I need to apologize. Again. For my white privilege which has allowed me to not focus on racial inequality for the last 11 weeks, as, truth be told, I had no capacity other than thinking about staff and customers’ physical safety, keeping people employed, and providing food to the community. All fine ways to occupy my brain, but this last week reminded me that I have the luxury of not having to think about racial disparity, never mind safety, every minute of every day. That has to stop for me. I cannot accept that we are still having the kinds of actions that were once more perpetuated in Minneapolis, and across the nation, that are unacceptable and enraging.
As we Co-op members were only just beginning to work on facing our whiteness and the actions and phrases that inevitably belie a life of privilege in the early March discussions of Robin DeAngelo’s book, White Fragility, we shut the book group discussion down, in deference to the information that we were receiving about physical distancing, even as we recognized the value and the potential of these discussions. But today, I am feeling deep shame at not pursuing more creative ways to keep this learning moving ahead. While we sheltered in place or put one foot in front of the other in managing daily requirements in our lives, George Floyd and countless others lost their lives at the hands of our white supremacist system. I just cannot live with that. As a white person in a white-dominated society, I owe it to our POC neighbors to do the hard work each and every day, not just when it is convenient.
I am seeking to restart the conversations that we began in early March on White Fragility. We are going to seek an online platform and a way for you to connect with this conversation if you are so moved. We will put the word out on social media and on our website when we have this figured out. In addition, I feel compelled to recommend the work of the Lost River Racial Justice group as part of the Root Social Justice Center, in its support for groups of white persons seeking a place to discuss and learn ways to be better allies to POC, as well as support for youth and POC themselves. They have a wonderful reading list, which also includes videos, to help us all get more familiar with looking at this issue of white supremacy in our lives and in our communities.
The time is now. The time is always now.