While the death of George Floyd is unspeakably tragic, his name will never be forgotten. 2020 is the year that George Floyd died from a sickening act of racism. 2020 is also the year that the world woke up. Growing up as a white female in an upper-class household, school system, and town, I sit here and acknowledge that I can do better. The only light from this act of darkness is the global acknowledgment that we, as a white society, can and must do better.
Am I privileged? Yes.
Am I sheltered? Yes.
Have I been given more opportunity as a white female? Yes.
Do I have more to learn? Yes.
Have I been silent? Yes.
Am I racist? No.
Can I do better? Yes.
While I regret to say racism still exists, while I regret to say we have a lot to learn, I can confidently say a shift is taking place. A powerful movement is occurring. As a white society, we are finally standing up and saying, we can do better. We want to be held accountable for our actions, or rather, lack thereof. What is taking place in the world is awful. There is no other way to put it. There is no excuse,no justification,no explanation. The color of your skin should never take away your worth or value as a human. I am so sorry. We can and we must do better. It has taken far too long, but we stand here with you because Black. Lives. Matter.
We hear you. We see you. We support you.
We are listening. We are learning. #blacklivesmatter.
Black. Lives. Matter.
Is this enough? Not even close. But it is a start. The shift doesn’t end here. The conversation doesn’t end here. It is only the beginning.
As a white society we realize our silence is no better than racism itself. It is not enough to be non-racist. We must be anti-racist. We must no longer stand in silence. We must no longer look the other way. We must no longer hide behind our privilege.
So what can we do?
SPEAK UP. Do not stand in silence. Have the uncomfortable conversations. Speak up on behalf of the black community. Speak out whenever you hear racism.
EDUCATE YOURESELF. If you don’t know what to say, if you don’t understand, if you have more to learn, educate yourself. Take a step back from your sheltered life, from your privilege. There are so many powerful resources. Use them. Learn them. Understand them.
SUPPORT BLACK BUSINESSES.Stand behind black businesses now, and always. Support black men and women who have earned your respect, support, and business.
DONATE: Donate to the causes that can make a difference for black men and women. We have the power to make an impact in the black community. We have the power to make a change. There are so many foundations that need our support. Our work is far from over, but we can start by giving back.