I was asked, what I thought, an easy question recently. “What is one thing I’ve learned in 2020 about being anti-racist.”
Yes! Right! I’ve got this. Right? What hasn’t 2020 taught me? I mean, if you are existing in 2020, how can you not learn about being anti-racist?
Plus, I grew up in Minneapolis. I know the area where George Floyd was murdered. I know the places people have been protesting throughout the Uprising. I work in Saint Paul. I’ve been organizing food collection drives from my town to Saint Paul and Minneapolis. I’ve been reading all the books, listening to the podcasts and zoom seminars. I’ve sent bail money to protestors and I’ve supported whenever and wherever we can.
But more often than I care to admit – I think, how much longer until we can elect Joe Biden and get rid of these horrible racist fascist dangerous Republicans.
In therapy I’m a big fan of “please just give me the pill and make me better.” I think I want things to just magically change, no matter how many times I’m forced to see the only way change happens is through consistent and careful and diligent commitment by me.
I’m a really good student too. I’ve got degrees. I’m so good at reading and writing and thinking and communicating. I’m great at following a booklist. Again, just give me the problem, the solution. I’ll do it
I think what 2020 has taught me about being anti-racist is pretty simple. There’s not a pill nor is there a solution to learn.
As Congressman John Lewis wrote in his final essay, “Democracy is not a state. It is an act, and each generation must do its part to help build what we called the Belovd Community, a nation and world society at peace with itself.”
What I’ve learned about being anti-racist in 2020 is that is isn’t about being anti-racist – it is about acting anti-racist day in and day out.
When you’re tired. When you’ve failed. When you’ve made mistakes and done harm.
Every day I get a choice. To act anti-racist, to take deliberate steps towards a community of justice and equality – first step always, listening. Listening to the activist and leaders on the ground doing the work. Asking, how may I be of service – and doing the work asked of me. Marching on.