It’s hard to know what to write when the world around you is in so much pain. Today’s post about my progress or lack thereof, or a book review seemed frivolous. Too many are hurting in the world—in my country.
The ubiquitous nature of cellphones and their cameras shines a light on a lot of things. Much of it is good. Too much is not.
For crying out loud—if you are watching an abuse, you had better be calling the authorities first—police? If you’re watching police brutality? Calling more police might not be the best idea. But have a plan! You can call news reporters, the local ACLU, the mayor, an attorney, a local prominent activist, your white allies! If you’re not white and don’t have white allies? Make some. If you’re white, become an ally!
The Abuse of Minorities
It doesn’t matter if you’re black, brown, yellow, or red. We all bleed the same. We all feel fear, hurt, and anger.
White folk—we’ve shunned our responsibility for far too long. Too many are hurting. It’s time that we step up and support our brothers and sisters. Not with violence or even with anger, though it’s not inappropriate to be angry at the abuse they’ve suffered. Solidarity. Support. Be Allies.
Demonstrations, Protests, and Riots
Don’t understand the violent response to violence? Perhaps you can understand anger and frustration and the buildup of those feelings until you explode. That’s not excusing violence in any situation. It’s understanding.
Folks who gather to protest are angry and hurt and scared. They’ve lived with this fear, hurt, and anger for years and years. Add on the fear of Covid-19… the strain of lockdowns, unemployment, and loss. One outburst from police or protesters can be all it takes to throw gasoline on the fire. Literally.
Some folk think violence that garners national, perhaps worldwide, attention is the only way to force the change that is so desperately needed.
Unfortunately, violent outbursts, looting and damage and fires only hurt more people. Generate more anger. How can we stop this?
White people, we need to step up. Too many are hurting. No thoughts and prayers. No watching from the windows of your home.
If you think you’re already an ally—ask a non-white friend (you have one, right?)—how you can be a better ally. Are you a non-white? Ask a white friend to be an ally—then tell them how you’d like that to play out.
If you see an abuse—let the abuser know you are watching. Be polite, especially if it’s a police officer. Obey any directions from an authority (police, fire, etc). Ask the abused if he/she needs help. Ask if they’d like you to call an attorney. Tell them you will not leave. And then DON’T. Stay there. Be with them.
Does that scare you? Think about the person being abused. The person who could end up dead.
Work to Do
There is so much anger and pain in the United States right now. We don’t need more name calling or rhetoric or shaming. Not about masks – no masks or gender or pronouns or religion or ethnicity. And most especially not about skin color.
We’ve got a lot of work to do. All of us. Every skin color. Every gender (yes, there are more than two). But especially us white folk. We are the ones with privilege simply by being born white.
“With great power comes great responsibility”Voltaire and Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben in Spiderman
It’s time we started taking some responsibility for ourselves and each other. When one of us bleeds—we all suffer. It’s time we SHOWED love for one another. It’s okay to be afraid. Do it anyway. Too many are hurting. Please. Do it anyway.