“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” -Bishop Desmond Tutu
As a follow-up to last week’s blog encouraging us all to be part of the solution to the many problems our country has with institutionalized, systemic racism, I have a special message now for my white brothers and sisters.
Everyone else can read along.
It is my belief that most white people in America think that what happened to George Floyd is wrong and a terrible injustice.
It is also my belief that most white people in America are very pleased to see that the rioting is ending and that they look forward to “things getting back to normal.” And that is a Big Problem.
It is a Big Problem because for African Americans what happened to George Floyd was normal! While it is not as “normal” now that police kill a black person as it may have been seventy years or so ago, it is not that far out of the norm. See this list of many other examples.
We need a New Normal.
Here are some things I think we need to do to create that New Normal.
*Get Educated about Racism. There are tons of suggested readings out there and here are three I mentioned last week: White Fragility, America’s Original Sin, How to Be an Anti-Racist.
*Initiate Dialogue with other White People about Racism. We cannot let our friends and families get away with “this is not my problem” and “let’s just get things back to normal.” Racism is a white problem, created by white people, and it has benefited us. We need to take responsibility to do something about it. Maybe you can start a book club to read some of these books together.
*Examine, Identify and Address Racism in Your Immediate World. Racism almost certainly exists at a systemic level in your world. Invite others to assist. Racist police injustices are just the tip of the iceberg here. It is an important one we need to work on, but there is so much more to racism in our society. We need to examine every aspect of our lives and root racism out of it.
*Have a Sense of Urgency about Racism! Let’s get animated about this and remember that it is going to take stamina. This is a marathon.
It is helps, feel free to forward this and the last blog to others to initiate dialogue and learning and action.
We need to Do Something, White People.