Hearts in Motion
First, I want to celebrate your dear tender heart, your warm heart shining with love and a vision for change. It lights the path.
For change must come. The status quo in terms of race in our country is not and has never been ok. The outcry against racism is increasing in volume. More white eyes (and hearts) are being opened to the extreme oppression faced by African-Americans in our country. How do we move in this moment?
Start Where You Are
This past week or so I have experienced a surge in white friends writing me, wondering what they can do to help heal this deep dysfunction. Not having much time to write, the response I wanted to pen for them has been swirling in my head. Then this appeared online:
And let’s keep learning from and supporting black leaders.
Disarm the System
When I think of the police guns that killed Jerry, Alton, Philando and so many others, I cannot help but think of the myriad of weapons of racism. Weapons whose devastation is implemented day by day by a system that is designed to obscure their existence. The weapons of structural violence.
“Structural violence refers to harm that individuals, families and communities experience from the economic and social structure, social institutions, social relations of power, privilege and inequality and inequity that may harm people and communities by preventing them from meeting their basic needs. Structural violence is a primary cause of the concentration of premature death and unnecessary disability in oppressed communities and is very closely linked to social injustice.” – Adverse Community Experiences and Resilience, The Prevention Institute
How are we inflicting structural violence on African-Americans (and other non-dominant groups) in Asheville? The answer is there if you look for it. This is our work. To name and destroy the weapons of structural violence. And to use our hearts to build something new in their place.
It is too late to stop the weapon that took Jerry Williams’ life. A case can be made that the weapons of structural violence have left his family in need of resources to fight for #justice4jerry. You can click here to donate to help the Williams family get a lawyer and an independent autopsy.
I will close with an excerpt from a recent post by my (and many other people’s) favorite astrologer, Chani Nicholas, which she entitled Haunted by Our History (I encourage you to click the title to read the whole post).
“This must end with us. Not with our children’s children. Not with our children. This is ours. Ours to dedicate ourselves to eradicating. Ours to be consumed with. Ours to suffer with. Ours to wrestle with. Ours to sweat over. Ours to see all the time. Ours to uproot, understand and to dismantle. Ours to take up and to lay down for good. It is the only way to reclaim our humanity from a past and a present that is lacking so much.
We must become human…
None of us are free, safe or secure until all of us are.”