Nothing has changed except the calendar. Except, 2017 was a sea change year. People who didn’t know now know. Maybe you’re one of those people who “woke up” to just how bad things are. Maybe you’re one of those people who got mad that it took a neo-fascist administration to finally shake some sense into the good people of America. Wherever you land on the spectrum, here we are. Drowning in white supremacy and the horrors it creates.
Once you know you can’t unknow. Once you know, you need to know you have a responsibility. Ignorance doesn’t actually get us off the hook but it keeps us from knowing there’s a hook to begin with. Once we see the hook, pretending it doesn’t exist requires soul-splintering. There’s just no way around it. If you know the world works the way it does and you choose to do nothing, you are stepping away from your own humanity. That, my friends, is what white supremacy feeds on.
The bad news is this shit runs deep and the roots are strong. It will not go away on its own, and it will not be easy to destroy.
I’m not going to call it good news but the better news is this shit follows patterns. This system was made on purpose, it is operating exactly as it was designed. Learning the patterns of how white supremacy does what it does, and importantly, learning the ways we white people get defensive and go off the rails when it’s brought up, is a key in learning how to dismantle it.
White supremacy was built on purpose, and that means it can be dismantled on purpose.
It won’t be easy. It won’t be quick and I can speak from experience that it is not painless- white supremacy does not go down without a fight, not even in our own blood and bones. This is going to hurt.
But the alternative? The soul-splintering pretending that things aren’t as they are? That hurts more.
It’s a new year. It is not a new fight. But it’s a fight that needs you, needs all of us, now, and desperately.
How are you going to join in the fight against white supremacy in 2018?
This isn’t a rhetorical question. Answer it for yourself. The share your answer with your friends and family, and especially with the children in your life. Send me an email and share it with me. It will feel like the smallest drop in the most immense bucket – and it will be. But we must do what we can.