Do you remember Daniel Carver, the KKK wizard, or dragon, or whatever he was? He was always on the Howard Stern show back in the 90s. Remember how he always said ‘Wake up, white people!’ with that deep Georgia drawl? It was sort of melodic, almost sing-song. It has stuck in my head all these years.
Sometimes, to this day, when I go into my kids’ room in the morning I shout it at them just for fun! ‘Wake up, white people!’
And now I know why it stuck. It’s because he was right. We white people do need to wake the hell up. Of course he was trying to wake up the racist white people. I’m talking about us, my non-racist white friends.
There is a movement going on right now in our country. Because we live here, we are all, by default, a part of this movement. Some of us by our actions and some of us, by our inaction.
With every movement towards any sort of change, there is resistance. Sometimes it takes action to resist. Sometimes, inaction is resistance.
There was resistance to ending slavery, even though it was morally and ethically the right thing to do. There was resistance to women’s suffrage, even though it was morally and ethically the right thing to do. There was resistance to the civil rights movement, even though… you get the idea.
There is always resistance to change.
It’s hard for me to understand resistance to a movement whose goal is fair and equal treatment of all people. It’s tough to wrap my brain around resistance to a movement that is morally and ethically just. How could anyone be against equality? Have we not evolved beyond the place where we believe one life is more valuable than another?
No, not everyone has. And I want to understand where the resistance, anger, fear and hatred come from. So I started looking into some white nationalist hate groups. I ventured over to the Dark Side (the Really Really White Side).
I found the White Aryan Resistance (they’re still resisting civil rights). And guess what? They have a great slogan!
‘White revolution is the only solution’.
Isn’t that fantastic? As soon as I read that, I said ‘Yes! Sign me up! It IS indeed time for a white revolution!’ Of course, they only want the racist white folks to revolt. But I’m talking about us, my non-racist white friends!
It is time for us to get-up-stand-up for our black and brown brothers and sisters. It is time to step up and be more supportive of their ongoing efforts. It’s time to use our own privilege, every little bit we have, to make other people’s lives better.
I know, you’re not a racist. And I am not a racist, but… our system is. Our country was founded upon racist principles. It was always good to be white, and bad not-to-be white. A few laws on the books didn’t change that too much. It is still an easier life if you are born white in America, than if you are born black or brown. There is no denying this fact, my non-racist white friends.
Our neighbors of color are navigating through a racist system every day of their lives. They are fighting in the revolution every day. I am aware of this. I think we are all aware of this.
If we are aware of this, then our inaction is actually a form of resistance. Maybe for some people, it is passive aggression. I know, we haven’t done anything personally to hold the movement down. But have we done anything to help lift it up?
This movement has been magnified in recent weeks (months/years) and I believe it is the moral obligation of every compassionate human being, to get involved.
How can you get involved? You can start small, my non-racist white friends.
Start by trying to connect more deeply to your friends/ coworkers/ acquaintances of color. Ask them to share their stories about the discrimination they’ve faced. Ask them to describe how it feels to be a person of color moving through this world of ours, this country of ours, this political climate of ours. Have the painful conversations. Really listen. Hear the words. This is their revolution that we are joining.
Oh wait, maybe you don’t have any black friends. Maybe you don’t have any black neighbors. Then get on social media. Follow some black activists. Don’t know where to start? Try Lee Merritt, Shaun King, VerySmartBrothas.com. They will lead you to others.
Speak out every time you hear a racial slur, racist joke, questionable remark. Every time. No matter who says it. Even your own mom. Make it a habit.
Call out coworkers, subordinates and superiors for harmful rhetoric. Even if there are only white folks in the room. There is no such thing as ‘just locker room talk’ anymore! (I sure hope we all learned that lesson).
Seek out and purposely patronize the black and brown owned businesses in your town. Are there any in your town? If there aren’t, then venture out of your comfort zone. Venture out of your usual neighborhoods. See new sights, meet new people, try new food, hear new music.
Reach out to an organization that supports equality and promotes justice. Ask them for information. They are everywhere.
Get out and volunteer somewhere that is not quite so suburban. Expand your horizons.
Go out and make yourself visible at a few meetings, or a rally. You don’t have to scream and shout and carry a sign. You can simply stand by and be an ally. There is strength in numbers. And I know in my heart, that our numbers are huge. Huge! And not in the fake news sort of way. In a real way, my non-racist white friends.
There is a movement going on right now, and we are all a part of it. Either by our actions or our inaction.
So, wake up, white people! I’m talking about us.