White People Must Act
I won’t explain either the George Lloyd situation or the overall huge systemic rot in the United States as regards racial injustice and bigotry. If you’ve bothered to read this, you already know, but if not it’s easy to learn more about via simple reading of the news.
I will say that we all must actively fight racism. That’s not a bromide or a bumper sticker, but an imperative that calls for action.
The nature of this action will vary, from person to person, family to family, community to community. Some may be more comfortable with marching than giving a speech or writing an article. Others may find their platform in the digital sphere alone. Still others may volunteer their clerical services for an organization that does heavy lifting in this war. A few super-folks may have the power of all-of-the-above.
But, you cannot do nothing. And at this point in our history, the goal posts of “nothing,” have changed. Doing nothing is no longer merely a lack of doing a specific thing. Doing nothing now also includes “tut-tutting” our way through the news, shaking our heads in the car on the way to work as we hear the news briefs, or my personal favorite, “I don’t do politics.”
In other words, more is required now from those of us less directly effected by race issues than at any point since at least the Civil Rights Movement.
I am obviously writing this today. I will without doubt write more in the future, on this subject as well as my usual topics. But I need to do more, or at least find a way to do this writing thing on a greater scale than I currently do. I have no idea how the hell I am supposed to do that at this time. I only know, that one way or another, I must force myself to find a way.
And so do you, whoever you are, especially if you are white. (Not, “even if you are white. Note the difference.)
It’s natural to be frightened of the possibilities of joining a fight. But it is in fact your fight, mine, his and theirs. Ours. We can’t let that stop what we can do.
And we can all do something, if we admit something needs to be done.
But know that justice, rightness must be the prime reward, not thanks. That doesn’t mean we cannot make a difference, though.
True, the pages, tweets and viral videos may not stamp your particular actions into the annals of recorded history. When these momentous times are studied by what I hope is a more enlightened age in our future, our name may not be listed anywhere. Our faces, our signs, our words, our chants, our conversations, our arguments and lost friendships, and rubber-bullet-pierced flesh, and our chemical-burned lungs and our bloody noses won’t be recalled in vivid detail.
Yet, as we live through these things, and brave these things and incorporate these things into who and what we are and what we want to be as people and as a society, let us be comforted and ignited by this truth; what our hearts put forth from deep within us as we seek to right these ancient wrongs will cast a ripple, invisible to the naked eye but of lasting significance to the whole of the universe.
Our personal identities may dry up along the long arch of time, but may the the echoes that we send into the cosmos be a testament to our battle today for justice, for dignity, for safety and liberty in the face of enormous resistance from all angles of today.
Let the radiation of our humanity that we send into the ether never record that we did but sleep through these times. Insist that those unseen galactic waves of your soul contain the epic of your fight for those who most needed it while you walked the earth.
The road stretches much past our personal horizons, and the obstacles are plentiful and powerful. But choose your weapon, begin the journey and know that it will, it must, matter in the end.