Things We Can Do After Charleston

  1. Look at ourselves honestly: Take this implicit bias test via Harvard that measures views and attitudes towards black and white people. Some friends have been surprised by the results. (h/t Curtis Skinner)
  2. Put our money where our mouth is: Money doesn’t solve everything, but everyone can use a gift during their darkest hours. Donate to Emanuel church, where the shootings happened, here. And we’ve got to stop freaking out that it will go to the wrong place — we spend way more money on beer than we do on community service.
  3. Read and consume smarter media: Unfortunately, the journalism industry doesn’t yet reflect the population and is still pretty white and male. Luckily, platforms like Twitter let you have direct access to brilliant and diverse writers from different backgrounds, races and cultures. Who writes what you read is extremely important when it comes to creating a more progressive national dialogue.
  4. Diversify our social circles: This one is tricky — connecting with people is an organic and personal thing and you shouldn’t have some sort of race quota for your friends. But I think the best way to fight hatred is through empathy and understanding, and since numerous studies show we’re still sticking to our own racial and socioeconomic groups, it’s probably time to consciously step into new spaces with new people.
  5. Know what we stand for: There are policies governing mental health and gun control being threatened or not enforced while we stand around waiting for Starbucks to get our name right. We need to wrap our heads around the basic numbers and facts, and fast. And then we need to vote to support what we believe, and elect the people who will stand up for us.

6. Meditate or pray: In the calmest experiment of all time, several institutions found that a group of 4000 transcendentalist meditators were able to reduce the crime rate in Washington, D.C. over a two-month period by about 25 percent. It sounds a bit out there but I’m willing to try anything at this point. Plus, America clearly needs to chill the f — out.

7. Take care of ourselves and the people around us: It took moving out of America to understand myself in the context of a whole — as simultaneously insignificant and powerful. We need to connect more. We need to serve more. We need to stop acting as if our daily lives have no room in them for healing our minds and spirits, and those of the people around us.

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