A while back I attended Oprah’s “Live Your Best Life” tour and one of the things she said that really stuck with me was the fact that she had some “good white people” in her life who helped her get to where she was today…then she literally said, “get you some good white people” [blank stare]. So immediately I thought wow, I know a few good white people but clearly not enough!
Fast forward to yesterday, I’m scrolling through Facebook and I keep seeing the same quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as it relates to the necessity to speak out against racist, sexist, homophobic, ridiculous Donald Trump: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”. Black friend after black friend has this quote on their feed – probably aimed at their other black friends – and the more I see it, the more pissed I get.
Why is it that every time black people get upset by something crazy a crazy white person does we’re all over social media quoting how we need to do this and do that to combat white craziness? (Listen, I know there’s black craziness too but that’s not what this post is about). When are we going to expect, no demand, that white folks police their own crazy people and hold them accountable for their words and actions?
Or in the words of the great sociologist Chris Rock, “When we talk about race relations in America or racial progress, it’s all nonsense. There are no race relations. White people were crazy. Now they’re not as crazy. To say that black people have made progress would be to say they deserve what happened to them before.”
In reality, the MLK quote that black folks need to spout online is: “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends”. So with this sentiment in mind, I'm issuing a #CallToAction to #GoodWhitePeople everywhere to put on your "save'em" capes and go hard against Donald Trump, the media that gives him leverage and the GOP that grants him validity.
Look, people are used to black and brown people showing out and being up in arms when they are faced with hate speech and racists actions. The response in Chicago at Trump's rally was not a surprise - it was inevitable and the response was typical. White crazy talk = black anger and protests = TV coverage and chatter for a few hours = everyone goes on with their lives = racism flourishes unchecked = the American way.
Yet in the midst of all the talk about the need to push back on Trump is the noticeable absence of the good white people that must be as outraged about a Trump presidency as the colored folks are right? I feel like #HollywoodSoWhite has caused me to look out of my window and watch for the good white people to fly through the skies, white capes sailing in the wind, to come and save brown people from all of the evils of the world. I mean, you watch "The Blindside", "The Help", "Race" or any movie with Kevin Costner in it and you start to think that God put good white people on earth just to save the good brown people.
So now, when we need life to imitate art I'm wondering where is Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt and Sandra Bullock when we need them? (They even adopted black babies so they definitely need to worry about a Trump-led America).
Why is Matt Damon and George Clooney so silent? (Aren't they BFFs with Don Cheadle?)
Leonardo - even if you don't speak out on behalf of the browns you surely love the greens enough to know that Trump would singlehandedly try to cut down every tree himself to build a Trump hotel.
In fact, the head of every major hotel chain should be panicking every time Trump wins a primary state; who will you employ in your hotels if Trump actually enacts his deportation "plan" (and that's not a racist statement just a real one).
But most importantly, the good white people who we joke with at work, who carpool our kids to school, who come over for dinner, who've benefited from Obamacare, who understand that there is a real danger to the fuel Trump is using to flame the fears of white people who think they are losing "their America" are the ones we need to hear from NOW. Seriously, say something. Be louder. Be unafraid to denounce racism and sexism and other ‘isms in all its forms but especially when this type of hate is being championed by a presidential front runner.
And frankly this goes beyond politics. I don't care if you're a republican, conservative, liberal or anti-establishment, the venom Trump is espousing and violence that is yet to come if he isn't shamed into oblivion is far more crucial than your political ideology - it's not as if he's talking about real policy solutions anyway. It is beneficial for the country, for future generations, to have a diverse and safe environment where all people can flourish instead of the divisive, narrow-minded, white supremacy driven country Trump is blatantly championing.
If good white people of the past could travel to the Deep South and risk their lives alongside black activists you surely can put on your cape and risk losing a few friends online because you spoke up for decency and against hate. Or should we consider your silence as agreement?
The call has been issued. The #GWP sign is flashing in the air. Now the choice is yours good white people – will you put on your white cape or put it over your head instead?
WHO IS STEFANIE?
I am an inspirationeur!
I am passionate about empowering people to understand how their unique skills, talents and interests can change the world for the better while leading to personal happiness in the process. Through my work as a cutting-edge business woman, founder of a leadership development organization and spirited public speaker, I believe in #DoingItBIG and accomplishing results. #LiveCandid