There's still time to join this month's NaBloPoMo writing frenzy!
What is the most helpful post (or Twitter hashtag) you read in all the coverage on
Wow! Answering this question has been more difficult than I'd originally thought because I've taken in so many thoughtful and poignant pieces regarding Ferguson as part of the larger issue of systemic racism.
However, there is one post in particular that resonated so profoundly with me that it elicited both loud whoops of appreciation as well as silent head nods of assent:
I've never met Ms. Brown, nor do I know her well, but she might as well have been speaking my own words back to me. Every line of her searing essay reflected my own truth. We both experienced a kind of emotional confusion as news of Michael Brown's death and the subsequent efforts to keep justice from being served came to light.
again, we heard the familiar silence of so many in the White Christian community, whose hearts bled for Black and Brown people around the globe, but felt nothing for the brothers and sisters in Christ standing next to them.
After having been here so many times before, we are exhausted and fresh out of patience. Every day for over thirty years, I
've twisted and contorted myself in order to be seen as respectable, but I am still waiting for my humanity to be fully recognized. If I happen upon the wrong person with a gun, I am dangerous because Black, because Other, because Wrong. Someone somewhere may even concoct a story as to why I deserved to die.
What I've very recently realized is there is nothing people of color can do about racism because the problem is not us, and contrary to very popular belief, it never was. We did not create this broken, unequal system, so the onus cannot be on us to fix it.
If you've gotten this far and are looking for ways to make a change, Austin makes it plain:
And that is the reality black folks have lived in since arrival on America's shores. Resistance to the white will could result in death. So I'm not giving white, Christian adults anymore easy answers. If you want to know what to do, my answer is this: risk death. Risk the death of your reputation. Risk the death of close ties to your family. Risk the death of your dream home and "safe" neighborhoods. Risk the death of a large congregation. Risk the death of your big donations. Risk the death of your worldview and perspective on American history. Risk the death of your comfort in majority, dominant spaces. Risk the death of your leadership role, of your speaking engagement, of your writing opportunity. Risk never being invited back to the conference. Risk the death of your social and professional circles. Risk what we risk just trying to live.
Choose a new church home and sit under the teaching of a black preacher for two years.
Choose a new neighborhood where your fate is intimately tied to the fate of people of color.
Go back to school and take a history class from a black professor where your academic success lies in his/her hands.
Choose to be mentored by a person of color every week. You do what they say, when they say it. No excuses.
Choose to go places where you see the stories behind the statistics, where someone can connect history to the present for you.
Send your kids to a black or brown school.
Need the wisdom of people of color to survive.
Will you risk death--the end of your life as you know it--to stand on the side justice?