Reflecting on George Floyd, police brutality here in America and anti-racism steps I’m taking to be a better ally to my neighbors of color.
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.
My heart is very heavy at the moment and today I wanted to take a time out. One week ago today, George Floyd lost his life at the hands (or knee, rather) of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. This is an unspeakable tragedy that has brought to light the large-scale racism that exists within the United States. In 2020.
As someone who was born white, I’ve always felt I can never understand the injustice a person of color faces in their everyday lives. After watching events unfold here in America over the last 7 days, I see that while I cannot ever truly understand – it is more important than ever to take a stand against racism and support my black neighbors. We are members of the same community, citizens of the same country and they are every bit as deserving of the freedoms afforded to those born with white skin.
I also recognize that while I’ve always been accepting of all walks of life, having a kind heart is not enough. I need to actively make anti-racism part of my everyday life and that includes:
- Confronting racism when I see it
- Examining my own white privilege
- Defending those who face prejudice because of their skin color
- Better educating myself on racial issues as well as white supremacy
- Voting for candidates at all level of government that support minority communities as well as advocate for equality and criminal justice reform
- Listening to the voices who so often go unheard or ignored.
Over the weekend, I made a couple of donations to organizations who are standing up in defense of black people in this country and the brutality they face from the police. These will not be one-time donations. I will continue to do so on a monthly basis moving forward.
Additionally, I will be donating 100% of commission from affiliate links on Dream in Lace in June to the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund.
I realize this is a rather different post for me to be sharing, but I wanted to be honest with you. I’m at a place where I’m examining a lot about myself and the world around me. I’ll never be able to fully understand what life is like with a skin color that prompts discrimination, hatred and violence. But, I am committed to educating myself and making anti-racism an active part of my life. There is certainly a lot of work to be done to overcome centuries of racism in America and around the globe.
To be a better ally to my neighbors of color, I’m starting with myself.
Below are some titles I’ll be turning to in the weeks ahead. As I’m early on in my research, any additional recommendations you have are welcome.
Books I’m Going to Read
- They Can’t Kill Us All by Wesley Lowery (Started this last night!)
- Beloved by Toni Morrison
- Have Black Lives Ever Mattered? by Mumia Abu-Jamal
- Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad
- White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
- I’m Still Here: Black Dignity In a World of Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown
- The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
Documentaries I’m Going to Watch:
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