The Black Lives Matter march will be next Saturday, 08/26 at the Bronzeville Community Garden from 4-6PM.
White folks, I'm not going to sugarcoat it: we need to show up for this. Our community is hurting and we need to support our fellow Chicagoans. And if you think that the #BLM movement does not impact your life, or that you are already doing enough in your comfortable white life in your comfortable white suburb, I am asking you to please reconsider.
Here's the thing:
You are not off the hook if you have that one black friend with whom you socialize at work and you *know* that he/she *totally knows* that you're not a bigot. Yeahno. Sorry, not sorry. It's not enough.
You are not off the hook if you feel as if you were somehow discriminated against during, gasp, that one horrible time at Walmart. And don't even start with "But an African-American said something racist to me once!"
Put on your big girl panties, forgive him/her, and get on with your life. We have no idea what it's like to be systemically discriminated against. No idea.
You are not off the hook if you say stuff like, "I don't see color. I see people." Your white privilege allows you to say and believe dumb crap like that. Just stop.
You are not off the hook if you say, "My family has only been in this country for fifty years. We didn't have anything to do with slavery." Sorry, not sorry, but your white privilege afforded your family more opportunities than you even realize. And this all goes waaaaaay beyond slavery. Just ask Emmett Till, Trayvon Martin, and countless others.
I am well aware of the white fragility and the "not all white people!" reaction that makes this an uncomfortable topic for us. I am. It's pretty uncomfortable for me too.
But here's the bottom line: I'm going to put my white fragility on mute and go support our community. And I'll be the whitest white girl there. You guys, I'm so white-girl-white, I frigging glow. And, yes, I'll be a little nervous. I'll be looking at folks and trying to gage their reaction. "Is that guy giving me the "what's that white girl doing here?" side eye? Is someone going to tell me to go home?"
Or will people be accepting and focused on speaking out for our community?
I'm willing to bet that it's going to be the latter.
Because I believe in the power of showing up. I believe in the power of listening. I believe in the power of taking a stand against bigotry and hatred.
I will be there with my three sons and some (clever?) signs. Won't you please consider joining us?
Filed under: Uncategorized