Light not White Flags

Preface: I am not black. I am a white person from the suburbs, so please take this article with a grain of salt. But I’d like to express my sorrow for the black American community. I’d like to write a response, not to the oppressive system that allows people to be murdered, but to those who feel helpless.
Tyre King. Terence Crutcher. Keith Lamont Scott. Alfred Olango. Four innocent black people shot fatally in the past two weeks by police officers. I doubt I’ve ever said this or will say this again, but this article is not meant to be political. At this point, it is hard to not let the energy of our anger subside to sadness. I know, as an ally, that I must channel my anger and use my platform as a white person to advocate for justice. But I’d like for all of us to take a moment, and grieve. Allow yourselves to be heavy-hearted. I’m white, and I have the luxury of being able to compartmentalize the shootings and step away from them because I’m not stitched into a body that’s being vilified everyday across America. But as someone who’s queer and femme-aligned, I have similar fears. I feel like everyday I wake up, read the news, and have another reason to feel pain. Everyday I see the divide between Americans deepen. I feel how precariously balanced our country is.  After the terrorist attack in Orlando, it felt impossible to escape the constant bad news and I felt terrified; there’s a certain morbid epiphany that comes with realizing people want you dead just for daring to exist. So allow yourself to step away from the news every now and then, allow yourself to take a break from Facebook. It is not selfish to grieve, or to heal. Tension is boiling over everywhere from on campus to the political ring, and it’s frightening to know that such hateful people exist, but this is what I can recommend:find the love in difficult places. Don’t stop being angry, don’t stop protesting or debating, but find light.
As renown slam poet George Watsky says “we fight the hatred with the light, and We fight the hatred with the light. And when they think we’ll fold and wave that bright rag, we won’t surrender, we’ll wipe the blood up with the white flag”.
To my fellow white students: use your privilege for good. Remember that white silence equals white violence. Stand strongly in solidarity with students of color. To the students of color on campus: your voices are important, your lives are important, I am sorry that your fight and that your burden is so heavy, but I am glad that you are still here.