But will they help the future?
When we feel powerless, we make lists. First coronavirus reminded me of this with our ample lists of things to do, how to school, what to wash. By making our lists, reading them, and following the instructions, we feel back in control even if it’s only a perception.
Fast forward and now the world is again paying attention to our institutional and systemic racism, something so ingrained in us that many of us can’t see it. And we again turn to lists to figure out what to do, how to process, how to see. In the last two weeks, I’ve saved hundreds of resources – those shared at work, by friends, in news articles – some one-off and some via long lists.
These resources are good, in part, so we don’t keep asking black people or other minorities what we should do. They bear enough burdens without layering our helplessness on top. And they do expose us to helpful information to arm ourselves in this battle towards justice. They do show us how to take action and how to be strong allies.
But I fear lists and websites simplify and excuse what we need to do, when really there is no end. We need to be relentless, and I fear we’ve become too comfortable, too complacent to face it. I hope not. I hope these lists are the beginning of something amazing because it’s time. We won’t have done our job if our children’s children are mourning other black people, chanting their names at the same protests, and fearing a system so entrenched, so old they can’t remember its origins.
I fear the forgetting, the fading, the “things back to usual” because being uncomfortable is hard to sustain. Below are resources I want to remember so I can’t forget. Many of these made me cry, made me cringe, made me feel. I will add as I find others.
Also while I won’t share the conversations because they are deeply personal, I highly recommend reaching out to the black people in your life with a hug, simple support, and no expectations. The responses I have received are both haunting and galvanizing.