I’m angry with myself, for going so long without seeing and truly understanding what the black community is saying. For being complicit in racism. That complicity stops today. If you are a member of the black community reading this, know that I’m sorry, I see you, and going forward I will be doing what I can to be an ally.
I’m angry at the police. At the many, many officers who have been performing racist acts for years. At the many, many police officers who have been rioting while people try to mourn and protest. Beating, shooting, gassing, pepper spraying, driving into, and arresting everyone from peaceful protesters to news crews to student reporters to clergy-people to medics to medical workers to the elderly and, with the greatest number and force, black people. Warning that the videos linked in the last sentence are disturbing. None are suitable for children.
I’m angry at the system. A racist system, from politics to justice. Education to healthcare. Workplace to policing. A healthcare system that causes a disease that knows no race to kill minorities at a far higher rate than whites. An education system that reinforces poverty. A political system that suppresses minority votes. A justice system that penalizes minorities at a far higher rate. A police system that fosters racism and aggression.
Thus far I have donated to the Black Lives Matter movement, NAACP and National Police Accountability Project. I encourage everyone who is able to donate to one of these organizations, or any other that is working to achieve equal rights for the black and minority communities.
I have read So You Want to Talk About Race, but I’m starting it again because I haven’t internalized enough. I’ve ordered How to Be an Antiracist, by Ibram X. Kendi and will read that next. Then I will seek out more reading material as I start proactively taking action against racism.
I list the things I’m doing not because I want kudos or appreciation, but for others who may read this and want a starting point to understanding racism and, hopefully, joining in action.
I’m angry. But I’m using that anger to become an ally and take action.