about anti-racism
- White Privilege: unpacking the invisible knapsack by Peggy McIntosh, includes the white privilege checklist
- 'Check my What?': On Privilege and what we can do about it
- What is Privilege?
- Doing the Work: Unearthing our own white privilege Maggie Potapchuk on white privilege
- More on 'What is Privilege?' with an unusual analogy
Being an ally to people of colour
Please note the phrase 'white ally' is used here. This phrase can be considered unhelpful - it sounds too much like 'ally to white people'! Approach with caution. --Lucy K 23:46, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
- Dos and Don'ts of being a good ally
- The Qualities of an Ally
- Useful thoughts on being a white ally to PoC
- And more useful thoughts on being an ally
- From white racist to white anti racist Tema Okun - the stages from racist to ally
- White ally checklist
Racist behaviour, and reactions to being told about it
- Microaggressions, tagged 'race' – everyday racism.
- White Feminist Privilege in Organisations – a useful article about the experience of a diversity counsellor working with a majority-white feminist group who wanted to work towards greater diversity – or did they?
- How Not to be a Doofus When Accused of Racism - if white bisexuals are going to learn to be less racist, we have to learn to listen properly when we're told we have said or done something racist.
- On how not to react when someone tells you about an experience of racism
Organisations of and for LGBT people of colour
- UK Black Pride website - next event, 20 August 2011, in London
- rukus! federation - black LGBT arts charity
- Imaan - for LGBTQI Muslims
- KISS - KISS is a social group made up of women who identify either as lesbian, bisexual or queer and are of South Asian or Middle Eastern or North African descent.
- LGBT Consortium BME network - Black and Minority Ethnic LGBT Network
- Naz project - Naz project (sexual health)
- Black men's advisory group - Black Men’s Advisory Group
- Black lesbians UK - Black Lesbians UK
- LYC London - LYC London (for East Asian men)
- Stonewall Housing BME network - Stonewall Housing, BME network
- BME LGB&T GROUP (BEAM) Leicester