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Calling In Versus Calling Out

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Calling In versus Calling Out

Beloveds, shame is not an effective teacher. When folks mess up and do the wrong thing, “call-out” culture demonizes and “others.” I like “call-in” culture because it teaches and focuses on your soul. It says, “I know you can do better.” The soul is fluid and flexible. It can be taught new ways of being.

“Call-in” culture is the very DNA of African cultural and spiritual practices. It supports a collective way of being in the world. If I do not care for you or our relationship, I will not inform you that you stepped on my toes. It is relational. It takes time. It takes centering the relationship to be worthy of investing the time to course-correct and heal it. It recognizes that you are a sacred being and a misstep does not require your dehumanization.

“Call-out” culture objectifies you and treats you as the sum total of your wrong actions. It does not account for the fact that you are a complex and nuanced being and that you will not get it right 100% of the time. It is shame-based. Call-out leaves you out there, alone, ashamed, and in isolation from community that will build you up and draws you back to who you really are. Shame is not a teacher.

I see so many people using “call-out” culture as a tool to get folks to act right. Often, you will find that this person was taught via “call-out” culture. They were called out. And it is the one tool that they know how to use.

We need more tools in our toolboxes.

Too often, I see people talk about “not coddling white people” and they think “call out” methodology is what is required to dismantle racism. Yes, we must name things but we can name and not coddle. We can name and not “call-out.” We can name and powerfully hope and point in the right direction.”

Did I say “Shame is not a teacher?”

Learn from giants.

Chanequa Walker-Barnes was such a balm and a breath of fresh air on this podcast. I appreciate her scholarliness, maturity, and profound wisdom in calling Lecrae in and not out. This is how it is done. 

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