There is a lot of hand wringing about what white people can do to help dismantle white supremacy.
The first is to acknowledge that it is there. Acknowledge that every single decision your average white person makes about where to live, go to school, entertain themselves, date, etc., is affected by race and yet we don’t even acknowledge it, because whiteness is perceived as the default “normal” in our society. (Read this.)(And this.)
I’m just one white copyeditor living in seclusion. Here are some things that your average editor can do to dismantle white supremacy:
Donate some of your hard-earned money to people who are doing work on the ground.
If you’re the (now former) New York Times opinions editor, maybe you should read your fucking controversial opinion pieces before you publish them. And maybe you shouldn’t publish editorials based on race science either. [Total aside: As an Ashkenazi Jew I found the latter article almost as offensive as the former.]
If you’re not the (now former) New York Times opinions editor, you can still do work! If you’re a craft-book editor, perhaps you should not use “flesh colored” to mean pale peachy pink. (I wish I could tell you that I haven’t seen that TWICE in my copyediting career, but I’d be lying.)
You can question if your publication uses only images of white people.
You can question whether your publication is using middle-class as a default. You may not have the power to ultimately make these changes, but you absolutely have the power to make an author think and rethink her assumptions.
You can read your work from a perspective that is different than yours in terms of race, ethnicity, class, religion, disability (pick one!) and see if that changes things. One might be tempted to praise Bon Appetit for addressing racism with an article that says “How to check in with your black friends.” And yet it assumes that the reader of Bon Appetit is white. It does not say “What to cook to take care of yourself as people who look like you and people you love are killed by the police over $20.”
You can think about various problems with having a majority white publishing industry (i.e., racism). You can think about how white supremacy is not just tiki-torch-waving assholes marching down the University of Virginia Lawn. It’s not just Klan members. It’s the fact that default normal is seen as white. It’s the fact that I can waltz into my new publishing job looking the way someone expects a copyeditor to look (white) and a black colleague might be treated with surprise at best. It’s that a black woman and a white woman of similar educations and work experiences have radically different experiences moving through our world.
If you have power in your organization you can hire, promote, and amplify the voices of people of color. If you are a regular Joe Schmo, you can still amplify the voices of people of color.
You can do something. (Another place to start.) What are you going to do?