Episode 38: What Can White People Do To Support Black Lives Matter

I’ve recently taken on an interesting challenge proposed to me by my White listeners, followers, friends, colleagues, and clients. I want to TRY to respond to the DMs, emails, and messages from White people that care enough to NOT want to err on the side of injustice. I pride myself on maintaining a diverse audience and with that privilege comes responsibility- one that I did not intend but I hope to delicately navigate. Social media is revealing some of the injustices Black people have been screaming about and the pangs of anguish have begun to flutter through the moral compass of some good White folk.

Recently, a White father-son duo went hunting and 25-year-old jogger, Ahmaud Arbery was on the other end of their rifle. They killed him in broad daylight and the slaughter was captured on a cellphone. THIS TIME there is no validating the crime. Two racist white men killed an unarmed young Black man. In their heart of hearts, they felt this was the right thing to do! Hence lies the beginning of the problem.

Each time Black America is riled up over the senseless killing of an unarmed Black person at the hands of law enforcement or White citizens, the underbelly of the racial tensions in America are exposed. Like clockwork, an overwhelming number of Black people defend the deceased and an overwhelming number of White people rationalize and then excuse the killer, who will likely go unpunished.

Races pick a side and their argument is usually in favor of the person that looks like them. The genocide of Africans supported by the American government created a searing contempt and its effects are still influential today. The fact of the matter is Black people are still dehumanized and the very fabric of this country, it’s lawmakers and its Constitution are the foundation of the hatred and marginalization.

BANGOR, MAINE — 07/13/2016 – A member of the community wearing a “Black Lives Matter” t-shirt listens to speakers during a vigil in honor of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, two black men recently killed by police in Baton Rouge and Minneapolis, and in honor of the police officers killed at a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest in Dallas, TX. in West Market Square in Bangor Wednesday. Ashley L. Conti | BDN

When my White peeps reach out to me with questions, I know that I’m the Blackest friend many of them have. They feel comfortable asking me the uncomfortable questions and they are no longer okay with being complicit in their silence. They just don’t know where to start, where to go, or what to say but they are blatantly outraged and asking “WTF can we do to help!!?”

I’d be a coward to play it safe and not address this topic openly and I felt the need to help the people that genuinely want to see change. While I am not an expert on race relations, I’m good at finding resources that are easily digestible and that will atleast start more in-depth conversations.

I reached out to outspoken Social Justice advocate Eddie Eads. Eddie is White. Eddie is Bible-belt White. Eddie, grew up in a “Sundown Town” (a community that promotes the killing of Black people after nightfall), so for all intents and purposes, Eddie should’ve been a bonafide racist. Eddie is not.

Over the course of our conversation, he broke down the intricacies of his Whiteness and juxtaposed it to how White people generally perceive Blackness. This chat called out some very antiquated ways of thinking and challenged the stench of supremacy. This will be undoubtedly tough to listen to at times, but I challenge you to open your heart and your mind. I learned some new things and I know you will too.

As my Granny always says, “If you can’t say Amen, say ouch.”

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Eddie Eads is a writer currently living in Bloomington, Indiana. His favorite quote is by Donny Hathaway, “Take it from me, someday we’ll all be free.”