Black Lives and Well-Meaning White People

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Hello friend, yes, this is Marijuana Straight Talk. However, this time, I’m leaning more on the Straight Talk than the Marijuana part — although, as with most subjects, when you watch the video, you’ll see that the Plant is part of the conversation.

Anyway, as I was about to say:  Well-Meaning White People. There are a lot of us. Most of us?

God I wish.

Well-Meaning White People is the term used when we as White people have little or no clue as to the challenges African Americans face on a daily basis. Mostly we’re blind to the abuse that results in what’s been identified as the ongoing torment of race-based trauma. I invite you to click through to that link; there are solid referenced studies. Actually, it’s a jaw-dropping report.  I note some of the details in this video.

I’m a student of trauma because I spent so many years in the laboratory of an abusive childhood. But, as I point out in this video, I grew up and grew out of that environment into a safe space, which allowed me to begin healing.

However, there is no continuity of safety or respect when a Black person navigates in a White world. Even highly regarded Black professionals venture outside of “safe circles” and are met with 1) overt or insidious belittling comments or actions and 2) an unfair playing field – eloquently documented in the classic article by Peggy McIntosh: “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack“.

How Can Healing Begin in This Climate?

One African American woman has begun wearing a black band on her left arm — closest to her heart.

Adrienne Maree Brown has begun wearing #blackband in what she calls a beautiful, simple practice.

Adrienne Maree Brown has begun wearing #blackband in what she calls a beautiful, simple practice.

 

 

 

 

Author and activist Adrienne Maree Brown writes in her blog that she put on the black band “as a statement of grief, and as a statement against white supremacy in all of its manifestations.”

 

 

What? White Supremacy? Me?

Just the term “white supremacy” sends chills through my body conjuring up white sheets, pointed hats and burning crosses. I want to immediately blurt out: “That’s not me!”

But “white supremacy,” according to its Wiki page:   “… can also refer to a political or socio-economic system where white people enjoy a structural advantage (white privilege) over other ethnic groups, both at a collective and an individual level.”

Yes, I resemble that remark. And I long for it to be different (can you say, Well-Meaning White Person)?

Personally, I’ve decided to take my lead from Adrienne and start wearing a black band on my left arm.

The true test with wearing the black arm band comes outside home - where it will provoke questions and start discussions. But, most importantly, I want the immediate recognition that I stand in solidarity for Black lives mattering.

The true test with wearing the black arm band comes outside home — where it will provoke questions and start discussions. But, most importantly, I want the immediate recognition that I stand in solidarity for Black lives mattering.

I want my Black sisters and brothers to know I want to help move toward living in a country where all Black Lives Matter. As Adrienne writes, “… it feels really important and comforting to see non-black people visibly making a statement against white supremacy and anti-blackness.”

I agree. #Blackband

 


Resources:

Wanna know more about getting involved as a White person?

Showing Up for Racial Justice: A national network of groups and individuals organizing White people for racial justice.

Catalyst: Helps to build powerful multiracial movements that can win collective liberation.

Raising Race Conscious Children: A resource to support adults who are trying to talk about race with young children

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