Heads up! If you’re still a Trump supporter, don’t read this. If your personal logic of racism is that you’re not racist because you have black friends, don’t read this. If you are not willing to educate yourself on issues that you’re not qualified to speak on, don’t read this.
If you are willing to admit that we need to be better people, as a nation, then I’d like to sound off with you.
As children, we are taught two core fundamentals: color and nomenclature. There is research, backed upon more research, by psychologists which confirm that humans have a deep-seated need to name and be named, and those researchers have acknowledged that there is great power in naming things. We have an innate scientific need that’s ingrained in our DNA to identify, symbolize, refer, describe, simplify, organize and tame the things in our life.
To say, you don’t see color is inaccurate. To say, you don’t see the organizational separation between peacefulness and ill will is inaccurate. You see it but you’re refusing to admit the basic facts. On May 25, 2020, four males killed a black male – a white male stopped a black male from breathing.
The inability to see the bigger picture is the problem with society. People aren’t pissed because one black man was murdered. People are enraged because this unjust continues to happen. If you can’t see that, you’re in denial of your own privilege. It’s not necessarily true that more black people are being wrongfully targeted. The truth is that the world is digitally plugged in, like no other time, and these atrocities are being shared at a record rate.
Media outlets rely and invite civilians to subject themselves to social media mayhem. The media’s laziness has caused the world to become desensitized to behavior that would not have aired a decade ago. Now brutality and lies are aired (and streamed) everywhere, and the world has become numb to the pain and misfortune occurring across the world.
This protest is not about one black man, it’s about all of the black men and women who have suffered. It’s about poor leadership. It’s about the change that needs to happen in all of us.
Eventually, the protests will stop. People will go back to work. People will think they did their part. But, that’s the problem. Racism is not going to simply go away. Sharing a few combative exchanges on social media is not the solution. Holding a sign that says ‘Black Lives Matter’ isn’t going to fix it. Convicting four men of murder is not going to stop it from happening again. The solution to racism will come after the newness and trendiness of standing up for black people fades away.
If you really want to support black people and fight for anti-racism you can:
- Vote…and not just for the presidential election! Make an effort to vote for your local elections. If you’re one of the 43 states that elect your attorney general, do your own research and vote.
- Educate yourself. Don’t rely on social media or newsfeeds to educate you on important topics like racism. Read works by black authors. Listen to podcasts hosted by black hosts. Watch movies produced by black producers and directors. Stop entrusting outlets that get paid for salacious headlines and click bait. Have real conversations with black people about real issues impacting the world.
- Support anti-racism by donating to organizations that fight for black rights. Sign the petitions to support black people.
- Have ongoing honest age-appropriate conversations with your children about anti-racism. Teach your children and the kids you mentor about the war black people fight every day.
If any of the black murders broke your heart, do your part to make sure real change happens when this tragedy is no longer visible in your newsfeed.