Growing up as a gay man in a conservative community, Vic Sorrell knew firsthand what it felt like to be ostracized for being true to himself. Early on in his career, Vic landed a job that worked closely with the HIV crisis. After realizing that HIV dispr...
Growing up as a gay man in a conservative community, Vic Sorrell knew firsthand what it felt like to be ostracized for being true to himself. Early on in his career, Vic landed a job that worked closely with the HIV crisis. After realizing that HIV disproportionately impacts people of color, Vic dedicated his life to Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI). Today, Vic works as an international holistic coach and is committed to educating people of all races, genders, religions and sexual orientations on how they can make a positive impact in their communities.
When we think about white supremacy, we tend to think of extremist groups. While these groups are rooted in racism, most people in America unconsciously participate in white supremacy. Even though many people are well-intentioned, their focus tends to be on their contribution rather than healing the issue itself. Vic defines this phenomenon as “nice racism,” and he explains that it does more harm than good. It is not enough just to be anti-racist; instead, you have to put in selfless work on an everyday basis. Whether it is through reading books or googling popular terms, Vic would tell anybody that is interested in being an ally that they need to do the research themselves.
It can take seven generations to dissipate trauma, so it is crucial now more than ever that we all band together to mend the gaps in our societies. Tune into this week’s episode of Southern Soul Live Stream to learn the real definition of white supremacy, how to leverage your privilege to instill change, and how literature became the catalyst of Vic’s journey to allyship.
• “People who are white often focus more on their contribution – what they're doing out of the goodness of their hearts to help others who are somehow not the same as they see themselves. A lot of times when you're in that space and your focus is your contribution and what you're doing, instead of what you're learning and investing in yourself and your education, then what inevitably happens is you end up doing more harm than good. Because you get in certain spaces where you don't know how your mere presence as a white person is a trigger and a discomfort.” (12:12-13:19)
• “The dynamics around the inequities that relate to race in our country and in our world are so nuanced and so insidious that you could talk about multiple different scenarios on a daily basis the rest of your life and never never get them all.” (19:50-20:11)
• “All of us have been socialized in a society where white lives have continued to be, in many cases, more valued than black and brown lives.”(20:19-20:34)
• “It can take up to seven generations for some of the compounded trauma to dissipate.” (21:02-21:11)
• “We think white supremacy is extreme, right? [Extremist group] type behavior, that’s white supremacy. But in truth, white supremacy is simply the belief, whether conscious or unconscious, that whiteness is superior and is supreme.” (24:30-24:59)
• “White supremacy is so unconsciously dominant for most white people.”(27:40-27:47)
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