Dear White Friends + Family

Dear white friends and family,

It’s not enough for me to be your one black friend, black cousin, black sister in-in-law, black aunt, black daughter-in-law, black niece or black wife. Having me in your life or on your family tree doesn’t make you exempt from having to care about the injustice and racism that’s been going on for years. Knowing me doesn’t give you a pass to be silent.

Dear White Friends + Family, #blacklivesmatter, racism, george floyd

I get it. The burden of having to be pro-active may seem daunting. You don’t have to be a policy maker but you do have a a responsibility to open your mouth and speak out. Here are a few ways I need my friends and family right now.

Dear White Friends + Family, #blacklivesmatter, racism, george floyd

1.Talk To Your Kids

It breaks my heart knowing that I will have to talk to my half black/white children about the fact that some people out there will not like them solely based on the color of the skin they were born in. Although they are equal parts black and white to some, they are considered all black. I’ll have to explain to my son and daughter that some people that are supposed to be serving and protecting us are “bad apples” and it may be impossible to identify who those people are until it’s too late. But while I am educating my brown kids, It’s the responsibility of my white friends and family to have conversations about racism with their white children.

Dear white friends and family,

Tell your children what racism looks like and sounds like so that they will be able to identify it and speak up when it happens on the playground or in the locker room. Talk to your kids. Talk to my nieces, nephews, and cousins. Encourage them to stand up and speak out if another child is saying something cruel based on another kid’s skin color. Teach your kids to tell other kids it’s not okay and to tell their teachers immediately if it’s happening. Please, as a black mom getting ready for my daughter to go to kindergarten, I’m begging you.

Dear White Friends + Family, #blacklivesmatter, racism, george floyd

2. Don’t Be Afraid To Call It What It Is Publicly

There has been a shift. The George Floyd murder allowed the scales to fall off the eyes of some of my white friends and family and now more and more people are seeing that racism really exists in this day and age, something us black folk have known and experienced for years.

Dear white friends and family,

Say something to other adults when you hear it happening at the water cooler. When that co-worker says a racist joke. No longer can you let it slide because “that’s just Jim being Jim”. Speak up and tell him it’s not okay. When Uncle Bubba says the “n” word at the 4th of July barbecue stop him right then and tell him it’s racist and unacceptable. Furthermore talk to your kids about it if they were in earshot of hearing it. Call it it’s name. Racism.

Dear White Friends + Family, #blacklivesmatter, racism, george floyd

3. Contact your Black Friends and Family + Focus On The Problem At Hand

Focusing on the looting is a cop-out. Protesters and looters are not synonymous so don’t get that twisted. The looting is deplorable. The issue at hand however is the systematic killing of black people. The root, racism.

Dear white friends and family,

Call me. Text me. Let me know that you get it and that you are not going to stand for it. Where as you might not have realized it in the past, you see it now and you know that something has got to change. Let me know that you know that not just my life as your friend, sister, cousin, aunt, or wife matters but all black lives matter and that you are standing with us. When you see racism, you’ll say something. When your kids have questions, you’ll answer them. You may never know the struggle of being black, but you can empathize, be and advocate, question governmental policies and procedures, and partner with us for change.

Dear white friends and family,

I am so happy to have you in my life and be loved by you, but now I (we) need you in our corner.

Love,

Your friend, sister, daughter, aunt, cousin, wife

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1 comment

  1. As a 73 year old white man raised in the south with a black nanny due to a sick mother I learned about some basic truths....1. we are all human Race does not provide an accurate representation of human biological variation. It was never accurate in the past, and it remains inaccurate when referencing contemporary human populations https://www.physanth.org/about/position-statements/aapa-statement-race-and-racism-2019/ 2. Racism is a social construct i.e a learned behavior. 3. The likelihood of white or black Americans coming to the table to actually discuss in a meaningful way how to overcome this is unlikely. 3. Racism is rampant in the black and the white communities. 4. The church is the most racially divided place in America......take a look any Sunday morning. 5. God did not create us to live this way

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