This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you click and/or make a purchase, I may earn a few cents at no additional cost to you. Any products gifted by a brand will be marked "c/o." Thanks for helping make this blog possible! <3
Lately, I’ve been trying to listen more. When I first became more “in tune” with social justice issues I was very LOUD. Always yelling (figuratively) about what was going on in the world, organizing protests at Texas A&M, etc. I thought that was what I should be doing. And I don’t think there’s anything *wrong* with that, it was part of my process. But now I’m trying to talk less. I try to amplify voices of Black and Brown people and let them tell their own story. I’m trying to make it less about me.
There’s a balance though, right? And I’m trying to find that. To speak out and be an ally, but not speak over Black and Brown people. To not be silent, but also to not seem performative. To educate white people, but not speak out of turn when others should have the floor. That being said, today I’m speaking out.
With the deaths of George Floyd (suffocated while in police custody), Breyona Taylor (murdered by police during a raid….they were in the wrong house), and Ahmaud Arbery (gunned down by two white men who were FINALLY arrested three months later) in the news, I’ve seen lots of white folks say “I don’t understand.” And honestly….I’ve had enough of that. If you are a grown adult, and your response to this is “I don’t understand” then it’s time for you to do the work to understand.
Please, please stop expecting Black people to do the work to help you understand. There are MANY resources out there to help you understand, but today I’m giving you the short version. It’s white supremacy. It’s white privilege. That is why you don’t understand. Because if you are white this COULD NOT happen to you. Not like this. You don’t understand because you won’t have to teach your child how to de-escalate a police situation and MAYBE avoid an unnecessary death. You don’t understand because you can walk freely in your neighborhood and no one looks twice at you.
STOP saying you don’t understand because now you see it, so it’s time to get to work.
Some resources to get you started:
- White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack
- 75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice
- Rachel Cargle’s Racial Justice Research Document
I don’t want to overwhelm you with resources, so just start there. Then do some more work and find more resources. Read, learn, follow Black activists and share their work. Pay for their work when you can. Talk to other white people about what you’ve learned. This is by FAR the hardest part of this process, but it’s the most important step.
White supremacy is OUR problem to fix, white people. So let’s fix it because every death is another one on our hands.