I do not know where to start unpacking the death of George Floyd and the ensuing protests that have grown not just beyond Minneapolis, but the United States as well. Saying the death of Floyd is a travesty seems to fall short of the mark. So, what do I say?
White people, like myself, are having a tough time with this and that is a good thing. We need to be uncomfortable right now.
It makes sense to want to comment about an injustice that has been the norm for longer than I have been alive. It makes sense to want to talk about supporting the cause of equality that has been too long coming. But what exactly do I say?
I am being told that if I am silent, my silence makes me somehow complicit. Hence, I should make some sort of statement. My white voice apparently needs to be heard.
But is that what the black community needs? I cannot speak for the black community; however, I would argue many of those who are speaking might be better off listening to the black community and then acting. When does the black community tire of the speeches and platitudes that ring hollow because they are they same speeches and platitudes that were trotted out the last time this happened…and the time before that…and the time before that. So many speeches; so many words; so little action.
The time has come to put the words aside and act. How does a white person act?
Activism. Show your support by marching arm and arm with the black people in your community.
If protesting is not in your DNA, then consider a donation to any one of a myriad of organizations that fight racial injustice. Or in these moments, perhaps donate to a group that is helping people protest safely and peacefully.
Perhaps the pandemic has left you economically challenged. There is still a way for you to act. In fact, everyone can and should do this. Vote. Voting only costs you time. Vote for politicians and leaders who will do something to not just promote racial equality, but act to get it done. November is rapidly approaching. Make sure you are registered to vote so you can push racist assholes like Trump out of office and bring in those who are committed to change.
I am registered to vote. And if a leader wants my vote they better have a plan for racial equality and they better have a record for getting things done.