When we posted our black squares, what did we learn from the single day of reflection that we said we were taking?
My personal reflection leads me to me understand that many white people are so afraid that if they give up their silence on inequality, or that if they acknowledge their white privilege, or if they actively seek to eradicate the inherent social and financial injustice in our society then they will end up being treated the same way that we allow black communities to be treated.
Whether this is done purposefully or in ignorance, it is inexcusable.
Racism. Inequality. Both become intentional if you do not go out of your way to eradicate them.
Silence is a political weapon AGAINST social justice. We see it used daily when politicians refuse to answer our questions. Every day that we remain silent or allow that silence to continue from politicians, corporations, the media, our teachers, black lives are being damaged, limited, and destroyed.
We must still ourselves and listen to the voices of the people whose lives and potential are actually being limited, constrained, threatened, incarcerated or killed by our inaction to seek purposeful long term destruction of the cruelty of systemic racism that the foundations of our society are built on.
We must make visible every achievement, joy, beauty, and success of black communities. And our hearts should ache deeply with the knowledge that each success, from even holding on to life, has had to be fought infinitely harder for and solely because they were born black into a world where racism fuels inequality.
There is an appalling disparity between how black lives and white lives are represented in the media and yet we consume that media, we fund its creation. And we are able to choose not to.
There can be no unseeing of the facts surrounding police brutality. It is global and it is vile. We are shown videos of officers hugging protesters. We have watched as they kneel. We should be truly disturbed by these actions and not take comfort in them. After all, what man or woman continues to clothe themselves in uniform and take arms to the streets to use against their fellow men, women, and children by order of those who seek to perpetuate injustice?
Why just kneel when you could lay down your weapons, discard your uniform and stand with the oppressed rather than continue to oppress?
All institutions are a collective body of individual living, thinking, breathing autonomous beings. Institutional racism ends only when the individuals within them absolutely refuse to perpetuate it.
We must keep educating ourselves and share resources, share time, share compassion, share knowledge, share hope.
Believe that change can happen. Seek out and support those who will ensure that change will be led by those whose absolute purpose is equality and social justice.
And throughout my reflection, I have realised that louder than the trending cries of outrage, still there is a silence that is deafening.
ANTI-RACISM RESOURCES HERE