Hi there! Thanks for taking the time to check out this post. My name is Ash (she/they), and I am a white British descendent of colonisers. I am going to be putting together the Check Your Privilege mid-week newsletter and blogging on the CYP website going forward (probably around one post every two weeks). I wanted to do a little introductory post for those of you who don’t already know me from the Co-Conspirators’ Lounge– hopefully, you’ll keep reading the newsletter and get to know me better as time goes on!
I am a white, disabled, cisgender-passing teenage nonbinary gay woman from southwest England. After joining the Co-Conspirators’ Lounge in January 2021, I began engaging in discussion prompts etc., before building up to participating in Myisha T. Hill’s courses alongside groups of other co-conspirators. Being in community in the Lounge and having the opportunity to learn in relationship with Myisha has completely changed my outlook on life. The best way I can describe it is like opening a pair of eyes that I previously couldn’t even admit to myself that I had. I am learning more about how I oppress others through oppressing myself, and how I can begin to heal myself forward.
I fully admit to being a part of what Monique Melton describes as the “pseudo-white awakening of 2020″¹ by only starting to do anti-racism work following the murder of George Floyd in May 2020. I imagine there are many white people reading this post who have a similar experience, and I plan to write about it in the not-too-distant future. I mention this to say that I am very aware of the tightrope I walk as a white woman+² writing about liberation for a Black woman’s platform. I have messed up repeatedly in this work, and there is a more than decent chance that I will do so at some point in these posts. As a white person doing this work, this is inevitable. I will engage in restorative justice wherever needed and possible during the writing of this blog. Being asked by Myisha to write for her platform does not make me any less racist than I was yesterday; I always have room to grow, as do we all.
I am writing for CYP partly as reparations for all that Myisha and the team have given me, and partly from a lifelong love affair with writing, especially about things that I feel passionately about. I want to share my ongoing experiences in this work, bringing in my identities as a queer, disabled person where relevant; Rachel Ricketts says that we are all oppressed oppressors³, and I hope to share my experiences of being oppressed without remotely erasing the infinite number of times I have been the oppressor. My hope is that every reader will be able to identify with at least one thing I post.
Now, onto some fun stuff! (I fully admit to Googling “fun facts for dating profile”) to complete this section, FYI.) My best party trick always used to be bending my knees backwards (no, really- a doctor told me to stop doing it though), but since this is a text-based introduction, I’m going to have to swing a bit lower.
– I have had my hair 10 colours and counting;
– I want to be a youth worker;
– I love alternative rock;
– I left school at 14 (and went back after a few years);
– I put my phone in the fridge the other day (yet to live that one down in my house);
Thank you so much for being in this space with me! If you’ve taken something away from this post, I invite you to join the Lounge or donate to CYP if you’re able; if you’ve learned something from the external sources I referenced (see below), I’d encourage you to find ways to support those activists directly. I will start blogging in earnest in two weeks’ time; keep your eye on the Wednesday CYP newsletter for updates. I hope you’ll keep checking in, it’s much appreciated!
Until next time,