Advice for Non Black Social Workers of ColorOn December 1, 2019 by Raul Dinwiddie
For non-black clinical social workers,
they have this – there’s a common ground. We have experienced racism, not
in the same way necessarily, but I’ve experienced, this is something, I can use that knowledge, my expertise, the expertise that I have in my experiences of racism to counsel you, to support you, to validate you. I can discern some of the traumas
you might be experiencing in a way. You know, I don’t have to read a
book. It’s okay to read books to figure out how folks are traumatized and how trauma impacts folks. But I don’t have to read a book to understand that racism has traumatized you. It’s also useful to understand the ways in which, as the clinical social worker,
as the non black clinical social worker I have internalized white supremacy and how that would enter into the
therapeutic relationship with a poor black person so that the therapist, the social worker, doesn’t do harm, unintentionally do harm.
And so that they can be as supportive as possible. Latinxes – for a more general audience
I’ll say Latinos, Latinas – Asian-Americans, people indigenous to the Americas, First
Nations people, black folks, experience racism in ways
that are similar but often not the same. It’s important to acknowledge and
understand that, that we cannot among folks of color we cannot simply draw on our experiences, our experience of oppression, to understand someone that doesn’t belong to our racial group. We too have to listen. We have to listen, we
have to study. We’re called to understand. We have to analyze. And all of this will
make us really great at our jobs.