Last week I found myself wondering, how can I remain active as an ally to the social justice movement when there is no new national/local news to discuss? The very next morning, I learned about Sandra Bland. And Sandra Bland had already been dead for four long days before this news reached my computer screen.
Hello, privilege, it’s nice to see you again staring back at me in the mirror. Here I was, contemplating what to discuss on this blog in a moment of stillness…and yet, that stillness wasn’t real. It was real to me and my life, of course, but not for Sandra Bland and not for the countless other incidents I’m sure I’ll never learn about. The point is, just because an atrocity doesn’t bubble up to the surface of national news, doesn’t mean the struggle is suspended. How naïve of me to even think that, but I’m going to go out on a limb and guess I’m not the only person caught in this false reality.
When the news goes quiet, so does my engagement…and that’s because it’s easy to roar loudly against the massacre in Charleston, to call for an investigation around the mysterious death of Sandra Bland and so forth. And the sad truth is, as of late, stories like these are making the news more and more. Does this mean there is an uptick in racially motivated crimes against people of color? Probably not. But now the country is being forced to pay attention, whether us mainstreamers like it or not.
So I’m going to make every effort to not fall dormant between news stories. To keep questioning myself and my community on how to be a parent-ally. Some of my strategies right now are simply to engage folks like me in conversations about race and privilege. I’m also starting to research and curate a better library of books to read to my children that aren’t so white-washed, sexist and hetero-centric. What are some of your strategies? What are other ways we can be allies to the social justice movement that are sustainable in our day-to-day lives?