Fight racism at home.
Yesterday, thousands of white supremacists and neo-nazis faced off with peaceful counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia. Police largely stood by while this group of white men in polo shirts (white women present also) chanting “white lives matter” and “heil Trump” and carrying Walmart tiki torches like a violent cartoon mob, marched on the confederate statue of former slave-owner (and founding father) Thomas Jefferson; by the end of the day one peaceful protester was dead. Today’s #DailyRevolution is to be a stronger ally; challenge yourself to have conversations about race on the regular, and to call out racism in your everyday life.
A 20 year old white nationalist rammed his car into a group of anti-racist protesters on Saturday evening, injuring many and taking the life of Charlottesville resident Heather Heyer. Eight months into our #resistance movement, it is easy to feel discouraged in the face of such blatant violence and racism, but we know this is no surprise. From Petula Dvorak in the Washington Post , “A parade of racist bigots is no surprise to anyone familiar with our history, especially those who have been the target of hatred and violence for centuries.”
We cannot pretend shock at yet ANOTHER example of race-based violence in America, and we cannot stay silent. It’s not enough to wait for holiday dinners to address your uncle’s racist ranting. To be real allies we must confront racism every day.
Today we denounce this domestic terrorism and turn inward to be stronger allies against racism in our day-to-day. From the White Ally Toolkit: Engaging white folks who are skeptical of racism so they can examine and potentially revisit their views should be the a primary task of white allies and not a key task for people of color. But the allies must be smart about how to do this.
It can be tough to know where to start, and hard to know what to say. But white people, we’re out of time to continue worrying about our own feelings. It’s time to listen to the people of color in your life and acknowledge your own failings when talking about tough issues (we all have them). Identify microaggressions in your home or workplace, and challenge them!
If you’re able to do more, check out some of the many organizations working in Charlottesville and around the country and consider supporting them. Bustle put together a great list: How to Support Anti-Racism Organizations in Charlottesville. From Charlottesville NAACP to ACLU Virginia, there are many groups that could use our support today and always. And don’t forget to check out local groups too: Showing up for Racial Justice has branches across the country.
What we Need White Allies to Do About the White Supremacists in Virginia - Wear Your Voice
Microaggressions Matter - The Atlantic