My heart breaks for the people of Ferguson. From the murder of Michael Brown (by the police) to the creation of what is essentially an illegal police state to the lack of response by elected officials to the ban on media coverage, this entire situation is rife with anti-Blackness and racism. To everyone who believes that racism died with Martin Luther King, or that America became post-racist after the election of Barack Obama, just look. Look at the #Ferguson tag on Twitter. Look at the fantastic explanations and analyses of the situation written by Black people on Tumblr (you can start on my page if you’re lost, and follow the tags from there.)
Don’t shy away from this. Don’t hide. Don’t think that because you are Irish or White that you do not need to pay attention. Racism and discrimination are not made up on Tumblr. Racialised violence is horribly real. When this story proceeds to also break your heart, remember that racism (just like all those other isms) occurs on a spectrum. A lack of membership to the KKK does not absolve you of indifference, microaggressions, cultural appropriation, or perpetuation of stereotypes. Ignorance is no longer an excuse, particularly in the face of so brutal and obvious a situation as is in Ferguson.
What can I do as a White girl? Support. Listen. Pray for the people. Spread the word. Actively fight against a system that benefits me at the expense of others. This is not a time for me to analyse or wax lyrical on a situation of which I have no lived experience.
I beg you to do the same.
Sites and Masterposts on Racism in General
- This is White privilege
- Racism School
- Alyxio – Race
- It’s Hard to See Racism When You’re White Masterpost
- #If They Gunned Me Down