Something I Must Say

After the devastating murders of Ahmaud, Breona, and George, along with the threatening of Chris in quick succession, I was utterly floored. Steamrolled.

But now I feel a budding hope, however cautious, that maybe something new is birthing: a new awareness, a new standard, a new paradigm

I never thought #BlackLivesMatter would go mainstream as it has, uttered from white corporate mouths with any level of sincerity

I never thought that #DefundThePolice would gain any ground, as cries and evidence of antiBlack police brutality have existed for years

I was long skeptical of white willingness to uproot symbols of the Confederacy in the public realm

I am pleased by these latest body blows against racism and white supremacy, a seven century old scourge that really makes no logical sense but is so deeply engrained it seems natural

White supremacy = the belief that whiteness is normal, standard, good, better than, safe, civilized, rational, etc.

Black folks are caught in it too, expressed through colorism, negative body image, low standards and expectations of other Black folks, “white man’s ice” syndrome, and yes, use of the N-word, however pronounced

[A tangent: Years ago I decided to never make or validate broad negative generalizations about Black folk, which is yet another vestige of white supremacy

Instead I seek to love and embrace us a broadly as possible, understanding that I don’t have to like every individual’s every action, but as a whole I LOVE US]

I am not so naive as to think that this window of opportunity will be open forever. We have learned that backlash always follows progress, so let’s maximize this moment

I wrote the draft of this statement on practicing antiracism on a daily basis because, like anything else requiring discipline, it takes regular practice in order to get good at it

To my white and non-Black friends I say: DO YOUR WORK. You have a key role in this fight. Do not stand for anti-Blackness, racism, and white supremacy from others in your presence OR in your own mind.

These things CAN and shall be overcome. Not someday. Starting today.

From Winston-Salem Journal