Hello fellow white people,
I get that we are all trying to understand what is happening. I think it's important to remember that we will never fully understand. I can not understand what is is like for someone to judge me for the color of my skin. I used to think I could, when I was young and ignorant. I thought, "I have no privilege, I grew up poor and had too many struggles to have a privilege." Oh yeah, I was that white person. Thinking that because people judged me for being poor that I understood the struggles of black Americans.
I begun to see more and more POC being murdered for things that I do everyday. Play with toys, go on a jog, and write a check are all things I do without thinking twice about it. I've since learned that privilege isn't about me having anything extra in life, it's about me not having something-fear. I don't have the fear of being murdered for speeding, of not getting a promotion because I "don't fit what they are looking for," of people leaving an elevator because I make them uncomfortable. I want to apologize for taking so long to recognize this privilege. It wasn't until college that I started to educate myself and change my views. I have inherent advantages based on the color of my skin because we live in a world with racial inequality and injustice.
So I decided to educate myself by reading books and having those uncomfortable conversations with my friends. These conversations are hard and uncomfortable but that's how change happens. Now I am very proud to say I fight with my brothers and sisters of color and I stand up for them...here are six ways I have been doing this...
1.Surround myself with racially diverse people
Not only within your friend group but you can mentor a young POC. I started Big Brothers Big Sisters and my little was a black american. She spoke to me often about being bullied and I saw more of the injustices. I
2.Insist on Diversity
When your company is hiring and you look around and see only older white men, SHOUT that you need diversity. That a company cannot represent a community if they dont allow voices from everyone.
Make signs. Bring water. Bring snacks. And shout with them for equality and accountability.
4.Call your representatives and ask for change
Call your senators and leave a voicemail demanding change. It's quick and easy. They often dont answer so if you are phone shy ~like me~ dont worry! Say these demands
Ending broken window policing which can turn minor violations into deadly situations.
Improving training, including: anti-racism, implicit bias, mental illness, age-appropriate responses,and cultural competency
Accountability for independent investigations by the community
Improving use of force policies
5.Email Police departments and DEMAND they charge police officers involved
It's so easy to google the email address of police departments and send in a complaint along with a demand. i
6.Donate to the cause
*image from getty images