These past few weeks have been heavy on the world but also very eye-opening. As news surfaced about the killing of George Floyd by cops in Minneapolis, a white woman wrongly calling the police on Christian Cooper in New York, Breonna Taylor and David McAtee being fatally shot by cops in Louisville, and Regis Korchinski-Paquet being killed by cops in Toronto, white people have started to really wake-up to the fact that racism is alive and well in the world, something black people and other races have never had the chance of forgetting.
People around the world have spoken up about racism and how we, especially as white, privileged people, need to do and be better at being anti-racist and allies to the black community. This is taking place on social media, talking to their friends and family, by protesting, by looking inwards at themselves and more.
But what will come of all of this? Will there be real, tangible change? Will we still speak up when this has all died down? Will we continue to listen and learn when it's no longer "trendy"? Time will tell but we can do so much to make tangible change.
I truly believe that if we have any chance at really changing the way in which we think, feel, talk & believe about other races, we need to look internally. We need to assess ourselves. Understand what things we think and believe that we may not be currently aware of. We need to unpack the years of racism that has been embedded into our society, culture, education, media (and more) so stealthily that we don't even know it's there. Unpack the blatantly obvious racism that has been present in our lives that we have chosen to ignore.
Once we have a better understanding of our own thoughts, feelings and beliefs, we can do better as a person and better educate those around us.
This isn't about perfection. This isn't about checking a box. This isn't about getting to a point where we are fully anti-racist...because that may not exist.
This is about showing up, listening, learning, and reflecting. This is about being consciously aware that racism is so embedded into our lives that we have to be actively trying to unlearn all the things we've learned through our whole life. This is about knowing we are going to mess up. We are going to get it so so so wrong. We are going to say and do the wrong things and we have keep trying. We have to be open to messing it all up, be open to learning why we are messing up and then go take what we learned and do better next time.
However you decide to go about doing this is up to you but I urge you to at least seek out resources to help you better understand your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, privilege and more.
Below is a list of places we can all start with. I urge you to do your own research on resources/ways of learning though and not just jump on all of these because I listed them. There are SO many books, articles, movies, documentaries, podcasts, social media accounts and more that we can learn from but it is important that you dive into ones that you have chosen for yourself, not just because I mentioned them here.
I also urge you to sit in the discomfort that may arise while learning & looking inward. That discomfort is trying to tell you something and it's worth listening to. Ask yourself why you feel uncomfortable. Ask yourself where those feelings are coming from. Listen. Then act.
When They See Us (Netflix)
The 13th (Netflix)
Just Mercy (Amazon Prime)
Dear White People (Netflix)
Read/Listen (a lot are on Audible)
"Code Switch" - NPR (podcast)
- Donate to Justice For Regis.
- Donate to Belly Mujinga's family, including her daughter.
- Donate to the Toronto Protestor Bail Fund, which provides legal support to anyone protesting in Toronto.
- Donate to The Minnesota Freedom Fund, which provides funds to pay bail for those protesting in Minnesota.
- Donate to The Bail Project, which provides funds to pay bail for those who have been arrested during the protests.
- Donate to the National Bail Fund Network, which includes a directory of community bail funds.
- Donate to The Movement For Black Lives, a global initiative which aims to support Black organizations to conduct conversations about current political conditions.
- Donate to North Star Health Collective, which coordinates and provides healthcare services, resources, and training to those protesting in Minnesota.
If you have any questions or want to have an open discussion about what you're thinking, feeling and believing, please message me. I by no means have all (or even remotely close to all) of the answers but I am always here to listen and help unpack all of this and learn as well.