I can’t tell you how many times I have rewritten this post.
I’ve been hesitant to share out of fear that I’d say the “wrong” thing, unintentionally offending my Black brothers and sisters out of ignorance about systemic racism and my role as a White woman in sustaining it.
So even though I’m still learning, and unlearning, as fast as I can read, watch and listen, and will most likely stumble for some time to come, there is one thing in which I’m certain.
I’m deeply sorry that I’ve been silent.
I have no excuse for ignorantly thinking that racism wasn’t my problem since it didn’t affect my everyday life. And until George Floyd’s murder, I would have never said that I was racist as I do my best to love and respect everyone. Now I realize that my silence and indifference said otherwise.
On a spiritual level, I’ve always believed that what affects one of us, affects all of us. That we are ALL connected. I haven’t been living this fundamental truth, and it’s about time I did.
I apologize from the depth of my being that it took the murder of so many innocent Black lives and protests across the country, to finally wake up to the injustice and abuse happening everyday to POC in America, and how our collective White silence and apathy has perpetuated systemic racism for hundreds of years.
I recognize that words, empathy and education are not enough. They must be paired with action, and I’m praying daily for the most meaningful way to support the anti-racism movement.
Until I’m clearer about my next steps, here is what I’m committed to doing in the short term:
- Read every book and post about racism that appears to jump onto my path. My reading list is growing daily, and includes “How to be an Anti-Racist”, “Why are all the black kids sitting together in the cafeteria?”, “White Fragility”, and “Talking to Strangers”.
- Engage in uncomfortable conversations with my husband, friends and community about our White privilege and how we can speak up and take meaningful action for what we know is right.
- Take an active part in local elections, not just the national one. Voting for the mayor, police chief, judges and district attorney are suddenly critical, rather than my previous focus on the president (also critical).
- Donate to groups that support grassroots change to end systemic racism and support POC.
- Sign petitions and make phone calls to demand justice for the murders of Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade and many others.
- Take “The Great Unlearn” online course by @rachel.cargle to learn the truth about the origin of racism, and how I can be a MUCH better POC Ally.
- Seek out and buy from POC businesses, including artists.
- Have other suggestions? I’m totally open. PLEASE share.
This is just the beginning of my journey to make amends, and it will not end when the protests go silent and the press moves onto other issues. I’m in this for the long haul, and committed to learning, unlearning, listening, and finding effective ways to bring about change through action, to stand in solidarity and love with People of Color.
I hope that you will join me.
The artwork in this post, titled “Now is the time”, is a work in process, just like me.