Sound Off: Workshop a chance to learn about racist societal structures

As our nation struggles with current and past racial injustices, it is apparent that white America needs to face a reckoning with the history of white supremacy and its effect on our governmental and civic institutions, and the lives of Black, indigenous, people of color, or BIPOC.

If we are ever to finally arrive at a place of inclusive democracy which honors all peoples and provides safety for all peoples, it is imperative that we understand the historic racist societal structures which continue to stand in the way.

We must also be accountable for dismantling them. The City of Langley began this difficult journey of introspection last July when the city council unanimously passed a resolution titled “Commitment to Dismantling Systemic Racism and Creating an Anti-Racist, Inclusive Community.”

This resolution mandated the formation of a “Dismantling Systemic Racism” advisory group. The DSR advisory group recommended a series of training workshops to be kicked off with one focused on white nationalist and other far-right movements and their reliance on the existence of structural white supremacy.

The Western States Center, which works nationwide to strengthen inclusive democracy so that all people can live, love and work free from fear, is coming to Langley — via Zoom — 3:30 p.m. Monday, April 12. If you volunteer on a Langley board or commission, or plan to in the future, please attend.

If you come to Langley to shop, attend a concert or visit with friends, and yearn for an inclusive Langley, please attend.

Perhaps you are skeptical about the influence of white supremacy on current government or civic institutions, but are open to learning about it, please attend. Perhaps you realize that your South Whidbey congregation, your nonprofit, your garden or birding club, or your youth group could be more welcoming to the BIPOC community if you knew more about white supremacy.

There are hard-working people all over Whidbey Island but not equitable treatment. If we are ever to be an anti-racist community that feels safe and welcoming to all our residents and visitors, we must understand the systems in place which work against achieving racial justice.

Let’s deepen our understanding together 3:30 p.m. April 12. I know that I will learn much from this workshop. I hope to see you on Monday as we gather to create the inclusive community we all yearn for.

You will find the workshop link on the City of Langley website.

• Craig Cyr is a member of the Langley City Council.