Becoming a White Ally to Black People in the Aftermath of the Michael Brown MurderPosted: Wednesday, August 20, 2014
I have been having lots of verbal discussions about the injustices that I have read and heard about out of Ferguson. I have prayed and lamented over issues of racial injustices over the last 9 years of living in our beloved community. However, I have not taken to online social media to discuss it. Honestly…because it is hard. Just dang hard. Comments digress so quickly. I digress so quickly. But, that is not a good enough excuse.
Over the last few weeks, what has been very noticeable, however, is the silence echoing from my many, many friends (white friends) in St Louis and in Richmond. We are busy videoing ourselves dumping ice water on our heads to bring awareness to ALS (which I also want to see a cure for ALS – hear my heart!!!). What are we willing to do to bring an end to Racial Injustice, Inequality, etc. Yes… it still exists.
So…I’ve decided to take it to the online streets to share this piece, which I found extremely beneficial and educational.
So, as written in this attached post, this post is for all the white folks who “aren’t speaking out publicly against the killing of Michael Brown because they don’t see a space for themselves to engage meaningfully in the conversation so that they can move to action against racism. It’s not so much that they have nothing to say but rather they don’t see an opportunity being opened up for them to say something or to do something that matters. Or they might not be sure what to say or how to do it. They might have a hard time seeing a role for themselves in the fight against racism because they aren’t racist, they don’t feel that racism affects them or their loved ones personally, they worry that talking about race and differences between cultures might make things worse, or they think they rarely see overt racism at play in their everyday lives. And, sometimes, they are afraid. There’s a real fear of saying the wrong thing even if the intention is pure, of being alienated socially and economically from other white people for standing in solidarity with black people, or of putting one’s self in harm’s way, whether the harm be physical or psychological. I’m not saying those aren’t valid fears but I am challenging white people to consider carefully whether failing to speak out or act because of those fears is justified when white silence and inaction mean the oppression and death of black people.”
Would love to have more discussion with “White people who are sick and tired of racism” and want to “work hard to become white allies.” and my black friends who would like to engage with us in the process. I come to you as a learner and a sponge…willing to do the hard work I need to do to become a better ‘white ally’.
2 Updates: Be sure to read the full article below on steps we can take to become a better ‘white ally’.
Moments after I first posted this article, I received an email about an event that could add to or begin your learning journey… check it out…and join me.
As we all know by now, Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenage boy, was gunned down by the police while walking to his grandmother’s house in the middle of the afternoon. For the past few days my Facebook newsfeed has been full of stories about the incidents unfolding in Ferguson, Missouri.
But then I realized something.
For the first couple of days, almost all of the status updates expressing anger and grief about yet another extrajudicial killing of an unarmed black boy, the news articles about the militarized police altercations with community members and the horrifying pictures of his dead body on the city concrete were posted by people of color. Outpourings of rage and demands for justice were voiced by black people, Latinos, Asian Americans, Arab American Muslims. But posts by white people were few at first and those that I saw were posted mostly by my white activist or…
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