Dear White People

Dear White People:

First off: you are not a race. You are a gradient of skin color that has, throughout much of human history, benefited from the absence of barriers toward power, wealth and privilege. That’s okay. Not all of you are bad. Not all of you intended to hurt others along the way. 

But let’s dispense with the niceties—being white helped you. 

Your skin pigmentation was and is complicit in the enslavement of Africans brought to America. Your skin pigmentation participated in the mass genocide of the Native-Americans, parceling and stealing land and resources, breaking treaties, and relegating them to invisible citizens living in sub-par human conditions even to this day.

And I hear you say: “But that wasn’t me!” Sure. You weren’t there. But your ancestors were. And you were born into the power structure set up by these atrocities. A paradigm that has—taken to its darkest realms—enabled thousands of Nazis to march, weapons in hand, upon a peaceful American city. It has enabled domestic terrorism. It has caused the death of a young woman, marching innocently along a city street when an irate white supremacist intentionally rammed into her and several others at 40 mph. Many of you watched it in terror and fear. Echoes of “How could this happen?” And “In 2017? Really?”

Really.

And this is where action happens. We have dispensed with our Facebook comments, and the requisite social media echo chamber of empathy and disgust. I know, because I have done so myself. But now we have a president who does not decry this violent action. The Nazis participating in yesterday’s march cosplayed in his golf clothes, quoted his speeches, and even celebrated his “many sides” speech as a victory. They are galvanized by the lack of police force against them. They ride the 1st Amendment wave toward violence, and in the case of yesterday—murder. In the public sphere. 

Our president has known white supremacist, alt-right and Nazi affiliates in his White House. Wake up. This is at your door now. It is not only affecting POC. It is shedding blood on the streets of Charlottesville and it is growing. March. Reach out to POC in your community. Sacrifice your time and your money to not only help those who are disadvantaged, but to resist and fight back. We all have a part to play. This will not “go away” and choosing to avoid the reality of our present political and social climate makes you complicit in domestic terrorism. It makes you complicit in the rise of Naziism in America. In 2017. Yes. 

For those not born into whiteness, this is nothing new. "The mask is off" is a phrase I heard and read repeated yesterday. It is a bitter pill. And if you are angry, disgusted, hurt, numb, crying, you can help. You are in a place to contribute toward good, whether it is through money, donations, marches, letters, phone calls, supporting Black Lives Matter and the numerous groups dedicated toward equality and restructuring our wildly imbalanced power structures. You can help. Today. Now.

Evil is not knocking at your door. It is here and it is moved in. What will you do? Your actions will make all the difference.