I could not sleep last night.
It is hard to put into words the amount of grief, heartbreak, and anger I have felt due to the events surrounding the heinous murder of George Floyd. As a white male, I recognize my privilege and I detest the fact that our country is not equitable for all people.
I do not have to fear being murdered by cops on a street in broad daylight, like George Floyd.
I do not have to constantly look over my shoulder in fear of being hunted down by white men claiming to be conducting a “citizen’s arrest” while taking a jog through my neighborhood, like Ahmaud Arbery.
I do not have to worry about someone falsely claiming that I am harassing them for politely asking to put her dog on a leash, like Christian Cooper.
I do not have to worry about police officers shooting up my home while I sit there living my own life, like Breonna Taylor.
I do not have to worry about being arrested live on air while doing my job as a journalist; openly displaying my credentials and respecting officers’ demands, like Omar Jimenez.
I feel no matter what I do, say, or write it will never be enough to help my brothers and sisters who have to deal with systemic racism every single day on top of the normal stresses of life. It is not right, it is not fair, and it must end. Not tomorrow or months from now. Right now. I also understand that I am part of the problem. Sure, I have never committed such vile acts against my fellow humans as what we have witnessed. However, I know I can and should do more to ensure it does not continue to happen so we can eradicate the cancer of systemic racism in our country once and for all.
All too often when these horrific situations occur, we get angry in that moment and then lose it in the moments thereafter. We become numb to what is happening. I am guilty of this and I have to do better. We all do. If you are a white person and you are reading this, you need to as well. We cannot stand for systemic racism to run rampant in our country. We have to get angry and demand for change to happen alongside our fellow humans fighting the good fight every day.
To my fellow white people, we must not only act involved but be involved. We need to stop pointing fingers, shut up, and listen to our brothers and sisters who are going through this. We must learn from their experiences and do better. We cannot sit idly from the comfort of our screens, liking or reposting on social media in solidarity. That is not enough.
Posting on our social media accounts is a good first step, but we have to do more. Whether that is signing petitions, contacting representatives at all levels of government, running for political office, or protesting in the streets. I have always leaned on the following verse from the book of James…
“So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.”James 2:17 (NLT)
Click here and here for tangible things you can do to help in the fight (thank you to my friends, John Frye and Ethan Somers, for these). Please feel free to share your thoughts, experiences, and suggestions with me.
Photo Courtesy: Luis Quintero via Unsplash (Remixed by Chris White)