Black Lives Matter
The lives of my friends and fellow humans are more important than anything else in the world, so it’s important to educate myself (and hopefully others) about how to become antiracist and take action to change systems.
This note is a collection of Black voices with occasional thoughts of my own. We must confront ourselves. It’s as simple as that.
One thing I haven’t been able to stop thinking about since first waking up in 2014: The land of the free is such a lie.
We all need to become comfortable owning and learning from our internalized racism, which includes taking responsibility for any racist actions and rhetoric. We each need to admit when we are being racist and then put in the work to understand and dismantle our racist ideologies and tendencies.
If you are not invested in decentralizing whiteness in positions of privilege and dominance, then you are not helping. Racism is white supremacy, and unless you’re working to eliminate the white power structures in your workplace, government, education, health care, entertainment, nonprofit, tech and corporate structures, you aren’t doing anything.
This one was shot in his grandmother’s yard. This one was carrying a bag of Skittles. This one was playing with a toy gun in front of a gazebo. Black girl in bright bikini. Black boy holding cell phone. This one danced like a marionette as he was shot down in a Chicago intersection. The words, the names: Trayvon, Laquan, bikini, gazebo, loosies, Skittles, two seconds, I can’t breathe, traffic stop, dashboard cam, sixteen times. His dead body lay in the street in the August heat for four hours.
An ally will mostly engage in activism by standing with an individual or group in a marginalized community. An accomplice will focus more on dismantling the structures that oppress that individual or group—and such work will be directed by the stakeholders in the marginalized group.
Just do the work because it’s the right thing to do — and understand that it will never be enough. This is selfless work that requires you to humble yourself and forever take responsibility for the role you’ve played (and may still unconsciously play) in allowing racism to persist. Allow that guilt to motivate you to never want to stay silent again, and accept that you’re not doing this just for your reputation, brand and/or public image — but because you owe it to humanity.
<blockquote class="quoteback" data-title="Perspective | White people learn about Juneteenth, celebrated by millions of black Americans every year" data-author="@WashingtonPost" cite="https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/white-people-learn-about-juneteenth-celebrated-by-millions-of-black-americans-every-year/2020/06/18/d66c3fe8-b160-11ea-8758-bfd1d045525a_story.html">
It’s one of the foundations for the division and ignorance tearing at America today — the white history curriculum masquerading as American history — no matter how well-meaning, woke or supportive we think we are.