I haven’t said anything here about the recent Black Lives Matter protests and events. Frankly, I don’t have much to add to the insight being imparted elsewhere, except for one aspect that I want to underline.
This is going to be a long haul. Speaking as a white person to white people, we need to be ready to work for years, even our whole lives. (Black people are already there.)
The opposition will fight back. Among other strategies, it will try to use attrition — it always does. There’s money to be made by blocking justice, enough money to pay skilled people to work full time to fight to maintain white supremacy. You and I who make our livings in other ways can devote fewer of our own resources. White supremacists want to wear us down so we’ll give up, discouraged.
But just like an optical illusion, once you see what’s happening, you won’t get fooled. Exhaustion is a trick they’re playing on us. Rest if you must, but don’t stop.
If you haven’t done much so far, that’s okay. I was moved by the mass protests, but I’m worried about Covid-19, so I only went to a small, neighborhood protest, holding my little home-made sign. Covid-19 will be gone eventually. There will still be lots to do, and we’ll have more freedom to do it. Meanwhile, I’m helping with funding and carrying out projects from isolation. We’ll all find a role.
If you don’t think you understand the issue well enough, that’s okay. Read books, watch videos, and seek out Black viewpoints. It’s not Black people’s burden to teach us, but they are generously sharing an enormous wealth of wisdom.
If your life leaves you with little to give, at a minimum, register and vote. If you think voting doesn’t matter, then why would anyone try to suppress it?
Finally, whatever you do, make a material, not symbolic, difference. This little TikTok video by Joy Oladokun skewers fast, superficial cures to racism.