“And so to challenge the police is to challenge the American people who send them into the ghettos armed with the same self-generated fears that compelled the people who think they are white to flee the cities and into the Dream. The problem with the police is not that they are fascist pigs but that our country is ruled by majoritarian pigs.” Ta-Nehisi Coats – Between the World and Me
Today I had a post scheduled about how living a year of true also makes for a year of happy. This week, however, like far too many weeks before it, has been heavy, so while I am still happy, I also hold heartbroken in my other palm.
This holding juxtaposed forces is probably good practice. I have hope for the world, but the world is so broken. Every day, dozens of terrible things happen, and that’s just the things I know about from reading my daily hour of news.
There are many pieces already out there about our most recent tragedies and what we can do to combat racism. My favorites are from Luvvie Ajayi, A’Driane Nieves, and Rebecca Lee. I also like this idea – support activists on the ground by paying their bail.
I can listen and I can speak and I can donate (well, I can donate a little. I work in education). These situations make me panicky, though. They make me want to call all my friends of color and say, “Are you okay? Are you safe at home?” I can do all the things on all the lists and that still might not save my friends’ lives tomorrow.
But I will say this – call me.
If you have car trouble or need to stop somewhere or want someone near just in case…if you are in a situation in which having a short, white friend present might be…culturally helpful…call me. Until the world is a better place for you, if a white face is what they need to see to be comfortable and not shoot to kill, I will bring my white face to you.
I’m not sure what we’ll do if they decide that I’m the next thing that threatens them. But I am not free unless you are free. A freedom that excludes you is not anything I’m interested in having.
It might not help. I might not get there in time. I realize this is a naive and terrible solution.
But I can’t burn the system to the ground by tomorrow.
So call me.