In the past few years, I have been becoming more aware of racism, segregation, and related issues in the U.S. I’ve been reading books like Why are all the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria, having conversations with my colleagues and students, listening to podcasts like Serial Season 3 (which really hits home because it takes place here in Cleveland) and just paying attention.
But as a white person, it’s easy to get distracted by my own problems and struggles. I have the privilege to put my feelings about it on hold.
Then there are days like May 25th when George Floyd was murdered that make it impossible to forget, even as a white person.
I am so angry with the world right now. It feels like I’m not living in the United States or on Earth, because what society could let this happen? It cannot possibly be real that people of color are being murdered and the person in charge is simply encouraging more violence. Violence is never the answer. Especially when rich, white people are calling for it and it’s primarily people of color who are getting hurt and dying.
Here’s what I know: I’m tired of doing nothing. It is just as harmful to sit by in silence. What is happening is unacceptable. People of color are being murdered because rich, white people have perpetuated racist beliefs in order to profit off of their lives. It’s bullshit. It’s not fair.
But don’t stop at that conclusion. Don’t push aside your anger and hurt and frustration. Do something to help.
Here’s what I’m doing: I received $167 for my stimulus check. I donated all of it and more ($200 in total) to Cleveland’s Black Lives Matter organization. If you are also so inclined, here is the link. If you would like to donate to your local BLM chapter, here is a compilation of resources. If you are a white person feeling a little overwhelmed and not sure how you can help, please check out this website and consider reading some of these books. And if you’re a teacher, like me, please remember that we are on the front lines of dismantling racial inequality. Please educate yourself and help fight for justice.
Doing something is always better than doing nothing. Even if it’s small. One person alone cannot stop a tidal wave, but together we can stand strong.