Our job as white people
White folks...our job right now is collective processing.
Not only thinking. Not doing nothing.
Listening. Reading. Conversing. Educating ourselves and each other. Doing the work. And making changes in ourselves and how we relate and live.
The racial injustices that are alive in this world right now are all of our problem. For people of color, their lives and livelihoods are at stake. For those whose lives are not as at stake, there are so many conversations to be had.
As a privileged white person growing up in America, I was taught a version of history that excluded a lot of context about where we are now with race and systemic inequality.
Our BIPOC friends don't need to be asked to explain and defend this context. We can read it ourselves, in the books and films made specifically for this purpose by those who have experienced systemic racism. And we can speak to each other about it. We need to update our understanding of the world through these articulations of lived experience and try to see our blindness.
The best way to change a mind is to listen.
If we have the bandwidth, we can listen.
If we don't that's okay, and others should respect when we don't want to converse and not take up space. But asking questions doesn't make someone the enemy. We need to call people in who are asking questions. The enemy is inside us — we are all it — until the system improves.
Patience with those who disagree with us is a resource that those of us with the capacity to do so must cultivate and use, or we will not get through this. Our futures are connected to each other, and collective processing does not require that we identify who is good and who is evil. We are all both.
I'd like to call us in. It is time to call others in.
If you would like to talk about the issues affecting our country, especially if you think we disagree, I would love to talk with you. I promise not to judge you as bad for things you think or fears you have. If I disagree with you I will tell you and we can talk about it.
I believe that these difficult conversations are necessary to have, and someone has to have them. If you have the space, you can have them too.
Also interested in starting a reading club if anyone else wants to do one.