To My White Readers

As a white woman, I have privilege. In this country. In this world. 

As a white person, so do you.

I’ve been aware of that fact for a while now. But the recent events that have rocked the country have made me all the more so.

And I cannot sit by. I cannot allow myself to remain violently silent.

(If you’re exhausted from seeing the George Floyd protests and posts like this one take over your feed, please read through this Instagram post. I was there, too, and am pushing through to the best of my ability. And when rest is necessary, equally necessary is the recognition that being able to separate yourself, even for a couple hours, from what’s going on all over the country is a privilege.)

As white people — and particularly, right now, as white Americans — we have a responsibility to confront our privilege. To sit with it. To feel uncomfortable. To stare it down and force ourselves to keep staring, even when all we want is to turn our heads and run far and fast back to the safety of the norm.

At this moment, in a world scorched by COVID-19 and in a country drowned in riots against the suffocating systematic racism with roots that, for centuries, have wound as deep as the Executive Branch of this nation’s government, being alive is a privilege. Being alive is inherently political. And being an American is inherently political.

No longer can we remain silent. No longer can we quote Martin Luther King, Jr. out of context, without acknowledging his radical ideas. No longer can we concern ourselves with looting rather than loss of life. (Also, consider this take on why police protests turn into riots.) 

No longer can we condemn Black rage as unhelpful, for we must remember that rage is not meant to be helpful. It is meant to be revolutionary.

We have a responsibility to change the norm. To educate ourselves. To confront any white guilt that gnaws at our guts. To bear the brunt of the work and emotional labor that comes with doing so, instead of forcing that labor onto our BIPOC friends yet again. 

We have to stand with them. We have to listen. 

We have to join the movements they create. We have to shop at the businesses they own. We have to listen to the podcasts they record. We have to read the books they publish. We have to amplify their voices, not drown them in our tears. 

We have to go beyond being non-racist. We have to be actively anti-racist.

I cannot sit by. I cannot allow myself to remain violently silent. And I hope you will join me.

George Floyd protests in Washington DC, Lafayette Square. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Resources: (if you have any additional links, please post them in the comments!)

Here is a thorough list of what you, as a white person, can do.

If you don’t understand why the George Floyd protests have taken the route that they have, read through this thorough list of the events that led up to them. 

For a list of books to educate yourself, visit this NYT article

To register for a free, entirely virtual anti-racism training, visit this site BEFORE JUNE 30.

Want to help the front lines of the protests? This site has a list of organizations you can donate to , as well as other ways you can support the movement.  

And here is one final HuffPost article that’s worth a read, because this list can’t go on forever.  

Be safe. Be active. Be on the right side of history.

Cover photo by Rahul from Pexels

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