Social justice is trending, and you wanna be a part of it! Since you’ve done little research or reading on how to help, you’ll probably go with your first instinct – dramatic, attention-grabbing behavior that doesn’t help and actually steals focus from the important work others are doing. But before you go Instagraming yourself standing in front of the shattered glass window of an Asian-owned nail salon with a crow bar in hand, ask yourself if you shouldn’t just leave yourself out of this and go enjoy one of the many white privileges you don’t seem to recognize:
Drive Down a Street without Worrying if You’ll be Pulled Over for No Reason
Before you run down to what was a peaceful protest and start throwing things at the cops, ask yourself if you might rather take a nice relaxing drive to literally anywhere, where you won’t be harassed by the police or fear for your safety. Do you understand what this is about? Not entirely? Then go for a drive and think about it.
Make Purchases Without Being Questioned
Before you try to start a “kill cops” chant in the middle of an info session on how to record police officers in your neighborhood, think about how easily you could go shop for snacks and wine right now. Wanna get out of here and go do that? Because you could do so without getting followed around the store or disbelieved that your credit card is yours. Do you see how this is not about you?
Go Enjoy Anything in Your Statistically Better Life
If the only way you know how to show up is by photographing yourself lighting a flag on fire, if you can’t donate actual money or protest or volunteer at a voter registration drive or do anything useful, maybe you should just go enjoy your white life, which probably includes a greater degree of access to proper healthcare, generational wealth, representation in media and government, and the many other freedoms and autonomies you take for granted?
If you can’t help dismantle a racist system without making it about you, ask yourself if you wouldn’t rather enjoy a mask-less margarita on the beach right now.