Dear Black and Brown, friends and family and followers, you deserve so much better than the way the world is now. I am deeply sorry for the part I have played, and do play, in letting it be the way it is.
You are fully human, beautiful, merciful, gracious, and wise. You deserve to be treated with respect, and to live. You deserve to draw breath freely, enjoy nature, bbq and jog, play video games with your family in your home, and sleep in your own beds. You deserve to be paid equitably, have opportunities for safe housing and good education. You deserve access to affordable and good healthcare care, childcare, and mental health care. You deserve to live your lives fully and without fear.
I have screwed up many times, and though I am working to do better, I know I will screw up again. I hope that as time goes on you are able to trust that you can call me out, and I will work to correct not just my behavior but also underlying beliefs and thought processes too. I know that will take time to prove. I want you to know that your life, the whole of your life, matters to me. You are worthy of all good things.
My friends, I often find that real apologies, conversation about systemic oppression, racism, police brutality, and steps we need to take to begin undoing all of this, are rarely productive when we cannot see each other in person. However, we cannot see each other in person right now. We cannot engage in dialogue, challenge each other, sit together with our Black and Brown neighbors in the anguish and fury, grieve together, or do the work together in person.
But dear white friends, family, and followers, not being able to see each other in person does not give us license to sit by and do (or appear to do) nothing.
I have been engaging these issues in online spaces, where we have been able to deeply dialogue. But I’m going to get louder about calling whiteness out on this platform too. If I hadn’t made this clear in the past, I want you to know that I believe these issues are intrinsically linked not only to my life but also to the work I do, and the work many of you do as well. Pandemic or no pandemic, things must change, and we must actively engage in changing them.
This isn’t a game, this isn’t about inconvenience or discomfort. This is literally life and death. Not just because of what inevitably happened to George, Atatiana, Michael, Botham, Ahmaud, Trayvon, Breona, Mya, Kayden, Emmett, Sandra, or the many other precious lives cut short or deeply injured because of their Blackness and Brownness somehow posed a threat to our whiteness. Face the ugliness of what we have built and benefited from. Listen, do the work to become educated and accountable.
The link below is a starting place, I highly suggest starting there: