White people. This is your job.
Throughout our time in Covid-19 quarantine, we have heard the phrase “we are all in this together” countless times. Yet, the disparate ways the coronavirus has impacted communities of color and indigenous communities, tells a vastly different story — a story of structural and institutional racism. If you missed our special report on just how severely the virus has impacted American Indians, you can read it here.
In May, video surfaced of the murder of Ahmaud Arbery by two white men in Georgia. The collective action of activists across the United States resulted in their arrest. A white woman violating leash laws in a park in Brooklyn, called the police and made false allegations against Christian Cooper, an African American man who had asked her to leash her dog. The collective action of activists across the nation resulted in her losing her job, surrendering her dog to the shelter (due to mistreatment during her verbal assault on Mr. Cooper) and offering an apology to Mr. Cooper. This week a white police officer in Minneapolis with a history of killing people of color murdered George Floyd, an African-American man. The officers falsely claimed he had been resisting arrest. Video shows Mr. Floyd complying entirely with the arrest. The collective action of activists across the nation resulted in the four officers involved being fired, and the officer who killed Mr. Floyd has been arrested.
This month, reports from the March 13 murder of Breonna Taylor, an African-American woman, circulated in the media. Ms. Taylor was killed by Louisville police officers in her own home. The family's lawsuit, filed April 27, asserts that the police forcefully entered the home without announcing themselves and without knocking and proceeded to “spray gunfire into the residence with a total disregard for the value of human life." Kenneth Walker, Ms. Taylor’s boyfriend, was in the apartment and called 911 when the police burst in. Because the police did not announce themselves, he believed their home was being broken into. He is licensed to carry a gun, and he returned gunfire. Mr. Walker has been arrested and charged with attempted murder of a police officer and first degree assault. The family's lawsuit claims "any defensive force used against the Defendants was due to their forcible and unlawful entry into Breonna's home." At the time of the police raid, the suspect the police were looking for was already in police custody. The police report that there is no body camera footage of the raid. The white police officers responsible for Ms. Taylor’s death have a history of police brutality and one was criminally charged for a police involved shooting. Activists must rally in support of Mr. Walker.
White people — dismantling institutional and structural racism is our responsibility. We must take action now.
In addition to the activism you may already be involved in as it relates to these three cases and others, please consider reading, watching, and participating in the following …
March for George Floyd
Join Peace & Conciliation Project at the George Floyd solidarity rally and march Friday, May 29 at Dallas Police Department headquarters at 6:30 pm. This gathering is being organized by Next Generation Action Network and Dallas for Change.Headquarters are located at 1400 S. Lamar St., Dallas, TX 75215.
75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice
White people often claim they are powerless to create change. In fact, we do have power. We just need to use it. Antiracist activist and blogger, Corrine Shutack offers a list of 75 actions white people can take to be positive change makers for racial justice. We recommend you read this list, and build a plan of action you can implement right now.
Dr. Robin DiAngelo Offers Advice for White People
There are several common myths white people tell themselves about race in order to remain silent and take a hall pass on engaging in racial justice work. Dr. Robin DiAngelo debunks those myths. Watch Debunking The Most Common Myths White People Tell About Race to create a change in the false narratives you may be telling yourself.
Ending racism can feel insurmountable and overwhelming, causing some white people to shrink and shirk their responsibility. We often ask, “what can I do?” Dr. DiAngelo offers straight talk on the paradigm shift that could stop racism.
White Fragility: Beyond The White Echo Chamber
Participate: Peace & Conciliation Project invites you to join our friend and colleague Nanette D. Massey for honest and effective conversations about race every Sunday at 2pm CST. In her weekly webinar series, she takes participants beyond the white echo chamber with candor and firsthand narratives from her own lived experiences.. This Sunday Nanette will lead a discussion about Amy Cooper, George Floyd, and Jainism. An at-will donation is requested at registration.