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This week… but let's be honest, it was like any other week in America, it just happened to be caught on camera. We're beyond saying our heart hurts, this is nothing that can be solved with tweeting thoughts and prayers. This is on us, fellow white people, and it's not enough to be a person who thinks they aren't racist and who supports people of color. It's on us to step in when we see a person of color being treated differently; to not just discuss it with friends or on social media but to put our actual white bodies into the situation. It's on us to confront our uncle who makes racist jokes, our neighbor who mutters the neighborhood is going down when a black family moves in, our friend who says she won't drive through “the ghetto” on the other side of town. It's on us to get outside our bubble, get uncomfortable, and get involved. No pretty graphic shared on social media, no matter how many likes it gets, will make change. Nothing will change if we white people don't.
How to Help
I know my entire audience isn't white, but I have access to Google Analytics and other tools to see my audience's demographic and know a major percentage of you are like me, a white American woman. And we white American women are privileged. We're privileged even if we've had an incredibly hard and painful life. As American women, our government keeps trying to take away our right to choose what to do with our bodies, we make less on the dollar than men, we're not believed, and we walk at night with our keys between our fingers in an attempt to feel safe. But you know what? We can go for an afternoon jog, enjoy birdwatching in Central Park, and get pulled over for a broken taillight and not fear for our life. If we told someone to leash their dog we'd be called a Karen, we wouldn't have 911 called. So this week's how to help is dedicated to us, the white women reading this who need to step up.
Let's start with this piece on Medium that offers 75 things white people can do for racial justice. Some of these may feel scarier than others to do. Start with one that feels doable now for you; maybe place an order for your kid's teacher with a bunch of age-appropriate books that have people of color as the heroes and protagonists. But don't stop there. Let that be your first step.
Are you in a book club? Instead of choosing the next beach read, consider choosing a book from one of these lists. Consider a book by Ta-Nehisi Coates for your first month if you're not sure where to start; both The Water Dancer and Between the World and Me are powerful and beautifully written. While the latter is nonfiction it reads like a novel; the former is historical fiction.
- Books to Check your White Privilege, by Strand Book Store (Medium)
- 28 Books that Talk About Race (Read it Forward)
- Anti-Racist Reading List, by Ibram X. Kendi (Chicago Public Library)
- So You Want to Be Woke: A Reading List for White People (Book Riot)
- Understanding and Dismantling Racism: A Booklist for White Readers (Charis Books & More)
- 24 Books for White People to Read beyond Black History Month (The Undefeated)
Do you have Instagram? It's a great way to learn about people, cultures, and communities beyond your own. Some suggestions:
I encourage you to share those who I may not have included in the comments. Watch their stories. Swipe up to read their blog posts and the articles they share. Especially if you live in a very homogenous community, it's a great way to open up your perspective and connect.
You can always make a donation. Every week I make a donation to a nonprofit. Whether it's $5 or $500, it's a way to support those who are on the frontlines making a difference, who are skilled and prepared to do so. When you can't be there, you can financially support others to be there in your place. This week I am donating to the Minnesota Freedom Fund, a community based nonprofit that combats the harms of incarceration by paying bail for low-income individuals who cannot otherwise afford it. Did you know that the United States and the Philippines are the only two countries in the world where individuals may have to put up cash to prevent being imprisoned before their trial? People of color and immigrants face higher rates of arrest, harsher sentencing, and disparities in the setting of bail compared to white citizens. Click here to learn more about the Minnesota Freedom Fund and to make a donation.
Lindsey, a reader in Minneapolis has offered a list of organizations that can make a difference right now:
- Minnesota Freedom Fund https://minnesotafreedomfund.org/ to bail protesters out of jail (she wrote, “What I’m told right now is MN Freedom Fund is a priority”)
- Black Visions https://www.blackvisionsmn.org/ to support their work in healing and transformative justice
- Unicorn Riot https://unicornriot.ninja/ to support independent media documenting the protests
- Reclaim The Block https://www.reclaimtheblock.org/ to support their work in demanding Minneapolis to divest from policing and invest in long-term alternatives
- Lake Street Council www.welovelakestreet.com/ to help local businesses rebuild their storefronts
- MINNEAPOLIS MAD DADS http://minneapolismaddads.org/ to support their work in protecting the community as an alternative to the police
- Communities United Against Police Brutality (CUAPB) bit.ly/CUAPBpaypal
- George Floyd's family: https://www.gofundme.com/f/georgefloyd to help cover Floyd's funeral and burial expenses
And finally, whether it feels like it right now or not, we live in a democracy. Our leaders are in their positions because we vote them in, and they need our support to keep their jobs. This link to house.gov will help you find out who your representatives are to contact them and let them know how you feel about what is going on and how they are handling it. On the NAACP website, this form makes it easy to contact your representatives regarding multiple ways to provide equal support for black Americans, especially during the pandemic. This link has links to guide you through signing petitions, contacting representatives, plus resources to stay informed.
I know this is only a small number of ways we can start to change our perspective and the perspective of our country. I look forward to reading your additional suggestions in the comments.
Hell hath no fury like a financial magazine scorned. The Kardashian Klan worked really hard, using Forbes, to show that Kylie Jenner was a billionaire. Come to find out, it's not true and Forbes is spilling the tea. (Forbes)
I'm looking forward to seeing ‘The High Note' with Tracee Ellis Ross, and appreciate this article breaking down some of the fashion in the movie. (Fashionista)
Is transparency in fashion a dead end? (Vogue Business)
A DC shopkeeper's humble opinion on when to reopen for business. (PBS News Hour)
Some of Ms. Magazine's most iconic covers. (W Magazine)
The secret to successful search terms on eBay, Etsy, and more. (Man Repeller)
This was a tough week, and one that we spent numbing out on TV. Last week I mentioned I started the Netflix series, Never Have I Ever and this week I finished it. This is a cute series without it being bubble gum. Highly recommend.
This week we also finished the second season of Sex Education, also on Netflix. Gosh, we loved this show. We savored episodes as we did with Schitt's Creek, knowing it would eventually come to an end. Highly highly recommend.
We also finished the series High Fidelity, available on Hulu. At first, we loved it. Zoe Kravitz is charming, the music was awesome, the interpersonal relationships engaging. And then… well we came to hate the protagonist. I think if I were a decade younger and didn't have a kid I would have enjoyed this series, but I just left not seeing her as some antihero but just a sh*t. I have no desire to see another season if it comes out; my husband is curious to see where the story goes. If you saw it I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Thursday night I finished work a bit early so K and I decided to get all crazy and watch a movie. He suggested The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. I hadn't heard of this movie, but it was a Terry Gilliam film starring Adam Driver, I was down. The movie was free to use through our Xfinity plan via Crackle. This movie is 2 hours, 12 minutes long which is pretty standard; it felt like it was twice as long. We still have 40 minutes left but I tapped out because I was exhausted and uninterested. Adam Driver is excellent, but he has grown on me and I think he could be excellent in most any role. Jonathan Pryce was phenomenal as Don Quixote, I loved him so much. But even with these two amazing actors, the movie was so disjointed and exhausting I didn't end up caring how it turned out. K may finish it this weekend, but I have better things to do.
I am still reading Sigh, Gone but thanks to one of you who suggested it (I can't find the comment right now), I also picked up The Year of Living Danishly. Both books I am only a bit into them; I haven't had the focus to read maybe a half a chapter at a time which is frustrating because I enjoy both books.
For Your Entertainment
Yeah, after reading Jessica Simpson's memoir I am not the biggest John Mayer fan, but I do love Leon Bridges. And I love this song by Bridges where he collabs with Mayer. It's a pretty appropriate slow jam for the inside world we're currently living in.