Another Day, Another Hashtag. White People, You Gotta Get to Work NOW
Terence Crutcher was a father, husband, son, uncle, pastor. Terence Crutcher was shot and killed by officer Betty Shelby, even though he was unarmed. What started as his car breaking down led to his body in the morgue.
Keith Lamont Scott was a father, husband, son, uncle. Keith Lamont Scott was shot and killed by a cop as he sat in his car reading a book. Because he had fit a description of someone they were looking for. What started as him waiting on his son to get off the school bus led to his body in the morgue.
Keith was killed by a cop less than 24 hours after Terence was killed by a cop. We did not even get a chance to breathe between their deaths. We didn’t get a chance to stop the bleeding before the next stab. We didn’t stop crying for one before we started sobbing for the other.
And the bad part is that we know how it will end. We know that the thug in blue will be on paid leave and eventually walk free. We’ve seen this movie before. (Read: Stages of What Happens When There’s Injustice Against Black People)
We can’t go to the grocery store. We can’t buy cigarillos. We can’t sell CDs. We can’t walk down the street in our own neighborhood. We can’t look too threatening. We can’t ask a cop why he stopped us. We cannot breathe too loud. We can’t play music too loud. We can’t need help with our broken down cars. We can’t sit in our cars and read. We just can’t BE. and it’s frustrating. Well, there’s frustrating and there’s this. This is beyond frustrating. This is appalling. This is disgusting. This is infuriating. This? This is traumatizing. We are being lynched.
We do everything right and comply to the T, and still die. But it’s important to know that not listening to a cop is not supposed to be a crime punishable by death. Besides, cops have apprehended mass murderers who are armed ALIVE. Meanwhile, 13-year old Black boys with bb guns are shot and killed.
And it’s so bold that it doesn’t even matter if it’s no camera or not. People still go free. How many snuff films of my people do we need to see? We’ve had the videos. We’ve had footage of us being brutalized since Rodney King in 1991. Video has never brought us justice because you know what when you Black and you get killed on video, they still manage to find a reason to justify why the person who killed you was not in the wrong and at this point us watching the video is tragedy porn. (Read: About Images of Black Death and the Groundhog Day of Police Brutality).
It’s another day and another hashtag that shouldn’t be. It’s another day for us to know someone’s name, not for how they lived, but how they died. It is another day where I am reminded that to be Black in America is to have an acute countdown clock over your head.
And people are mad at Colin Kaepernick for taking a knee. It’s because Black people keep taking bullets from the thugs in blue. I’m sick of this shit. And I want to tell white people that I am fresh the fuck out of DO.
White people. Yes, you. Even you nice ones. These things that are happening? These horrifying things that are happening to my people? They are because people who look like you, have set up a system of supremacy that flourishes. It is one that says people who look like me are violent, threats. It doesn’t matter if they’re holding books, wallets, bags of skittles. It is one that allows people to be killed by cops while sitting in their cars. It allows people to be killed while they lay on the ground with their hands showing. It allows people to be killed while walking away. And their murderers are employees of the state. These killings are state-sanctioned.
White people, I’m talking to you. THIS. IS. YOUR. PROBLEM. TO. FIX. Y’all got some work to do, because this system that y’all keep on privileging from, you’ve got to help us dismantle it. Because those of us who are Black and Brown. We have tried. You created this robot, and it is yours to deactivate. My skinfolk don’t have the passcode. This is your monster to slay.
How? I am not sure, but below are some real ways to start.
Take some time to listen to what Black people are saying. Hear how we feel, and do not debate it. Because there is a trauma that goes from your head to your toes that cannot be explained but it is there. We carry it with us everyday. The way our heart quickens when we see a cop, even if they’re just walking by us. The way it feels when we watch our men and boys leave the house, unsure of whether they will walk through that door at the end of the day.
Amplify the voices of Black and brown people.
When you don’t have the words to speak up, give your mic to someone Black, who does. Share their Facebook status, retweet them, and tell others you know to drink up their perspective. At the minimum, you can do that. It is a statement in itself.
Talk to your family and friends.
I am a firm believer that we cannot fix anything until we change hearts and minds. And we do that by challenging those closest to us. It means that as you sit at the dinner table, and someone spews hateful things, bigoted statements and is just being racist, you speak up against it. This is not the time for you to sit in awkward silence, because you doing that is you being complicit in it. You are saying that you not only tolerate it but you might approve.
On Facebook, as those you love are being prejudiced jerks, you don’t just scroll past it, rolling your eyes. No, you say something and you challenge it. You tell them that what they’re saying is not okay. You call them out on their bullshit.
It will not be easy but these are the times when it is most necessary. Someone inboxed me to say one of their cousins unfriended them for saying “Black Lives Matter.” Yeah, that might happen. It is what it is. But sitting around as those closest to you engage in hateful conversation is you being an accomplice in their foolishness.
When they come with their “All Lives Matter” dumbassery, let em know.
Also, teach your kids that the color of somebody’s skin matters just to the point of you acknowledging their history. It shouldn’t be what determines whether they get to live or die.
Donate to anti-racism work.
Give money to those who are doing anti-racist work. Organizations like Black Youth Project 100, Dream Defenders, Assata’s Daughters. Pay attention to platforms like Color of Change and Colorlines. And donate to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. Put your money where your heart is.
Know who you are voting for.
Who is on the ballot? Who are the people in place to make decisions? Why do you keep voting for the racist asshats? Why do the judges who criminalize Black boys get repeat terms? Why do the congressmen who spew hate about Black people get their seats back over and over again? Why are the governors who are saying “All Lives Matter” winning their races? Because you keep voting for racist people who are hellbent on maintaining the status quo of oppression. Not just that, they’re creating racist policies that are actively allowing the deaths of unarmed people in the hands of coward ass cops.
88% of Congress is up for election this year. Make your votes count there, as well as in local elections.
Call your representatives and congressmen when an unarmed Black person is killed in their jurisdiction. Write letters expressing your disgust. Demand accountability for the perpetrator in blue. Know what the process of the police accountability board is. YOUR VOICE MATTERS. White people are often looked at as authority, for the mere fact that they’re white. Use that power to advocate for change and for equality.
Be a witness.
When you see a Black or brown person get pulled over by a cop, you pull over too and watch the encounter from a distance. Be a witness and record what’s happening. Make note. Your very presence might de-escalate the situation, and you have a right to observe a police encounter so you will not be breaking laws by being there.
Use your bodies in this fight. Take to these streets and march and protest, showing that you are not okay with what is happening. Be on the frontlines, showing that you have a vested interest in the well-being of Black and brown people. Do not monopolize the space but be present, so that those protesting can SEE allies. So that those people in riot gear can see faces that look like theirs.
You wanna be about this life? BE ABOUT THIS LIFE.
Commit yourself to fixing this. You are not helpless.
We no longer need white allies, but white co-conspirators. Don’t just talk about really be about this life and ACT. This idea was birthed by protestors in Ferguson, and recently brought to my attention by a Facebook status I saw from Rosa Clemente.
Get to work, white folks. Because we’ve tried. God knows we’ve tried. FIX IT. I don’t know exactly how but shit. Create an app or something. Just fix this. GET. TO. WORK.
P.S. There is a chapter on racism in my book I’M JUDGING YOU: The Do-Better Manual. If you’re here for this post, you’ll love my book. Out now.
I suppose dey study for psychiatry board in 2 days but this week dey distract me like hell.
I watch Terence video. I tire. As expected, ‘im criminal history don come up and de usual poilce apologists/racist don jump on am and like clockwork, when I return to de hospital one “I don’t hate Black people but…[insert commonly used excuse here]” co-worker go wan ask me wetin I think about Terence, Tyree, and Keith’s shooting.
And I go bring up Ahmad (the latest-terrorist), Akram (the meat cleaver dude), Ray Ray (the man who tried to cap a deputy twice) and the many others police somehow manage to capture alive/talk down…
…or I go tell ‘am “Shutcho Bitch Ass Up!”
…perhaps my Naija “nobody’s smilin’ grill” (cos if u no dey “social” dem tink say u dey plan something)
See? Despite wetin don happen, I dey try modulate MY behavior around dem. SMDH.
I don tire.
Na dem work to do (IF dem wan do am).
P.S. Your book dey my desk. I go read am soon.
ENGLISH MOTHERFUCKER, DO YOU SPEAK IT?
It’s called pidgin-English, which I’m sure Luvvie (for whom the comment was intended) and plenty of other blacks of West African or even Caribbean descent, understand. Guess you’ve never been around people with different accents or different cultures and languages. ????
Rude, simple ass ????
OHHHH That’s what Jar Jar wasa speakin back in de stah wahs
Not even close.
I grew up as a blue-collar white girl on the coast of Georgia. My daddy was a shrimper. I have no problem understanding what you wrote. To me, it “sounds” like Gullah/Geechee, spoken on the sea islands along the Georgia coast. I love it’s musical sound. Are you a descendant of those people? Or just multi-lingual?
Ahhhh…my Arabic father had to learn and write in english because he moved to THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA…get off of your sjw high horse and respect our history.
You’re clearly confused. The poster probably speaks impeccable English but was trolling. You and everyone else just got trolled. Wake up.
As an example, note how the poster uses incredibly correct punctuation midway through this “pidgin-English” with “[insert commonly used excuse here]”. A speaker limited to “pidgin-English” would not have knowledge or control of the English language above and beyond it [pidgin-English], and would not even know what ‘[‘ or ‘]’ would be used for. They also wouldn’t be able to coherently put together the diction of “insert commonly used excuse here”.
Wasn’t trolling doe. Just tellin’ Luvvie how I felt in pidgin-english.
Thanks for your reply. Amazing that after a blog like this, talking about racism, that Wat thinks it is OK to denigrate someone and swear and YELL. Likely he lives under a bridge and eats goats.
well that was uncalled for. sit down and shut up.
No, Wat, I don’t.
Innocent people are dying in the streets at the hands of law enforcement and you’re outraged by how someone expresses one’s self?
Its worth noting that Terrence had PCP in his car and was most likely high on it when this occurred. Just because you have your hands up doesn’t mean you’re complying, like if you are walking away from the officers.
And we should execute people for having drugs in their car? Somehow that doesn’t sound like due process to me.
And we just believe the police saying that the man they shot down unjustly had PCP in his car? Even though they’d have to step over his dead body to know that. There were several cops on the scene, yet only one felt so threatened by the PCP they didn’t know Mr Crutcher had that she had to shoot him?? Sheeeeeeit!! Cops already know they have immunity…why didn’t the rest feel threatened and fire away??
Really Nathan, that is true as far as not complying, but the one thing you are missing. He didn’t have a weapon and he was tazed. So, why did he need to die again, because there was PCP in his car? Don’t be ignorant. Having drugs is not suppose to be a death sentence, walking away from a cop is not suppose to be a death sentence, lying on the ground, tazed, is not suppose to be a death sentence. You take on minute and put your brother, father, best friend in this man’s position. Do you till think it should be a death sentence?
No, it’s worth noting that PCP was planted on his car. Stop justifying these heinous crimes, and fucking lord, if yoire going to, get off of this post first
pcp,what is this? pcp,made them kill him. you are lying.
Non-compliance doesn’t justify the use of lethal force.
I wonder if he really had PCP in the car. Haven’t you ever heard about how some cops drop stuff in suspect’s cars? Usually it is a gun after they shoot someone but, since the videos showed that he didn’t have a gun, they had to do something to try to prove he was high. I don’t trust all cops and this woman was way too quick to pull the trigger.
Shut your FUCKING mouth ass hat. THEY CAN SPEAK THE WAY THEY WANT. Got it? Anyone ever tell you your gate is nasty English?
Tolerance and understanding motherfucker, do YOU speak it???
Wat, please don’t call other people Motherfu****, it’s not nice. Speaking to you like you are in kindergarden because you are behaving as if you are. Sincerely, Lola
I am CRYIN’. You have made me cry.
If you cant read the msg mabye its not for you!! Obviously this person has an accent and is expressing theirselve without fear the way they no how. Lets be very clear about onr thing, “THE ONLY OFFENSIVE AND STUPID COMMENT HERE IS YOURS!”
North Carolina is an open carry state, he had every right to be armed just like every white North Carolinian.
Not to worry, things will be much better once Trump is in the White House. #maga
I want to respond to the original post in general, not just this person’s post.
Of COURSE all lives matter. But that’s not the point. Not ALL lives are being oppressed. The Black Lives Matter movement is bringing attention to the injustices currently happening to people with black or brown skin. It may be a new wave in racism occurring right now with cops shooting unarmed black men/boys, but really it’s just an old practice with a new face. It may present differently, but it’s still a continuation of the horrible treatment black people have endured since before this country was even created. I think Black Lives Matter seeks to bring black people up to the same level as whites and everyone else, not to supercede. It’s asking for compassion, fairness, empathy, and respect.
Thank you for this. I am sharing. You’re absolutely right and I’m in as a co-conspirator.
Thanks bae! We need all the fat white chicks we can roll to the revolution!
I’m not fat, I’m fluffy!! 😉
As a white woman who is in despair at the senseless shooting of black people by police, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for this article. I have just bought the book. I live in a state that has not had this violence (to my knowledge) and vote for people who advocate for civil rights and civil justice. My two senators are excellent people. I am blessed with friends and family who feel as I do. I have learned to listen and not contradict or dismiss people’s lived experiences because they are not the same as mine. Thank you for recommending places to donate. As a teacher (second grade) I used picture books to start discussions on race and the history of race in this country beginning with the story of a girl kidnapped in Africa and sold as a slave in this country, through stories of the underground railroad, through the civil rights struggles of the 50’s and 60’s, and up through the present day. I tried to bring in more black people in all aspects of our lives; those who have succeeded in writing, art, dance, science, engineering, etc. I developed a library of close to 100 books, fact and fiction, to help broaden and inform my students. I wish now I had thought to bring in more information about black society and culture in Africa so that their story did not begin with enslavement. Last year, my school adopted my idea for a school-wide theme of Kindness, Justice, Courage. This was after several years of social justice training for our teachers. The whole school read the same book each month, each one dealing with a different aspect of social justice, so that discussions begun at school could be carried home by siblings in different grades reading the same books. Just reading books about these things doesn’t always have much impact on children; discussing them does. I’m not trying to toot my own horn because I know this is a drop in the bucket, but to say that I have been trying. (I retired this year). I really, truly appreciate these concrete steps that I can take and can encourage others to take. I have to get better at calling out racism when I hear it because it’s uncomfortable, but my God! You have the courage to live these experiences – how little does it demand from me to suffer some social discomfort!
I count your comments as a good first step toward links thoughts. As well as, “Touching & Agreeing” and being in solidarity for sensitive for others in the struggle for equality. Blessings Upon you. Great Days Yet to come in the future.
Mary Lynne, As another retired white woman, I think your authentic efforts were an excellent way to address the issues of racism, “white supremacy”, social justice in our country. Introducing really good books, coupled with discussion can certainly help children learn sources of people’s opinions & how they can reasonably be shaped in a positive way. After all, teachers certainly have an impact on students’ lives, in more ways than reading & math. I believe accurate history is more important than ever in our schools, yet it seems to have taken a back seat to other subjects. Thus, kids don’t know where things originated…have no intrinsic value.
When I have been in a situation in which someone(including a former boss) has made derogatory remarks about black people, I am happy to say I stopped them, & argued that they were wrong to speak that way & I would not be part of it. I kept my job &, hopefully, our friendship. They knew where I stood & did not argue my point. I continue to look for ways to do my part.
Teachers shouldn’t be teaching social justice. That won’t do anything for them in the future.
Our young daughter teaches in a small rural high school in Virginia. She brought into the classroom discussion her own PERSONAL observations of when she was studying abroad in South America and how she saw the indigenous people being discriminated against. A student’s parent complained, so our daughter was “called to the principal’s office” where she was politely told to stick to the subject and not get political. She was only speaking the truth, but someone sought to silence her. Discrimination abounds people. Fight back.
I’d be interested in the titles of the books your faculty read. Glad to know you’re teaching compassion!
How do I find out about protests BEFORE they happen? Maybe I’m not following the right FB pages or something, but I’d join a protest if I knew where to find them.
Chris, look up SURJ — Showing Up for Racial Justice — to see what they have going on in your area.
And Chris, this is what I told a friend yesterday:
“If you want to take to the streets, we will be with you! Right behind you, on your flanks, and I personally in the wheelchair ranks in front.
If they want to brutalize you, they will have to come through us.”
Amen. This post. And your book, everywhere.
My husband, daughter and grandkids are black and I’m Native – we see racism on the daily. This stuff happening in the USA is a lot worse then what we see here but it is still bad here in Canada and we live in THE most racist Province of all in Nova Scotia.
It breaks my heart to see what black Americans go through. It’s awful and needs to change. When I watched that video yesteady and the guy in the chopper said – he looks like a bad dude O___________O I actually screamed at my computer, WHY CAUSE HE’S BLACK??
It seems racism is getting worse and worse with no change in site 🙁
I had the same thought about the copter guy. Pissed me off.
Tina, do you know of any events in Nova Scotia? I’m from there too and it makes me so sad how racist it is.
It seems like it’s getting worse, but that’s because these despicable acts have been hidden for hundreds of years, are now being shown to all. As a white, middle class person ( who grew up in Toronto suburbs, and has lived in the U.S since 1991), my experience with the police, which was limited, were as dedicated officers commited to serving and protecting. Until social media began showing these murders by police, it was impossible for the average white person to believe what we were seeing because these events were so far from our experiences as to seem incredible. The usual response when events seem contrary to experiences is to try to rationalize each individual event to fit the existing view of realty, therefore excuses such as drugs, hidden weapons, aggressive behavior, etc. were added to make the story seem logical. It takes a lot more evidence than seems reasonable for people who believe that the police are a positive force, to realize that these killings are not the victim’s fault. When we are talking about murder based solely on skin color in a world that just doesn’t seem prejudiced, there is huge learning curve, but I think that most white people are there. And as this article states, it’s time for people not directly affected by this horrendous events to get off our high horses and protest in any way we can. The paradigm shift has occurred. Now we need to force change to occur.
My feelings, my soul and my heart are so hurt… I don’t know what words to say, I type this with tears in my eyes…. WHEN WILL IT END????
Luvvie, thank you for this. I am a white woman living in the privilege that brings. And sometimes I don’t know how to be of help other than arguing with stupid people on Facebook. This gives me concrete steps I can take. I can not know what you feel, but I can hear you while you tell me. And now I have ideas of what to do. Thank you!
My thoughts exactly, Ann, you said it better than I could. I have known for a long time now that this kind of racism is, sadly, all too real, that white privilege DOES exist — and that anyone who says that’s not true and that “all lives matter” is, at best, hopelessly out of touch (and at worst, a racist jerk). I’m already doing most of your recommendations Luvvie, and I’ll keep right on! May I also recommend supporting the NAACP? I first became a member in 2012, in memory of Trayvon Martin , and have kept up my membership since then. In fact, I started carrying my membership card in my wallet, since reading that line in “Go Set a Watchman” where evil racist Atticus asks Jean Louise, “Since when did you become a card-carrying member of the NAACP?” I said to myself, “Hey, I AM a card-carrying NAACP member and I’m proud to say so!”
I’d also suggest learning about the long history of racism, and the African American experience in the US, in general. There are so many great books about that there’s no way I could list ’em all, but here’s a few examples I’ve especially learned from — and enjoyed: Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, Isabel Wilkerson’s The Warmth of Other Suns, and Langston Hughes’s poetry. And when I teach about the history of African American music and musicians (spirituals, jazz, blues, hip-hop), I don’t mince words about how these artists were often treated because of the color of their skin. (Thankfully it’s preaching to the choir with most of my students.)
Anything I can do to try to make my corner of the world a more just, less racist place, I will. I just wish the lynching would STOP…
White privilege does not exist. It is ridiculous how you think all whites are privileged. There are also privileged black people.
You obviously have NO idea what “privilege” means in this sense (it has NOTHING to do with finances btw). However, I think it’s funny that you say that “white privilege does not exist”, but then go on to state that some blacks are “also” privileged.
If you don’t believe privilege exists for whites why would it “also” exists for blacks?
In your mission to staunchly defend an asinine argument, you’ve contradicted yourself.
When you’ve FULLY educated yourself on what white privilege really is hopefully you will become completely and wholeheartedly a part of society’s solutions instead of willfully being a problem.
Theresa, white privilege is not a social standing, “keeping up with the Joneses” type thing. I’d be a blind fool if I wasn’t aware of the fact that as a Caucasian female, I’m seen differently or should I say NOT really viewed at all as I go about my daily activities. Please watch this video. This is white privilege in a nutshell. AKA racism. A white girl, a white boy and a black boy try to steal a bicycle. Watch how it goes. https://youtu.be/ge7i60GuNRg
Get over your white guilt. You can’t help the color of your skin.
“you can’t help the color of your skin’. But you can die for it. If it’s not white. Give your head a shake, Theresa.
Rhonda and CX — amen, right? But actually we should be grateful to Theresa here because her words inspire me ALL THE MORE to do the very things Luvvie (and many of the rest of you) advocate here — they only prove there’s a need for co-conspirators! Have a blessed day!
Theresa, it’s got nothing to do with guilt. It’s just a simple fact
You know the lady that sits in front at church with a tambourine and starts running up and down the aisle when pastor drops that message? Thats me after reading this. PREACH!
It’s as if Matthew McConaughey has to stand up at a podium EVERY SINGLE TIME a brown person is unnecessarily killed by police and say “Now imagine if he/she/they were white.” I have to look like a white person to get sympathy. My humanity means nothing. It’s revolting.
Well, I see you and your humanity means a LOT to me. Matthew McConaughey is sadly correct: if the person killed was white, the cop probably would’ve given them a slap on the wrist and that’s all.
So, I just need to say this. I am ALL for speaking up and standing by my neighbors side for what is right! Yes, this is great! I totally agree that a lot of us need to change. Luckily, I was never taught anything was wrong with the color of someones skin. I have always lived and grew up in the hood. At age 8 my best friend was black. I didn’t care, I was just happy to have a friend to play barbies with. I have a biracial child. I have been in relationships with black men. I guess where I am upset at is the BLM protesters. I have, from media, seen nothing but HATE from them. The lady telling the white folks to get at the back of THEIR protest, the shootings, and I can go on. It seemed to be something that would have been great!! However, just as some (me included) see “thugs in blue” I also see thugs in the BLM. I don’t know, but those “bad apples” if you will has made it a huge problem. That is why I think the ALL lives matter makes sense. Let us stand by your side NOT behind you. That makes it feel like we are less than. I SO understand everything that is going on and it makes me sad and sick that people still act this way today. I have deleted people for being racist and did most of this on the list. I am going to share it because, you are right!! I just wanted to state why I think that the BLM has been making things separated again. We need to find another name for it and start again. idk.
White lady here, if all you’re seeing of BLM is hate from the media…then you need to do two things: change your media consumption and actually talk to folks in BLM.
And please don’t tell people how to protest that better serves your needs. I think your heart is in the right place but you’ve gotta actually get out there or at the least talk to people. I will stand, shout, call, etc. where I best serve the needs of the community being oppressed…and that isn’t mine.
People are hurting and reacting to centuries worth of being told that they are less than and you want to know why they’re number one priority isn’t to be nice to you?
Take a step back and just listen – I get that you’re processing your feelings, give everyone else the space to process they’re own and to express those feelings in whatever way they choose.
To say that all lives matter is a lie. To say that black lives matter is an aspiration. It may make you uncomfortable, but it makes us free.
Your last paragraph just became my email signature line. #Brilliant
You’ve attempted to center the attention on you and your feelings. Did you even read Luvvie’s post? No one is here for your fragile white feelings hunny. NO. ONE.
Just because you had one black friend and love black d*ck doesn’t give you the right to criticize how we process the genocide were facing every day. You are not a part of the “we.” Your opinion doesn’t count. Re-read the article for insight on what YOU can do. Judging BLM is not on that list. Fuck you.
You are 100% RIGHT. It’s not about white people’s feelings. White people go about their merry way doing their white privilege thing. Which is what the article is about. Some white people understand that, and some white people want to do something. Here’s the question: do you want their help?
You don’t have to give a damn about white people, but if you want them at your rallies, then you might want to think about considering them (as the article says) a “co-conspirator.” The word co- suggests cooperation. No part of cooperation involves being cursed and screamed at.
Here’s a news flash: the white people you’re shoving to the back of the rally AREN’T the white people you’re *really* pissed at. Those white people at your rally actually agree that privilege is something that should be used to benefit all. Those white people actually put their money where their mouths are. Are all white people of the devil? That makes about as much sense as all black people being thugs.
From where I stand, it’s up to you. You can either welcome the faces at the rallies regardless of color, or you can run the faces without color off. If you are hostile, they’ll simply leave and they won’t come back. White people are good at that, according to this article.
So what is it? Do you want co-conspirators or not? You say you don’t need us. The article says you do. This kind of doublespeak doesn’t advance your cause–probably because it hurts white people’s feelings (much like it hurts yours when you’re excluded due to the color of your skin) and white people don’t go where they’re not wanted.
This kind of doublespeak negates a big long-ass article that people of all shades are actually reading. How many people read the article, considered helping, and then scrolled down to the comments, got slapped with a big FUCK YOU–then clicked back to watching cat videos?
White woman here. If you’re so easily turned away from helping, I don’t think you’re much of a co-conspirator. Black people don’t owe you a DAMN THING.
Black people have been going where they were not wanted every day of our lives for hundreds of years. SMH. White fragility is a fucking trip. Go watch a cat video.
They DO want co-conspirators at BLM rallies, but these are black run protests, and what they do NOT need is any of us white people running to the front looking for a cookie for being a good person with a ‘black friend’. If you want to help at a BLM rally or protest, take a seat (or several) and listen to what they need, not just insert what you want to give. All you end up doing this way is making you the focus -and that is NO place to make it all about you. If that is all you want, that big old F. U. Is most decidedly deserved.
If you want to head up a protest, do so in one that is white run, like SURJ or the like. Black people have enough on their plates without us white people trying to take over yet another thing they started.
haha looks like you won’t be getting much help from us white people there Meg. I thought that was the point of the article, to convey that it is up to us to rid the country of this horrible institution of racism that we created… I would but my fragile white feelings don’t like being told “Fuck you” soooo…. good luck there! Also the disparity between white and black privilege was created by the rich white folks to make poor white folks feel better about their shitty lives so they wouldn’t band together with other poor people of any race and rise up against them. But no, it’s all white people, has to be. Should definitely alienate the ones who are even trying to listen, that’s a great idea.
If you can’t handle getting in the black of the line and being led, you’re still not understanding the problem. If you’re wanting to dictate the name of their movement, you’re still not understanding the problem. If you’re more concerned with your own feelings while black lives are being shot down, you’re still not understanding the problem. Stop being so fragile. Educate yourself then come back and try again later. Listen. Stop talking and listen. Stop saying All Lives Matter, when we see on the news nearly everyday that all lives DON’T matter. Go back and read the article again…maybe several more times.
Honey, this ain’t about *you*. You’ve been taught that your opinion matters & your feelings matter just because you are white that you think being told you are not the priority is the same as hatred. You’ve been told that the world revolves around you, so when your opinion is not centered you view it as hatred. YOU, YOU *YOU* are the epitome of the problem. No, your opinion on how to stop the genocide of my people is not important, not valid, not needed. If you can’t listen & follow, you are complicit in the state-sanctioned extrajudicial murder of Black people.
Did you even READ the article? #1: Listen. Are you listening? She’s telling you something, and you’re all like, “yeah, whatevs, but this is what I think”. Do you know why you can’t stand beside black people? Because they’ve been trod on and stamped down for so long we’re not even standing in the same place anymore. So sit down, shut up, and let THEIR voices through instead of trying to speak for them.
I understand your frustration. I was not raised to be racist nor to discriminate against people who are not exactly like me. I worked with the public for years and was asked several times if I even saw color. But I find it extremely hard to be sympathetic toward people who consider ‘white lady’ a polite form of address or who think it conducive to a discussion that will lead to any change in action or point of view. And we need to ‘fix this’, while following behind the BLM people? Don’t think so. And I am not one of the people who respond to BLM with All Live Matter or Blue Lives Matter.
I am also white, so I’m going to try to address this more gently than some others have (since I can afford that patience). Before I start, I want to be clear that this 1) I did not come up with any of this stuff, this is all stuff Black people have been saying for years, and 2) as a white person I am an eternal student on this topic so if I get something wrong I hope someone will tell me.
The statement “all lives matter,” as a moral statement, is true. The problem is that our society as a whole acts as if it isn’t. The unspoken word in the sentence “Black lives matter” isn’t “only” or “more,” it’s “too.” Black Lives Matter is Black people standing up and saying “We’re here too. We’re people too. Our lives matter too, so please stop taking them.” They’re not trying to say that my life or your life doesn’t matter. But you and I don’t need to fight to prove our lives matter, because we already get treated that way. So as a protest statement, “all lives matter” doesn’t say anything useful. It lets the people in power say, “well, duh, of course that’s true” without actually addressing the fact that Black people are being killed more than other people. Furthermore, even if Black Lives Matter changes their name, it won’t make a difference – the people who started the opposition to Black Lives Matter did so because they didn’t like the protests, not because they felt excluded from the protests. They would respond the same way to the movement under any other name.
Next, just because you and I are not racists doesn’t mean we’re not complicit in racism. I think the word “racism” is one that white people and Black people tend to use differently. White people, when we talk about racism, think of the KKK and old people yelling the N-word. Black people are talking about systemic discrimination (which white individuals often perpetrate without even noticing) that makes life more difficult and more dangerous for them than it is for us. For example, I’m a 22-year-old white girl with blonde hair and blue eyes. When I’m lost, confused, or having a hard time in public, people look at those racial traits and I come across as innocent and helpless, like a child, and they want to help me. A Black person, even one younger than me, even one’s who’s actually a child, wouldn’t be afforded the same benefit. On the contrary, the erratic movements, repeated checking of a phone, and careful looking around that come with being lost might be read as them trying to plan a robbery. Even though the people around might not be racists in the traditional (white) sense, the fact that they’d want to help me and not the Black person *is* a symptom of racism – they have racial biases, probably unconscious, that they learned from the media and society at large, which are causing them to think differently about people of different races without even noticing it. This is an example of white privilege. This status quo is fine for white people, we can actually go our entire lives without even knowing it’s there, but Black Lives Matter is trying to call attention to it because it isn’t fine for Black people. When applied to policing, this unconscious bias means that Black people are treated as more of a threat by default, meaning that police respond with violence much more readily than they do with white people, so Black people are more likely to be killed. I’m sure you can agree that’s a problem.
Next, the idea of next to vs. behind. No one is saying that you are less than Black people, just that you know less about the Black experience than they do. If someone is telling you about their time living in France, and you have never lived in France, would you try to educate them about French culture, or would you sit quietly and let them educate you, even if the things they said were different from what you thought? If another friend then asked you about what it’s like to live in France, would you refer them to the person who lived there, or would you guess at details to try and fill in the blanks of what you were told? It’s the same thing here. You have never been Black in America, so it’s just plain rude to pretend you’re equal when it comes to understanding that experience. It’s not really helpful for us to be equals in deciding the goals of Black Lives Matter or in representing it – we don’t know what’s most urgent and we don’t suffer if they fail. The way we can be helpful is to listen to Black people about what the goals are and then help to achieve them, by using our white voices and white faces to convince other white people without seeming threatening. (I should note that the reason white people seem less threatening isn’t because Black people are doing something wrong in having this conversation, it’s because of the often-unconscious biases I mentioned above.) This also ties into the fact that for most of history, continuing even to this day, white people have stolen ideas, property, even freedom from Black people. Literally the least we can do in the pursuit of decency is not steal their fight for their lives. As soon as we’ve gotten a particular white person ready and willing to listen to Black voices, the respectful thing to do is step aside and shut up.
Lastly, the media. As Liss said, the media has not been giving fair representation to Black Lives Matter. The media, especially cable news, serves a primarily middle-aged and older white audience who are very comfortable with and entrenched in the status quo. So even if the audience doesn’t dislike Black people, they’re going to be uncomfortable with the efforts of Black Lives Matter to change the status quo. The media has to play to that or else they’ll lose viewership. So even if you keep watching the news, at least balance it out by also reading Black sources online. And remember that the status quo is not working as long as the status quo is killing people. Black Lives Matter did not create these deaths and the surrounding racial tension, they just brought national attention to them.
I thank you for your well written response. I am a white/pink 73 years who left usa in 1968 because I saw the future there was to become a disaster. unfortunately the future unfolded as i feared. i felt i lacked the skills and ability to change the future for the better at that time. it seems that more and more people are waking up, the group is becoming stronger and more aware. we are living in interesting times.
Happy to see some of my white people getting it. Your reply was informed and well written. Thank you.
Um… you don’t want to feel “less than”?? You seriously just typed that? SMH
How about if you let BLM have their time in front, and you happily bring up the rear and support them and don’t worry about whether or not those people in front of you LIKE you, or ACCEPT your help, or even care to ask your name. Just be there because you think it’s important to be there, and don’t worry about whether people will see you being all politically correct and friendly with the black folk. Geez.
Thank you. I’m listening. I heard you. I will do all that I can.
“It is another day where I am reminded that to be Black in America is to have an acute countdown clock over your head.”
That sums it up perfectly.
I’m tired down to my very core.
I was saying to people yesterday that I couldn’t care less about ISIS. ISIS isn’t even on my radar. There’s just two things that freak me out:
1. Being at the wrong place at the wrong time when a mass shooting happens, and;
2. Crossing paths with a police officer who doesn’t see me as a human being because of the color of my skin.
A neighbor’s brother is a cop and he sometimes stops by their apartment in his cruiser. In my head I know this, but it doesn’t stop me from instinctively tensing up when I pull up to the building and see his cruiser. I don’t exhale until I’m in my apartment.
If that’s not terrorism I don’t know what is.
Thank you for this article. I have said over and over in recent days and months that I am almost embarrassed to be a white woman in America right now.
My heart hurts for our country, for the continued racism and injustice. I am so sick of “white privilege”.
I will share, and speak up and support!
We MUST do better as a country.
Another white woman saying thank you for this article. I hate what I see in our society but often don’t know what to *do* about it other than use my vote. That frustrates me because as you say, we whites are the people who ought to be doing the work to change this.
I have made a point of using social media to get the perspectives of POC. I retweet a lot, but I generally don’t respond to tweets and I definitely don’t try to engage people in discussions. I feel like what I need to do is *listen and learn*. I’ve joined your mailing list and followed you on Twitter now and I really look forward to reading more of your work.
This is how our parents, in my case, and grandparents for y’all felt during the Jim crow era. They want us to fear them. It’s how demons grow their power….
Broken-hearted, fed-up & angry white woman here thanking you for giving white people some concrete actions for promoting justice and for being a catalyst for change. It’s hard to know what involvement will be helpful and which will not – I know there will always be things that are well-meaning but misguided. I think we fear putting ourselves out there alongside friends and community members of color because we might be told “you could never understand” or “you’re doing it wrong” But not to act is to take a stand too. I would also add to this list that some proactive work can be done. Not just by showing up for protests in response to a senseless death, but by writing, lobbying and organizing community forums with your local law enforcement agencies BEFORE an incident happens in YOUR community and ask what they are doing now. Demand better training, better procedures and MUCH stronger accountability. Whatever we can do to try and stop it before it happens.
“Create an app or something.” YES lord. I’m not a programmer but maybe someone can invent Google Glass for police. Technology is pretty simple: the glasses talk via Bluetooth to an officer’s sidearm: whenever it’s pointed at a human, a message displays across the glass: “Reminder. This person is a person. Please do your best to serve and protect them.” Beta testing can start anytime.
[…] white people can do in order to start combating the racism that we are continually surrounded by. “Another Day, Another Hashtag. White People, You Gotta Get to Work NOW.” Read it. Start […]
You are my shero. I shared your post and while I was planning to buy your book w next mo’s budget, I bought it today anyway. Because today.
Wonderful post, thank you for understanding that there are people of all complexions who are enraged, heartbroken, and trying to figure out what to do to help end this brutality. I will be sharing your post.
If everyone would be this for everyone else the life would be better for everyone.
I’m not gonna lie, I’m a white lady and my first (gross) response was to not like your tone in the first paragraph, bc I do have feels about vilifing all police. HOWEVER, this pales in comparison to innocent people being gunned down and you have every right to be pissed, so I’m printing your list and getting to work.
With you 100%
Thank you from another white woman who has never known what it feels like to be you. I remember watching the civil rights riots on the evening news as a kid and being horrified as my parents just ignored it. Sadness and frustration and shame have followed me my whole life. The very least I can do is send a check— thank you for that information— and speak up. Despite what some will say, this IS my business.
Hey I love this post but could you correct the factual error? It definitely FELT like just 24 hours but I don’t want anything to undermine your work here.
Terence Crutcher was shot Friday 9/16
Keith Lamont was shot Tuesday 9/20
Also, Terence Crutcher sang in the choir, he was not a pastor.
And Keith Lamont exited his car with gun in hand. He was not sitting idly, reading a book.
Is there video to support that claim? Neighbors that see him everyday and witnessed the event said there was no gun.
Also, the video has not been released to the media/public, so how do you suppose anyone could know that for a fact?? (aside from the people who shot him… and we aren’t listening to them at the moment)
Nope. No gun in his hand, according to the partial video released. That is just what the cops said, as they would to cover their azzes.
Whole lotta white women in these comments, which is a great start, but until we get more white men saying the same things, we’re in for a fight.
I got your back and everyone else’s too. I’ll be where you need me to be, say what you need me to say, and if the back of the line is where I gotta be, I’m there, too, listening the whole damn time.
“Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
A red man with a bit of white
White men are too busy struggling to pay their bills and get by, while being told their privileged, to print your list and follow it all.
While black folks are too busy struggling to pay their bills and get by and worrying about being senselessly killed. They aren’t interested in helpful.
I assume you are referring to the endless, “senseless” slaughter of blacks by their own race in Chicago and other major mteropoloitan areas? Oh wait, that wouldn’t fit properly into your racist agenda. I know, you are referring to the ~530 “privileged” non-African Americans (~325 white) shot and killed by LEOs this year (out of a total -700). Where is the outrage for that? Sorry, my bad again. That too wouldn’t fit nicely into your “victim” narrative. Do us all a favor, stop fanning the flames with meaningless rhetoric and start looking in the mirror for some answers. This is not a white-privelidged problem, this is an accountability problem on all sides and levels.
No one here is talking about black on black crime (which does nothing to prove your point) because it’s just as senseless as white on white crime (and ANY violent crime for that matter). Let’s stay on topic shall we? This is about LEO’s murdering unarmed black/brown people with SENSELESS justifications for it.
So we should look “in the mirror for some answers”? I truly hope that while we’re looking in mirrors you and yours are staring unblinking, wide-eyed, red-eyed, and dry-eyed in every mirror imaginable to focus on the problems that you’ve birthed and raised for eons (this comment applies if you, Austin Martin, are white. If you’re black/brown then your issues run DEEP and you should seek outside help immediately.) And if you have a problem with LEO’s killing white people then protest about it. If you think that deserves the necessary level of outrage then go and get your picket sign and get to work! Rally your people!! If not, stop fauxraging about the injustices of your fallen people to try and downplay another’s cause. If you don’t want to be a part of the solution then quiet yourself! Going to google to locate “statistics” to discredit another is weak, and in this case it’s incredibly lame. We get it. You aren’t here for us and can’t understand how we could possibly want to be treated with dignity, respect, and humanity since we fight so much amongst ourselves . How dare we!!!
Our perceived “victim hood” insults you? Our perceived “victim hood” enrages you, does it? Well, I hope you have your shrink on speed dial cause you’re gonna need refills on your Prozac, Celexa, and Zoloft. This fight is not over.
I was just thinking the same thing- where are all the white men?!? Step up, dudes.
Luvvie thank you for this call to action. We need it so badly. I am ashamed to be a white American right now.
I was thinking this same thing. Because we all know what people say about women (white or otherwise) who start speaking up and making demands…
What a bunch of meaningless victim complex garbage. Cops does not equal white people.
Very obvious that you have reading comprehension issues – or you are willfully ignorant. Bye.
Thank you. And keep on us! Anytime any new strategy or organization pops up that we can get behind, let us know. Add the word, “awesome,” because you know white people love that.
You want white people to fix it, but don’t mention the white people every day who are trying to fix it. Do you know any white people who are trying to fix this? Efforts are made every day by me and people I know to get into police departments as volunteers and change department policies/culture to get rid of bad cops. We sit on police-oversight public safety commissions going through near riots in city hall from angry police. We join grand juries working to stop the insanity from the inside. Did you know that? People like me run for city council to face power down and change cultures within corrupt police departments. I know a white city council person who had his house ransacked by police because he was putting too much pressure on them, and still he kept working to get rid of the corrupt leadership, eventually succeeding. White people work with blacks every day of the week in the hard-as-hell world of city politics. We may not be making facebook posts about it and we may not be writing books telling other people what they need to be doing, but they are leading by example. White racists will use your words to get angrier while guilt-ridden whites beg to be recognized for the good work they do. Once you make a demand, are you going to recognize when work is being done or is demanding work of people and never recognizing it part of your breezy commentary? You are a young, brilliant, talented woman. Some political advice: When you call out people to contribute, find a way to recognize them. This work is, as you know, dangerous but it is also thankless. People need leaders to inspire greater works, not leaders to guilt them into action. Guilty action is weak. Inspired action is real power.
Lady, I don’t know how you were raised. But I was taught to respect myself and others. I feel no guilt for how other people act because they happen to share the same skin color.
And don’t roll your eyes and call me a racist. That word has lost all meaning. Please attempt to be more creative in your thoughts towards me.
I have to agree with Marie a bit. I’m another white woman thankful for this article and list. I believe that a lot of white people want to help but honestly haven’t known how OR if they do they are sometimes chided for 1) making it about themselves 2) misappropriating 3) in general doing something wrong. You’re outraged, you’re tired, I get it….so let whites BE your partners. And don’t forget, like Marie says, so many are already working on this stuff….in our neighborhoods, in our personal lives, at our workplaces. Let’s grow the good! Let’s be co-conspirators! Let us remember to build one another up, not tear each other down in the process. Please just let “us” white folks know what we are doing RIGHT so that we can keep doing it.
Marie, there is a Chris Rock routine that talks about people wanting credit for the things they are supposed to do. It’s hilarious; you should watch it. My point is while I recognize that there are white people who are fighting for justice, I find your post offensive and insensitive. Is it necessary that we, the oppressed, and in this case, the MURDERED, recognize and celebrate the individual white people who work to end brutality? Isn’t that what every decent person, of any race, should do? I mean…isn’t the psychic reward of doing the right thing enough? Perhaps you might think a bit about what have said here. Would you ask the breast cancer patient to thank you for walking for the cure? I doubt it. Luvvie has written concrete ways white people can work to fix state-sanctioned murder. WE did not create this racist, oppressive system…white people did. This is not hyperbole, nor it is opinion. This is indisputable fact. Truly, it is the duty of every white American of good conscience to dismantle it. Please do not expect our thanks for destroying that which you should not have created and implemented in the first place, and from which all white people benefit today.
Love this!!!!! ^^^^^^ I couldn’t have said it better Motown Mama!
I did not ask for thanks, I asked for recognition, which is not the same thing. I suggested that Luvvie, who has a platform where she can create real change, ‘recognize’ (‘acknowledge’), actions that make a difference. If she acknowledged effective actions, she builds a team behind her with demonstrable ways for people to engage. I did not mean to offend when I did not respond to the deep hurt and terror in her article. I can’t fix the emotional pain but can do the institutional-change work to eliminate police getting away with murder.
Sorry for the typo- I do NOT think these shooting are justified
Yet the police officer who shot the guy in Charlotte was also black and no book has been found at the scene. However, a gun was found. But let’s not let facts get in the way of a good narrative.
Since when do the facts matter?
I don’t know why all these horribly oppressed people do not flee this country ASAP. Nothing is going to change.
Because these horribly oppressed people have blood, sweat, and tears that was/is used to build this country. It’s as much (if not more) ours as it is yours. We. Are. Going. Nowhere.
White people need to inhabit silence. Seriously. Sit DOWN. Read history. Read accounts of what’s accrued for you, for us. Read, breathe it in. It’s painful. Breathe it in some more. Let it change you, us. Don’t need to always say what you think. Don’t need to always be counted. Walk at the back. Lend a hand, at last. Try it out. Be a quiet co-conspirator, yes, a foot soldier in the uprising against a SuperFund Site of Hate that we’ve all been born into but which pays dividends — inheritance, property, skin privilege, self-reliance — to white people. Let go of all the ways you were told you were sovereign. Don’t ask for medals for being good, for reading the right stuff, teaching the sensitive material. Just.Be.Quiet. Know yourself anew through being the one who disappears. Discover how human and alive and useful that dwelling place is, how urgently we need to be there for the Survival of the world.
So wait a minute….do we want white people to be quiet or be co-conspirators? Because many of “us” white people have already done what you’re asking and we want to help. ????
I’m just so disappointed. Really. Coming from a multiracial background, with a multiracial husband and my two muliracial children, and being female, the most common advice I got and gave is to call a spade a spade. The second most common advice was to believe none of what you hear or read, and only half of what you see. This is not a “white people problem to fix,” any more than being “overly dramatic and violent is a black people problem to fix.” We all have our individual issues, and tragedies that hit our lives. But the current situation is obviously an attempt for mainstream media and the very rich, very elite to get us (all of us that aren’t them) fighting with each other. In the midst of chaos and confusion, these thieves will make their best moves. As long as we’re preoccupied and looking at each other, we won’t see what they’ve done to us and our country, and they’ll be gone by the time we figure it out. Why do you think that there is so much more media coverage of white police officers killing black individuals? Do you really think there is an increase?! This has been going on forever, since before my childhood. So the better question is why is there more media coverage, and who is paying for that media coverage? Its the 1%. Yes they are white, but they don’t represent anyone’s values, not white people, black people or any other culture. They represent their own values. Which are to be the richest on the planet and stay that way. They are literally trying to not only make money through ratings, they are hoping we all attack each other and leave them to own this planet. Overall, no one gets hit worse than the poor, and there are poor people of every demographic and race and gender. These 1% are looking out for number one and if we divide based on gender, religion, or color, then we have done their job for them. Men of every color were granted the right to vote before women of any color in the US. And women raise boys who become men. We were all meant to love each other, and typically we do when left alone. Just know that someone is stirring the pot. I believe everyone should know their history and embrace their own culture, but not at the expense of someone else’s ability to do the same. Can’t we all realize that we like individuals from every background, and that is not the exception to the rule (ex: I like her even though she’s white, or I like her because she’s black, we like who we like regardless!!) if there was ever a time for us all to pull together it is now. We are all being lied to and oppressed, we are being treated like pawns in a one sided chess game and they are trying to convince us that the chess piece we have is the important part. It’s not! Moving strategically together and winning the game is the important part. I can’t claim to like every person, but those I do like, I like for who they are, not what they are or what they look like. Ive been told that “nobody gets it worse than an ugly person” and they come in all shapes and sizes, cause ugly is on the inside. We need to work together people! Don’t believe they hype, we were always meant to work together and overcome this together. It isn’t the first time and it won’t be the last.
Thanks for this. I love the depth and breadth of deep feelings here expressed. I would want to add only this: Our campaign seeks to take racism out of the political arena to tackle and put it where it belongs: In the hands of our nation’s ultimate health provider – the CDC. They have 4 criteria for what constitutes a threat to public health and racism meets all four. The fact that they haven’t done their job on this IS a perfect example of institutional racism and we believe they need to be called on it. Racism is a thought error just like “Smoking won’t harm you” and instead of just dealing with the cancer they sought to PREVENT it – that’s their job. Join us! And know that its self-care to get active and fight back! Safely, nonviolently and smarter this time. http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/racism-meets-criteria.fb52?source=c.fb&r_by=16228964
I am reading and listening and trying, but here’s what I don’t understand and maybe you can explain it. Why is it that no one waits for the facts to come out in these awful cases before the protests begin?.
In several cases, such as Michael Brown, for example, the evidence pointed to the fact that the cop did not shoot him in cold blood and that his hands were not up. Forensics proved it, and yet, the anger did not subside. When you write words like, “We do everything right and comply to the T, and still die” , the facts in many of these cases do not bear this out.
Even as the facts of the two most recent cases are coming to light, there is the possibility that there was no compliance, and that at least in the NC shooting, Mr. Scott had a firearm.
Also, how do you make this about race when many cops are black and brown? I honestly think that the protesting, the shutting down of highways and the destruction of property are doing more harm than good and are not helpful if you want people to listen to your message.
I will not list my gender, skin color or age because it should not matter. All that should matter is the content of my character.
All police are taught that a noncompliant suspect returning to their vehicle is a life and death threat, too many police killed allowing it to happen. When are people going to take responsibility for putting themselves in life or death situations with law enforcement by disobeying lawful commands? All encounters with police are treated the same by police until proven otherwise they aren’t clairvoyant. Liberal rhetoric contrary to factual evidence and credible source studies proving whites are more likely to be killed by police than than blacks provides an excuse not to address the real cultural problem. Blacks commit more violent crimes than all other ethnicities combined. Wake up victim mentality crazily voting for your masters year after year to govern you. Blacks are the biggest threat to blacks.
Thank you. What a moving article and one that had me, a white privileged female, looking at my own subtleties of racism and I thank you for that. I am also so saddened by the experiences of racism still existing in this nation. And you know, some of the comments left just proves the point…which saddens even me more. As I said to everyone FB posting their indignation of an athlete with a fist in the air, or a butt on a bench or a knee to the ground, shouldn’t we be more upset with the reasons for the need of these protest? We are kind of messed up when we are more upset about a flag and a song and not by what it still going on. Oh wait We are messed up. Thanks again and again. I will most certainly repost. Great, great essay.
Black lives matter more than white feelings matter. Thank you for sharing your experience. I hear you, I see you, I will do all I can to change this injustice.
[…] Another Day, Another Hashtag. White People, You Gotta Get to Work Now, by Luvvie Ajayi. […]
Today my feed isn’t filling up with the typical political rants that have been plaguing the social sphere lately. All day long I’m seeing rows and rows of black Americans getting slaughtered. So I’ve been thinking lately. ……. I’m lucky to have a white boy for a son. He doesn’t have to hit a glass ceiling; he won’t get pulled over for just existing. I know as white man that he will make stupid mistakes as we all do, but he will get a pass on so many things that others get put away for. I don’t have to worry every day if he will be murdered, misunderstood, or jailed because of his looks alone. As a parent of this white boy, I have a responsibility though. There is white privilege, I don’t deny that. To turn a blind eye to the obvious would not be right. I have a responsibility to use my white privilege to teach my son to not be an asshole and learn to respect others. Not to be blind to culture, color, or religion but to also respect that. I hope I can teach him to respect those who are different and enjoy the fact of how great our country could be if we (ALL OF US) are capable of being different in so many fantastic ways! Celebrate diversity. I won’t lie, most of the time I don’t know what the hell I’m doing, But I’m trying. That’s more than doing nothing I guess.
I also, truly love and respect my friends in the police. Many of them are hardworking and good people. Also the majority of them don’t deserve the distinction of being the killers in the African American community. The police are product of what we allow and made. We allowed to much power in the police force, in many cases, not enough regulation, and then create an enormous strain! We underpay people, ask them to go to a community we all have already judge to be less than us, and ask them to deal with the problem. This community isn’t a “problem” however. They are more complex than that, they are people with hopes and dreams, with stress, with an undue burden many of us truly can’t fathom. The resolutions however is not more policing. It’s way too complicated for me to get into, and honestly I only have half of an idea, but here are couple things we can do to improve this powder keg of an issue.
First Start a true honest discussion within all the communities. White people, it isn’t wrong to admit that when a black man walks up to you, you might get a little nervous. We’ve been taught to fear and conditioned to feel superior for generations. We can’t improve however if we don’t admit we to ourselves our imperfections and be willing to move forward. Give up the rhetoric.
People of color, give us a little room to work here. I’m trying to be a good person, and I’m not going to say or feel exactly how you want me to. We have to work together. But if we make a gaff the conversation gets completely derailed because of your fresh wounds, then we progress will be stalled.
Second. Help the police and other social services. I feel that I’m a pretty reasonable person. But if you hand me a gun and tell me to fix this community that has been attacked culturally and economically for millennia, then pay me peanuts, I’ll probably become a jerk too. Most police want to be a good addition to the community. We (all of us) are just not helping them.
Third, EDUCATION, EDUCATION, EDUCATION. Our teachers should be paid more than politicians. We all should be able to go to college without taking out a second mortgage. If we really educated our country many of the shocking issues that still exist would disappear.
Honestly though, I’m not married to any particular solution. Like I said, I’m just trying here and hope that my legacy is something I can be proud of. Mistakes and all.
I am white and you can call me anything you need to. If you tell me to get behind you, I will gladly do so. Your pain is what is important here. Not me.
Racism is a system. Somebody sarcastically wrote “black people can’t be racist?” No, man, they can’t, in fact. Maybe some are prejudiced, but it is the whole system that is racist. And since white people created it, it is first and foremost our white responsibility to break it down, institution by miserable institution. You think the victims should also be responsible for fixing it, white folks? Well, I don’t. It is work we have been ducking for generations and it’s time we shut up and listened and did our work. Or we’re just like the folks Mark Twain wrote about who can bear any amount of suffering as long as it isn’t their own. Sorry, rant over. Thank you for your blog. Just having trouble believing some of these responses.
Thank you so, so much for this. I am a white woman and feel so lost as to what to do to become an ally in this fight for equality. No, I can’t even begin to imagine what it is like to be a Black or Brown person and live under the scrutiny of racist and/or prejudiced white people. I can’t imagine what it is like to live in constant fear of a system that is supposedly supposed to protect ALL people, not just the white people. The system is broken. My heart is broken. My daughter sees me crying at all the senseless police violence against Black people, and even she gets it. A 10 year old girl understands that killing someone solely for the color of their skin is wrong. Because to quote her, “they can’t control what color skin they are born with, and why should that even matter”. I’ve sat silent for way too long, this precedent of shoot first and ask questions later has got to end. So, I thank you for this post. Thank you for putting the resources out there for someone like me to get involved with. Thank you for the suggestions on how to take action and make a difference. My heart is broken for all that have lost anyone to unnecessary police violence, and my heart aches for all that have to live in constant fear of that violence. I stand with you all and will become an outspoken white ally in this fight! Peace and love.
Thank you for this, Luvvie. I barely started to understand the problem when we went to Mississippi for Thanksgiving last year and had to stop for gas/restroom break. When I walked in, the two black women behind the counter stopped talking until I greeted them (with a hello and a smile). They smiled back and went back to talking and it hit me that these women could not know whether I was friend or foe when I walked into their store. The idea that I could be feared for the color of my skin was new to me and powerful. If I could wear some kind of co-conspirator badge, I would, but I think it’s better to really feel for a nanosecond what it is like to be judged just for the color of my skin when others are judged in this manner every minute of every day. I’m humbled to be given an opportunity to hear from POC who are not already my friends. Thank you, a thousand times, thank you.
@Luvvie… you got it.
Actually, you missed the mark completely by alienating women who might read and appreciate you message by using a term denigrating and oppressive to women (Shut cho bitch ass up!). No, it doesn’t matter that you were calling men and women bitches equally. You’re fighting racism but continuing to feed and support the machine that perpetuates sexism, nice job!
That image didn’t alienate me.
If it alienates YOU, that is your choice to make, but you don’t speak for me.
But maybe you shouldn’t make your support contingent on whether or not those you are supporting refrain from using language and cultural affectations and images that YOU are uncomfortable with. Maybe you should let them be who they are, you be who you are, and come together on the thing that you AGREE on… wouldn’t that be a fine idea??
[…] country has a race problem. White people need to stop telling people of color to stand for the anthem of a country where police … If we want people to stand for our anthem, then we need to give them a reason to do so. When […]
And just btw…when was the last time a white person ever stood for the beautiful African American national anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing”? I doubt it happens very often…
[…] If you’d like to take immediate action in order not to feel completely helpless about a truly effed up situation, I suggest reading and reacting to this article: 9 Things White People Can Do to Fight Racism Now. […]
[…] Source: 9 Things White People Can Do to Fight Racism Now | Awesomely Luvvie […]
[…] at Absolutely Luvvie that was helpful (thank you, Luvvie) and worth sharing. The post is called “Another Day, Another Hashtag. White People, You Gotta Get to Work NOW” I strongly encourage you to click through and read her […]
As a white woman, figuring out what a white person needs to do day-to-day isn’t rocket-science. When you see racism, pitch a fit. Loudly. Don’t stop until the racism stops.
That racist relative of yours? Be a broken record every time they say something racist. “Huh. I’ve never had _______ experience of someone of ________ descent. Tell me more about your personal experience.” That usually stuns them because they’ve never actually had whatever shit they are talking actually happen.
If they’ve actually had something negative happen, follow up with “So, I hear you say that ________ (quick summary of their story). That reminds me of when __________ (summarize the 3,000 times you’ve seen white people do the exact same shit.) Do you think that’s a racial thing or a person thing?” Ideally, they will stop because of logic. Practically, they will stop because they look like an idiot. I’d prefer the first, but I can’t control what goes on in their head.
Use a racial epithet in front of me? You get one (1) lifetime warning. After that, any racial epithets cause me to leave. This doesn’t sound like a threat, but in the area of the country I come from, having a guest storm off in front of neighbors means you’ll be the topic of conversation in our county for a few weeks at least. Added bonus – a jack-ass loan officer would say horrifically racist things while having us sign loan papers for our farm. The bank changed his behavior REAL fast when I refused to sign the loan paperwork with him and would only sign at the local headquarters after his boss listened to my complaint. (You’d be amazed how little banks and other companies want to lose accounts. We’re not a huge farm – but they still didn’t want to lose us and certainly didn’t want me telling everyone I knew that they employed a racist loan officer since that could turn into a spiral of lost accounts.)
A local fabric store clerk told my white mom she was going to be helped before the Hispanic woman who had been waiting first. Mom told the clerk that the Hispanic woman was first; the clerk replied that “she could wait.” Mom dumped the fabrics and accessories she was going to buy on the nearest table and walked out with two other white women – not people she knew, just disgusted people. Mom then posted the entire story on FB including the time of the incident, the name and address of the store, and the first name of the clerk on her Wall and the company’s wall. The clerk was investigated by the company and was removed after it became clear that she had no intentions of changing her racist ways.
Many of our neighbors are Hispanic. We let them know that if they are going into a situation where they think anyone will give them a hard time because of their skin color, give us a call and my huge, balding white husband will go along with them. Most racists are bullies at heart and don’t have the balls to do shit in front of a guy who has all the privileged they do AND is capable of either reporting them to the cops OR beating the snot out of them.
FB troll posting by “friends” – if they are posting shit, call them on it. Under the shit. Every time they post. If you are lucky, they reconsider and stop posting. Or they block you. Either way they learn that a whole lot of other white people think they are a racist.
The worst bit is that this isn’t a lifetime or long-time period recounting; all this shit happened THIS YEAR.
Fuck that shit; this is 2016. People either need to get with the program or shut the hell up.
*thumbs up* 🙂
Oh Fred, please stop typing and go somewhere else. My mother taught me that it’s impolite to say “shut up” or that’s what I would say to you. Stop wasting your breath and our time.
Mr. Crutcher’s was the first thing on my Facebook on Tuesday. It combined with personal shit caused me to be pissed all day. It made me ANGRY.
And I realized that by only being mad on Facebook, that I was participAting in slacker activism. So, thank you for showing some places where I can get involved in real activism.
[…] there about our most recent tragedies and what we can do to combat racism. My favorites are from Luvvie Ajayi, A’Driane Nieves, and Rebecca Lee. I also like this idea – support activists on the […]
[…] book, I’m Judging You is a New York Times bestseller right now! In her most recent piece, “Another Day, Another Hashtag,” she addresses white people directly and provides nine things that we can do to fight racism now. […]
All great pieces of advice and, as a white person, I accept them gratefully. However, I do think the black community needs to do a few things in return.
1) Stop vilifying all cops. Only a small percentage of them are outrightly bad, and they exist in a system that enables them. We need to focus on those people and the system, not painting all cops with a broadbrush.
2) Accept that sometimes a black person will be shot by a cop and will deserve it. It’s incredibly frustrating for me to hear about a shooting and to see that there’s immediately a wave of people rushing forward to defend the person before we have all the details. It does none of us any good to defend someone blindly only to later find out that they weren’t maybe someone we should be defending. That is giving ammunition to racist jackholes who want to work against these efforts.
3) Shout down the racists in your own ranks. I was 100% behind BLM at first but then started noticing a really disturbing trend where many of its leaders were openly hateful toward whites. I don’t care what the justification is. We can’t fight racism with racism. There are no half-measures. If I see a BLM leader drinking from a cup with “white people’s tears” on the side of it, it makes me wonder who I’ve fallen in with. You need to call that kind of childish crap out.
4) Stop using the words “white people” when you mean “racists.” This is coupled with #3. Not all white people are racist. When you address racism by talking to “white people,” in some cases it’s unnecessarily combative and turns people away. We don’t need that. If you address “white people” it should not be a substitute for any other word or intent.
Quite interesting to see that many of these posts are only serving to prove Luvvie’s point.
Something else white people can do… and non-whites too…. this: https://goo.gl/hK9ViY that course can change perspectives and lives.
I`M SO SICK & TIRED OF HEARING WHITE PEOPLE WITH THEIR RACIST COMMENTS & ACTS..RACISM IS A CORRUPT SYSTEM THAT WAS MADE INTO EXITENCE BY THEIR ANCESTOR, ALONG WITH THE N-WORD..
WHITE PEOPLE ANCESTORS IN THEIR TIMES WAS ..EVERYTHING THEY TOUCHED THEY STOLEN IT & CORRUPTED IT….”LET THE TRUTH BE TOLD”….THOSE WORDS “OUR COUNTRY” THAT THEY ALWAYS THROW IN OTHER RACE FACES..THEY HAVE STOLEN IT…
THEY CAME TO AMERICA WITH THEIR WEAPONS & PEACE OFFERINGS..(Money)..THEY TOOK,.. STOLE THIS COUNTRY FROM THE NATIVE AMERICANS….THEY CORRUPT ALL THE LANDS & PUSHED THE NATIVE AMERICAN RACE OUT OF EXISTENCE..
AFTER THAT..”LET THE TRUTH BE TOLD”..THEY GOT EVEN GREEDIER & WENT TO OTHER COUNTRIES, TO ROB..STEAL & CORRUPT THEM..BUT THE OTHER COUNTRIES & RACE WASN`T GONNA TAKE THAT SHIT FROM THE WHITES AND SAID..”NO SELL!”..WE GOT WEAPONS & PEACE OFFERING TOO..
BUT BECAUSE THE WHITE RACE WAS SO GREEDY & HATEFUL.. (Evil)..THEY STARTED WARS WITH OTHER COUNTRIES TO TAKE THEIR COUNTRIES & LANDS…BUT THEIR ANCESTORS WAS DYING TRYING TO TAKE WHAT DOESN`T BELONG TO THEM…”LET THE TRUTH BE TOLD”..
AFTER THEY REALIZE THAT THEY WASN`T “SUPERIOR” ENOUGH & BEFORE THEY WOULD GET THEIR WORTHLESS RACE WIPED OUT OF EXISTENCE..THEY TOOK THE COWARD`S WAY OUT & WENT TO THE COUNRY WHERE THEY HAD NO WEAPONS…
THEY STOLEN PEOPLE FROM THEIR FAMILIES..COUNTRY & LANDS AND THEY CALLED THEM SLAVES…”LET THE TRUTH BE TOLD”..THEY STOLE THE BLACK PEOPLE ALONE WITH ANY IDEAS & INVENTIONS THEY HAD FOR THEIR COUNTRY & CLAIMED IT FOR THEIR OWN GREED..THE WHITES BEAT..TORTURED..MURDERED & BURNED THE BLACKS ALIVE TO COVER UP ANY TRACE OF HIS EXISTENCE..
THEY BEAT THE BLACKS & MADE THEM BUILT THEIR HOMES..THEY RAPED & TORTURED BLACK WOMEN AND MADE THEM HAVE THEIR CHILDREN..JUST FOR GAME & BRAGGING RIGHTS..THEY BEAT & TORTURED THE BLACK MEN TO WORK THEIR FIELDS..SO THEY CAN FEED THEIR WHITE WOMEN & CHILDREN..
THE WHITE RACE CALL THEMSELVES “SUPERIOR”..BUT WHAT HISTORY DID THEY MADE FOR THE GOOD OF MANKIND???..WHAT HISTORY THEY MADE TO MAKE THEM HONORABLE MEN & WOMEN???..WHAT COUNTRY DID THEY CONQUERED AND MADE IT OUT OF A HOLY LAND OF PEACEFUL PARADISE, FOR ALL MANKIND??..UNTIL WHITE PEOPLE CAN ANSWER TO ALL THE LIVES..AND ALL THE BLOOD THAT`S ON THEM & THEIR ANCESTORS HANDS..
ALL THE LIVES THAT WAS LOST IN THE WARS THAT THEY CAUSED..JUST SO THEY CAN..ROB..STEAL..RAPE & MURDER IN OTHER COUNTRIES TOO..UNTILL WHITE PEOPLE CAN CONFESS & REPENT THEIR SINS THAT THEY ARE RACIST..UNTILL THEN & ONLY THEN WILL GOD FORGIVE YOU & ONLY HE WILL CALL YOU WHAT HE HAVE READY NAMED YOU..AND WE ALL KNOW ONE THING FOR SURE..GOD WON`T BE CALLING YOU “SUPERIOR”..
AND I..”I”..PRAY HE HAVE NO MERCY ON Y`ALL SOULS..
PS..(This message is not for the pure in heart.)..Matthew 5:8
I am not white. I am closer to pink. You are not black, but brown. You came first and are the dominant gene. I’m ashamed of this skin I find myself in. Ashamed! We all have souls. What are we doing? We are all one family. Generations are an exponent of 2… 2 parents, 4 grandparents, 8 great grandparents etc. Go back 40 generations. at 25 years a generation on average that’s a 1000 years and 2 to the 40th power. You know how many relatives that is at 2 to the 40th power? That number is 2 TRILLION, 99 BILLION!!!! There is not a single soul on this orb that is not my cousin!! We are family. All of us. I am so sorry. So very sorry and ashamed my cousins.
Exactly…I just heard again today that all of us are descended from African peoples, ultimately.
God will surly bless you & yours pure at heart Dennis Dore..my family..
I’m not from the USA and therefore don’t really understand your legal system….But what I see is extremely frightening and it must be stopped now. The line/value between good and bad has disappeared (if it was ever there)…There is a similarity between the way these police? act and Nazi Storm troopers. By that I mean it seems to have become acceptable to use maximum force in any situation and to do this with impunity, and an almost arrogant acceptance that they will be exonerated no matter what. The protectors have become the assailants. Where is the Law? Come on Barack do something. I offer no answers…My only hope is that awareness of this national disaster will be spread, and that white people will open their eyes and finally do something. I hope your efforts succeed. May love be with you.
I’m sorry. I lied. I’m not black. I’m white. I’m ashamed I posted that at the end of my post. I hit “submit comment,” and immediately regretted it. Now, don’t misunderstand. I don’t regret the rest of what I wrote. I only regret the last line, and it doesn’t look like you can edit it. That was my mistake and I take full ownership of it. I’m sorry that I felt I had to pretend to be somebody I’m not in order to get my point across. Please forgive me, but please don’t dismiss the rest of my comment either. I stand by everything else I wrote, except for the last line. Again, I immediately regretted that, and I offer my sincere apologies to the author of this blog and anyone who reads my post.
I have seen more hate in these comments than I have on Trump supporters posts. That makes me really sad.
I will continue to do all listed as best to my abilities.
As a white person, I’ve always been hesitant to get involved- not because I don’t care or don’t want to help. I do. But it is hard to know what’s appropriate action as a white person. Yes, this is everyone’s fight, but when you aren’t actually a part of the community it is directly affecting, it can be hard to know where the line is between supporting an important cause for my fellow human beings and appropriating that cause. Trying to fight “our” fight alongside the Black community can feel disrespectful because I have not spent my life dealing with racism in the same way as you have. I have always spoken out against racism when I hear it from other white people- absolutely- but until now, I guess I didn’t really know what was expected of me from the Black community.
So thank you for this, for giving specific examples of what I can and should (and will!) do, because above all, I want to be respectful and I want to help, but when it’s not your experience on a day-to-day basis, it can be hard to know what is actually helpful and what could just come across as “out-of-touch white girl”.
Thank you for this. I promise some of us are trying. I am vacillating daily between wanting to burn shit to the ground out of rage and breaking down in tears because my heart is breaking over the tragedies and injustices.
[…] 3. Luvvie puts it in simple terms – concrete things White people can do to help battle racism. […]
I’m more than happy to fix what we can fix as white men, but ya’ll need to fix what we can’t, and that is the amount of babies born in ya’lls neighborhoods that have NO DADDY because he doesn’t give a sh*t! and the amount of violence ya’ll take out on each other. That’s not something white men can fix for ya’ll, so while ya’ll can tell us how much we benefit from white privilege do yourselves a solid and fix your own culture that drags each other down for educational advancement and makes fun of people who want to advance by calling them Uncle Tom or whatever else you do like crabs in a bucket pulling each other down. I recognize the evidence of racism in the criminal justice system, but ya’ll need to recognize that nobody else forces you to shoot each other, beat each other, and have babies with no daddy helping to take care of them. That’s not white man’s fault.
Anyone saying black people can’t be racist is either delusional or has never been on the receiving end of it.
I’m going to agree with your comment while also completely *disagreeing* with it. I’m a white man who rides the bus home from work every day. There are maybe two other white folks on the bus with me but for the most part everyone else on the bus is black or Hispanic. After Michael Brown was killed there was one black man who was so angry about it he started shouting and stirring up shit about how white people need to pay. It got to the point where our bus driver (also black) had to warn him to quiet down. Some black folks were with him but others looked uncomfortable. I was the nearest white guy and I was legit scared. So I turned around, told him the truth “Hey, I’m on your side. Fuck Darren Wilson.” and that seemed to simmer things down a bit. But then I hear this murmur from someone like I only said that to protect myself. Umm…NO. Just cause I’m a white man you assume I’m okay with what’s going on? I’m frickin WOKE, okay? I argued with my cop-friendly sister over what happened. I told her straight “If you seriously think Mike Brown deserved to die because he did a little shoplifting then by rights you should have one less brother.” And I don’t even know if Mike Brown stole anything, or if that’s just what Fox News told her. But I know what I’ve done – and I didn’t die for it. Hmm I wonder why?
So yeah, I got a little annoyed when that guy on the bus judged me by the color of my skin…and then I reminded myself that this is the kind of thing that y’all are subjected to EVERY DAMN DAY.
Luvvie, If you want this white man’s help, you’ve got it.
Thank you Luvvie. I promise there are many of us out here who are glad to have these words to work with.
I’ll do all that I can to follow the suggestions Luuvie gave. I do care. I do want things to change. I do want every person to have the same opportunities and equal safety. I also have an honest question. Maybe someone who is more adroit in debate than I can help me out with it. When I do call out one of my friends and relatives on FB over something they’ve shared or posted, I’m instantly overwhelmed with a shit-ton of Faux news level responses. There is no concern for facts or the truth or illustrating that there is another point of view that should be considered by all persons of good conscience. What’s your suggestion on how to handle that? Arguing doesn’t seem to make a difference. Ignoring it doesn’t seem to make a difference. Trying to educate doesn’t seem to make a difference. I want to help facilitate the (inevitable) change, but I don’t feel like I’m doing it very well at the moment. Thanks for any suggestions.
Just got this in my inbox. More than worth reading through and signing if y’all are so inclined! https://policy.m4bl.org/platform/ (“M4BL” is “Movement for Black Lives” if that’s new to you.)
I’m a white man who is listening. Thanks for this great post!
Hi, I’m a Jewish single Mom. I just sat my teenager down so we could read through and discuss your article together. And talk about the pressures that black and brown people (including 2 of his close friends) face and what he can do as a white person. And why Black Lives REALLY Matter. I really appreciate yr taking the time to write it. Thank you!
Another White guy weighing in. I found this site because a relative posted an old, but still relevant, article written by Luvvie . https://awesomeluvvie.wpengine.com/2014/12/stages-injustice-against-black-people.html
One of the privileges afforded me as a white male is that I can be dispassionate and analytical about the situation. What I see in both of these articles is a person (Luvvie) trying to push forward. What I see in the comments are folks stuck in an endless cycle of hitting one of the stages spoken of in the linked article, then returning to stage 2. Rage. Or worse, starting completely over when there is another incident. Understandable, but counterproductive.
One of the things that struck me in the comments of this article are white folks wanting to be recognized for supporting BLM. Curious. There is a large (at least 3,000 people strong) Native American protest going on in South Dakota right now. Black and White folks are there supporting it by cooking and serving food in the kitchen tents. By hauling trash from the campsites, and doing other menial chores while the face of the protest is Native. What’s the big deal about taking a back seat in a BLM protest?
Back when Ferguson was burning, a Black coworker and I were watching it on the news. I made the comment that there would be so much more support from White folks if there were not so much violence involved. His reply made perfect sense to me, “Nobody pays attention to us unless we act a fool.” There’s stage 2 again. Rage.
One White commenter here seemed genuinely perplexed that protests would erupt when the person shot was an actual criminal who was threatening the police when he was shot. That puzzled me too for a bit.
Why would one city simply take it in stride, but another erupt into flames when a Black criminal is shot by police? But folks need to have the patience to wait out the federal investigations in the cases where they are initiated. They do take time, over a year in some cases.
In the case of Ferguson, the feds found that the shooting of Michael Brown was justified. He had stolen from a store, assaulted the store owner, then physically threatened a police officer. The reaction was immediate rage. The rage largely prevented folks from seeing what the full investigation found. That the City of Ferguson engaged in systematic criminalization of the Black population of the city. The example that stuck with me was of a man charged with a simple misdemeanor. He went to court to pay his fine and get on with life. When he arrived, he was arrested for failure to appear. His court time had been moved up without notifying him. This appeared to be a common tactic for building an arrest record against young Black men in particular. This wasn’t the only example, but the one I remember. The death of Michael Brown was one too many in that environment. Ferguson burned.
This is one reason that I think much of the animosity against the police is misdirected. The aim should be higher. The police work for city councils, mayors, district attorneys, and county prosecutors. There is a disturbing trend toward authoritarianism in our politics and policing tactics. I’m hoping we don’t stand for it.
[…] Through ongoing, systemic anti-Blackness it is necessary for white people to speak up. And this is a really tangible list of how we can begin to do that work. […]
When we ask to be protected and we look to those who are there to carry out the law……we need to know that they will understand the responsibility that they carry with them each day to treat each person they encounter with the same respect before they act on carrying out that law. It is a great responsibility to be an officer of the law and it requires as much training and understanding of how to treat individuals as it does to know how to enforce that law.
It is a very dedicated profession that requires as much and perhaps more inner skill than a surgeon or a teacher or a person of the church.
We need to support and applaud those who dedicate themselves to this profession with that in their minds and hearts.
[…] 9 Things White People Can Do to Fight Racism Now (article, Awesomely Luvvie) […]
[…] at Absolutely Luvvie that was helpful (thank you, Luvvie) and worth sharing. The post is called “Another Day, Another Hashtag. White People, You Gotta Get to Work NOW” I strongly encourage you to click through and read her […]
[…] 9 Things White People Can Do to Fight Racism Now. […]
[…] “We no longer need white allies, but white co-conspirators. Don’t just talk about really be about this life and ACT.” Luvvie Ajayi […]
Black multiple-suicide attempts survivor, still alive.
The puppet masters have created no fantasy for most humans. They have created man-made ideologies and paradigms that are racism, sexism, and certain other dogma that divide humans into neat controllable groups, easy prey for their damnation. I’m a black father, did very well in University, and have made some historic contributions in my business sector. However, from about age 14 to now, suicide has been an all too often friend. Why? The world shows me no love, and people of my mindset and skin tone, are treated worse than garbage. At least most people in my nation recycle garbage, wrap it up neatly, some even work it into their art. But due to my skin color, all my life I’ve been held back. Yes held back. Even my college/University grades would have been even higher but once I started eloquently and politely addressing the racism that was (still is) in textbooks and racist statements (most subtle ones) by professors, suddenly all scholarships stopped and professors somehow found ways to drop my grades. Some stopped talking to me other than in mandated situations. When I worked at a particular very powerful firm, there was racism ,and again I spoke up politely, followed procedures and was FIRED. Another firm years later, same situation, was fired. I won a few dollars (paid off bills that had accumulated) and was told by judge: You are not allowed to publicize your victory (I guess they didn’t want other employees that faced racism to grow some balls, guts) I’ve been beaten by crazy cops, been turned down for major ventures due to my skin tone, had doors slammed in my face (when over the phone previously, the other negotiating party was head over heels to work with me). I’ve seen the way that the all out war (mental, financial, physical, emotional, spiritual) on black, brown humans, even since Alexander the Great conquered Egypt/ Khemet. So all the trophies, academic awards, etc and to date, to most people I encounter, I’m just a NI&&&&. Nothing more, but even less. Sadly, I see very little hope. I could research, and create a new galaxy and still get no real love. Even the black community gives me a hard time because even after all the racism from whites, I still know that they are not all wicked, mean, and psychopathic. So I live in a small closed world, like a child that seeks love and truth and only gets despair and pain. To date my suicide attempts have failed, and I haven’t tried in years. I hope that I can live to be much older and maybe help bring a better world. But in reality, with Trump on the horizon, and globally hate being fed to people on a daily basis, I don’t get the impression that my life will be long (that’s if a rogue cop, or black gang doesn’t hurt me first). Yeah celebrate we’ve created a loveless world, as we even destroy the oceans, air, etc. Humanity? Call me when the love arrives. Black and brown people scream a heart out but the response is: Grow up, pull your boots up, my white ancestors came here with nothing and look how I am rich. They leave off that their white ancestors killed natives, worked black slaves for free (if they didn’t kill the slaves), and got breaks that the black community to date still hasn’t received. Signing off and going to dream of a better world. Signed: Invisible, Unloved, Unknown, Unloved, Unappreciated, Undesirable Wise Black Man.
[…] Through the summer and fall of Black Lives Matter, I’ve been reading people like Te-Nehisie Coates, and Luvvie Ajayi. Trying to listen to calls for white people to not just be silent. […]
[…] a white anti-racist feminist, I need to be more than an ally. I need to be what Awesomely Luvvie asks of us: to be a co-conspirator. It is up to white people to fix racism because we made/make […]
[…] I don’t say all this just to cause an uproar. I say all this to say that I will be a part of the solution by calling out wrongdoing and using my voice to have open conversations with mature adults (I am not wasting any more of my time talking to unwilling people). I am not going quietly. Why? Because ignoring the race, inequality, and systematic oppression issues make them worse not better. Not talking about it and acting like it is a thing of the past is dangerous. That is the equivalent of having cancer and saying if I don’t talk about it, it will go away and I will be healed! Nope, it doesn’t work like that. You have to attack it with a vengeance the minute you are aware of it.[/fusion_text][fusion_text]Don’t fall into despair! Don’t let racial discussion fatigue syndrome get the best of you! I know in difficult times things can sometimes feel hopeless. I thank God that feelings are not fact! In one of my previous post Racism Is Real: My Christian Response To The Issues, I give words of encouragement and a positive perspective that will help you to stay victorious during such turbulent times. For more actionable steps check out Awesomely Luvvie’s post. […]
Looking back at history, the thing that I find interesting is that racism in North America began when the white Christians came over.
When the Native Americans lived here, life was beautiful. There was peace and respect for all life (even trees). Then white Christians arrived, desperate to TAKE and TAKE and CONQUOR, and generally be right about everything. Their ways, their beliefs, were the only Truth. So a gorgeous, beautiful belief system and way of life was stamped out. And all in the name of God and a Sovereign Nation.
Sorry, I’m rambling a bit. Fast forward a few hundred years.
Now Christianity is a dominant religion in North America. People are so desperate to be good and viewed as Christian, that they turn a blind eye to so much. A downfall of the religion is that people focus on their own selves and their “Godliness”, that they fail to view the world around them.
Racism and white privilege aren’t the only sickness in North America. Elitist religion is alive and well, and it only separates us further.
Be awake, be aware, and continually thirst for knowledge. Don’t get caught up in the tiny trap of your own inner world.
[…] “Another Day, Another Hashtag. White People, You Gotta Get to Work NOW” by Luvvie Ajayi […]
[…] I have to give a shout out to this blogger Awsomely Luvvie who reminds white people “This is your monster to slay.” And she’s right. […]
[…] thoughtful: 6 things white people can do about racism, from Luvvie […]