First things first

Following my recent post naming this moment in history as white America’s wake up call, I received comments and inquiries from people asking what exactly they can do to contribute to racial justice. This is a great question and one I plan on addressing soon. But before I share that, I want to outline eight core assumptions I hold when working for racial justice.

I am starting here because these mental models inform the action and recommendations that I’ll offer. Without an understanding of how I see race and privilege, I think it is easy to then misunderstand what it is I am calling us to. With the intention of creating mutual understanding and identifying our shared foundation- or points of divergence- I offer this list. Continue reading “First things first”

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Dear white friends

4:00am in Chiang Mai. A neighboring dog has been incessantly barking for the past hour.

It feels like the perfect metaphor for my mind. Because another looped alarm has been ringing since the day I left the US.

It was an interesting day to leave the country. June 27, 2015.

You might recognize it. The day after the historic Supreme Court ruling that established marriage equality in the United States.The same day our president stood before those grieving the loss of nine black churchgoers who fell victim to domestic terrorism.

It was a big week. As someone committed to creating a more socially just world, it was a week that made it feel counter-intuitive to be settling elsewhere when the country feels ripened for— and in desperate need of— social change.

I don’t believe in such dualities in terms of where one must be to engage in important work. Yet still, a question of responsibility remains ever present.

Increasingly present in fact, when, in the six weeks I’ve called Thailand home, at least five black women have died in police custody.

It is this that I want to speak to here.

Specifically, it is the responsibility of White America I’d like to address. Continue reading “Dear white friends”

Confessions of a well-intentioned white oppressor

Several things happened in the past four months making my hand quiver as I struggled to open my computer and let my words flow.

Michael Brown was shot dead by a police officer and the jury did not indict him, choosing instead to follow the media’s lead in a character assassination. Eric Garner was choked to death by a police officer. Despite the whole thing being filmed and chokehold’s being an illegal police protocol, the city neglected to even put the officer on trial.

#HandsUp, #ICantBreathe, #BlackLivesMatter developed as people expressed their outcry at what Cornel West aptly named a Jim Crow justice system. Protests and movements were born and revived demanding a better system for people of color in this country and around the world.

Tears, anguish, shouts, and pleas echoed off the fortress of the white supremacist-capitalist-patriarchy, threatening its walls to crumble from the quake of bold voices speaking love back into our wayward world.

You know these things, though.

The other, smaller, things that happened I’ve yet to fill you in on… Continue reading “Confessions of a well-intentioned white oppressor”