Black people are fighting death from a pandemic and systemic racism at the same time. Black people are tired and traumatized. We can barely process our own trauma, yet white people are asking their Black friends and colleagues to help them figure theirs out. Somehow, they have not realized the oppression that has been the Black experience. It is not our job to fix a racist system that we did not create. All racism is not overt or explicit hate.
When white people ask how they can be an ally, highlight the following racist practices and let them brainstorm their own strategies. We don’t have time. Don’t call us to tell you what to read and do.
1. Denying That Racism Exists
Asking an oppressed person "Are you sure that was racist?,” or saying, "I don't think he/she is racist," is called gaslighting.
2. Weaponizing Privilege
This is the practice of calling the police to report Black people for living their lives. It includes Black people eating, sleeping, sitting and jogging.
3. Denying Home Loans To Black People From Certain Neighborhoods
This limits potential for building economic growth, which limits access to education, employment opportunities and food security. This is called redlining.
4. Providing Biased Health Care
This is the practice of treating Black patients and white patients with the same symptoms and concerns differently. Black people are trying to survive in a medical system that has historically both exploited and ignored them.
5. Sentencing Disparities
This is supporting policies and laws that allow for things like a sentencing difference between offenses for crack and powder cocaine.
6. Refusing To Hire And Promote Black Employees
Employers and leaders use coded language like "they aren't the right fit" when their feelings are truly about a person's race.