Spring Cleaning Fakequity’s Checklist

Asian woman with hair tied up in a bun standing in a kitchen wearing a green apron and washing a cutting board. Background has a retro styled teal microwave and houseplants. Photo by Annushka Ahuja on Pexels.com

Today we saw the first Black woman, Ketanji Brown Jackson, confirmed and headed to the US Supreme Court. I look forward to reading her dissents and hopefully in the future she will be in the majority opinion of the court. And Ramadan Mubarak to our Muslim relations.

The weather is warming, but still unpredictable. In Seattle, the weather was in the 70s today, but tomorrow thunderstorms, and possibly snow in a few days — that is spring in Seattle. During those rainy and cold days use the time to do a little Fakequity style spring cleaning.

  1. Clean out your closet of anything that might be culturally appropriated wear. Do you have Native American-inspired clothes from Forever 21? Trash it, don’t even donate it. Turn those into dust cleaning rags. Any Asian-inspired wear, such as Ninja or Geisha costumes? Trash those too.
  2. Clean your bookshelf. Seriously dust off those books you’ve been meaning to read and read them or share them with others. For books that are outdated or we now have better options, cull them from your collection. Examples: Little House on the Prairie, the portrayal of Native Americans is insensitive and racist, instead read the Birchbark House series. Harry Potter, while beloved by many J.K. Rowlings has said many derogatory and transphobic comments.
  3. Grab that stack of magazines, including the ones from cool POC publications and either read them, recycle them, or share forward. If you’re into art, make something with those, like these paper art by African American/Black artist Vashti Harrison. I made these with my kid and we periodically revisit the activity.
  4. Clear out your email. Unsubscribe from organizational emails that are not aligned with your values. This will make room for organizations led by and embedded in communities to be highlighted more.
  5. Spring clean your social media feeds. Unfollow people, organizations, celebrities who are racist, or low-key micro-aggressive. There is no need for those in your social media life.
  6. Reevaluate your news, podcast, and media content. Is it working for you and giving you diverse perspectives from people of color, people with disabilities, and communities of color? If no, unsubscribe from those who are too white and replace them with diverse media.
  7. Kitchen and refrigerator. Clear out the old condiment and seasonings from that one time you needed a special ingredient to make that one “ethnic” dish (every dish is ethnic in some way). If the condiments are still good, make the dish again – no sense wasting good food. If you are cleaning out old food, please don’t donate expired food to food banks. It is a waste of your gas and staff or volunteers time to evaluate and toss the expired food. People receiving the food, they don’t want your expired canned goods or expired Costco purchases.
  8. Wash those reusable bags you take to the market. Washing them will mean they are ready for the farmer’s markets where you can choose to invest in POC farmers. You don’t want to put their pretty produce into grubby bags.
  9. Clean your outdoor space. Remove any yard signs you don’t actively practice what it says — are you acting in ways that believe in Black Lives Matter, if the answer is no then take down that yard sign.

    Pull out invasive species and put in native plants. If you are purchasing plants or seeds look for vendors who are from communities of color. If this isn’t an option, make a donation to your local Native led environmental organization – there is probably one in your surrounding area.
  10. Clean your energy consumption both metaphorically and physically. Where are you spending your personal energy? If there is a person who is draining you because of their entrenched beliefs maybe it is time to clear them from your life.

    Tidy up your physical energy consumption. Unplug things you don’t use. Pollution hurts communities of color hardest, do your part by lowering your environmental and carbon footprint.
  11. Spring clean your beliefs and attitudes towards things that might challenge you. Spend some time reflecting on where you’ve grown in thinking about race, disability, immigration, community, etc. Where do you need to go next on this journey?

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