Black lives matter.
As a white person growing up with privilege, I thought I’d begun the work of antiracism years ago: donating to the odd GoFundMe here and there, signal-boosting posts created by organizers doing the hard work, and privately fretting over horrifically common headlines, all variations on the same theme: “Black person’s life taken by police.”
I was wrong. There’s so much more I could and should have been doing, both with my wallet and my words.
It’s shameful that it’s taken me this long to start to actually reckon with how white supremacy pervades every advantage I have (and virtually every disadvantage faced by POC), and try to acknowledge and dismantle those structures.
But I’m learning, and will continue to examine the parts of my life and my conditioning that make me uncomfortable, because that’s where the work is.
If I’m this angry now, I can’t imagine how it must feel to carry the generational rage and sorrow that Black Americans do.
I understand that I will never understand —
And I stand with George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and the countless other Black people and POC whose lives have been senselessly snuffed out by racists.
I hope you, like me, will commit to doing and being better, so we can ultimately pull American racism out by its ugly, deep roots. It won’t be easy and it likely won’t be quick, though I hope it is.
I should have started years ago, but I’m starting now.
- Minnesota Freedom Fund
- Color of Change
- I Run With Maud
- New Orleans Safety & Freedom Fund
- New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice
- Black Visions Collective
- Roots of Renewal
Other places to donate:
- NAACP Legal Defense Fund
- The American Civil Liberties Union
- Fair Fight
- Know Your Rights Camp
- Your local Black Lives Matter Chapter
- The Innocence Project
I’m aiming to read/listen to at least 3 of these books, essays, and podcasts over the next 6 months. If you buy any of the titles below, please don’t buy them through Amazon, which contributes to the socioeconomic oppression of POC. Instead, click below to buy them directly from the authors, find them at your local bookstore, or use Bookshop.org. Yes, it’s more work. That’s the point.
- Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad
- How to be Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
- The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
- So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
- Seeing White by Scene On Radio
- Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
- Black Was Not a Label by Kathryn H. Ross
- “Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” by Peggy McIntosh
- “JUSTICE” to 668366
- “ENOUGH” to 55156
- “FLOYD” to 55156
- “RESIST” to 55156
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Some of us are learning a lot of things very quickly that we’re embarrassed we didn’t realize before. A reminder to myself and others that at the start of your life, you didn’t know anything at all! Reluctance to admit your current ignorance is no reason to avoid seeking the truth.
This page is modeled on a page by Girlfriend.
If you’re another white person who’s willing to help me grow (or a POC who somehow still has the energy and willpower for this kind of labor), please reach out to me at @punchlinecopy on Twitter with your thoughts on this page, what should be added or corrected, and other steps I can take.