"For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others." –Nelson Mandela
The names of Loved Ones killed by police violence, chalked on the sidewalk in downtown Olympia. Flowers and signs by local protestors were left along the names, in the creation of an altar in remembrance of the victims of police violence.
2 June 2020.
Long overdue is the time to uncover the racism we have internalized as individuals (white people) and as a society, educate ourselves and others, demand justice for all forms of systemic racism, and spread the message (to other white people) wherever and however you can: BLACK LIVES MATTER.
It MATTERS that national institutions of so-called "safety" and "security" incarcerate and murder Black and Brown people every day. It MATTERS that racist policies like redlining have inhibited the economic and educational opportunities available to Black people. It MATTERS that we don't teach in schools the true messages of important Black liberation leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King and Malcom X (just the white-washed version). It MATTERS that the police force was created to hunt down runaway enslaved people and return them to their "masters" because TO THIS DAY the police protect white property, power, and wealth at the expense of Black lives.
BLACK LIVES MATTER.
Change is coming our way, and it has been needed for a long time.
There are two people I've been thinking a lot about recently–white women I have known at times of my life, who are now either dating or married to white male cops, and who have been completely silent these past two weeks.
I hear your silence.
Others hear your silence.
You are closer to this issue than you likely want to be.
You have influence.
Your position matters.
Take a deep look at why you feel you have to choose between supporting Black Lives Matter and supporting your partner. Have that conversation in your home–with your partner, with your young sons. Ask yourself why you have a "Blue Lives Matter" sticker on the back of your car.
What are you defending?
What are you perpetuating?
And is that what you truly want for the future?