The beauty of anti-racism is that you don’t have to pretend to be free of racism to be an anti-racist. Anti-racism is the commitment to fight racism wherever you find it, including in yourself. And it’s the only way forward.– Ijeoma Oluo
Right here in our city, one week ago, George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, was murdered by the police. You know this already.
And I think you feel it, too – this is racism at work. This is not new. This is deeply unjust. This is exhausting and traumatizing for the Black community. This is evil.
Following George’s murder, there have been large, cohesive, peaceful protests in our city every day for over a week. There have been destructive riots that have been devastating to the communities, small businesses, and families in Minneapolis. It’s suspected that outside groups including white supremacists have been of coming into our state (or just coming out of their homes?) and wreaking havoc on neighborhoods, creating chaos and fear. The National Guard has been called in en masse and we are under a curfew with highways closed.
Things are really, really not good.
But also – things shouldn’t be good right now.
This post has been in my head for days but I’ve struggled to get it completed – a combination of factors including wanting to be thoughtful and intentional, and time limitations as we attend to the immediate needs of our family, friends, and city in crisis. But I know it will never fully be right. And I’m learning that imperfect words and actions are far better than none.
To our Black readers who are here now, who have been here for any length of time, I’m deeply sorry for the ways that we (white people, but also specifically myself) perpetuate racism day in and day out through actions and attitudes, whether we are aware or not. I’m sorry. I believe you. I’m listening. I’m learning.
Personally and collectively, we owe you, our Black friends and family and readers, not only a conversation that acknowledges this pain and these deep, deep problems – we owe you our action.
More than a quick Instagram stories post or social media message, we need to make sure that whatever message we are sending can really be backed up with follow-through.
All of this – the words, the conversation, the sentiment – is not valuable until we as white people, including myself, are willing to work to dismantle the systems of white supremacy that oppress BIPOC in our city and nation.
Pinch of Yum won’t be perfect. I won’t be perfect. This will be the best we can do until we know better, and then when we know better, we will do better (Maya Angelou’s words).
Today’s post is intended as a starting point (or continuing point) for white people looking to not just feel bad but to take action.
This is a team-sourced list of resources – some from me, some from individuals on our team. These are the voices of color we’ve individually found helpful in guiding our thinking and behaviors on racism.
We have two goals here:
- Centering voices of color
- Encouraging you to do something
Is this the only list out there? No. Here are two others that are much more comprehensive.
Use whatever you find helpful, but whatever it is, let’s start today.
What Can I Do Today
Donate to Black-Led Anti-Racist Organizations and Minneapolis Relief Efforts:
- We Love Lake Street (Minnesota)
- Black Visions Collective (Minnesota)
- North Minneapolis Business Community Relief (Minnesota)
You can find more ideas here.
Follow Black Leaders on Instagram:
- Osheta Moore – @oshetamoore
- Brittany Packnett Cunningham – @mspackyetti
- Austin Channing Brown – @austinchanning
- The Conscious Kid – @theconsciouskid
- Check Your Privilege – @ckyourprivilege
- Here Wee Read – @hereweeread
There are so many more out there – this is just a sampling of some of our favorites from within our team.
Listen to Podcasts Created by Diverse Voices:
What Can I Do This Month
Read Books About Anti-Racism and White Supremacy
- How to be an Anti-Racist by Dr. Ibram X Kendi
- Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
- The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
Courses Taught by People of Color
Explicitly Teaching Kids About Anti-Racism
- Something Happened in Our Town (a book)
- Guidelines for conversation with younger kids
- Guidelines for any aged kids
Here’s a list with more book recommendations.
Watch Educational Movies, TV Shows, and Documentaries
- 13th (Netflix)
- Dear White People (Netflix)
- The Hate U Give (Hulu or rent to stream)
What Can I Commit to for The Long Term
Support Black-Owned Businesses
(These are our favorites in Minneapolis and Saint Paul! Here’s a list of more Black-owned shops and restaurants to support in Minneapolis.)
Get Plugged In To Local Activism
What Commitments Can You Make to Yourself and Your Family
- We will not be silent about racism.
- We will go beyond virtue signaling on social media and follow up our words with action.
- We will stand up against racist jokes.
- We will stand up against racist conversation.
- We will invite family and friends into conversations about race.
- We will intervene when we see racism.
If the amount of work feels overwhelming, I understand. It can be hard to know where to go from here.
But it is important that we start somewhere. We made a printable blank template that you can use to guide your planning for what your next steps of action will be if that is helpful. This is what I am using for myself.
This is not a comprehensive list of resources. Nor is this a complete conversation. It can’t be. I am one person, we are one small team – even when doing our best, there is always more we can learn.
With that in mind: What can you add? What are you learning, and what resources are helping you?
And most importantly: what is your next step right now?
Thank you for being here and for caring about things that matter, not just in word but in action.
Sending all our love from our beloved city of Minneapolis. ♡
Thanks to Rita and Jenna on our team for their pictures for this post.