Let’s be clear: white supremacy is nothing new and People of Color have been battling white supremacy in its many forms since the time white supremacists decided to steal people’s land and bodies. Nevertheless, the sight of a mob of white supremacists holding torches lit with flames high above their heads, marching through the streets of Charlottesville was scary to watch. What is even scarier is that this mob killed Heather Heyer who was peacefully standing up to racism and fascism in this country and the police did nothing to stop this.
They also did nothing to protect a Black man, Deandre Harris, from being brutally beaten with metal poles until bloody. So, who are the police really here to serve and protect?
Every day People of Color feel the effects of white supremacy and people in power use their authority to protect and reinforce it. We feel its damaging oppression and hate in our communities, at our schools, at our jobs, in our hearts. And while people’s reactions to these never-ending displays of hate and racism vary, we know that the only way to dismantle white supremacy is to fight back against it. This is a time for white people to take on all of the responsibility that has been laid on the shoulders of POC for hundreds of years. Time to speak out against the injustices we see on the daily and to do something to change the world we live in. We need to realize that no one is exempt from white supremacy and its negative effects – not even white people. Silence within this system from white men and women is participation, and while white supremacy likes to give off the illusion of benefitting white people, it really chips away slowly at white people’s humanity. It drains the compassion and love from bodies, leaving shells behind devoid of the warmth that makes us human beings.
I know that this isn’t the world I want to live in. I know that this isn’t the world most of us want to live in. So, what can we do? Plug into movements that are fighting white supremacy that feel meaningful to you. Speak to your family and friends about injustice and the ways they can contribute to eradicating that from our world. Write, create art, make music that lifts up the experiences of people of color and pushes back against white supremacy. But most of all, take care of yourself and each other. This is a system that was made to make us feel so sad, so afraid that we feel frozen – unable to fight against something that works on exhausting our physical and emotional energy. Know that we are a community and we can always lean on each other for support.
What happened in Charlottesville? (http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/08/charlottesville-attack-170813081045115.html)
The Movement for Black Lives (https://policy.m4bl.org)
Resource for white allies (https://www.whiteaccomplices.org)
Fighting white supremacy (https://theestablishment.co/so-you-want-to-fight-white-supremacy-2b5735f22f9)
Black Youth Project (http://byp100.org/alovelettertoblackpeople/)
Ella Baker Center for Human Rights (http://ellabakercenter.org/blog/2017/08/take-a-stand-against-hate—defend-our-communities)
Oakland, CA 94612
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