When coronavirus came around, we had to act.
We had to wear masks, wash our hands, stay at home, work from home, take our kids out of school, use less toilet paper, etc.
It was inconvenient, uncomfortable and difficult for many of us. We made sacrifices. But we did it because people were getting sick. People were dying.
But a worse health crisis has been on our hands for centuries: racism. And many of us have not acted. We haven’t inconvenienced ourselves, gotten uncomfortable or made sacrifices to do something about it. Even though black people are getting sick. Even though black people are dying.
We have to act.
Racism hasn’t been declared a pandemic by WHO, but it should be. Racism has been recognized as a public health issue by numerous medical groups and last year was declared a public health crisis in Milwaukee. And yet there have been no apparent changes or healing to this systemic disease. No rush for a cure like there is for a vaccine. Sit with that for a minute. It’s packed with uncomfortable truths, both racist and economic.
Not sure what you can do? I’m still learning myself. But educating yourself is a good first step. Here is a list of anti-racism resources. It’s big. There’s lots to learn and do. Just start somewhere. Share it with others.
If you’re buying a book on this list, please consider purchasing from a black-owned bookstore here: https://aalbc.com/bookstores/ rather than Amazon.
This work will take strength and energy. It will be difficult and emotional. Change always is. Please make sure you are also taking care of yourself. We need you.
Remember that we are all works in progress. And when you mess up, try not to defend yourself. Instead, listen more. Making mistakes is how we learn. And doing something and messing up is better than not doing anything at all.
f you are not black and believe there’s nothing you can do about racism, or that you’re not part of the problem, I get it. I was the same way. For a long time. But it’s not true. I implore you to open yourself up to the possibility that there is more for you to learn about racism, more you can do. We need you too.