Yes: Black Lives Matter (5)
What do I do?
I began this week of Black Lives Matter thoughts by saying that the music industry’s #TheShowMustBePaused mission had prompted my (as their statement had requested) honest, reflective and productive inner conversation—with myself, on my own responsibilities when it came to the Black lives in my country. Race in this country is not a Black problem. It is not even an exclusively American problem. It is mine, and here are a few things that I need to remember.
I need to speak up. Keeping silent is the same thing as voicing agreement. I need to bear witness to inequity.
Use my privilege. If events of recent weeks have taught white people one thing, it’s that Black skin is a target where paler skin may not be. There’s often not even a need for the white bystander to be confrontational, merely to be there, and present, and visible, and polite, with persistent and courteous questions such as: Pardon me, sir, but isn’t that sort of racist? How is it not racism? Is there something I can help with? Isn’t there a fairer way we could do this? And so on…
Give. I need to donate money, but also time. To the NAACP for their decades of brave work and National Bail Out for those who can’t pay their bail, and the ACLU for all manner of human rights, and the Southern Poverty Law Center for voter registration. Maybe I should consult the Time Magazine list of things to do? I And if I need a book, perhaps from a Black-owned bookshop?
Vote. This November will be incredibly important when it comes to the future of race relations in our country—when it comes to the future of pretty much everything in our country, for that matter. November is key. I will donate, and I will pry loose some hours to do my part in shifting matters.
This week started with #TheShowMustBePaused urging the country to “take a beat for an honest, reflective and productive conversation about what actions we need to collectively take to support the Black community.” So in the comments, how do you see us going forward as a nation, and what are you doing as a person?