I’ve been a part of the problem for quite some time now.
Over the years, I’ve witnessed cases of racism/police brutality. I’d watch a video of an unarmed black man getting killed by police and I’d think “Fuck, that’s terrible.” But then I wouldn’t actually DO anything. I might have tweeted something. I might have donated some money. But I never actually DID anything. I never listened or reached out to my black friends. I never tried to empathize.
I’m not going to speak for anyone else, but I think that a lot of my white friends/family have the same tendencies that I do when it comes to addressing issues of racial inequality.
We post stuff, we donate, and by doing so, we think we’ve “done our part.”
I think it’s important to understand that using a hashtag or re-posting a Nike ad can be a start, but it can’t stop there. Let’s put some more thought into this rather than treating these injustices as a social media trend. We’re talking about the safety and the well-being of our fellow people. This can’t be a conversation that just dies out two weeks from now.
Let’s realize that this is going to take a lot of time and effort from everyone. There’s no quick-fix. We’re not going to end racism by posting a couple donation receipts.
We need to reach out to our black friends and actually have these discussions that might be uncomfortable. This is about empathy, and making our friends feel heard on a personal level.
Lets start by listening to people who feel vulnerable.
I need to do better. I think a lot of us can do better. Let’s get to work.