I cannot remain silent on this any longer.
I hope you’re not turning a blind eye and are instead observing the peaceful protests that are happening across the country. Even more importantly, I hope you’re taking some time to learn about why these protests are actually taking place.
I’m encouraging you to do some honest reflecting on what you can do to help prevent the spread of continued inequality towards Black Americans. It’s amazing when you reflect on periods in your life or situations you were involved in and remember being treated differently because you were white or Black.
All of us can probably think of a time when someone we were around made a racial comment, and we just laughed it off or didn’t say anything at all. I’m guilty of this — and that feeling is uncomfortable. That silence is why issues of inequality and racism have been spreading for decades. Well, not anymore.
If you have the platform to do it, I urge you not be silent any longer. Instead, do your part in spreading the word of racial equality and show up for racial justice every day.
Each and every one of us can change the trajectory of racial inequality in America for good. I’m embarrassed for not speaking up sooner, but I’m starting today.
Today, I want to share a few resources that were recommended to me. Here are a few things you can do to learn more and find out how you can do your part in ending the silence on racism:
- Watch: 13th on Netflix, which uncovers the root of racial inequality in America. Watch the film Detroit, which is based on the true story of the 1967 Detroit Riot. More on Netflix: American Son, Dear White People and When They See Us.
- Listen: If you listen to podcasts, subscribe to About Race with Reni Eddo-Lodge, NPR’s Code Switch and Scene on Radio’s Seeing White. A few more to listen to: New York Times’ 1619, the Equal Justice Initiative’s Lynching in America and Shadow Proof’s Beyond Prisons.
- Read: Take some time to dive into the following books, including some you can read with your family: Malcolm Little, Let it Shine, Just Mercy, Separate is Never Equal and White Fragility. If you’re looking for more books to help educate yourself, the New York Times’ recently published an “Antiracist Reading List,” which you can find here.
- Check in: Do a mental health check-in on Black friends, families and colleagues. Share and repost resources to educate others. Be an ally, and advocate for change long after the outrage ends.
Growing up in a racially divided town such as Detroit (you’ll see exactly what it was like if you watch the movie I mentioned above) has caused me to see things differently. I’ve witnessed the treatment of people differently because of the color of their skin, and I will forever regret not speaking out sooner.
Over the next few weeks, we will be taking a look at our current policies and how we handle racist behavior. We’ll also be having discussions and focus groups on how we can improve our equality actions moving forward.
Our goal is to treat everyone equally and to use this platform to educate others on our improvement efforts so that other individuals and organizations can learn from our experiences.
Spend the days ahead learning and educating yourself, and take some time to put yourself in other people’s shoes. It’s an important step in evolving and continuing your journey of living a meaningful life.
Jeff Glover is a Realtor with Jeff Glover & Associates in Michigan.