“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” –Maya Angelou

My first and foremost thought is that we need to do better, which means we need to get busy with some learning. I write here to share some resources.

Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou –Photo credit: Stephen Parker / Alamy Stock Photo

This post has nothing to do with art, or with me for that matter, but I feel it is important to share. My purpose here is to help amplify the messages from People of Colour to white people (people with privilege), like me, so as I speak here, I am also listening and reflecting.

We need to do better, all of us. Please do better. This crazy world in which police violently murder People of Colour–this happens in Canada too–breaks my heart. My heart is literally breaking right now. I can’t even imagine how it must feel, what it must be like, to live in coloured skin.

What matters is the reality for People of Colour

The important point is that my breaking heart does not matter here. This doesn’t mean that my feelings can’t matter to me. It means that what matters for our attention, for the public discussion, for our interactions with People of Colour, is the reality for People of Colour.

In the same way that we would not look for consolation from the widow of a work acquaintance, we need to do better at being there for People of Colour.

Getting busy

A friend of mine shared this blog post on Facebook, and through it, I discovered this: Concrete Ways to Be an Actual Ally to Black People.

The other day, in the wake of the truly gruesome George Floyd murder, some great reposts went by my Instagram feed that helped me realize–not sure why I had never considered it before–I could follow some important social justice accounts. Two of these were @theconsciouskid and @ckyourprivilege. In the five to ten minutes that I listened to the live feed, I got a lot–some reminders, some new lessons–I would like to pass on.

Some lessons

… I gained from the live feed of @ckyourprivilege today:

  1. There are still a lot of things I don’t know how to handle appropriately.
  2. It is my responsibility to educate myself. It is not POC’s responsibility.
  3. People of Colour are f#cking tired…
    • of waiting for justice, for equity
    • of having to educate people with privilege like me
    • of having their issues turned back around to focus on white people
    • of lots more: I can remember not to simplify the experiences of POC.
  4. I need to remember that race matters.
    • Sometimes I forget about race–I become colour blind, so to speak–because I have the privilege to. I need to remember that it does matter.
  5. Equality is actually not fair; equity is.
    Equality versus Equity
    This image comes from Advancing Equity and Inclusion: A Guide for Municipalites, which has some great information in it btw, which could help a layperson understand some key issues for inclusion, not just for the mayor.
  6. I am reminded that to be better, I need to “shut the f#ck up” and listen to People of Colour.
And on that note…

Some resources

…including social media tags and accounts…

Please share your own resources. What are you reading and watching?


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