reading books is great.
taking action is better.
Friday august 14th 2020
The past few weeks has been a learning experience for many. White people all over have woken up and realised that we live in a society that benefits them and punishes others, namely Black people.
It’s prompted many to go into a state of unlearning. Picking up every anti racist book, following every activist influencer and reposting every anti racist post on social media. It needed to be done. But, what now?
Whilst all this inner emotional, heavy lifting was important our energy needs to be directed equally, if not more so, into inciting tangible change. By tangible change I mean making the real sacrifices that will ensure that change can happen. And this is going to be more than just protesting, signing petitions or checking in on your Black friends.
Because “White Kindness” albeit nice, is self fulfilling and certainly not transformational.
Instead, start by assessing the spheres of influence you have. You may think you have a relatively small part to play in this huge issue, but it’s all important. For example, perhaps you’ve been asked to speak on a panel, but you realise the panel is all white. You could give up your spot and point them in the direction of a Black person who could talk about the subject instead? Maybe you go to a White majority church? Ask your Pastor why he hasn’t addressed the Church’s involvement in race relations. Or perhaps you own or work at a salon? Consider reaching out to Black owned beauty suppliers so you can stock and use their products in store.
You see it’s all well and good doing all this internal work, which if we’re being honest serves the purpose of making ourselves feel better about our own bias and gives the illusion that we’re doing the work. But now you’ve figured out the tragic truth, it’s time to actually be vocal and be active.
Don’t stop because you got your parents or bigoted uncle to think a little differently. We’re up against hundreds of years of oppression and law making that put Black people on back foot. It’s not going to be fixed overnight. So get comfortable with sacrifice, get comfortable with being the outspoken one and get comfortable with making people uncomfortable. Because let’s be honest, no one ever made real change by staying at home and reading books.