“Change the culture.” Jackie Summers. “We’re living through a second Civil Rights movement. It started with the death of Trayvon Martin, and hit fever pitch last year with the murder of George Floyd. It isn’t enough. They. Keep. Killing. Us.
While we’ve made significant legal progress, the predominant culture is still to see non-white people as other, and lesser-than. We are perceived as threats, waiting to happen. White friends, I solemnly charge you: change the hearts of your kin. Make the treatment of any person of color as unpalatable to them as it would be if you found out it was me who’d just been shot, asphyxiated, murdered. No law can truly protect Black and Brown people while the pervasive culture demonizes us. It’s within your collective power to change that.
White friends, transform the hatred by your kin of non-whites into love. We don’t need you to justify our humanity; instead help those who hate us find humanity in themselves. Yes, protest. Yes, run for office. Yes, legislate change. Just don’t stop there.
Justice is what love looks like in public. However much you think you love us, love us more. Use your privilege to display that love. Then make your people love us like you love us. Then enshrine that love into law. Make #DaunteWright the last hashtag.”
Help those who hate us find humanity in themselves. As a white person, I feel heartbroken hearing about another white police officer killing another black person. This is different in my gut than it is for people of color. When I am pulled over by the police, I don’t wonder if this will be the way I die.
We live in a broken culture and racist system. What I can do feels so far from being enough. As a white person, I can educate myself, and I can do the courageous work of integrating Jackie Summer’s challenge into my daily life.
My work every day is to help people healing trauma and the nervous system. I know over time this will help move us away from dehumanizing ourselves. This has to happen before we can possibly stop dehumanizing other people and move towards justice.
There are many resources on racism and healing trauma, and Resmaa’s book is one of the best. My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies, Resmaa Menakem
Every Sunday, the Stillpoint community class explores understanding and healing trauma together. This Sunday, we are working with grief and anger. Click here for the playlist of previous sessions in our Feelings and Emotions series.
Please join us live – click here for more information and the link.