You’re a woke well-intentioned white person, and you don’t see skin color.
As a female person of color, I go through my share of systemic racism that is rooted in the legacy of this country, which treats me unfairly on the basis of my skin color. So while you may not see my color, I am reminded of my color every day through the various forms of societal discrimination, prejudice, stereotypes, microaggression, and oppression. Therefore, you must see my color because if you don’t see my color, you don’t see me. And if you don’t see me, you dismiss my experience.
Why is it that a white man can go bird-watching or running without fear but not Christian Cooper and Amaud Arbery, or a white woman can relax in the comfort of her home while Atatiana Jefferson was inhumanely shot in hers. White people can ask for help after being in a car crash but not Renisha McBride, and how dare Tamir Rice or Jordan Davis play loud music or a game of cops and robbers! A young white student can walk home from a convenience store after buying skittles and juice but Trayvon Martin was shot in cold blood, the same goes for John Crawford who was killed for holding a BB gun at Walmart. Would a ten-year-old Clifford Glover and years later fifteen-year-old Brooklyn-native Randy Evans be murdered by cops without cause or Yvonne Smallwood be kicked to death while in custody if they were white? That’s why a white man can be arrested without the fear of being mercilessly murdered by a Minneapolis policeman in broad daylight like George Floyd.
George Floyd’s violent murder has led to organized protests in cities around the world and the United States. The National Guard was called into Minneapolis, which has been experiencing protests since Floyd’s death. Thousands of horrific videos have been released of police retaliating against angry protestors. There are also numerous videos of peaceful protests around the country and conversations about what is the right way to protest continue.
“It’s not OK that in the middle of a pandemic we have to be out here risking our lives,” said Spence Ingram, a black female protester after marching to the state Capitol in Atlanta. “But I have to protest for my life and fight for my life all the time,” she added. Spence who has asthma was wearing a mask and worried about contracting the virus. But said as a black woman, she always felt that her life was under threat from police and she needed to protest that.
Whatever your color, race, religion, or political stance maybe we can all agree that these killings are senseless, brutal, and completely avoidable. We have already seen the devastating effects on the disproportionate COVID-19 deaths of people of color. Black Americans are dying at three times the rate of white Americans due to long-standing health inequity. To add to that, the current pandemic has exacerbated racial health disparities,
“There are definitely multiple reasons why we’re seeing black communities be disproportionately impacted by Covid-19,” New York-based physician Dr. Uche Blackstock told CNBC Make It on May 15, 2020, She explained that when you look at the “social determinants of health,” such as where a person lives, works and the quality of health care they have access to, you will see that structural racism has left African Americans “vulnerable and marginalized.”
So, here’s what I urge you to keep in mind:
- The killing of Black Americans is a public health and human rights crisis.
- Racism is a public health and human rights crisis.
- The time for action is now; it is long overdue, and to be silent is to be complicit.
- Having white privilege and recognizing it is not racist.
Here’s what you can do:
Also, remember to register to vote if you haven’t already. This is one of the simplest ways to make your voice heard as a citizen.Here are some resources for you:
Places to donate:
- Donate to Black Lives Matter here.
- Get involved with your local BLM chapter: The full list is here or start your own.
- Many protestors are getting arrested and being held. Donate to bail funds in your city, here or here.
- HBCUBuzz has a listing of lawyers and legal resources for protestors, organized by state.
- Resources and donations by the National Police Accountability Project.
- Learn about Campaign Zero, which works to end police violence in America.
- The New York Times has put together an anti-racist reading list.
- National Black Bailout Fund, which works towards ending systems of mass incarceration and freeing imprisoned black mothers.
- Visit Louisville Community Bail Fund to contribute towards bail for protesters in Louisville.
Text or Call:
- Text “JUSTICE” To 668366
- Text “FLOYD” To 55156
- Text “ENOUGH” To 55156
- Call Minneapolis Mayor’s Office, Jacob Frey at 612-673-2100
- Call Minneapolis District Attorney, Mike Freeman at 612-348-5550 or email [email protected]
Leave a message for them demanding that all 4 officers involved including Derek Chauvin (Badge #1087) and Tou Thao (Badge #7162) be arrested for the Murder of George Floyd.
Petitions to Sign:
- Justice for George Floyd
- Petition to end medical racism
- Justice for Breonna Taylor
- Justice for Ahmaud Arbery
- Justice for Tony McDade, Black trans man killed by police
- Sign the “Justice for George Floyd” petition on Change.org
- Color of Change launched a petition asking that all the officers involved in Floyd’s death are brought to justice.
For a more extensive resource list, please see the collection put together by Black Lives Matter.
Through this grief and anger, we must unite and work together to create the change we want to see. Let’s make sure no black child has to ever say these heartbreaking words ever again.
If you’re attending a protest, please be safe and careful and maintain social distancing, if possible.