Dear, #SOULdiers, And The American Public,
When Tahir (owner of TheBLACKMedia, LLC) and I first started talking about me writing a column for his website, almost a year ago, we were living in a very different America..or were we?
Thinking back to life as I knew it under President Obama, during the 2016 election season, and watching it all unfold in white privilege media, I truly had NO IDEA what we were in for…but in reality, the racism and bigotry was always there. See, my white privilege keeps me shielded, protected, and free from seeing and feeling the effects of racism. I can be an “ally” to people of color without putting any real skin in the game. Yes, I donate each month to organizations tearing down institutional racism, which is important to support. I make financial commitments to organizations such as the ACLU, NAACP, and Equal Justice Initiative who fight for all human rights because no one is free when others are oppressed. However, that is just a small act of committing to what I know is a much bigger issue, fighting systemic and individual racism every day.
What It Means Being White In America:
See, being white allows me to slip in and out of the fight. It allows me to wake-up every morning and choose to think about race. Even as a mother of an African-American son, and living in a largely Latino community, I can CHOOSE if I want to think about race today. WOW! If that isn’t privilege, I don’t know what it is!
So then how do I change that? How do I force myself to not only THINK, but ACT against racism on a daily basis? Is writing an article a few times a month enough? Or posting some information on Facebook, is that enough? Or engaging with a white family member or friend a few times, is that enough? The answer is obviously NO! It is NEVER enough, until I can wake up one morning with the knowledge that every person of color in America can CHOOSE to think about race if they WANT TO.
See, what we as white people do not even understand is that every person of color in this nation does NOT have that choice!! Every person of color MUST think about race every single day. The anxiety and stress alone from thinking and worrying about race and racism is enough to make people sick or depressed. The fact that I can choose to fight, to struggle, to give race or racism one ounce of my energy, that is White Privilege at it’s core.
My Call To ACTION:
So, to my fellow white Americans, in the words of Dr. Brene Brown, I am “Daring Greatly” to think about race daily, to write about it daily, to talk about it daily, to act against racism on a daily basis. I am committing to changing my own attitudes, knowledge, education, and sharing it with others. I am committing to being bold, and not only being an ally, but an accomplice to fighting racism. Dr. Martin Luther King and many other millions of people risked their lives, their dignity, their families, their safety, their freedom, and their voices in the name of MY FREEDOM! Who am I not to do the same now?
Who else will Dare Greatly with me? If you want to find out more information, or just start a conversation, please follow me on FB, message me, or comment here. Let us be the change we want to see in the world!
– The Phoenix
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© 2017 Christina Wallace The B.L.A.C.K Media