This is a great model for sparking conversations and awareness. When I first saw the pyramid, my inner prickles went off..... what did that mean? I wasn't sure although I knew that I needed to examine them. For the past 6 months or more, I have returned to the model and my notes. I noted my own experience working with women in white skin who were committed to change, what I saw, what I felt, and my prickling thoughts. Finally, all that inner consideration came together in a letter that I sent to the creator of the model.
What I suggest is that comments post as an individual's idea, insight, experience, or opinion. On this site, we will use "deep listening" which means that each comment is a stand-alone with no add ons, no trying to fix, no debates.
We want to "hear" the differences. Any further discussions could happen in other places.
This is my response regarding the White Supremacy Pyramid to its creator Professor Erin Stutelberg
Here is that letter:
March 23, 2019
Dear Professor Erin Stutelberg
I am writing to share thoughts that have emerged when looking at the pyramid you created. I have read how that pyramid came to be. That you didn’t want your students to only associate racism with groups like the Ku Klux Klan. I assume that it has made individuals aware of the many faces of ‘racism’.
I am a 77 year old woman of European, Scandinavian heritage. My skin is a shade of “white”.
I have worked as a teacher, personal coach, mentor for 30 years. Most of that time my students and clients have been women with white skin who wanted more out of life; to move through pain and sabotage, heal family wounds, identify unconscious patterns of limit, in order to contribute to their world in meaningful ways.
During those years, I have been aware of the historic impact that agendas of domination, control, and usury have had on females. Crushing the female in order to entrap and diminish her power has enabled such agendas to continue. I identified what I was discovering in my client’s is the “Stepford Wife” mentality. My students and clients had to face a shut down of their voices and passions that happened unconsciously. In tracing this with my tools, over and over again I discovered inherited genetic trauma. These experiences were from so far back in time for my clients that they had no family stories nor certainly no conscious memory of the events.
My goal for those who came to me was to encourage them to wake up to even subtle hints of self-sabatoge or harmful reactions. Inherited survival patterns are so automatic and normalized. Becoming aware was only a small part. It was important that they gather processes and tools to use in order to end the patterns and expand their capacity. Working in that model, the valuable presence of diversity is apparent. The pieces, i.e. tools and process, are not held in one place, with one teacher, organization or religion. The diversity provides the richness of gifts that can come together to bring solutions that benefit all and create new cultures.
When I look at your pyramid I see the results of the ancient systematic targeting of a segment of humans, those of white heritage. It shows the various ways domination tactics scarred with the resulting dogma, reactions, and survival patterns. I see aspects of “Stepford wives” in the lower bricks.
What I find non-productive in the pyramid is that there is no way out. One’s skin color assures you are a “racist”. I provides a model of behaviors from genetic woundings for those of white heritage and those behaviors labeled. Rather than pointing out that Domination in any form has left genetic scars on humanity a harmful unconscious thoughts and actions. Bringing awareness in order that I can take responsibility and re-frame/heal would cause solutions. Instead, I am told that I am a “racist”. Without ways to acknowledge steps taken to contribute to my world from a new place of insight, this model leads to “white fragility”. Too painful to hear because I am in a white body and as long as I live, no matter the way I live my life, contribute to society, this model says that I am a “racist”. Along with the benefit of waking individuals up, there is such danger here. What I have seen and experienced over the years is that once you place a label on yourself or an other, that is how others see you. There is no change possible. What I have said to my students is applicable here. “I have experienced the power of labeling. Once you have attached a label.to yourself or another, you have assured that you and the other are "locked".
“Don't attach labels from past. Instead use labels of the best you can call forth.”
What I am extremely curious to see is the pyramids that would outline the impact of the Domination, Control, Usury cultures on other human segments; i.e. African, First Nation, Females, Children, etc. In that way humanity could wake up to see that it is Domination, in any form, that destroys and is the common “enemy”. Instead of expecting change to come from the “other”, every individuals could take back the power to discern the motivation behind policy, proposals, request, etc. whether their own or another’s. They could exercise their ability to say “no” to Domination. We need to heal our own patterns, encourage and support healing in those around us, to come together with commitment to create new cultures, and to strongly say “not acceptable” to any form of Domination, Control, Usury, or concepts that keep them as “normalized”.
When I ask myself the questions, “What impact has Domination had on me as a white women?” And, “What Domination trauma have I inherited that plays out in my life today?”, that change happens. In that way, we will find solutions, a way out of the patterns whether chosen or inherited.
White Supremacy, Patriarchy, Pernicious Capitalism, Political discounting, Rape culture are some of the forms that Domination, Control, and Usury agendas create. The problem is so vast that to not see the deeper cause perpetuates the problem. Creating a mentality of blame of other human beings may feel good in the moment, and will only expand the problem.
This pyramid could be one of several. Seeing the common “enemy” unites humanity in finding solutions. I wonder if it is time to expand its capacity by bringing those pyramids together to awaken and teach.
Holding Collaborative Space in order to create long-lasting solutions,
Sharon Riegie Maynard
Sharon Riegie Maynard
After Forty years of working within the worlds we call Spiritual and with Beings of the Highest Integrity, I am honored to share my path to spark and empower your own.