How Can I Help?

heart on the beach

I’m a 45 year old white female living in the USA. I have privileges not afforded a 45 year old black female also living in the USA.  That’s not to say I haven’t had hard times. It does mean my skin color hasn’t been a cause for any of my hardships.  

I’ve had the opportunity on several occasions to openly discuss racism and how it affects my black friends.  I’m not pretending to be an expert.  I’m certainly not attempting to be a voice to replace my black friends’ voices.  My intention is to come alongside them to unite our voices in an effort to bring change and healing. 

Here are 5 things you can do as a white person right now to help heal our country devastated by racism:

LISTEN: This seems like an easy one. However, it’s probably the hardest on the list. For some reason people are of the notion they have to 100% agree with everything a person says or believes in order to stand with them. In addition, amidst our social media culture, we also often feel the need to correct and offer a personal opinion. I’m asking you to JUST LISTEN. 

EXAMINE YOUR CIRCLE OF FRIENDS: Do all your friends believe like you? Think like you? Look (share the same skin color} like you?  Your perspective can quickly become very narrow if the above questions can all be answered with a “yes”. 

EDUCATE YOURSELF:  Education has always been a method to empower and enlighten ourselves.  Take the time to listen to podcasts, read books, and watch movies written/produced by black men and women.

Book: JUST MERCY

Blog Post: Lament for Ahmaud

Podcast: How to Be Anti-Racist

Documentary: 13th

PRAY: Division amidst the people God created was never His intent.  Pray for restoration.  Pray for healing.  Pray for God to open your eyes to ways you can be part of the solution.

TALK TO YOUR KIDS: If you’ve been around for any length of time, you know I’m a huge proponent of having hard uncomfortable conversations with your kids. This topic isn’t off limits.  Open dialogue about what you’re learning and how you can make changes as a family is a great dinner talking point.

BONUS POINT: Say something when one of your white friends makes a statement that hinders the work of reconciliation.  When you know better, you do better.  Pass it on.

In your enthusiasm to listen and learn, please keep the following in mind:  This topic may be a new conversation for you, but it’s been a life long discussion in conjunction with a lot of personal experiences for our African American friends.  Be polite.  Be patient.  Be grateful.  Teaching is exhausting.  

Finally, if any of the things you’ve read or heard lately {not just here} make you feel misunderstood or defensive I would encourage you to sit in that feeling.  It’s all a part of the learning & listening practice.

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