Many of you have told me that you read and enjoy this blog because it’s a pleasant distraction from all that’s going on in the world at the moment. I appreciate and respect that, and have done my best to help keep you uplifted and entertained. And I will continue to do so.
But today, it feels utterly negligent to not acknowledge and speak out about what’s been happening in my country. The deaths of George Floyd and Ahmaud Abery, the harassment of Christian Cooper in Central Park have left me feeling wrecked and outraged, but sadly not surprised. Because this has been going on forever. Racism has always been with us. It’s just more out in the open now.
This column by LZ Granderson echos much of what I’ve heard and read from black people for the last few decades.
We tend to turn away from what’s uncomfortable to confront, or conversely we want to jump in and DO something. To fix it. To heal the wounds. But healing won’t happen without justice. That old wound will just fester and keep re-opening.
So what can we do? Listen, listen, listen to the voices of those impacted by racism. Work for justice. Vote, for sure, and work to ensure that everyone’s voting rights are being protected. Lobby your elected representatives, including the local ones. This list has lots of good ideas.
And if you’re on social media, be vigilant about what you consume, engage with, and share. There are lots of “bots,” fake accounts, and troll farms disseminating false information intended to inflame and divide us further. Social media algorithms often amplify the most extreme voices.
The more I try to write about this, the more inadequate my words feel. And it’s not about my feelings, anyway. I’ll leave it with this, and some links if you’d like to read more.
‘Racism in America is like dust in the air. It seems invisible — even if you’re choking on it — until you let the sun in. Then you see it’s everywhere. As long as we keep shining that light, we have a chance of cleaning it wherever it lands. But we have to stay vigilant, because it’s always still in the air.”Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
“In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be anti-racist.”Angela Davis
I think that’s the crux of it right there.
Thanks for reading.
Photo credit: Nam Y. Huh/AP