Time to commit
The past few days have been very difficult. The events of Charlottesville have brought to life some of my worst post-election fears. Before you read any further, take 20 minutes to watch the video. Then come back here.
I imagine you’re angry. I imagine you’re sad. Good, so am I, so are millions of Americans. This crisis did not start on Friday. Millions of people of color in the US have been living this for there entire lives. This violent eruption — it’s been a long time coming.
I imagine you’re terrified of what you’ve seen and you feel urgency. I imagine you realize the need to stand up against white supremacy, racism, misogyny, bigotry, against hatred in all its forms.
I’d say you’re awake now. I want to welcome you. I’m glad you’re here. We have lots of work to do. So let’s get to it.
It’s time to commit. It’s time to join groups fighting for civil rights, for racial justice, for women’s rights, for LGBTQ rights, for workers’ rights, for immigrants’ rights. There is no middle ground. There is no neutral. If you don’t fight the oppression you side with the oppressor. Silence is not an option. You might think this is radical. There is nothing radical about confronting a system of hatred. There is nothing radical about being compassionate. There is nothing radical about wanting equal rights. There is nothing radical about wanting common human decency for all.
It won’t be easy. Fighting oppression is hard. Realizing your white privilege and everything it entails will be uncomfortable. Coming to terms with your role in having sustained a system of oppression for so long will be painful. You will have to listen and learn. It will require patience and discipline. Bring your friends. They can help you. They can help us. The more the better.
It will be tough. But you will get through it. Hopefully you will make some new friends along the way, who will help you become more informed and more responsible. You will not make friends with everyone in this endeavour. Fighting for justice and equality will unite you with people you otherwise might not like and most certainly wouldn’t meet. That’s okay, I hope you stay anyway. The movement is more important than this.
It will be trying. Make no mistake. There are many of them. Fascists, racists, white supremacists. There are thousands of them. There will obstacles, setbacks, real and perceived losses. There will be terrifying moments. You might receive threats against you, your family, your friends. It will take courage. It will take organization. It will take unity. It will take trust. Nonviolent mass mobilization takes all of that and more. But we outnumber them. By millions. You’re awake now and there’s no turning back.
Here are some resources on how to get involved: