Source – Laura Humpf … publicized an “Undoing Whiteness” yoga class at Rainier Beach Yoga, geared toward white people wishing to “unpack the harmful ways white supremacy is embedded” in their “body, mind and heart.” Along with providing a contemplative space, the class would dissect the “pathology of whiteness” — an obliviousness to the batch of privileges society grants white skin — and how it operates in daily life. …
“I do stand behind white people needing to talk to other white people on how to undo whiteness. Can I keep refining it and doing it differently and better? Yeah, and I will forever and ever. But I believe in this space as one tool,” she says of her class of about a dozen that incorporates meditation, yoga postures, and readings from “Witnessing Whiteness,” a book meant to help white people deal with discomfort around race-based conversations.
I must confess that as a person of Caucasianness, I’m guilty of not giving much thought to my white supremacy. As a matter of fact, I wasn’t even aware I was supreme. To anyone. It might’ve been nice if someone told be before now. So for sure I’ve never tried to unpack the harmful ways it’s embedded in my body, mind and heart. So yeah, consider me oblivious, I guess. And finding a nice, easy way to dissect the pathology of my whiteness would come in really handy right about now.
Which is why I give Laura Humpf a lot of credit for the clever way she’s figured out how to undo whiteness, refine it and do it differently and better. With yoga. The wokest possible way to undo your toxic whiteness.
It’s so counter-intuitive as to be brilliant. It’s leaning into your problems. Nobody is more Caucasian than ladies who go to yoga classes. And using meditation, yoga postures and book readings to reach them is like capturing your enemy’s artillery and then training the guns on him. Her. Those yoga-pantsed moms I see lining up outside the studio at my gym, their rolled up mats in one hand a Yeti cup in the other, are probably Ground Zero for discomfort around race-based conversations. Bring them into your contemplative space, win their hearts and minds and the rest of the population will follow suit.
Think about how many other white people could be reached with the social movement Ms. Humpf has started. We could start “Undoing Whiteness” golf tournaments at the all the private courses. “Undoing Whiteness” regattas at the yacht clubs on Cape Cod. Sell “Undoing Whiteness” brand jorts and polo shirts at whatever Sears are still open for business. And if you think those middle aged guys in Scalley caps who gather in parking lots for antique car shows during Sundays in the summer aren’t exactly the sorts of influencers that would respond to getting their Whiteness Undone and bring about some real positive social change, well you’ve got another thing coming.
So thanks to the pioneers who are taking this issue head on, one lotus position at a time. Someday when the world is saved, we’ll have you to thank. Namaste.