... specifically, white allies. Alliances, much like in warfare, are needed by any group fighting for change - they need to know that they aren't in it alone and that they will have the reinforcements they need to ensure change happens.
verb. to side with or support
American history is infamous for discounting the value of African American lives and to no surprise, history continues to repeat itself because of the blatant disregard for human decency.
"There comes a time when silence is betrayal" - MLK
It is no longer enough to simply post the hashtag #blacklivesmatter on your Instagram feed, or to simply claim you aren't racist, or to post a video of an African American being brutally murdered by a cop who claims to be serving "justice". It is no longer enough to do the bare minimum - it is time to take action in our everyday lives because that is what will inevitably change the course of our future as a country.
"We're taught to think about a racist as an individual who consciously does not like somebody based on race and intentionally seeks to be mean to them" - Robin DiAngelo
In her YouTube video speaking about white fragility in the classroom, Robin DiAngelo explains how racism isn't always malicious, instead, it is so ingrained into our society that many people would refuse to acknowledge their place in our inherently racist society. This country was built on the backs of minorities and continues to milk them for everything they have to ensure that one race remains ahead of the game.
"If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor"
- Desmond Tutu
Simply put, abstaining during the times you're needed most is cowardly. As a white person in America, you have the most privilege and your voice will be heard when you speak up against injustices. The time has come where you need to hold your family and peers accountable for their words/actions or else the American justice system will never have the fuel it needs to enact change.
noun. inherent advantages possessed by a white person on the basis of their race in a society characterized by racial inequality and injustice
Privilege is nothing to be ashamed of - so, the next time someone calls you out on your privilege, do not be offended, instead, analyze your actions and how you can do better next time. With that said, it is important that we all understand that we hold some form of privilege, whether we are a minority or not. However, white privilege is perhaps one of the most dangerous components of systematic oppression in America because of how deeply rooted it is in our society and how comfortable our country has become in this environment.
"I Don't See Color"
This statement does not make you an ally, or prove that you are not a racist - with this, you are only disregarding the trials and tribulations of a person's history on so many levels. "Seeing" a person's color is empathizing with their past, present, and future as a minority. As an ally to the black community, or any minority community, you are committing to educating yourself and taking a stand when your fellow brothers and sisters are being battered by the justice system, or everyday people, whether it makes it to the media or not.
"Racism isn't getting worse, it's getting filmed" - Will Smith
Sadly, America's extensive history of racism is far from being over. In order for change to be made in a society where white supremacy is present, we need white allies to stand up and take action because they have the privilege to do so without being massacred. This country was established glorifying one race so it will take that race asserting the motives of the Black Lives Matter movement to guarantee change happens in our future.
Resting in peace should not be our only option, we should be able to live in peace as well.
Until next time,
"We are all equal before God"
@jesus on Instagram