If you are angry, tired, overwhelmed, fearful, disappointed, in mourning, and/or Black, this message is perhaps not for you, because you might understand.
You might understand why I shouldn’t be spending energy to write this when I am already worn and tired.
You might understand the insidious intricacies of racism and that it is not one single act, but a system that is engrained in the history and backbone of the United States.
You might understand that everything happening in this country right now is the product of a country being built off the backs of slaves, slaves whose descendants were not "free" until 1964, not even 60 years ago.
You might understand that it will take more than just 60 years to undo over 350 years of injustice, death, inequality, hatred, racists structures and mindsets.
You might understand that racism robs the Black community as an entirety of power— power that could be used to help completely break down systemic racism and build up an equitable society built on love, empathy, justice, and equality.
You might understand why White silence can be dangerous, and how it can increase the power of people who are actively/passively racist, by keeping them from the truth of the repercussions of their racism, whether it be overt or covert.
You might understand why it will takes more than just a status and a hashtag to help push towards ending police brutality and creating a better country.
You might understand why there is a reason that White Supremacists side with Donald Trump, and how his actions and words are fuel to their fire of hatred.
You might understand why it is worth the effort to exercise some empathy (even if just for a moment, it costs nothing!) and look at the causation of rioting rather than rioting itself; you might understand how important changes in history have begun in similar fashions. Rioting not your cup of tea? Move on and figure how what you can do personally instead.
If you understand all of this, this message is not for you. No. This message is for you who does not understand, and especially if you are White. It is beyond the time for you to change. It’s time for you to recognize that though you may not feel powerful, there is power that comes with your identity, thus your actions, resources, and words. Use it to do something about this. Educate yourself. Learn how racism is connected to every aspect of our society: money, housing, healthcare, education, law enforcement, etc. Then educate your community. Your children. Your parents. A cousin. A friend. A coworker. Use knowledge and your power to help at least ONE person understand what’s happening right now, for that is at least one more person brought onto the right side of history, and one more person that can help vote more thoughtfully and advocate for why Black Lives Matter. Individual interactions are much more powerful and meaningful than hashtags or statuses. Even if you do not agree with someone else’s method of progressing forward, figure out how you yourself can make a difference and be a part of creating a better country. This isn’t about the Right vs. Left, or even right vs. wrong. This is about Love vs. Hate, something everyone can feel.
Your silence is loud, and it matters. Your lack of action is an action, and it matters. Your absence of empathy and understanding is fuel to the fire, and it matters.