I do not normally get political or controversial on this blog, but racism isn’t a matter of controversy, it’s a matter of humanity. White people need to understand our role in all of this. I simply cannot stand idle, when I have a platform, a voice and an obligation to do my part to the best of my ability.
It is the responsibility of the white community to acknowledge and recognize racism is living and breathing in America. Many of us, myself included, have simply underestimated the gravity of the situation. In the past, I’d chocked it up to a few ignorant extremist who would inevitably tire themselves out and go away. Having elected a racist, sexist, privileged white male, who consistently displays his own bigotry, without apology, should sicken each and every one of us. It suggests that we are living in a country where racism is becoming wildly accepted. So much so, that we have put in the highest power a man whose views mirror those of the most dangerous men in our history.
As a white woman in today’s society, I struggled with what my role should be in this battle. I struggled with accepting the reality that the hatred had become so prevalent, that it was not only found within older white men, having been from a “different” generation, which was often the excuse they were given. This went deeper than generational gaps or the uneducated and under belly of America.
The Charlottesville march included men and women of all ages and backgrounds. A staggering amount of our youth was present at this hate rally. It’s a disturbing realization that this is not simply a matter of the stereotypical few, but the disease of a mass spreading like cancer through the mixing pot of our country.
The role that white people play in this war is important. However, like many, I was unsure how to powerfully impact without somehow perpetuating the cycle of suppression. I, as a white woman, cannot begin to know the struggle experienced every day. How can I possibly stand up and speak on behalf of a group of people whom I will never truly share the realism of their struggle, as an advocate of change?
I think it’s a matter of stopping.
Stop speaking and listen.
Stop denying how enormous the problem truly is.
Stop accepting the small and egregious acts of others, every hate act is impactful.
Stop being defensive, this is not about you.
Stop standing idle and march hand in hand.
Stop refusing to acknowledge the problem.
Stop thinking you understand.
Stop equating “white privilege” to wealthy white society, privilege means you will never truly understand, that is the privilege.
Stop thinking racism doesn’t exist because we finally elected a black president, we have gone backwards since this moment in history, which took entirely too long to arrive in the first place.
Stop assuming the issue is limited to just a few states or “types” of people.
Stop denying the privilege you were born into and try to understand what it means on the deepest and most unconscious levels.
Stop contributing to the wrong side because you’re not capable of seeing the bigger picture.