June 5, 2020
There has been much talk this week about how much turmoil the US is in right now. The sobering fact is that this turmoil, grief, and outrage is an everyday reality for many across the country who are confronted with the injustice of our systems regularly because of the color of their skin.
I am a white person who grew up in a small town with enough diversity to fill a teaspoon. I cannot speak to the experience of my Black brothers & sisters and I can never truly understand what it is to walk in your shoes. What I can do is listen, learn, educate, speak out, and elevate your voices which have gone unheard for too long. I can take the time to acknowledge my white privilege and that I have not always been the ally I need to be for the BIPOC community. I can also acknowledge that it is my privilege as a white person that makes my silence an option and that I have benefited from systems that are unjust, oppressive, and racist. I share this with you because in order to be better and do better we have to understand, reflect on, and acknowledge our privileges, biases, and what we don’t know. There is work to be done and we all have a part to play.
- To our White Community
- We encourage you all to take some time to reflect on your own privilege and biases.
- Take the time to educate yourself.
- Don’t shy away from those difficult conversations with friends and family. Skip into them with some patience, grace, and resources.
- Learn what it is to be anti-racist rather than just not a racist.
- Use your privilege to help elevate Black voices and keep these conversations going.
- Know that you are going to make mistakes and make a commitment to grow from constructive criticism.
- To our Black Community
- We see you. We hear you. We stand with you.
- We say enough is enough.
- We promise to speak truth to power and raise up the voices of the unheard.
- We see you. We hear you. We grieve with you. We stand with you.
As a community we have to do better and be better. There have been a lot of important conversations started by the murder of George Floyd and we intend to keep them moving forward. There are many ways to be an ally and below you will find some options and additional resources.
Additionally, JRPC is looking at forming a book club/ discussion group around white privilege and becoming better allies. Anyone interested in participating is encouraged to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Solidarity & Action,