Audacity of truth

February 9, 2010

I’ve been thinking about the audacity of truth. When I risk speaking a truth to myself that challenges the perceptions I have about me and how I operate in life, it often creates a disequilibrium. It’s a  place between the person I am and the person I am becoming. “Speaking truth to power” is an often used phrase for justice work. I’m exploring how that plays out when I speak  truth to the power that I personally hold.

The choice is to use this opening [election and presidency of Obama] to develop and strengthen white antiracist identity, to insist on the audacity of truth and not just hope.

From Between Barack and a Hard Place: Racism and White Denial in the Age of Obama by Tim Wise

We are what we know. We are, however, also what we do not know. If what we know about ourselves – our history, our culture, our national identity – is deformed by absences, denials and incompleteness, then our identity – both as individuals and as Americans – is fragmented.

William Pinar quoted in A Promise and a Way of Life: White Antiracist Activism by Becky Thompson

Acknowledging the reality and devastating impact of racism and oppression does not mean that dominant group members should feel self-hate or humiliation. These feelings cause paralysis, not positive change and transformation. Rather, it means that we need to make conscious efforts to maintain our awareness and work in tandem with others to change the systems and beliefs that exist, and find ways to create a more economically balanced, inclusive, and just society.

From Repairing the Quilt of Humanity: A Metaphor for Healing and Reparation by Deborah Howard

Here’s to personal and communal truth-telling as a transformational path for us all.

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