Are you outraged yet? White Privilege & Anti-Racism.
Are you outraged yet?
Saddened or sickened for the families of black people unnecessarily slain in the streets in America?
Surprised by the fact that armed white men stormed a government building to protest shutdowns due to Coronavirus — and nothing happened — whereas protestors in Minneapolis were subject to tear gas for speaking out against the killing of George Floyd?
Racism is alive and well in our country. And some of our most visible leaders have emboldened people to act on that racism.
White supremacy is alive and well in our country. And some of our most visible leaders have emboldened people to act on those feelings — conscious or unconscious — more readily.
White privilege exists here too. And no, it doesn’t mean your life has been easy or lacking challenge — it means your challenges and adversity don't have to do with the color of your skin. It means that assumptions about your intent — for example, why you’re present in a certain neighborhood, why you’re driving down a certain street — aren’t automatically negative.
This isn’t new. There is a large, far-reaching body of research and literature that focuses on prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination. As humans, we naturally categorize people into groups (based on visible characteristics such as skin color, assumed sex, perceived age, etc.) — we can’t necessarily stop this cognitive process, but we can disrupt it. We can better understand it. And, importantly, we can question it and adapt.
Social media and smart phones have brought these issues to the forefront in ways that weren’t possible before — watch some of the video footage or read about what happened to: George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, or Breonna Taylor. These are a few names of many.
Black people are 3x more likely to be killed by police than white people and that statistic gets higher depending on where you live.
We must educate ourselves, our families, and our communities. Simply acknowledging that racism exists is not enough. Good intentions aren’t enough. And yes, it is HELLA uncomfortable to admit you’re privileged because of your skin color. To admit you may be biased against people of color.
Problems aren’t solved by ignoring them. Problems are solving by naming them. Understanding them. Taking actions to resolve them.
Getting incredibly uncomfortable is the POINT. Without that, change won’t happen.
There are a myriad of resources -- here are some:
As Ibram X. Kendi says: the opposite of “racist" isn’t "not racist.” We must be ANTI-racist. And, his book and speaking on the topic helps us understand how to do this.
There’s a great Q&A here that provides insight into what it means to be a white ally — it aptly notes that we can’t ever truly “get it” but we can be allies nonetheless:
Rachel Cargle started “The Great Unlearn” where we can unlearn the unconscious and damaging biases that guide our behavior.
Layla Saad has several books and resources on white supremacy.
Here is a laundry list of anti-racism resources for white people.
There’s no shortage of ways to learn and do the work. There’s also no shortage of actions to take — small to large.
Ask the tough questions. Create conversation at your dinner table or with your friend group. Acknowledge your privileges and truly consider what it might be like to walk (or jog, drive, or shop, etc.) in someone else’s shoes. Talk about how diversity is promoted, considered, and honored in your workplace. Be curious about others’ experiences. Consider how your community should address this topic and take actions in that direction.
Enough is enough.
What will you do?