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***See below for a complete topic breakdown.***
Can Psychedelics Help To Dismantle Racism and White Supremacy?
There is certainly evidence, thanks to research done by Monica Williams and Alan Davis, that a single psychedelic experience can lessen the trauma of racial injustice.
But healing trauma and transforming deeply engrained patterns of perceptions at a societal level are two totally different things… aren’t they? Maybe not.
According to our guest today, Akua Ofosuhene, they are linked, and one must precede the other. She believes that, when used with the intention to do so, psychedelics can help to dismantle the personal psychological roots of racism and white supremacy on all sides of the racial divide.
Akua Ofosuhene is a speaker, radio host, filmmaker, psychedelic designer, and a co-founder of Hub and Culture an African and Caribbean cooperative lifestyle shop and event space in Peckham.
Akua has produced, directed, and shot documentary films in Europe and West Africa, including the commemoration of the life of filmmaker Ousmane Sembene for Aljazeera TV. She directed ‘Keep Her’ a short drama that won the 2nd best newcomer award at the Images of Black Women Film Festival. She also created the Film London-funded ‘Closing the Gap’ project which takes positive films about African life into UK schools.
After a few years making corporate and community documentaries, she produced, directed, and shot Yaa Asantewaa & the Golden Stool documentary – a story of the Asante / Ashanti warrior queen Yaa Asantewaa I and the last war between the Asante and the British in 1900. During the making of the documentary, she came across Shaman Anokye, the co-creator of the Asante / Ashanti peoples. This was the start of Akua’s interest in Shamanism, plant medicines, and psychedelics.
Having discovered the profound potential of helping through psychedelics in her own life, Akua has since become a vocal advocate of individual therapeutic uses of psychedelics to combat depression, illness, and white supremacy racism, which is what she is on the show to talk about today.
During this interview, Akua talks about her own journey of using psychedelic to regain her personal power by dismantling the “racist within” herself and healing the trauma of the racial injustices she has endured. She shares the value she sees in white people doing something similar and learning to reject the term whiteness as an identity construct in the process.
We talk about how racism is sewn into the very foundation of our present system of global capitalism and how that racism expresses itself in the identity of both white people and people of colour.
We also talk quite a bit about how the dismantling of racism is actively harmed by the politics of outrage being carried into our personal relationships, and how getting beyond racism as a society can only truly come about in a cultural context based on the sacredness of the individual.
These are complex topics with a wide diversity of opinions around them. If you would like to share your thoughts on this episode and engage others doing the same, please head to the ATTMindPodcast subreddit to do so.
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- Why it serves us to talk about racism with less trigger charge between us
- How racism is at the foundation of capitalism
- How colonialism creates the problems colonialism presents itself as being the solution to
- How racism expresses the identity of both white people and black/brown people
- Using psychedelics to dismantle and reject the title of ‘white’ in “white” people
- The possibility of redemption requires a culture that allows for mistakes to be learned from and relationships that encourage that
- The profound complexity of this process, and the importance of doing the personal healing work first
- The importance of going beyond personal work
- How we come together on social issues is important
- Akua’s journey of Using Psychedelics To Dismantle Racism
- Dismantling the “racist within” herself through psychedelic use
- Narrative warfare, polarization, and being conditioned into a constant threat response
- Using psychedelics to heal ourselves from feeling constant threat empowers us to create positive change
- Psychedelics can help to heal polarized divisions, but not by default. It has to be a choice
Going beyond race
- What it looks like to dismantle the racist within, both as a white person and as a person of color
- Recognize even difficult, or seemingly self-limiting, transitions towards positive social change are steps towards that change
- We are so much more than we currently believe ourselves to be
- What does it look like to actively stand up to racist institutions as a person of color?
- Summarizing the conversation so far
- Do protests actually create change?
- Why Akua is skeptical of aligning with BLM as a response to racism
- What does it look like to actively stand up to racist institutions as a white person
Check out Akua’s radio show on Facebook Live
Watch Akua’s Lecture from Breaking Convention 2019
‘Can psychedelics change our racist world order?‘