The text below was taken from a post shared on Facebook. I think it needs to be shared right now as much as possible. I am committed to being an ally and have been taking the last few weeks to examine my blind spots(and will continue to do so) as a white person of privilege and how I have contributed to the systemic racism that is rampant in our culture. Much needs to be done to dismantle our systems that perpetuate the oppression of black and brown people in the USA.
"Your Black friend is trying to be ok.
Your Black friend, in the past 60 days, has watched a Black man get shot dead while jogging (Ahmaud Arbery), a Black woman get shot dead while sleeping (Breonna Taylor), and the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. Your Black friend has listened to the President of the United States use segregationist words as a veiled threat.
Your Black friend is trying to be ok. Her light skin doesn’t make this any less real.
Please don't ask us about the looting.
Please don't chastise us about the rioting.
Please don't tell us that all lives matter and blue lives matter- we know they do - they always have.
Please don't minimize our fear.
Please don't bring up Black on Black crime.
Please don't say "the narrative is one-sided" ~ It has always been one-sided and this is the first time you’re actually hearing our side.
Please don't judge our pain.
Your Black friend is trying to be ok.
Listen to your Black friend.
HEAR your Black friend
Believe your Black friend when she tells you what this feels like.
Empathize with your Black friend.
Support your Black friend.
Pray for your Black friend.
Pray with your Black friend.
Let your Black friend know you care.
Your Black friend will remember who had her back during this difficult time.
She will remember who was more concerned about a looted Target or a burger at Wendy's.
She will remember you posting a thinly veiled and racially offensive meme.
She will remember you calling looters "Savages"
She will remember your silence about HER Black life and the Black Lives of others.
She will remember what you said when she tried to talk about Tulsa.
It is really easy. There are only 2 sides - right and wrong... Where will you land?
Guess who DOESN’T get to decide what’s racist anymore??
Do whatever you can to help your Black friend because your Black friend is trying to be ok..... "
Thank you for taking the time to read this. Here are some ideas around action steps you can take. Never underestimate the impact that you can make.
1. Make sure to vote and vote for candidates that support making changes that are supportive of people of color. Make sure you are all set to vote in your community by going here.
2. Pick up the book How to be an antiractist by Ibram X. Kendi on Amazon or better yet, look for it at a bookstore that is owned by a POC in your local or online community.
3. Donate to your local Black Lives Matter chapter and get on their email list so that you can get updates on the latest community action event or activism steps.
Sending peace and light from my little corner of the world here in Vermont.