Review: Do Better: Spiritual Activism for Fighting and Healing from White Supremacy

Do Better: Spiritual Activism for Fighting and Healing from White Supremacy Do Better: Spiritual Activism for Fighting and Healing from White Supremacy by Rachel Ricketts
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Rickett's delivers a powerful and thought-provoking meditation on understanding the insection of spiritualism, activism, and anti-racism primarily directed towards folks who present or pass as white women. She takes this angle, explaining it is for them on behalf of Black people and other racially marginalized groups and that it has been white women who have done her personally the most harm, often while claiming to be doing the work.  Regardless of the primary audience, there's much to get out of her work by all readers. Those who face white supremacy and marginalization can find meditative practices to help reinfuse their strength and community as well as clear language that may put words more directly to their experiences.  Others will find what it means to practice allyship in ways that will both push them and hold them truer if they aim to do antiracist work. Ricketts also has much to critique about the ways in which white people generally engage in this work, from a strong critique of Robin DiAngelo to how white people fail to do the meaningful work, often looking for "cookies" (compliments for doing, often light work) than sitting and struggling with the power structures they are deeply invested in (emotionally, socially, and financially).  Overall, Ricketts' is another essential text that will help others understand and more importantly, do more.  However, if I have one critique to offer, which given my positionality, I'm hesitant to share. I think there are ways that she argues for an all-or-nothing approach that feels a little too dualistic; that is, if you're not doing your fullest as a white person, you're not doing it right or enough. I disagree with this because it ignores the personal and real challenges that people face (that in themselves might be byproducts of a capitalist system that has been upheld through white supremacy). So I think that's a thing to be aware of and to take it with a grain of salt, but it shouldn't discourage anyone, especially white folks from reading.  

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