Jordan: It feels weird to write a blog post about cake right now.
Kitra: I don’t remember much about this cake, or why we made it. It was good, but not important in any scheme of things, honestly.
We made this cake a week and a half ago but were both too tired/bleh to actually write up, so we were going to wait a day or two until we had less malaise going on. BOY WAS THAT A MISTAKE.
Things that are more important than this cake: *gestures wildly at everything*
That was going to be a list but honestly, that covers a lot of it. Which is not to say that this cake is bad! It’s actually quite a good cake! But I don’t think there are any cakes that are as important as… *gestures wildly at everything*
We’ve talked before about baking during a major cultural “JESUS FUCK ARE WE GOING TO HAVE TO EXPLAIN THAT PEOPLE ARE PEOPLE EVEN IF THEY AREN’T A KAVANAUGH” moment.
But that felt different in a lot of ways. Looking back at that post, it was actually… very funny? But that doesn’t feel appropriate here. And I think that’s because as two very very white* women, this isn’t our moment to laugh-cry about. This is our moment to shut up and listen and do what we can to help, not our moment to write swear words on cake and avoid the news by taking Buzzfeed quizzes.
* 2% milk white, to be specific. At least that’s what the quizzes said last time.
We’re going to give you this cake recipe, because this is a cake blog and (in the wise words of Deb Perelman) no one’s mind ever got changed by the headnotes of a sheet cake. But look, babynames dot freaking com is in on this. If we can contribute to making awareness of racial justice even 1% harder to ignore, we want to do that. So we’re also going to give you this very incomplete list of things that (particularly if you are a white person) you can and should look into before, after, and while baking said cake:
- Does your state have cash bail? Donate to a bail fund. (DC doesn’t, but here are other ways to help, and most activists recommend legal defense funds as a good alternative.)
- Have conversations with the people in your life who consider themselves to be progressive but also don’t think that they’re privileged because their lives are hard too. (Here’s a good starter essay.)
- Bookmark this and come back to it regularly: 75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice.
- Advocate at your workplace for better policies and communication around race and diversity.
- Take a hard look at how much of your media—including your recipes—comes from people of color, and work on improving that.
- Learn about the racist history of policing in America and what “defund the police” actually means.
- Get involved in your local politics. How does your city government work? DC has hyperlocal representatives that you can get in touch with. (Jordan hopped on her local ANC Zoom call last week! It was super helpful!)
- Donate to mutual aid funds, which provide direct support to your neighbors. If you live in a city, you can probably google “(city) mutual aid” and come up with a list or a Facebook group or something; here’s DC’s.
- Think about the things that you love, and who gets to make and participate in them. If that’s food, great! Start there.
- If you are also a white lady and want to elevate and support voices that aren’t your own, listen to this advice and sub your job in for “cookbooks.”
- If the thing you love is theater (like Kitra), check out weseeyouwat.com and also find some new favorite artists.
- Listen to the people of color around you! And then actually use what you hear. That’s where we always seem to get stuck, as individuals and as a society. We say “ah yes, that’s a really good point” and then go back to doing things exactly the same way we used to. That has to stop.
That’s just what we pulled off the top of our heads/browser histories, but there is so much more. These are specific to our location and interests and news outlets; if you do your own research, you might find things that resonate more with you.
You’re going to need some fuel to do all that reading, and something to stress eat, and if I can make a recommendation: Cake.Read More