There is very little I can say right now, and very little reason I should be allowed to opine – except to say that I recognize the luck I had being born who I am where I am, and the privilege that all of this provides. I am a white, middle class, suburban mom with a university education. During this pandemic we have been one of the very lucky families with two working parents and a child old enough to do a lot of things by herself.
And now we have worldwide protests for overdue change.
I am white. I was raised in a very white neighbourhood. I knew very few real people who were not white. Once again, I am very thankful to Sesame Street for providing me with a view of the world I would not otherwise have seen.
Still, I remained mostly uneducated about race issues except for being generally aware of things that had happened in the past. I remember knowing who Rodney King was and hearing about the riots. As I have gotten older I have tried to learn more. But there are people who look like me who think that Black people are somehow less than us. A lot of them.
I have spent the past two weeks trying to act as a witness, to spread Black voices and to learn about the things I don’t understand. I have also donated because I have an income right now and I can do that.
I wanted to share a few links here, because that is the least I can do. Listen and learn.
Places to donate:
The Minnesota Freedom Fund was my first donation, but after receiving a flurry of donations, they have linked to other orgs that need help, including bail funds in other states.
GoFundMe for Regis Korchinski Paquet, who died in Toronto on May 27.
Resources and things to read:
How to respond to ‘riots never solve anything’ by Rafi D’Angelo
‘Nothing to add: A Challenge to White Silence in Racial Discussions‘ by Robin DiAngelo
Institutionalized Racism: A Syllabus by Catherine Halley
What to do instead of calling the police by Aaron Rose
Defunding the Police Will Save Black and Indigenous Lives in Canada by Sandy Hudson (to find out more about this there is a book called The End of Policing by Alex S. Vitale and Sandy Hudson has a podcast with Nora Loreto where they have discussed it).
Also Divest from Police to Re-invest in Communities by Anthony N. Morgan
Dear White People, This is What We Want You to Do by Kandise Le Blanc
To Pimp a Movement by Nathaniel Behar
Before you declare Canada is not a racist country, do your homework by Vanmala Subramaniam
How to deconstruct racism, one headline at a time (video by Baratunde Thurston)
For our white friends desiring to be allies by Courtney Ariel
The Agenda: The fight to end anti-Black racism
Collective Rage Requires Collective Action by Senator Wanda Thomas Bernard
Warrior Life: Desmond Cole on Anti-Black Racism in Canada and the US
I have also read or ordered the following books:
Wow, No Thank You and We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby
You Can’t Touch My Hair and Everything’s Trash, But It’s Okay by Phoebe Robinson
When They Call You a Terrorist by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Asha Bandele
So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo and Michael Eric Dyson
Freedom is a Constant Struggle, by Angela Y. Davis
And for some fiction…
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill
Washington Black by Esi Edugyan (Both of these books touch on history that not many Canadians are taught).