I realize I am slow to communicate with you and I’m deeply sorry for this. I want to be clear. I stand with the black community.
I am appalled with what is currently happening in our country on so many levels. But, more importantly, completely disheartened by the rampant racial injustice and systemic racism in our country.
Here’s the detail. If you have white skin, then you have benefited from your skin tone your entire life. People of color have suffered terribly because of a system that allows a white person to benefit, profit, and prosper.
As a white woman, I live in a system of privilege that allows me to move through the world much more easily than others. I live in a system where I don’t have to worry about losing my life if I get pulled over by a police officer. I live in a system that allows me to live in a home wherever I choose. I live in a system that will always give me the benefit of the doubt.
As a white women and people, it is way overdue for us to step up to the plate and do the work that needs to be done. We must unpack our bias (that we don’t even realize we have). We must learn and examine our own white privilege that we have taken for granted. We must change the way we view and respond to race. We must learn to sit quietly and listen to others so we can begin to understand the generations of outrage, anger, and mistreatment. Only then, can we begin to learn and do our part.
George Floyd’s final words were, “I can’t breathe”. He was pleading for the basic human right of breathing and living.
Why was Mr. Floyd killed? Because his skin color is black and because white supremacy felt threatened.
We owe it to the black community to do the essential work of unpacking our internalized prejudices. We need to take action and dismantle the privilege within ourselves and our governments so we can stop inflicting damage on people of color.
Because of this, I have some requests of my white friends in this community.
- Own it. If you are white, this is your time to use your privilege to make a difference.
- Get uncomfortable. This is not easy work and you will feel your feathers get ruffled. That is your white privilege pushing back. Allow yourself to feel uncomfortable.
- Grow. This means allow yourself to feel the resistance, but let that resistance also show you where you need to go.
- Work to actively dismantle racism in your community and your families. Explain, call out, and advocate.
- Read. As Maya Angelou stated, “When you know better, do better.” We must educate ourselves. I’ve included a few books I’ve recently added to my list.
Awareness leads to action, and action can lead to change. But it takes us, the white people, to begin to do right by people of color. The time is now. The only way to stop this is to show our country that this won’t be tolerated. There are consequences.