A letter to those who don’t know what to say,
Black Lives Matter protests are happening all across the country. While they were sparked by the death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man who died in police custody, they are fueled by decades of police brutality against Black Americans that stem from systematic racism in both our police force and country as a whole.
While saying something is crucial during times like these, there are several things to be done in addition to speaking out. Take action.
Racism C.A.L.L.S for action:
Challenge: Call out injustices when you see them. Evaluate the individuals you have elected/plan to elect into leadership.
Acknowledge: Admit the reality of the oppression black people face. Buckle down and wrestle with the discomfort you feel in race-related issues.
Listen: Hear the pain of African Americans; listen to their stories. Check in with your BIPOC friends; they are hurting, ask how they are doing.
Learn: Study the centuries upon centuries of racism. Gain understanding of the many ways racism exists today. (Find a reading list here.)
Speak: Here are some things you can say:
Say you care and want to learn.
Say you are available to listen.
Say you will speak up when you see hatred and injustices.
Say racism is real, wrong, and unacceptable.
Say you are committed to seeing change.
Say something. Your silence is consent.
Do something. Your actions matter.