Have you ever stuttered and skipped back and forth through life believing that you’re mostly doing the right thing and supporting the right causes and agreeing with the right people and then you read something that makes you feel like you’re barely half-assing it?
Yesterday evening, a woman I respect with every ounce of respect I have posted this article. Please read it. Please read every word of it. It shook me and slapped me and embarrassed me in the exact way that I believe I *should* be shaken and slapped and embarrassed.
When Michael Brown was killed in Ferguson last year, do you know what I did? I bought a t-shirt. It’s a Black Lives Matter shirt, and if I remember correctly, the money went to support kids in poor neighborhoods who needed (and probably still need) food and school supplies.
I bought a shirt.
Did I go to Ferguson and help? No. I went to our church where racial justice is a priority, I wore my shirt several times to the grocery store in my (mostly white) neighborhood, and I gave a big thumbs up to articles on Facebook that align with how I feel. I went to church, I went to the store, and I hit a button that says Like. Yup.
Speaking of Facebook, I recently joined a University of Missouri alumni group because I wanted to stay on top of the changes taking place at my old campus. Yesterday, one of my fellow group members accused the Mizzou student body president of lying about the racism he has experienced on campus. This group member went on to say that Jonathan Butler (the man who went on a hunger strike) comes from a wealthy family, so it’s impossible for him to know how oppression really feels.
I read what this man wrote and I was enraged, and then I turned off the computer and went back to knitting a hat.
I need to do more, because right now I believe I’m part of the problem.
I need someone to help me know what I don’t know, because sometimes I don’t even know where to look.