I just watched portions of today’s press conference with The D. He continues to defend the actions of the white supremacists who brought their vile message of hate to Charlottesville last weekend. It is revolting.
This is not my President.
I will stand with Charlottesville’s counter-protesters that risked their lives. I will stand against hate and intolerance along with my immigrant, LGBT, Jewish, Hispanic, Black and Muslim friends, family members and colleagues. I will not turn my head aside and silently accept this kind of world for my beautiful Hispanic grand daughters.
Yet, I (and most of my colleagues and friends) live in a cocoon of white, middle-class privilege. Many of us feel powerless to make a difference. Today, a co-worker asked “What can I do?”. After pondering this much of the day, here is my suggested starter kit for white, middle-class fledgling activists:
Be self-aware: take a close look at your own implicit biases – we all have them because we are human. Be more aware of the lens you use to view the world, and where that lens may be ‘cracked’.
Pay attention to every-day micro and macro aggressions towards yourself and others. It is likely that you have people in your life that exhibit their own implicit (or explicit) biases in unkind, thoughtless or hurtful ways.
Get out of your comfort zone to challenge inappropriate or hurtful comments or other micro-aggressions that you encounter. Call out the sexist or homophobic joke, the racist reference, or the casual nasty remark about a woman’s body.
Find your voice and find your power. Power is the ability to affect change, in yourself and others. You are not powerless.
Get involved. Volunteer in a homeless shelter, tutor someone, attend a march, organize a fund-raiser, volunteer for a political candidate, write a blog, donate money, join a group that is focused on resistance. But … DO something.
Be brave. By taking a stand, you will risk ridicule and risk being misunderstood. Yet, your best and most authentic self will stand up for what you know to be right, even when it is not easy. Try being brave in small ways first; you may just surprise yourself!
Finally, Be Kind. Be the Change you want to see in the world.