Dear White Allies,
We have reached a critical moment in the history of humanity. The most powerful nation in the world has revealed the White racist core at its heart. Black death, Native death, Brown detainment, Asian hatred is the US story that blazes across screens worldwide. Saddening the world. Haunting the dreams of those of us long gone but connected by heartstrings in the form of family and friends.
I know you are sorry. We are all so very sorry. However, your sorry is not enough.
We have no use for hand wringing. Your guilt cannot shield us from bullets. Your good intentions have yet to save a single soul. You're being sorry will no longer do because the only reason any of this is happening is your White identity. Whiteness is the excuse for the murder and exploitation of people of color and it is tearing the country apart.
Black people have come to a crossroads; we have exhausted every imaginable avenue towards justice in our effort to create a more perfect union. This whole time we Black people have been duped into believing it was our job to end white supremacy. We have been banging our heads against the wall trying to persuade White people of our humanity when what we needed to do was encourage White people to reclaim theirs.
White identity is and has always been a force for separation and destruction. A justification for the enslavement of African people, Native genocide, colonial rule the world over, a history that extends right up to today in the form of mass incarceration, discrimination, and state-sponsored murder.
White supremacy is not a Black problem but a White one.
Black people are done. We must take a step back and relinquish the burdensome task of national redemption that was never ours to begin with. This is the moment where White allies can step in. Buried in the annals of history is the White identity origin story. Bacon´s Rebellion was a multiracial alliance against the elite planter class that burned the capital Jamestown to the ground and nearly won. Not only that but it sparked other rebellions throughout the colonies. The planter elites concerned about future uprisings separated White indentured servants and enslaved Blacks by making enslavement permanent and extending privileges to poor Whites. From there a mythology was created to justify that separation. Race is a fiction, a lie. But it’s consequences are all too real. Our suffering is all too real. Somewhere along the lines, White people got separated from their fellow humans and now must find their way back.
The good news, White identity doesn´t have to be destructive, it can be whatever you want it to be. But it won´t be easy. While we have centuries of practice with how to cope. You have centuries of denial. And an entire social and political structure at your disposal to weaponize at will. Your white identity is the key to ending all this madness. Nearly four centuries ago a few powerful elites defined Whiteness as something separate from and above the rest of humanity. You must reclaim your identity. How? Join White anti-racism groups. Show up. Go into the streets. Make your presence known. Talk to your family and friends. Be ready to stand up to institutions. Deconstruct whiteness turn it into what you want it to be. Explore who you are beyond white. Listen, read, learn. Donate money. It is not enough to be an ally you must learn how to become an anti-racist activist.
You won´t be alone, there is a rich legacy of White anti-racist artists, activists, writers, and thinkers. Ann Braden, The Young Patriots, and Eudora Welty just to name a few. Seek them out. You are the key to dismantling white supremacy. How can you use your imagination to transform your white identity into something meaningful?
Here is a list of resources to get you started.
I´m White and I´m Outraged By Ahmaud Arbery´s Murder Now What?
Dear Fellow White People
Showing Up For Racial Justice, SURJ
How Do I Not Raise The Next Amy Cooper
The Assumptions of White Privilege And What We Can Do About It
Whites Against Racism, https://www.kcet.org/shows/laura-flanders-show/episodes/whites-against-racism
Understanding and Dismantling Racism, https://www.charisbooksandmore.com/understanding-and-dismantling-racism-booklist-white-readers
Dr. David Campt: White Ally Effectiveness Workshop
White Conversation on Racism, Interpersonal Communication