“At birth, you are given a pair of binoculars that see black life from a distance, never with the texture of intimacy.”
– Michael Eric Dyson, What White America Fails To See
I don’t know what to say, honestly.
Too many people have died because of hatred and violence and bias and panic and tension. One person is too many. And I don’t know what to say.
So I’ll do what I know how and write. I will add my small voice to the cacophony.
As a privileged, straight, white woman with a privileged, straight, white family, I don’t and I can’t know what it’s like to live with a constant and legitimate fear for my life because of my skin color or because of who I love. But I can step forward and add my voice.
I read a comment on a post yesterday that said something to the effect of this: Women are the ones who are speaking out and fighting against the perpetuation of rape culture, but it really needs to be a complete conversation. It needs to be men speaking to other men, leading the charge, teaching one another about consent. Just as in that fight, this fight must be a complete conversation.
Silence is destructive. If I as a white woman do not strive to learn more about my own biases and combat them, if I do not open up conversations with my peers, if I cannot be bothered to speak up about the atrocities happening every day because of racism and discrimination… then I perpetuate the problem.
We must stand up and stand together. We must strive toward knowledge, toward wisdom. We must not only acknowledge our biases but actively pursue the expulsion of them. We must choose compassion. We must choose love. Otherwise, I know that we will drive one another apart, and – most disturbingly – there will continue to be an excessive loss of innocent life.
This is utter tragedy.
Alton Sterling. Philando Castile. Say their names.
Goddess Diamond. Jerry Williams. Say their names. Trayvon Martin. Eric Garner. Michael Brown. Say their names. Tamir Rice. Freddie Gray. Tanisha Anderson. Say their names.
Say their names, damn it.