We at Indivisible Outer Cape believe that Black Lives Matter and are deeply saddened and outraged at the unequal and deadly treatment of African Americans and peoples of color at the hands of police. To those most impacted, we hear you and acknowledge your pain.
During these unprecedented days of protest, we continue to listen and to learn how our mostly white community can support this long overdue movement and, more importantly, to make racial and social justice a reality for all. It is too late for George Floyd and countless other black lives, but the time has come (in fact, it is long overdue) to correct the wrongs inherent in our system.
At the core of Indivisible’s foundation has always been the recognition that we must fight for the rights of all Americans, especially those most vulnerable whom this administration has targeted.
Within its ranks, Indivisible has worked to raise awareness of racial injustice, to listen to and uplift people of color, to educate, and to center those who are most impacted by injustice. This training has prepared many for this historic moment of change, but we aren’t finished yet. Now that this movement has moved into the mainstream we must continue to listen to and follow the people of color at the forefront of this movement. We are ready to stand by and work beside them until we all realize the dream and the potential of our democracy.
Still, many white people don’t know where to begin, or worry that they might mis-step or mis-speak, but we must “say their names” and work every day to challenge the status quo and to make the choices and changes necessary despite our discomfort.
Since we can’t all be on the front lines of protests, how do we proceed? Here are some suggestions:
Leverage your own personal network to move more of the people you know into anti-racist thinking. Find ways of talking to the people in your sphere who, perhaps innocently from their unrecognized position of privilege, express concern over the current unrest or anger at property damage (we’re not necessarily suggesting you try this with trumpian troglodytes). Try to re-focus the conversation onto the reasons for this unrest and appeal to the shared values of all people who desire a fair and equal society.
Listen to the words of people of color about their experiences. Read the work of those who have researched the parts of our history that are not always taught to us. Read their analyses of our racist society and what we, as allies, can do about it. Here are some really good resources from scholars and activists.
The institutional racism of our society has negatively impacted black wealth (the net worth of white families is ten times greater than that of black families). Donate to black-led organizations and impacted communities. Here is a link to donate to a number of organizations. Donate to the campaigns of black and other people of color. Support the businesses of people of color. Some resources from Forbes HERE.
Consider carefully the activists’ demands to “Defund the Police” – which, on the surface, can be a scary suggestion to many. If we were able to re-direct funds to programs that support schools, the homeless and mental health services, the demands on our police departments to deal with those issues is reduced and could potentially save lives. You can read about how to counter our nation’s history of institutional racism at Solid Ground and Racial Equity Tools.
The goal of achieving justice and equity is taking too long and costing too many lives, but like most things worth fighting for, requires perseverance and something of everyone. Black people have been persevering and sacrificing on their own for far too long. We must be careful not to ask more of them. We must instead try to match their sacrifices and perseverance, to make up for the years wasted and atone for our silence.