Over the past couple weeks, I’ve been learning so much, and so fast. Things that I’ve been asking myself, “Why am I just learning this now?”
And the answer to that sort of explains it all – because we live in a country built on racism, slavery, and colonizing. The systems, culture, and white privilege in place are here to support our (white people’s) ignorance. We have to actively and consciously choose to become aware.
The tragic murder of George Floyd, David McAtee, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, over the past weeks and months deserves more than our attention. They deserve our outrage, our compassion, and our action. As do the countless other tragic deaths over the past years due to racism.
The time is up. We all need to look within and hold ourselves accountable for our part.
Van Jones said this in a recent CNN interview: “There is a personal and spiritual accounting that all of us are now called to.”
This is not something to brush under the rug, or wait until it “blows over”.
This is not a separate issue from white people. This is a human issue, in the form of a race issue. In the past I’ve made the mistake of feeling somewhat separate from the issue, not that I didn’t care, but that because it was about race, it just felt a little separate from me. But it’s not.
This is the beginning of what can be a revolutionary change. A complete destruction of the systems in which racism was built upon, both within ourselves that may remain unconsciously or consciously, as well as within our country and the world.
There’s no perfect way to speak up about this, or do you part. From what I’m learning it’s about the following things:
- Educating yourself
- Taking an honest look within yourself
- Speaking up and having conversations
- Making a donation
- Sharing about this on the internet in whatever way works for you
- Signing petitions
- Protesting peacefully
It may seem like the “little” you do won’t make a difference, but it does. If we all just did one tiny thing each day, that can sum up to a tidal wave of change.
Here are some of the teachers that I’m looking to right now, and posts that have been helpful:
Rachel Cargle, especially her Public Address on Revolution.
This post, that describes the black experience of living in fear.
“This is a professor, who has the tools to articulate how this encounter affected him. He also has the age and wisdom that allowed for him to maintain his composure and not lose his life. Now, imagine a YOUNG Black person, who is not equip with either.”
And this Van Jones interview with Conan Obrien was also helpful:
I had a hard time narrowing down the resources I wanted to share with you today, so instead, I’ll share a couple lists that compile many resources – including where to donate, how to answer questions like, “How can I be a good ally?” and specific actions you can take.
Be a Good Ally to People of Color – Important Posts, Videos, and Resources on white Privilege and Racism compiled by Esther de Charon de Saint Germain
Hopefully you’re inundated with resources right now. Normally, I think information overload is unnecessary and overwhelming, and can disconnect us from our truth. But in this case, it’s the opposite. It has the ability to connect us with our truth, and understand the truth of the black experience, so that we can do better.
We must do better.
It’s a lot to process, but we will. We will process it. And the choice you get to make is if you’re willing to be uncomfortable now, to feel your feelings, and look within, to grow and learn and change in the name of humanity, in order to be part of a radical change that’s possible… In the meantime, yes, it may be messy, confusing, and difficult. But it pails in comparison to what our sisters and brothers of color have been going through for hundreds of years.
I understand that this isn’t easy. What we’re going through on top of what we’re going through… clearly massive change is being asked of us. And that can bring up all sorts of things within us. Change can be scary, but it is necessary for growth. One thing I know for sure – we’re all stronger than we realize.
Let’s listen, learn, and take action. And for anyone of melanated skin reading this, I’m standing with you, and commit to being an active ally from this point forward, doing my best to learn, to listen, and to demand wellness and life for the POC community.