The Frustrations of an Activist Heart

I’m not an activist yet but I feel it in there. I’ve spent my life chasing a paycheck and a title but that’s not who I am. I’ve known that but fought it. Now I’m left working for people I don’t believe in and ready to leave it all behind so I can start anew… I just need to figure out where to start.

I just finished Ava Duvernay’s new Netflix documentary “13th” and and there are so images and stories I can’t get out of my mind. One child in particular is weighing on my soul and I want to reach for him. Kalief Browder. What happened to him is beyond what I can take. I want to hold his mother’s hand and beg for her forgiveness on behalf of all of society. His death is on all of us as is so many others. This documentary made me feel my white privilege in a deeper way than ever before and I’m sickened by it. And I don’t know what to do with it.

As a white woman, how do I help? I’ve read the essays and I hear that I should stay away from the protests and rallies — that’s its not helpful to see my face. I understand that. So I pose the question respectful and in earnestness… what can I do? I know it won’t be just my voice that ends this — I’m not nearly that presumptuous or foolish but I want to do something and turn the corner from disgusted observer to true active pursuer of justice. On behalf of the Kaliefs and the Trayvons and the Mike Browns and the Philandros and the Tamirs…tell me what I can do. Please. I will never be black but I will always be an ally.

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