[You can read Part 1 of 2 here]
Racism in America is like dust in the air. It seems invisible…until you let the sun in.
No matter a person’s political affiliation (is there any such thing as an apolitical adult anymore?), they are likely to have one of four frames of mind about rioting:
- they understand it and condone it as a last resort of communicating outrage;
- they understand it but don’t condone it;
- they try to but don’t understand it and don’t condone it;
- they willfully remain ignorant and don’t take the time to try and understand it
The common denominator with all of these mindsets is that they belong to people who believe that rioting is not an ideal method of communication.
Today (and in the coming weeks, months, and lifetimes), white Americans have yet another opportunity to choose a riotous or non-riotous future:
- The status quo (which continues the unending cycle: invisible racism turning into visible racism, which leads to peaceful protests that often turn violent, followed by blaming and distracting from everything but the root cause; the last phase of the cycle is apathy)
- Most importantly, learn what it means to be an ally. As my friend Melissa Roshan says, LISTEN! Assume only one thing: that you don’t know a goddamned thing about the daily injustices of systemic racism. Take action based on cues from people of color.
- Support and volunteer for political candidates who increase diverse representation in government, as my friend Dan Knewitz has been doing in Minneapolis for several years.
- Donate to organizations like Ethel’s Club so that the voices will be given to “artists, creators, and practitioners working to empower people of color… doing positive work in their communities.”
- Donate to after-school programs or schools with missions like Comp Sci High in the Bronx, where my old friend John Campos and the team of educators have made advancements in career opportunities through educational accessibility for under-served populations.
- No White Saviors
- The Conscious Kid
- Brittany Packnett
- Austin Channing Brown
- The Loveland Foundation