Innocent, unarmed, beautiful black people being murdered by white people who “feel” unsafe because they are wearing hoodies or listening to rap music or playing with toy guns is a condition of this pandemic illness of racism and white supremacy coursing through and around all of us. Our only chance of stopping it is for each of us to become more willing to see, name, own, and disrupt the many subtle and overt ways that this illness is fed, harbored, and allowed to metastasize.
The work of undoing racism is uncomfortable. It starts with tiny acts of courage, like a willingness to say something as simple but difficult as, “I am white and benefit from a system of white privilege and protection that exists at the expense of people of color.” See it all around you — not just the obvious racists pulling guns on innocent black people — see the legal system that gives disproportionate sentencing based on skin color. See the mothers and babies that receive inadequate health care compared to their white peers. Call out corporations that dump their toxic waste in black and brown neighborhoods and governments that refuse to provide clean drinking water in Flint, MI. Pay attention that you do not have to pay attention to anything when the police pull you over for a routine stop. Notice the subtle jabs and jokes whispered in hushed tones in the comfort of other white people.
And vow to disrupt it. Racism is all around us. It’s our system of existence. Commit yourself to overturning it. For these pervasive daily injustices are just as lethal as the life-ending ones. Start speaking up. It gets easier with each step, with each word. Use your voice. Let your heart lead you.
Let us exist to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. #RadicalLove