So many white folks are asking “why does this keep happening”. The answer is… because we haven’t done the work of dismantling racism.
I say this with love… you feeling sickened or outraged doesn’t actually help any black people or POC.
We need to show up, stand up and usher in the change (below is a list of things you can do).
In Minneapolis, many arrested for looting, rampaging and vandalism were out-of-state white supremacists that came to town to covertly amp things up in an effort to perpetuate a toxic and harmful narrative about black people, protests and the #blacklivesmatter movement.
Again, we’re blaming black people. White people… this is our fault, this is our fight. We cannot focus on anything other than creating the long overdue change. The white supremacists want you to focus on the negative, and are willing to manufacture as much of it as they can to keep you distracted, and from doing the work of dismantling racism.
Please don’t fall for it. We’ve been falling for it for decades. Let’s do it different this time. Let’s see the change through this time.
Let’s make this the tipping point – the point at which we will be able to look back to and say… Summer of 2020 is when we started aggressively dismantling racism.
Instead of just feeling outraged or sickened, how about we choose to be hopeful, passionate and persistent and we DO THE WORK.
P.S. If you’re upset about the looting of the Target (or any looting ever for that matter), watch this video by Trevor Noah. It will help you understand what’s really going on (why people do it) and what we as a society need to do about it.
Here are some things you could do:
==> Participate in peaceful protests and when possible, stand in front of, in protection of, black people. You are MUCH less likely to suffer any consequences to peacefully protesting. People of color, especially black people, are likely to suffer consequences doing the exact same thing as you (because they are discriminated against, especially by law enforcement). So protest for them, protect them.
==> When you see cops engaging with a person of color, pull out your phone and start filming. If the cops are simply doing their job, great, you can simply move along after the encounter. If anything goes down, your recording could become vital to the case.
==> Talk to your black friends. Ask them how they feel and what you can do to support them. And stand in solidarity for them.
If on blackout Tuesday your feed was filled with black squares from white people announcing that they were going to be quiet, then that was a fail.
How does it amplify black people’s voices for you to mute yourself if you aren’t following a bunch of black people? The point is to fill your feed (and life) with black voices and listen. Follow black artists, activists, brands, businesses, organizations and engage with their posts, tag your friends that you think may like their content, share their posts, share their stories, and if you can buy their products and services.
Get to know them and understand their experience living in America. It’s very different than the experience of white people. And most white people don’t totally understand that.
After 400 years black people now FINALLY have the same legal rights but their experience in how they’re treated by society as a whole is VASTLY different than that of white people.
Listen to them, their experiences and their stories if they wish to share them, BUT don’t put it on them to educate you. It’s not their responsibility to educate you and it’s exhausting for black people to educate privileged white people on the ways racism is embedded into every area of our culture and how that affects them.
Educate yourself. Read books and watch shows that discuss racism and anti-racism.
This week I chose 55 new black voices to follow and support, and encourage you to do the same. Take the #Follow55Challenge challenge on Instagram.
Below are a list of some of black people, brands and organizations I’m following that you could follow too.
==> Educate yourself. My staff and I are currently working through the Courageous Conversations About Race workbook with a trained facilitator. Below is a list of some other books, shows and movies recommend for white people (I’m working through this list).
There’s a great free guide on how to be anti-racists you can download at:
Films & Shows
Dear White People (Netflix)
Mixed-ish (one of my faves), Black-ish & Grown-ish (Hulu Shows)
The Hate You Give (Hulu)
Little Fires Everywhere (book & it’s a great Netflix Series)
American Son (Neflix)
When They See Us (Neflix)
If Beale Street Could Talk (Hulu)
The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution (for rent)
Race Talk and the Conspiracy of Silence
How to Be Anti-Racist
How to Be Less Stupid About Race
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
I’m Still Here, Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness
Waking Up White
The Next American Revolution; Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century
The Bluest Eye
Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria
Killing Rage: Ending Racism
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
Locking Up Our Own
How We Get Free
Follow people and organizations that are educating and advocating, as well as brands and businesses owned by people of color. Here are some that I follow on Instagram (in no particular order):
==> Buy services and goods from black owned businesses. Hire more black people (and interview more black people!) Our goal is to have at least 50% of the people we interview for any position to be a person of color.
==> Donate to groups that are moving the needle. Some of the organizations I donate to: