I wanted to take a pause this week in deference to the moment we’re in, culturally. It has felt like a mass awakening among non-black people to the oppression black people are still subjected to, day in and day out. And while I want to say that I was already aware – I live in a diverse community, have racially diverse friends with whom I’ve always had big talks about race and racism, I’ve donated to black causes, and, of course, I’m raising my kids to not be racists – the truth is I have not paid close enough attention to the oppression and I have not been the kind of agent of change our culture really needs. Good intentions aren’t enough if they stop short of dismantling white supremacy, and I am committing to doing and being better as an active anti-racist (by educating myself – using some of the resources I shared in my last post, fighting for police reform and for the relocation of funds from my city’s police budget to social services that support black and brown communities, getting involved in my kids’ school diversity committee, regularly donating to black causes, protesting peacefully, and other acts as I learn about them and think of them and prioritize them).
Today Breonna Taylor should be celebrating her 27th birthday, but she was murdered when cops burst into her apartment, thinking it belonged to someone else, and shot her eight times while she was sleeping. Her killers still have not been arrested. Consider donating to a gofundme to support her family as they fight the justice system, which is expensive, is time-consuming, and will take a further toll on their mental health. Before she was a hashtag, Breonna Taylor was a 26-year-old woman who played cards with her aunts and fell asleep watching movies with friends. Read more about her life and who she was as Friends and Family Remember Breonna Taylor.
Next week regular posting will resume on DW and maybe the news cycle will begin to shift focus, as it does. But I hope this cultural moment stays with us – or, more appropriately, I hope we stay with it, and that we continue the work that has really only just begun. I found this article particularly useful in listing concrete actions one can take to Support the Struggle Against Police Brutality.
Have a good weekend, everyone.
Buttery June 5, 2020, 3:46 pm
Thank you for using your platform to shine a light on this subject.
Keeks June 6, 2020, 9:51 am
Literally in tears and fear. Thank you so much for posting this
Copa June 6, 2020, 2:47 pm
I was just having a similar conversation with some of my friends via group chat. Like, I’m not racist in the sense that I’m not consciously hateful or fearful of people with different skin colors. My mom’s an immigrant from Mexico, so we’ve dealt with our fair share of racism and tone deaf comments. My friendships have always been very diverse and I LOVE talking about race with my friends. We’ve discussed podcasts and books on race that we love, what it’s like for them to exist in predominantly white communities as non-white (work and dating most often). I vote. I go to protests. All of this and yet somehow these couple weeks have really made me reflect on my own privilege and what I’ve been doing, and all that I’ve really NOT been doing or understanding. I feel like so many people on social media repost and move on, and I don’t want that to happen this time.
Copa June 6, 2020, 2:50 pm
Also. Back in like January I listened to an episode of Code Switch and they said 75% of white Americans only have other white friends. Which BLEW my mind. I’ve always had diverse friendships and assumed my circles of friendships have been pretty typical. Turns out this is NOT the case at all.
ktfran June 6, 2020, 7:50 pm
More needs to be done than defunding the police. There’s inequitable spending across neighborhoods. Rich, white neighborhoods get the most money. It’s a fact. I mean, I guess it makes sense because they pay more taxes? But it really doesn’t. Money should be more evenly distributed across an entire city so the whole reaps the benefits.
In Chicago, the poorer neighborhoods have a higher asthma rate. The rat population is denser. 411 calls are likely to go unanswered, in that something like a street light won’t be replace, or pot holes won’t be filled. First and last mile is a real problem. Food deserts. Parks. The list goes on.
I have stats, but not at my fingertips at this moment. Along with police brutality, equity is a big deal.
ktfran June 6, 2020, 7:53 pm
Even the pandemic puts poor kids at more of disadvantage. Many don’t have access to the internet thus their school year wasn’t complete.