“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.
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.
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.
… I gained from the live feed of @ckyourprivilege today:
- There are still a lot of things I don’t know how to handle appropriately.
- It is my responsibility to educate myself. It is not POC’s responsibility.
- 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.
- 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.
- Equality is actually not fair; equity is.
- I am reminded that to be better, I need to “shut the f#ck up” and listen to People of Colour.
…including social media tags and accounts…
- #BLACKLIVESMATTER #ICantBreathe #JusticeForGeorge
- Advancing Equity and Inclusion: A Guide for Municipalities
- @ckyourprivilege and the linked website Check Your Privilege with Myisha T
- Concrete Ways to Be an Actual Ally to Black People
- Before You Call the Cops: A Conversation w/ Tyler Merritt about Personal Narrative &… and on YouTube The Tyler Merritt Project
- Jimmy Kimmel on George Floyd, Riots in Minneapolis & Trump’s Violent Stupidity
- Most People Who Died in Police Encounters in Manitoba were Indigenous, CBC Investigation Finds
- The Things that Need to Be Said
Please share your own resources. What are you reading and watching?