George Floyd’s murder is tragic.
The protests express the sadness and rage of people who have been the target of systemic racism for centuries. My heart breaks as I try to grasp the pain.
Tragically, Mr. Floyd’s death is not an isolated event, but is one of an ongoing series of deaths and abuses that have turned up the heat on an issue that is ignored by some, yet is a part of daily life for so many. Racism and racial injustices are woven into every aspect of American life.
IT MUST STOP!
If you are white, as I am, we need to stay as outraged as we feel fight now. We need to take action to ensure equity, respect, and inclusion in every sphere. So, what can I do to live an anti-racist life?
- Be humble. Stay in a place of listening to people who know about racism because they live with it. Admit what I don’t know or understand. Remain teachable. Accept feedback when I am challenged to do better.
- Learn all I can. Read books written by and recommended by Black and brown people. Put myself in places where I can learn more about racism.
- Admit my mistakes. When my words or actions have a negative impact, admit it, apologize, and make amends. Even if my intent is positive, it is my impact that matters. Own my part in allowing white privilege to continue unchecked.
- Speak out. When I hear a racist, derogatory, or stereotypical comment, call it out. Challenge people who display their white privilege. Protest. Post.
- Act. Educate fellow white people. Donate to antiracist causes and organizations. Protest. Contact elected officials to demand better policies, practices, and use of funding. Cultivate professional relationships and friendships with people of all races and ethnicities. Hire Black and brown people and compensate them fairly.
What can you do? The same things.
As for me, sex education is the sphere where I have the most influence. If you are interested in learning more about racial justice in sex education, these articles do a great job of discussing some of the issues:
- To Our White Colleagues: There’s Plenty of Room at the Table for Racial Justice in Sexuality Education
- Black History Month: How sex ed can (and should) advance racial justice
- Solidarity Statement on Racial Justice in Sexuality Education