White People: Our Moral Obligation

To my white friends and readers, something I posted on Facebook earlier today…

Perhaps this is already clear to many of you. I’ll post it here so that it becomes even more clear to me, and so that I say it publicly and can be held accountable.

I write this with love and understanding, knowing that we are all at different points on our journey, and knowing that I have made so many mistakes and remain horribly imperfect. I am in no way holding myself out as an example.

Here’s the crux of it:

Simply being “not overtly racist” is not good enough. Here’s why…

Our country was built on racism; that’s why it’s called “structural racism.” It’s literally been built in. This is not my opinion; it’s historical fact that even the most cursory research reveals as true.

Despite being centuries old, that structural racism is alive and well, often hiding beneath the surface.

Sure, there are ongoing visible events — overt slurs, police and other violence, legions of “Karens” — that shine a spotlight on racism and racists. We have to deal with these. We have to end them. Now.

But perhaps even more insidious is the nearly invisible stuff — the whispered slurs or texts of racist memes when black people aren’t present; the clubby insularity of white people who only hire and hang out with other white people; the fact that MAGA exists under the cover of being a political movement when in reality it’s a grotesque continuation of oppression and racism.

We have to deal with these things, too. We have to end them. Now.

White people: We have to use our power and privilege…to erode our power and privilege. It’s our moral obligation. Being “woke” is not some kind of liberal magic; it simply means being human. We don’t deserve any extra credit for that.

But being woke is just the beginning.

I like to think I’m a good person. But I also know that I have benefited from structural racism and white privilege since before the day I first drew breath. And if I know that and I don’t do everything in my power to end structural racism and relinquish my privilege, I am not entitled to think I’m a good person anymore.

White friends, the evolution we need to continue to be part of is moving from quietly “not racist” to aggressively “anti-racist.”

Right now our black brothers and sisters know more about this than we do; and they’re stronger than we are. If we want to be allies they can lean on, we need to get smarter and stronger.

It is our moral obligation.

Right now.

Expert on youth/Millennials. Poet. Dad. Husband. Dog rescuer. LinkedIn: http://t.co/ju2AsHdbqk TED talk: http://t.co/3kRwFlTlsD