That said, there is one thing that is my responsibility and the responsibility of other white people to take charge of at such a time - we need to push back harder at the racists around us. I am deeply horrified at what I am hearing out of the mouths of other white people this past week. The disgusting #AllLivesMatter rhetoric and the excuses, excuses, excuses and more excuses they are willing to make for murder. It is frankly bad enough when I hear it from uneducated white people who are struggling economically and whose experiences have not included enough sociology or breadth to really understand institutionalized racism. I know a lot of people like that and I am frustrated by their ignorance and hatred and fear but I also kind of see where it comes from, not that it is an excuse, but beleaguered humans have always tended to tribe up and get all us against them whenever possible, to want to find someone they can stand on when they feel like others are standing on them. It's the impulse that makes progress towards more civil rights and human rights so hard.
When, however, I start hearing #AllLivesMatter junk and all the excuses as to why it was justifiable for innocent people to be murdered, from people in education or mental health fields, it is Just Completely Inexcusable. Go do some reading. A whole giant ton of reading. Start with the selections below and don't come and spew your ignorance at me until you have finished, please. Or at least get another job where you can do less harm. I mean it.
- The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, by Michelle Alexander
- Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates
- This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color, by Cherríe L. Moraga
- Black Stats: African Americans by the Numbers in the Twenty‐First Century, by Monique W. Morris
- Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class, by Ian Haney‐Lopez
- Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools, by Monique W. Morris
- For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood... and the Rest of Y'all Too: Reality Pedagogy and Urban Education, by Christopher Emdin
- The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons and an Unlikely Road to Manhood, by Ta‐Nehisi Coates
- Towards the "Other America": Anti-Racist Resources for White People Taking Action for Black Lives Matter, by Chris Crass