I am a wife. I am a mother. I am a teacher. I am a writer. I'm a lover of reading, running, scrapbooking, and crossword puzzles.
It is time to look inward and see how we are advocating for the end of racism or how we are ideally sitting by because that is where the problem with racism lies. Sure, deranged white supremacists and Neo-Nazis are frightening with their tiki torches and costumes, but instead, what is more frightening is the perfectly stable and sane majority who stand quiet and passive or shift the blame off themselves or who fail to see the underlying message. We are what is frightening. So, how do you stop being a racist or, at least, less of one? Read below.
- Realize that there are many different forms of racism. This article explains some of the ways racism manifests. Chances are that our actions will align with one of the examples. Figure out which one you are.
- Become aware of the fact that most likely, you got where you are not only from hard work but also because someone else wasn't given the opportunity that you were. Don't wallow in guilt—give back.
- Not all Black people will like you; it's not reverse racism. Get over that. And if you feel as if someone pulls the "race card," let it be. It's on him. Accept the things you cannot change.
- Do not expect praise from Black people because you have now become a social justice warrior.
- Quit always asking Black people to help you understand them. Seek to understand them by educating yourself.
- Never begin a phrase with "I'm not trying to sound racist, but..." Just don't.
- Do become just as outraged over the segregation, poorly funded, and dangerously located schools for Black CHILDREN in our public school system as some have been over Colin Kaepernick taking a knee.
- Do become just as outraged at the American prison system with minorities as you were when you saw Neo-Nazis and white supremacists take to Charlottesville.
- Do not avoid sending your children to a mostly Black school because it is bad. Work to make it better—someone has to go there.
- Do not be afraid of Black children coming into our schools and claim that it is because of test scores and drugs. They deserve an equal education. They are CHILDREN!
- Realize that when you say "nice neighborhood" and "bad neighborhood," you most likely (not always) mean "white neighborhood" and "Black neighborhood." Language is powerful.
- Every time you see or hear a rant about Colin Kaepernick, make a donation to his foundation. Make someone else's lack of clarity your charity. We will actually be working together, and the CHILDREN win!
- Do not compare Black Lives Matter and white supremacy/Neo-Nazis. One wants to be superior. The other wants to be equal.
- When you see groups of Black people resorting to violence and destruction during protests, know that they are hurting. After you have been physically and metaphorically kicked around for so long, sometimes you just want to smash some things. And while you are at it, acknowledge that violence from alt-left groups stinks. But racism stinks more. Stop debating it. It's irrelevant.
- Be aware that your desire to live near a Trader's Joe and a Vegan Juice Bar might be hurting someone else. #gentrification
- When you see a person who appears to be homeless out on the streets, and it appears to be safe, do not avert eye contact but instead look them in the eye and acknowledge their presence with a smile. Give them back some dignity. If they ask for money, politely decline or incline—your choice.
- Realize that your advocating for choice looks a lot differently for them than it does for you. Work to give them your choices.
- Realize that your advocating for life looks a lot differently for them than it does for you. Work to give them your lives.
- Quit saying, "I'm not to blame for the past." You're still benefiting from it.
- Stop saying, "I'm tired of having to feel guilty because I'm white." That's on you. Build your endurance.
- Listen when someone wants to change a team name or remove a mascot. Chances are it will have no bearing on your wellbeing.
- When we see a group of Black teenagers listening to loud music and wearing hoodies, do not approach them as if they have already done something wrong.
- If someone calls you out, swallow it like a champ.
- Having a Black friend, spouse, or child doesn't let you off the hook.
- Pray that you have the courage to change the things you can.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
ann bauer on May 26, 2020:
We are never too old to learn.