George Floyd’s life mattered. Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor’s lives mattered. Black lives matter.
Against a backdrop of a pandemic that has disproportionately ravaged communities of color, we are being painfully reminded right now that we are long overdue for honest reckoning and meaningful action to dismantle systemic racism.
If you’re in a place to give, donate today to support groups working to end systemic racial injustice, increase the elected representation of Black people, and fight Republican efforts to suppress Black votes.
Through their Education Fund, the Collective is working to recruit, train, and fund Black judicial, prosecutorial and attorney general candidates to ensure more representative leaders for the criminal justice system. Color of Change is a national online force dedicated to holding corporations and elected leaders accountable in the fight to end practices and systems that unfairly hold Black people back. Higher Heights supports the Black women’s leadership pipeline. And the NAACP Legal Defense Fund works toward racial justice through litigation, advocacy, and public education.
What we are seeing across the country right now is the power of solidarity. Many of us will never know the pain of having to sit our son or daughter down and have “the talk” about how carefully they need to act around police, because the slightest wrong move could get them hurt or even killed. But we can recognize our privilege, practice humility, and speak out against white supremacy in all its forms.
For many white people, conversations about systemic racism and our own privilege are uncomfortable. Here’s what I’ve learned over the years: That discomfort is a good thing. It’s a necessary part of examining our own biases and actions, and our own role in perpetuating inequality.
One of the most important steps we can take is to educate ourselves. Ijeoma Oluo’s So You Want To Talk About Race is a great and thoughtful starting point, as is White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism by Robin Diangelo. If you’re looking for fiction, Alice Walker’s The Color Purple and Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye both tackle race, gender, and violence through the lens of Black womanhood.
These are tumultuous times for America. But we cannot turn a blind eye to what’s happening right now. We should listen, and learn, and participate in building a country that lives up to our highest ideals. The only way out is through.
I promise to keep fighting alongside all of you to make the United States a place where all men and all women are treated as equals, just as we are and just as we deserve to be.