I never in a million years thought I would be speaking about this on my blog, but as this is a place where I speak 100% honestly about anything and everything, I can no longer sit in silence.
It’s as simple as this. As a white person in this country I have never feared for my life solely based on the color of my skin. NEVER. I am tired of pretending racism doesn’t exist when I have seen it with my own eyes and heard it with my own ears. Racism is disgusting. Simply witnessing racism and not agreeing is no longer enough. Living in fear every day based on the color of your skin is horrendous and nobody deserves to live in a world where that is a reality.
I used to be an “I see no color” person. I have never in my life looked at another human being of any color and believed I was more than, or better than them based solely on my skin color. I used to think “I see no color” was a way to make that known, but it’s not. It’s not enough. I do see color and it is beautiful. I see your color and I believe we are equally deserving of the joys of life and the benefits of freedom.
I used to be an “all lives matter” person too, however this is not an issue affecting “all” lives. This is an issue affecting BLACK lives. Does that mean the lives of nobody else matter? No. The cause of all this rage is due to the sickening, unnecessary death of BLACK people. I always want to be inclusive and in that I assumed never picking a side or taking a public stance meant I was neutral. However, there is no sitting in the middle on this one. You are either a racist or you are 100% anti-racism. This is not about a person’s job, or life choices, this is about the color of the skin they are born with. If you start a sentence with “I am not racist, but…” what you are about to say is racist. If you say something derogatory and use the excuse of “that’s just how I was raised,” it’s not ok. You are lucky to be a living, breathing, grown adult who can take responsibility for your own actions and thoughts. If you refuse to look at yourself and ask “am I part of the problem,” and then chose to make a change for the better this destruction will never stop. To any white person, my friends, my family members or acquaintances whose response will be, “but, all lives do matter” I hear you, but that is NOT what this is about. It’s not about me. It’s not about you. It is about the lack of justice for BLACK people.
I understand that the death of George Floyd happened in Minnesota, but it sent shivers down the spines of those who have been effected by this exact same thing all over the country. I didn’t watch the video. I didn’t need to. I know what was going on and I know it was wrong. I cried just looking at the picture. Any member of law enforcement can look at those images or videos (and they have) and tell you that a knee pressed firmly against a man’s neck is 100% unnecessary and excessive use of force. I saw someone explain it like this… no matter how many amazing police officers there are out there, if none of them call out the “bad apples” they are all “bad apples.” As Chris Rock so eloquently said “Some jobs can’t have bad apples.”
I don’t agree with the riots, destruction and looting and it saddens me to my core. (I am not talking about the large corporations fyi) These protests are quickly turning into riots and I fear for the people and I fear for the police. That being said, if you watch live footage on social media you will see that white people are out there causing chaos and inciting destruction with everyone else. It’s not just black people. You can’t say that the disgraceful behavior is only perpetuating the negative stereotypes of black people when white people are out there acting stupid as well.
This is not even close to being over. However, I am trying to figure out what the other options are. “Peaceful protest” has been done, and it doesn’t work. Stop using images of Martin Luther King Jr. as proof of success of peaceful protest. It may look like a success on paper, but it has been more than 50 years and blatant racism STILL EXISTS. Only voicing your opinion on social media is also not doing enough. What is the answer? I don’t know, but I know there needs to be more than rioting on one side and public apologies from the other. There is no justice in that.
I won’t protest in the streets with you, because I fear witnessing destruction first hand.
I have and will sign petitions, and call politicians and call out racism when I see it.
I won’t tolerate fights on social media and assume that keyboard warriors will fix anything.
I will sit at the table with anyone and have those uncomfortable conversations, because this issue needs to be addressed head on.
To all my black friends, family and peers, I won’t let you down anymore.
I will stand firmly by your side and not hide in the shadows anymore.
They deserve justice, and we must change. Sign the petition here. Donate. Call.