I am learning to be an anti-racist. More than being “not a racist,” anti-racism is a way of life; of doing hard, inner work every day that asks “where am I complicit in racist practices whether I know it or not, what is my part in the systemic oppression of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), and what am I doing/what can I do to dismantle systems in my every day life that disproportionately favor whiteness?
This week, I have read some articles and taken some steps, and I would like to share them here, in hopes that they will be helpful for those who would join me in this work.
- Justice for Breonna Taylor: This link: https://justiceforbreonna.org/, will take you to a page where you can take action on behalf of Breonna and her family. Breonna was shot and killed while she slept, when officers illegally entered her apartment searching for someone else, who was already in police custody. Her murderers walk free, and the petition on this page will help to change that. This page also contains numbers and emails that you can call, and a script for you to use when you call to plead for justice for Breonna and her family, and accountability for the Louisville Police Department.
- Know your colloquialisms and avoid them as you learn more: This link: https://didyouknowfacts.com/9-common-phrases-that-are-actually-racist/ will take you to a web page that delineates 9 common phrases that have racist origins and underpinnings. I learned a few things in this article.
- Use your platforms: Are you on social media? Share articles from reputable sources, and invite people to learn with you. Are you in leadership in a church? Consider doing some digging for people of color you can quote in your sermons, prayers, welcomes; instead of white men. Do you work at a company that has staff meetings? Advocate for pay equality for your black and other BIPOC coworkers. Do you have a blog? Blog helpful suggestions and resources for continued learning, and point to people who are doing anti racism work. Do an inventory of the people you follow on Twitter and Instagram, and see how you can diversify and learn from other perspectives.
- Protest: If you are comfortable marching in demonstrations, PLEASE WEAR A MASK. If you are marching and white or a white-passing POC, consider standing on the front lines, so that you can be a buffer between the police and the people. Protect the most vulnerable people in the marching line. If you are not comfortable protesting in person, use your voice through writing letters of protest: letters to the editor, letters to your leaders, contributions to blogs and websites, like Medium, Huffington Post, Ethics Daily and others.
This work is ongoing. Remember to take care of yourself in the process of trying to care for humanity. If you can’t take in anything else right now, stop and resume when you have rested your mind. If you are attending marches, find ways to process what you’ve experienced. Remember to drink water, lots of it, every day. Have some tea, say a prayer, light a candle. Take care of yourself and then keep going.