When I started blogging back in January, the idea was that I would talk about business and video topics. I didn’t expect I’d be writing about a global pandemic, and I didn’t expect that we’d be talking about systemic racism and societal inequality. But here we are, and these topics are not only unavoidable, but must be addressed responsibly. I will however, try to remain apolitical on this blog, but that doesn’t mean I will not express an opinion.
When it comes to the past week of protests, and as importantly the history of racial violence that preceded them, we are on the side of solving the problem as much as possible. Let me clarify, I know that racism will likely never go away entirely, but I am in favor of reducing it, especially the effects of it, as much as humanly possible. I hope that is through peaceful protest, but I also understand that peace has failed until this point.
I have struggled for days to figure out how I can personally affect change, and help to ease this pain, and I’ve come up with little. What I have come up with, is listening and being available. I’m not black, and while I care passionately, I don’t want to rush into misguided action and hurt the cause. What I do want to do, is to be an ally for the cause, which means I’m willing to be told what is needed of me.
I’ve also thought a lot about what I’ve seen other white people doing in videos and news coverage, and I think it’s important that as a whole, we need to take a step back. I don’t mean we need to step away, but I have seen several videos with peaceful demonstrators of color, and an embolden white person creating chaos. Some of this has obviously been with the best of intentions, and some of it has been with malicious intentions, but I think as far as I can tell, that both are harmful. If people like myself, who are too detached to fully understand the problem, interject in a way that gives fuel to the argument that the protests are violent, anarchist, or anti-productive.
We cannot undermine the fight. That is not being an ally.
I will help as I can, as I am asked, but I will not try to lead, or go rogue, because my hope is that I can help to achieve the goal of getting us as close as possible to a just system. I don’t exactly know what that means, just that I’m willing to be lead.