What happened in Charlottesville has brought to light the deep seeded racism, hate and bigotry that still exists in our country. And now that it’s there in broad daylight for everyone to see, not one of us can look away.
It’s time to stand up and say we WON’T accept that it’s their opinion. We WON’T normalize this behavior because we believe we can’t do anything about it. We will do one thing today and every day to spread acceptance, love and assert that we can and will change our future by creating a new history that demonstrates we don’t and won’t accept the horrible way we’ve treated people in the past.
Here are six things you can do today:
Take a page out of the anti-bullying book. If you see someone being bullied or mistreated, be kind to that person. Sit with them, talk to them, invite them to do something. And say something! Never let a bully think it’s OK to treat others that way.
Sign the ColorofChange petition to remove all Confederate symbols in the United States. The petition calls for all Confederate statues to be removed in the hopes of sending a message that we are “no longer honoring white supremacy at a societal level.”
Talk to your kids about racism, its history, impact and where we are today. Books like Stella by Starlight enable them to navigate through the experience of racism in the 30’s and the terrifying acts and beliefs of the Ku Klux Klan with a relatable story about bravery, kindness and overcoming a common kid challenge (writing).
Educate yourself. PBS’s And Still I Rise series looks at the last five decades of African American History through the eyes of Henry Louis Gates, Jr. And there are so many other options like this list from Brit + Co.
Try to engage in conflicting ideas and beliefs with compassion and conversation. The story of former white supremacist leader, Derek Black, shows that exposure, compassion, and understanding can change hearts and minds. Daryl Davis also proves that the strongest beliefs can be swayed through conversation, patience, and respectful persistence. Accidental Courtesy: Daryl Davis, Race, & America is a biography about Davis befriending members of the Klu Klux Klan which ultimately change their ways of thinking about race and humanity.
Recognize your own privilege. Many of us have some form of privilege – whether its education, a stable job, a supportive family or the color of our skin. It’s uncomfortable to think about, but instead of running from it or not talking about it, use it to make a difference. Show up when you have the time. Give when you have the funds. Speak when other voices around you are being silenced.
What will you commit to today? What ideas can you share about how we can make the positive change needed to eliminate such hate from our country, culture, community?