But Do Black Lives Really Matter to You?
It’s like clockwork. After every state sanctioned murder, every white supremacist terrorist attack, every time a Black life is taken on camera our timelines are full of commentary about how much we care. How much Black lives matter to us as white people. How shocked, how sad, how angry we are. But what good is expressing care without any tangible action, especially when as a white collective we have been silent at best, directly participated at worst and are forever benefiting from white body privilege?
A few weeks back we ran with all our privilege on display for Ahmed Aubrey (haven’t said much about Breonna Taylor you’ll notice). But as Erika Hart, co-host of the podcast Hoodrat to Headwrap and incredibly badass sex educator, breast cancer survivor, writer, activist and disrupter pointed out in their series of recent tweets Black people deserve more than our symbolism.
So how do we begin moving away from symbolic action to real life daily choices that can create change?
Educate yourself on the history of racism in this country.
Our schools teach history through the lense of white supremacy. If you want to truly understand how anti-Blackness functions to uphold oppressive systems you have to start here. Read about the genocide of Native peoples, the horrors of chattel slavery, lynchings, the Great Migration and racism in the north. Read about the problematic history of the white femist movement and how white women continue to act as gatekeepers of white supremacy. There is no path forward without an understanding of our shared past.
Stop avoiding conversations about racism in your spheres of influence and white community spaces.
This means in your family, with your young children, with your white friends, in your child’s school, in the workplace, where you worship, etc. And this doesn’t mean shouting “that’s racist!” to every white person who is problematic. It means seeing our fellow white people as worthy of redemption, worthy of real dialogue and sharing of knowledge so that we can actually do better and harm BIPOC less.
Examine your relationship to money and support Women of Color led organizations financially.
In short, show me where you spend your money (or hoard your money) and I’ll see where your values are. Capitalism is inextricably linked to white supremacy and has always relied on the bodies of Black people to create wealth for white people. Divest and give a percentage of your monthly income to grassroots organizations fighting for policy change (may I suggest Mothering Justice?). Share your stimulus payment if you are financially stable through the current pandemic. Give directly to queer and trans BIPOC who are some of the most marginalized. Support spaces that create access to healing for BIPOC communities. Support Black authors, artists and creators through sustaining memberships and share their work widely.
If you’re interested in learning more about how white folx can support women of color leadership, sign up for Accountability academy below.