“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”– Desmond Tutu
I do my best not to stay silent on matters of great importance. Now is no exception. We are literally facing humanity versus racism… right versus wrong,
As you read this, I’d like to remind you The Boston Tea Party, of the Jim Crow south, of Colin Kaepernick. I strongly believe that while all lives matter, however, all lives can’t matter until black lives matter to everyone. This is what a truly equitable society is.
Now, back to the point… We are in an election year. We have a president who has failed to protect the nation’s people from a global pandemic that has left over 100,000 of our country’s people dead. A President who stokes the flames of racism and supports white supremacy by calling Neo-Nazis “very good people”. This email is NOT about his inadequacies as a human-being, a man, or a leader… if I started on that, well, I’d be writing a Harry Potter-sized series for you (trans lives matter, black trans lives matter, JKR)! This is about BLACK LIVES. This is about black people. Too many black lives taken at the hands of rogue police officers and hateful bigots. Our country is balancing precariously at a precipice of choice: to be the right side of humanity or on the wrong side of history.
Today there is a right side of history. The human side. The ANTI-racist side. I am choosing to be on the human side. Most importantly, I’m choosing to be on the side of Black Lives Matter because Black people matter and until we acknowledge the inequities and FIX them, we can not move forward.
“I don’t know how to explain to you why you should care about other people.”– Lauren Morrill
I’m human. I’m white. I’m inevitably going to mess up while discussing race. I am checking my privilege trying to diligently unlearn my biases. I am challenging my brain daily, staying in my discomfort and sharing my thoughts, trying hard to NOT be silent. These uncomfortable feelings are key. Join me in the unsure, pledge to be ANTI-RACIST. This means you have to combat racism, even if it means fighting your own biases. This is peak uncomfortable. It means facing thoughts, habits hidden deep in ourselves with the will to change them. Now we must have the difficult conversations with our family members, children, peers, communities, and social circles. We must use our platforms, be they 300 or 300-million, to share resources and amplify the voices of marginalized communities… This is why I’m sharing my wishes for all of us to care, before a list of resources.
Here is my list:
1. The first thing we need to do is to listen.
2. The second thing is to learn.
3. Then allow yourself to be uncomfortable to grow.
4. Then go make change. Amplify voices, call in, call out, call reps, email, sign petitions, write, make art, show up, protest, and do the work.
“It’s the system, and our complacency in that system, that gives racism its power, not individual intent.”― Ijeoma Oluo
Listening, reading, watching, and not relying on our friends or acquaintances of color to educate us is very important. We need to take the burden off of them and educate ourselves so we can be better allies. I’ve compiled a list of resources if you want to get started on how to help both physically and financially. If you are out in the crowds protesting right now, be safe and protect people of color by being a good ally and protecting others by wearing your face mask because we’re still in a pandemic.
What side of history will you choose to be on?
I CHOOSE THE HUMAN SIDE.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP?
- DONATE via ACT BLUE: Support these 37 Community Bail Funds Today
- A PLACE TO START, WITH MANY LINKS: Anti-Racism Google Doc
- RESOURCES: A continuously updating list of ways to help the Black Lives Matter movement from showing up, to calling, to donating, to helping small businesses
- WATCH: 13th, a documentary by Ava DuVernay
- READ: This Book is Anti-Racist by Tiffany Jewell and illustrated by Aurelia Durand
- READ: It looks like Amy Cooper, the white woman in the viral Central Park video, is a liberal. That’s important
- READ: Police Erupt in Nationwide Violence
- READ: 13 Moments from the George Floyd Protests that were Peaceful and Powerful
- READ: Minneapolis Police Officer at the Central of George Floyds Death Had a History of Violence
- WATCH: Police Accountability with John Oliver
- WATCH: Cornel West on Anderson Cooper explaining the anger
- WATCH: Clip of Jane Elliot asking audience questions
- FOLLOW & LEARN FROM: The Conscious Kid
- READ: We Need Diverse Books
There are so many resources updating daily.
Listen, learn, be an ally, and when you find a good resource: share it online or to people you know. You never know if your voice could be the voice to help others use theirs.
Register to Vote
The very literal 100% best way to get any action or progress in this country is to vote.
Are you registered and ready to vote Democrat this year? You can get a mail in ballot so you don’t have to worry about COVID-19.
Register to vote at VOTE.ORG.