Like many of my white friends, my heart has been heavy the past few weeks. But our sadness is NOTHING compared to the devastation the Black community has faced time and time again throughout history. I will NEVER have to worry that my son will be killed due to his skin color. White friends – let that sink in for a second. Black friends and friends with Black children… my heart aches for you. I am so sorry. White America needs to do better. It is nobody else’s job to take responsibility for educating us. We need to do the work.
I grew up in a predominately white, small town. I learned about racism through movies, books and school. Until I went to college I probably thought that racism was a thing of the past. Something that ended in the 1960s. When I began college I was lucky enough to take classes about social disparities and white privilege. Guess what? Some of that made me uncomfortable. Because I had to addresses my own white fragility and the fact that I benefit from systemic racism. Having white privilege does not make you racist, or a bad person. It does not mean that your life hasn’t had challenges. It just means that your race hasn’t contributed to them. I was painfully ignorant to all of this as a young person. Now that I have this knowledge, I understand that I have to work to dismantle white supremacy. Every day, for the rest of my life. White people – this is our problem to fix! It is our responsibility. I will not let my son grow up in the United States without fighting to make it a better, more equal country for all of its citizens. I know many of you feel the same.
As an immensely privileged white woman I sometimes hold back for fear of saying the wrong thing. But speaking from my heart and standing up for injustice will never be wrong and I will never stop doing it. I love fashion, beauty and sharing fun things. Will I continue sharing all that? Of course. But don’t get it twisted. I believe that BLACK. LIVES. MATTER. And if your response to that is “all lives matter” – all lives cannot matter until Black lives matter.
We have a long way to go until that happens. As evidenced by the realization that very quest against racism is controversial. I have lost followers and acquaintances over my anti-racism beliefs. Instead of anti-racism being considered an ideal that this country should be strive for, it is so deeply woven in the fabric of the United States that fighting against it is somehow radical – considered a “political issue” by many, rather than a violation of human rights. This realization, while disturbing, just proves that we need to work harder and better to dismantle the white supremacy that limits fundamental rights for our Black citizens.
I am committed to continuing my anti-racist work by examining my own biases, peacefully protesting police brutality, donating to our local BLM groups and teaching my son the truth about Black history. I have been deeply disappointed by the silent complicity, overt and covert racism and pure hatred I have witnessed over the past few weeks. But, I have also been incredibly inspired and empowered by the communities, people and organizations committed to anti-racism. We are no longer accepting the things we cannot change – we are changing the things we can no longer accept. And that willingness to rise up, improve and be better – THAT is what makes America great ✊🏻✊🏼✊🏽✊🏾✊🏿