White people, stand up! (content warning)

“I can’t breathe,” he said, with the boot of empire on his neck.

And so the affront of blackness to white supremacy was once again apparently punishable by death

In a country where the lives of some are at stake, and the souls of the powerful are under threat.

And let’s be clear – those of us with so-called white bodies are the powerful.

When white (or orange) leaders speak, they speak for us —

Unless we contradict them.

Unless we stand and form a barricade to show that your blatant disregard for black lives will not be tolerated.

 

We are the Capitol, but President Snow doesn’t speak for us.

We refuse to live on Bread and Circuses while our sisters and brothers are being murdered in the streets at the hands of the state,

Urged on by a leader whose thirst for violence knows no limits.

 

(And while back at home our Indigenous sisters and brothers are locked up and left to die, their cries ignored.

I saw you, policeman, I saw your body tense up when he disrespected you

And you threw his body into the ground.

Maybe you didn’t take his life, but all violence comes from the same root

And if we can’t swear at a uniformed officer without fear of retribution,

we are not free.)

 

Their leader barricades himself in a rose garden while the stench of white supremacy pours forth from his spirit, sickening all he reaches, whether the powerful or the oppressed.

 

White people, stand up.

It’s late, but there is still work to be done.

“There is no time limit on redemption”

 

Stand up and atone for the sins of your ancestors.

“You’re tired, but everybody’s tired”

You’re scared, and so are we all (some afraid of stepping out of their comfort zone, some afraid of being killed in their own homes).

 

Show up anyway.

Are you scared of saying the wrong thing?

Be silent, or speak, but don’t close yourself off from correction.

 

There is room for you here.

 

Or maybe you don’t want to turn up, don’t even want to turn on the TV, because you’re scared of what you’ll see.

Are you scared of a broken heart?

Haven’t you heard that’s the price of love?

And anyway, have you seen the power of a broken-hearted woman? She doesn’t stand for bullshit any longer.

 

Or maybe you don’t know where to start, and you have heard enough times not to ask the Black people for advice.

Ask yourself for advice.

Take the first step you tell yourself to do.

And go from there.

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