I am white. I am racist. I am part of the system that kills people of color. I am so uncomfortable saying these things, which is why they must be said. Because my discomfort and my silence put my hands on the guns that rob people of color of fathers, sons, mothers, sisters, friends, futures.
In the past, I have expressed sympathy and then waited for someone to tell me, teach me, how to act and what to do. I have known that I should “disrupt the system” somehow, and yet I have not delved further to find out how to do it. I have treated knowing as enough. Knowing is not enough. Knowing is not enough. Knowing simply draws me deeper into the system, because to know and not act is its own form of violence.
People of color should not have to teach me. This is not a responsibility they were born with. I am responsible for my own reeducation. I am responsible for my inaction, for my ignorance. After this message, I will stop screaming into the internet. I will instead, fill my mind with knowledge and then scream at Congress. Over the last 24-hours, I have been reading and gathering resources for myself as a white person who needs educating. I am collecting them here so that I can keep track of where to access them and hold myself accountable for following through and reading them all. I am also leaving them here for my white friends and family. If you are lost, do not wait to be told. Start here and keep learning. And share what you find with me.
*Check-marks are for the author’s reference, denoting her completion of the reading or task.
BOOKS TO READ:
Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates √
The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander
The Racial Imaginary, ed. Claudia Rankine and Beth Loffreda
Crazy Brave, Joy Harjo
A Map to the Next World, Joy Harjo
The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin
God Help the Child, Toni Morrison
Racism Without Racists, Eduardo Bonilla-Silva
Citizen: An American Lyric, Claudia Rankine
The Round House, Louise Erdich
Native Son, Richard Wright
The Righteous Mind, Jonathan Haidt
Thinking Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman
Race-Baiter, Eric Deggans
Why Americans Hate Welfare, Martin Gilens
Social Darwinism in American Thought, Richard Hofstadter
Whistling Vivaldi, Claude Steele
Hands Up, 7 Playwrights, 7 Testaments √
And This list: 18 Books Every White Ally Should Read
To research: Omi & Winant Theory
Contact Congress: http://contactingthecongress.org
Join the Movement: http://www.joincampaignzero.org/#action √
Portland’s Independent Police Review: Independent Police Review
There is so much to add to this list. I will keep adding as I read and discover. I have so much to learn, and I have to start now.