This is kind of how it goes. 1.) News happens. But 2.) I don’t really pay attention. (I’m “too busy” warding off bedbugs and preparing to move across the world and mindlessly gluing cards with The Dancing Elephants and posting Instagram pics of our life at Abbey Lane.)
For whatever reason, I use Facebook more for personal stuff than political. I like to see what my friends are up to, but I tend to block (and sometimes unfriend) the people who are yelling and screaming things (mostly about Christian culture war stuff, or whatever it’s called).
When I do speak up about issues, it usually doesn’t turn out well (i.e., extended family members unfriend me), and I ask myself why I ever signed up to be a voice against injustice in the first place.
And there’s also fear involved. Who am I to think my voice matters? Who am I supposed to listen to, and who is safe to quote? What if I say something wrong?
I’m specifically talking about racial injustice. Trayvon Martin. Michael Brown. And a million other less-publicized injustices. When I see my black friends hurt and angry, I want to be hurt and angry too. But it feels like my hurt and anger pales in comparison (which it does), all because I’m white.
So I say nothing. But that feels wrong too. Even more wrong than saying the wrong thing.
So I stew about it and read stuff and pray for my friends.
And come to the conclusion that I can’t be quiet.
Even if I don’t understand it all. Even if my white skin discounts my opinion. Even if I say something wrong or lose another “friend.”
Today I came across an article by a woman named Janee Woods that finally gave me some hope. “Becoming a White Ally to Black People in the Aftermath of the Michael Brown Murder.”
She gave a list of 12 things we white folks who hate racism can do to actually make a difference, and I could kiss her for it. I’m going to print out her list and get to work on it.
Justice doesn’t just happen by itself.