I’ve spent the week processing, learning and taking in this moment. This pivotal moment which will be discussed forever. Where were we? Where did we march? And most importantly, how did we impact change?
In the spirit of change and holding one another accountable, I want to talk about some of the hard questions. The questions that ask us to survey our lives and reflect on our participation, consciously or without realizing it, to social injustice:
Black women are at higher risk to die during childbirth, Black people have higher rates of heart disease and are disproportionately affected by covid-19. Ask yourself, how is this fair? Ask yourself what are the structural inequities like access to quality care, education, employment, housing, fresh food, etc. that cause this. Ask yourself, how do I build a better system?
If you don’t have black friends, ask yourself why? Is it because you don’t engage with your black neighbors or because you live in a segregated neighborhood? If the latter, how does policy you vote for affect this? Are you building up the walls which limit diversity, schools, access and opportunity? Ask yourself, what changes can you make so that your experience of black culture isn’t primarily through pop culture but through friendships.
If you don’t support many Black-owned businesses, why? Have you considered it’s harder for black business owners to get loans? Or that there’s inequality in Black education? Ask yourself how to fix both. Are your coworkers black or are you hiring black? If not, what is your plan to change that?
There are more Black people in prison than white. Ask yourself how elections and crime bills contributed. Ask yourself to watch the documentary 13th if you don’t understand.
This week taught me I wasn’t asking enough of these questions. In fact, I didn’t know all the questions to ask. But now that I do, and I’ve asked them of you, we must keep questioning until we have answers. Every single day. At home, in our community, at the polls – and in our hearts. We can not stop until black lives are mattered by everyone equally and systemically.