A friend’s post on Facebook today reminds me of the power of racism and of my need to respond.
Describing an experience from earlier today, my friend writes:
A bunch of people in a car just tried to run me off the road while calling me racial slurs and pulling their eyelids at me.
Horrifying. Horrible. Scary. Despicable. Stupidity. All the words shared by my friend’s friends apply.
Other words do as well.
Bigotry. Racism. A call to action.
In particular, people, such as me, who are part of the dominant culture, need to act:
- To speak when bigotry and hatred rear their heads.
- To challenge stereotypes in print, on video and wherever they appear.
- To confront our friends, our families, ourselves when we use or accept stereotypes.
- To learn the histories and current realities of our brothers and sisters. To learn how those histories shape current realities of our brothers and sisters. And how they shape the current reality of the dominant culture.
- To take the responsibility to name racism for what it is.
- To study systems of privilege to understand how they work and how they benefit us and how they can be resisted and dismantled and remade.
- To consider where we live, where we go to school, how we use our money, who are the professionals who provide services to us, who owns the businesses we support.
- To remain open to new understandings, new commitments, new challenges, new responsibilities.
- To recognize that the commitment to seek racial justice lasts a lifetime.
That’s a partial list. Put together quickly. At a moment when my heart aches for a friend. I will revisit it. Amend it. Add to it.
The journey goes on. The struggle continues. There is no turning back.
See you along the Trail.