FIGHTING AGAINST RACISM WHEN YOU'RE WHITE


Originally posted July 2016.

Today is heavy.

It is hollow.

It is familiar.

It is too damn familiar.

The ache and the anger, devastation, and horror that accompanies it. Perhaps equally awful is the lack of shock anymore.

I can only try to imagine what my black friends and loved ones are feeling.

Imagine a chalkboard with "x days without police killings, but there's never a number other than zero because they just keep happening.

There is hardly time to process each- I want to say 'senseless' but that hardly touches it- brutal, savage, vicious murder, before there's another that is equally horrific.

The victims deserve to have their legacy be more than a hashtag; a name added to a list that is growing longer by the day. And to their friends and families, they absolutely do leave a legacy, though it's one that is cut terribly short.

To much of the rest of the world? They trend. We say their name, until it dulls to a whisper. We sit in disbelief that it's happened again.

And then it happens again.

Racial injustice and police brutality seem insurmountable, but it is a fight that is so necessary. Black lives are not expendable and I will work with everything I have to spread that message until my last breath.

To my white friends- here are a few ideas that I encourage you to employ.


RECOGNIZE PRIVILEGE

This is imperative. If you don't understand white privilege, read up on it. Here is a good place to start. After you've read that, you can read this. Bottom line: privilege exists. It doesn't imply wealth or lack of hardship. White privilege doesn't mean you will never struggle or experience opposition but it does mean you're not facing that opposition systematically because of the color of your skin.

Once you get a good grasp on privilege, it's impossible to not see it. Use that privilege to help.

RECOGNIZE RACISM AND CALL IT OUT

It is not enough to say you're not racist. You must be actively working to recognize bias and work to eliminate it, in yourself and others. Call it out when you see it- on facebook, in the grocery store, at school or work. Call it out every single time.

EDUCATE YOURSELF

There are so many resources available to you. Read. Listen. Watch. Make sure that the information you're obtaining is from a credible source.

LISTEN TO AND AMPLIFY VOICES OF COLOR

People of color do not need white people to speak for them. Step back and listen and then respectfully use whatever capacity you have to amplify what they are saying. We (as white people) are not to lead the way; we are to get other, often ignorant white voices out of the way, be it through educating them when possible or offering a seat. Or ten.

GET INVOLVED

Attend rallies and marches. Call politicians. Film police. Organize anti-racism groups on your own. Find a local BLM chapter. Show up. Speak out (not over). Support.

DON'T EXPECT RECOGNITION

You're fighting the good fight, but if you're in it for a medal, kindly bow out. The work can be exhausting, but do you know what's more exhausting? Living racism every single day. As a white person, you get to choose to notice it. You get to choose to fight against it. Keep your head down and stay at it.



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1 comment:

  1. love this post and I couldn't agree more, once we realize the impact privilege has on our lives and the way we benefit from oppression, we're obligated to stand up and fight for change.

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