Dear Fellow White People,
I have started this letter a few times, but each time questioned my ability to write it. I will never be able to understand fully what POC in our country feel or what they experience daily. But, I do understand that that is a privilege I was born into. A privilege that I up until recently did not fully recognize.
All these years I thought and truly believed I was a black ally… I grew up in a diverse neighbored, attended a diverse school, and had a diverse group of friends. But, never did I realize that our experiences may have been different. We grew up in the same neighborhood, went to the same school, had the same group of friends…but did we feel the same way when we walked home alone, or went into a store? I do not know, because I never asked. It never crossed my mind to think to ask my friends with skin darker than mine what they were experiencing and how their childhood was completely different than mine.
And that is what this letter is about, it is my plea to my fellow white people to start comparing their experiences to the experiences of POC in our country. I have never actively witnessed racism in my life, but I know for sure I have missed the subtle racism that occurs daily. Have I seen a shop owner follow a POC in a store? Has a POC been spoken to differently than I in the same setting? Have I heard an inappropriate comment be made about a POC? And the most important question to ask myself: Did I say something when I witnessed this happened?
“It’s not enough to be quietly non-racist.” – Angela Davis
So my fellow white people what are you going to do next? I know what I am going to do, I am going to continue to utilize my voice and platform to make sure the voices of all who are unheard are heard. I pledge to no longer be silent about the issues in our country, I pledge to me more actively involved in supporting companies and businesses that are diverse/support a diverse work environment and I pledge to make sure you know that I hear you, I see you, and that you are not alone.
Things you can do right now:
- Keep the conversation going!
- Educate yourself.
- Get involved/ Use your voice!
- Support black creators, artists, and businesses.