44 DAYS

           We’re back being creative this week at the house! I hope everyone had a good and relaxing weekend. But, now it’s time to get back to business. The murder of George Floyd sparked a long overdue wave of civil unrest around the world. He was murdered on May 25th, 2020. Therefore, it has been roughly 44 days since his murder. Since then, there have been countless African Americans murdered across the country, and not much change occurring at the federal level. Hopefully, you have made changes in your lives to help combat racial injustice. If you are not aware of what you should be doing, here are some things that should have happened in your life these past 44 days. But, it’s also never too late to start being a better ally.

            

  1.   You have had uncomfortable conversations: Whether these conversations took place with family members, friends, coworkers, roommates, it is YOUR job as an ally to bring up racial issues to people who might not be as aware as you or are ignorant to the subject. This is a naturally uncomfortable subject. It requires breaking barriers. But it is the beginning of a step in the right direction.

  2.   You have changed your perspective on race, privilege, and justice: Over the past several months we have seen some many African Americans not getting the justice they deserve. Breonna Taylor was killed back in March and the officers still have not been arrested or charged. Meanwhile, one of the officers involved with George Floyd’s death has gotten out on bail. That is not the justice promised in our constitution. Also, as a white person you should have recognized your privilege. Blacks are getting shot because they have their hand in their pocket which makes the police automatically think they’re carrying a gun. Blacks have to be mindful of their every move when they step out of their home. As a white person, we are privileged in that we do not have to fear walking out of our homes because the police will look at our skin and feel obliged to protect them. This does not occur for blacks.

  3.   You’ve recognized some of the times that you explicitly or implicitly contributed to the problem and you could have handled situations differently: This is a tricky one. It requires self-confrontation and realizing what you have done wrong and what you could do better. Maybe you threw a racial slur out there. Or you witnessed discrimination happening and were just a bystander at the scene. These behaviors are inexcusable. But, if you recognize what you have done, and what you can do to improve yourself and how you can be a better ally, then you have fought half the battle. 

  4.   Diversity and Inclusivity has a new meaning: You have come to understand that diversity does not mean there being a black person here or there, or in the advertisement. There should be an active and conscious effort to include all different races and have them feel just as included and involved and appreciated as a white person.

  5.   You’ve realized there is a difference in ‘not being racist’ and being ‘anti-racist’: These past months you should have realized that when you say you are ‘not being racist’ means that you still are and can be racist, but in this very moment, you are not being racist. Instead, you should be saying you are “anti-racist”, meaning that you are against all things that racist. There is a huge difference between the two statements. It is very important that we are anti-racist (against racism) instead of ‘not being ractist’ (not racist at this moment, but have the capacity to be racist)

  6. You’ve recognized how apparent racism may have been throughout your life: This could come in the form of jokes made by a fellow classmate and having an adult saying “they’re just being kids” or in the form of a family member making racist remarks and having it be dismissed as “that’s just how they are”. Recognizing what has happened in the past and making a conscious effort to remove those types of people from your life is a step in the right direction. 

  7. You feel informed, but also feel you have so much more to learn: Part of this process, especially as a white person, is learning and informing. But because we have never felt this type of oppression, we can never fully understand. Therefore, we should feel as though there is so much more to learn, because there is. Please continue to educate yourself and others. 

 

If you feel as though you need more resources to educate yourself, the house has cultivated a list of resources to help further your education on racial injustice. We also have a list of organizations that accept donations if you want to take your way of fighting a step further. Please continue to educate and donate. If you come to the realization after reading this that you still need to make changes, then that is also ok. As long as there is change, you are taking a step in the right direction. Stay safe and creative everyone.  

 

 

Hayley Allison

Author

@haylayallisun


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