I Didn’t Know What To Say Until I Said It: #BlackLivesMatter
How can a white person be part of the solution? Here are a few easy starters.
It’s been suggested that to not speak up demonstrates an unwillingness to stand up. The problem is that I don’t know what to say. I’m frustrated, heartbroken, angry, confused but I dare not even try to unsee the deliberate hate that we all have witnessed, that we continue to witness.
I’m not sure where my place is here, what my role is. I’m a successful, middle-aged, white man who wants to be a part of the solution. The first book I read outside of school was the Autobiography of Malcolm X followed by Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin. In my teenage years, I felt drawn to Black culture, the music, the art, the sports, and most of all the people. The people who I call my friends, my family. People I’ve cried with, played sports with, stood beside as they married, had children, loved, and lost. I didn’t see the racism, the hate like I’m seeing now. Although I was raised by a single mother and very poor I still enjoyed a white privilege I didn’t know existed. Growing up in Canada, friends were of every color and I simply didn’t, couldn’t comprehend my friends’ life experience. I still can’t. But I know that I love them maybe a little bit more today and I want them to know that. And even more, the Black friends and family I have in the US, I love you, I support you, and I will stand up in every way I can.
Someone recently asked if all lives mattered. Of course, all life matters but the very people and establishments put in place to help protect these lives are unmistakably telling us through their actions that some lives matter more than others as if Black lives are less valuable. This is why we must stand together to scream from the top of our lungs that Black Lives Matter! It’s the simplest, most important movement to stand behind so we can get our society back on track toward real equality. It must loud and it must not go away.
I guess I had something to say after all: Black Lives Matter.
What can you and I do to help?
- Learn, watch (don’t look away), read, donate https://blacklivesmatter.com/
- Stand up! Protest!
- Sign and share a petition https://www.change.org/p/mayor-jacob-frey-justice-for-george-floyd
- Show solidarity on social media #BlackLivesMatter.
- Support black-owned businesses and artists.
- Support legislation that promotes positive change.
- Keep supporting, keep watching, keep learning. Don’t walk away. Don’t look away.