10 Things White People Need To Do Right Now
Where are we now, where are we now?
The moment you know, you know, you know
– David Bowie
That’s a good question, David.
Where exactly are we?
Everything went wrong. The pollsters were wrong. The newspapers were wrong. I’m not going to analyze what happened because frankly there are much smarter people out there already doing that.
But what I will say is this: Racism won this election.
Read this whole thread (Mom you have to click on the date (15 Nov 2016) in the tweet. You’re welcome.)
White people did this. White women did this. White men did this. Rich ones, middle class ones, poor ones. All of us.
But I want to talk to the white women first.
Remember when we were all #YesAllWomen and some people came at us with #NotAllMen and we went ballistic. Remember how we didn’t like people re-framing our experiences? I want you to keep that in mind when PoC say this is white people’s fault. Because if you come back with “not this white person” you’re doing the exact same thing as “not all men.”
Just own the fact that white women did this. And that as white women we are all complicit. They are our neighbors, our colleagues, our friends and our relatives. Every time we let a racist comment slide we added to what happened on Tuesday. I know it’s hard to hear but life is hard.
WE ARE COMPLICIT.
Sit with that. Own it.
That planet of regret and shame you feel inside you is yours. At some point you start stoking that thing with some righteous anger and you make use of it. You donate to causes that will protect the people who are in harms way. You volunteer. You protest. You vote locally. But what you do not do is try to defend yourself to PoC because guess what? You don’t get a cookie for just being a decent human being.
Dig your heels in. Do the work, white people. Start here:
- Call out sexism and racism every time you see it. Jokes with the boys about homos? Call it out. Uncle Randy has too much to drink and pontificates on The Blacks or The Asians? Call it out. Male colleague makes your female colleague uncomfortable? Call That Shit Out.
- Call your representatives in both the House and the Senate. Remember they work for you. Hold them accountable. Make them answer.
- Boycott. There are numerous brands associated with Trump that you can easily boycott but before you do — do the research. For instance, I want to cancel my paypal account because while Peter Theil (a Trump Supporter) is not longer the CEO their investors include Carl Icahn who is. BUT the current CEO has Dan Shulman opposed the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act. So you need to weight your decisions.
- Use your privilege to protect the people that are most in danger. Speak up. I don’t give a shit if you’re wearing a safety pin or not, just SPEAK UP.
- Vote. Midterm elections will be here come 2018. Between now and then you find out everything you can about the people who represent you. Never forget that apathy pulls a lever too. So we come out in numbers. We take the Senate back. We Tea Party their asses.
- You talk less and listen more — especially you, white men. You don’t tell marginalized people how they feel. You don’t tell women how they feel. You don’t talk for awhile. You listen. No harm has ever come from listening.
- Amplify the voices of PoC. Retweet them. Share their facebook status. Make sure your racist grandma sees it.
- And then do that all over again. And again. And again. Until we’ve started to undo what we’ve caused.
What you DON’T do is hand-wringing or apologize for racism or call for unity and love. Real people are hurting. Real people are going to continue to be hurt. Now is not the time for unity. Now is the time to be on the right side of history. Hold tight to your anger. But do not let it become rage. Anger can feed you but rage eats you up.
And remember this — the other side — they don’t get to own the word Patriot. Over time patriot and nationalism have been conflated. Patriots fight and they protest and they hold their country up to a higher standard.
We are Patriots. Act like it, America.