I’ll be sharing several thoughts today – and the ones in this post are particularly intended for us white folks, though of course the post is welcome for all:
1) being able to say ‘Black Lives Matter’ is a critical step.
2) one next critical step is to be able to say ‘Black Lives Matter’ and then NOT adding ‘BUT’ followed by any statement about riots or nonviolence.
If our responses don’t contribute to empathy, respect, and an understanding that the expression of rage has a historical and present-moment foundation, then it’s better to keep it to ourselves – and keep listening to black folks around us and black media sources so that we keep learning.
We know the black community is not a monolith – but we can let black folks hash out the politics and meaning of the riots without imposing our judgments. We can work on our judgments instead and keep educating ourselves. Finding a black voice that agrees with us does not count as enough.
We have more important work to do than condemning riots (more critical steps), such as . . .
3) check out the advocacy actions assembled by Judy Hand-Truitt. These can be done by people anywhere –
4) It’s a GREAT time (all the time) to materially support black- and other POC- led organizations. I’ve mentioned some already in past posts and will add another post today with more ideas.
6) We can keep listening, keep educating ourselves, keep offering witness and engagement with other white folks who are willing to listen – and keep strategically disrupting the illusion of consensus among our alllivesmatter or nobodyslifereallymattersbutmyown circles of white friends.
Each of us has to figure out how to do that well – and where it’s even possible. We’ll always have to pick our battles, but that fact shouldn’t allow us to abdicate from engagement entirely.
7) Figuring out how to be and act anti-racist is an ongoing, life-long active process. It never ends, but that also means that it offers constant possibility for learning and growth and becoming a better person. It is transformative. It is hard. It is vital. And it is blessing.
May we actively participate in our own transformation and in the transformation of the world around us.
This is the 1st post in a series today – and an ongoing series that can be found under the tag race.