A Plea to White America

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White America, even those of us who consider ourselves allies to the BLM movement, do not understand the depth of our white privilege, and others refuse to acknowledge that white privilege exists. We cannot begin to understand the frustration and anger African Americans experience unless we know the privilege our white skin affords us in this country. When we become enlightened to our advantage, we can untangle how systemic racism has established our entire way of thinking, acting, and reacting to racism.

As white Americans begin to see the destruction and pain racism is causing, we can no longer ignore or diminish the problem.  Our complacency is forcing people of color to continue living under oppressive racial bias. And saying it’s not our problem, or we can’t change it—is a cop-out. If we are silent, we are complicit. Suppose we are unwilling to hold our elected leaders accountable and speak the truth amongst our white friends and family about racism in this country. In that case, we are part of the problem.

Regardless of having black friends or our insistence that we are not racist, the time has come to prove it. Being kind to black people, or the feeling that we are helping them in some singular way, is not enough.  African Americans need genuine allies who are willing to speak out and call their elected officials. They need collaborators who will hold the Government responsible for legislation that creates a balanced and just society for all.

This fight is for people of color to win, and they will lead the way and lead knowing we allies are here, and we promise they are not alone in this fight. Some African Americans won’t trust any white man, and that distrust is warranted. Possibly, steadfast support will change that distrust. Because like every black man is not a criminal, every white man is not okay with racism.

It’s a fact that some friends and family may label us allies as extremists and even cast us aside. Still, we must ask ourselves, what is the cost of remaining silent? Do we think things will be better for our children or grandchildren if society is equal and just? African Americans gaining equality will not diminish whites in any way; it will only create a better world and quality of life for all of us. However, white America must become and remain insistent on the Government that African Americans are heard. The issues they put forth should be addressed and followed through to completion.

Everything from personal safety, education, housing, job opportunity, and healthcare negatively affects the lives of people of color.

Our justice system, for people of color, is not the same Justice system whites encounter. Due to income inequality, many African Americans cannot afford bail until proven “not guilty.” Many arrestees rack up more charges in holding cells when they are justly enraged at being treated subhuman. This is all before the arrestee has been to court. Isn’t the law innocence until proven guilty? It is for the white drunken driver who just killed a child and had the money for bail. Rehabilitation, education, even classes on citizenship issues, such as functioning successfully in a community, are NOT available in most prisons.

All these things should be happening in our for-profit corrections system. It’s not, and this leads to habitual incarcerations. Why having a for-profit prison system is unjust and racist is a topic worthy of individual discussion. We will cover that another time.

Prisons are revolving doors of dysfunction for all incarcerated and add to the plight of Black America. Our for-profit prison industrial complex cultivates a multitude of people learning to become career criminals, killers, or worse. The only object lesson learned in the corrections system is how to survive and make it out alive.

African Americans would not be so frustrated and angry if allies were speaking out about injustice regularly. Instead, it appears we are temporarily concerned when yet another discriminatory killing occurs.  The protests start, and the fury incites chaos, cementing some people’s racist beliefs that African Americans’ mentality is to harm.  That is untrue; nevertheless, pent-up anger triggers aggression.

The people thieving and destroying property are not indicative of most protesters. Blacks are reduced to watching their families and friends die during the type of encounters that White America rarely experience. Furthermore, we should note that plenty of whites were thieving and destroying, too.

Many people of color have lost hope. When people lose hope, they will make their voices loud in expectation of being heard when injustice affects their lives repeatedly. Furious people may resort to taking or destroying property as they see these things as a byproduct of their suppression by the 72% white population. And in many ways, they are right. Unbridled Capitalism has everything to do with poverty and oppression.  Regardless of color, a suppressed population will rise and be heard and will show they can create havoc and are not invisible.  Why? Because no one has been listening, and promises have been broken.

White America, even those of us who consider ourselves allies, do not understand the depth of our white privilege, and others refuse to acknowledge that white privilege exists. We cannot begin to understand the frustration and anger African Americans experience unless we know the privilege our white skin affords us in this country. When we become enlightened to our advantage, we can untangle how systemic racism has established our entire way of thinking, acting, and reacting to racism.

As white Americans begin to see the destruction and pain racism is causing, we can no longer ignore or diminish the problem.  Our complacency is forcing people of color to continue living under oppressive racial bias. And saying it’s not our problem, or we can’t change it—is a cop-out. If we are silent, we are complicit. Suppose we are unwilling to hold our elected leaders accountable and speak the truth amongst our white friends and family about racism in this country. In that case, we are part of the problem. Regardless of having black friends or our insistence that we are not racist, the time has come to prove it. Being kind to black people, or the feeling that we are helping them in some singular way, is not enough.  African Americans need genuine allies who are willing to speak out and call their elected officials. They need collaborators who will hold the Government responsible for legislation that creates a balanced and just society for all.

This fight is for people of color to win, and they will lead the way and lead knowing we allies are here, and we promise they are not alone in this fight. Some African Americans won’t trust any white man, and that distrust is warranted. Possibly, steadfast support will change that distrust. Because like every black man is not a criminal, every white man is not okay with racism.

It’s a fact that some friends and family may label us allies as extremists and even cast us aside. Still, we must ask ourselves, what is the cost of remaining silent? Do we think things will be better for our children or grandchildren if society is equal and just? African Americans gaining equality will not diminish whites in any way; it will only create a better world and quality of life for all of us. However, white America must become and remain insistent on the Government that African Americans are heard. The issues they put forth are addressed and followed through to completion.

As it stands, everything from personal safety, education, housing, job opportunity, and healthcare negatively affects the lives of people of color.

Our justice system, for people of color, is not the same Justice system whites encounter. Due to income inequality, many African Americans cannot afford bail until proven “not guilty.” Many arrestees rack up more charges in holding cells when they are justly enraged at being treated subhuman. This is all before the arrestee has been to court. Isn’t the law innocence until proven guilty? It is for the white drunken driver who just killed a child and had the money for bail. Rehabilitation, education, even classes on citizenship issues, such as functioning successfully in a community, are NOT available in most prisons.

All these things should be happening in our for-profit corrections system. It’s not, and this leads to habitual incarcerations. Why having a for-profit prison system is unjust and racist is a topic worthy of individual discussion. We will cover that another time.

Prisons are revolving doors of dysfunction for all incarcerated and add to the plight of Black America. Our for-profit prison industrial complex cultivates many people who will learn to become career criminals, killers, or worse. The only object lesson learned in the corrections system is how to survive and make it out alive.

African Americans would not be so frustrated and angry if allies were speaking out about injustice regularly. Instead, it appears we are temporarily concerned when yet another discriminatory killing occurs.  The protests start, and the fury incites chaos, cementing some people’s racist beliefs that African Americans’ mentality is to harm.  That is untrue; nevertheless, pent-up anger triggers aggression.

Many people, thieving and destroying property—are not protesters; many are inciting violence and blaming it on BLM. This to cement the white nationalist claims that Blacks are the problem.) Blacks are reduced to watching their families and friends die during the type of encounters White America rarely experience. Furthermore, we should note that plenty of whites were thieving and destroying, too.

Many people of color have lost hope. When people lose hope, they will make their voices loud in expectation of being heard when injustice affects their lives repeatedly. Furious people may resort to taking or destroying property as they see these things as a byproduct of their suppression by the 72% white population. The average white American does not recognize that America’s problems are directly related to this country’s wealth gap.  Unbridled Capitalism has everything to do with poverty and oppression.  Regardless of color, a suppressed population will rise and be heard and will show they can create havoc and are not invisible.  Why? Because no one has been listening. Examine countries that have experienced civil unrest resulting from oppression, we can see that destructive behaviors are not unusual.

If we collectively start lifting our voices and demand equality for all, we can be part of the solution. Not the problem.

When white America begins to understand white privilege and systemic racism has infected our country. It is disintegrating the fabric of our Democracy. Suppose white people would educate themselves and want a  safer, more equal society. In that case, we will be well on our way to achieving a harmonious country.  And whites lose nothing, but the entire country will benefit from a better quality of life for us all.

Lastly, police officers and leaders have a responsibility to combat racism, too. When a significant majority of officers and leaders start genuinely calling out racism, they will begin to gain the black community’s trust when they see it amongst themselves.

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