Together, our community needs to support racial justice organizations, like the NAACP and the Kitsap Equity, Race and Community Engagement (ERACE) Coalition, who are fighting for meaningful change. Recently, the NAACP issued a call to action asking that “police departments ban the use of knee holds in use of force continuums.” In my opinion, the NAACP should ask for more:
Racism is the most divisive issue facing this country. The mere fact that 74 days elapsed between the lynching of Ahmaud Arbery and the arrest of the men who murdered him demonstrates how tightly racial discrimination is woven into the fabric of America. Whites becoming allies to communities and people of color is the way we can change the heart of our nation. It is time for all of us to become color brave.
In America, Blacks cannot walk (RIP Trayvon Martin,) run (RIP Arbery,) or sleep (RIP Breonna Taylor) without being shot and killed.Blackness is not the root of inequity—racism in the system is the primary problem. White Americans must acknowledge complicity in maintaining systemic racism and the epigenetic trauma it inflicts upon Black Americans. To be sure, Clifford Glover and Ahmaud Arbery have taught me the meaning of white privilege in a way I never understood before. Isn’t it past time to change the conversation about the responsibilities of holding privilege in America? My message boils down to this: we can be good, kind, loving people who have benefited from a system steeped in white supremacy and still have the humility to say—this must stop.