This is a tumultuous time for society. I have started and subsequently stopped writing several times this week, trying to better understand and somehow encapsulate what we’re seeing unfold. To consider how I, as a white man, can be part of the solution, rather than part of the problem.
We have watched horrible videos of crimes spread like wildfire on social media. We’ve seen systemic prejudice manifest itself in statistic after statistic, proving the harder path people of color must walk all their lives. We’ve witnessed those sworn to protect the citizenry too often do the opposite. We’ve seen city, state, and federal forces violate protesters’ inherent constitutional rights to assemble peacefully.
George Floyd’s murder was a spark, a catalyst that shook millions and spurred them into action. To protest. To demand institutional reform and change. To demand justice for Floyd, for Breanna Taylor, for Stephon Clark, for Philando Castile, for Alton Sterling, for Walter Scott, for Tamir Rice, for Michael Brown, for Eric Garner, for untold more.
We can, and should, lean into this movement — not only for justice but for change. It’s the change we can all be a part of, especially those of us with a voice, or those of us with the capacity to otherwise help right wrongs that have been perpetuated for centuries.
I don’t have all the answers. In fact, I have very few. I can listen. I have been listening. And I can not only stand in solidarity with the black community, but I can act in solidarity. I can take part in change that is needed. I can help uplift black voices. I can call out wrongdoing. I can continue to learn. Importantly, I can resist the temptation to “move on” when the dust settles, and instead make a persistent effort to do better.