We are living in a time of social, political, and economic upheaval. It's uncomfortable. But that's a good thing. As a white woman who grew up in a city with just as many people of color as there were white people, it was easy for me to believe racism was somehow nonexistent. In my high school, the tough black football players were top of the food chain and scrawny drama nerds like me were pretty much at the bottom. As a white woman, it was easy to ignore the problem and just focus on the woes of being a woman in a male-dominated society until I began visiting a (white) family member in prison and noticed the racial disparities. Then I went to college and took as many sociology classes as I could, forcing myself to confront my white privilege, to sit in that discomfort.
But out of college, I became complacent again. I’m not proud of that. I knew racial inequalities existed, but I was “too preoccupied” with trying to get a good job, pay back my student loans, meet a good partner, figure out my life, etc. to focus on how to make a difference. In my Instagram post from last week, I admitted to not having known about George Floyd for several days after it happened because “I’ve been in a no-news bubble to keep myself from being overly stressed about COVID-19” (and how it’s affecting my work and wedding plans). Then I realized the fact that I CAN be in this bubble is part of the problem. Because I’m white and my family is white and we’re all relatively healthy and safe. We’re still working and not dying of this pandemic in disproportionate numbers.
So, I faced my shame, stopped feeling overwhelmed, and took action. If you’re white and anything I’ve said has resonated with you, here are a few things we can do:
1. Educate Yourself & Others. Here's some reading material:
- “75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice” by Corinne Shutack
- Glamour UK: “White people, here’s how we can try to be better allies and proactively anti-racist”
- BuzzFeed News: “An Essential Reading Guide for Fighting Racism”
These articles list so many great books and resources, so visit them, buy some of the books (I’m currently reading So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo), educate yourself and start having tough, uncomfortable conversations with your friends and family.
2. Give to organizations that are actually making a difference. Be aware of scams claiming to collect funds in the name of #JusticeForFloyd and #blacklivesmatter. If you are in a position to donate, support reputable organizations like: Minnesota Freedom Fund, Reclaim The Block, Color Of Change, NAACP.
3. Support businesses of people of color. Find some via We Buy Black, The Black Wallet, and Official Black Wall Street. Some of my local faves are Avé Rivera Studio (She makes our mask bowls!) and Natural Annie Essentials.
What is florapothecarie doing to help fund change?
This month, we’re donating 10% of our total sales to Color Of Change and another 10% to The Trevor Project to help these organizations create positive legislative change and local community impact for people of color and LGBTQ youth. Thank you for supporting these important, *necessary* social causes with us.
Got more resources or suggested actions? Please share in the comments! Centuries of systemic racism and sexism is a difficult undertaking to unravel, but I do believe that together, with sustained effort, we can create positive social change.
With love and solidarity,