I don’t really have anything further to say on the subject right now but I know it’s important to remind ourselves incessantly: black lives matter. We cannot let the luxury of forgetting afforded by our privilege overcome the momentum of this cultural moment.
My little addition to the education effort this week is this compilation of charts that helpfully illustrate in about as clear a manner as possible the systemic nature of white supremacy in the US. Education, law enforcement, finance, housing… And that source barely scratches the surface. But it’s a good place to start if you feel like you don’t completely understand how things currently stand.
Black people are still here. White supremacy is still here. Prejudicial systems are still here. Let’s do something.
I’ve been thinking about old growth forests. Because I love them, obviously, and because there’s really nothing we can do about all of the trees we’ve cut down. Centuries of growth, beauty, shade, pine cones, snuffed out so quickly. Individual trees and entire forests. Totally destroyed.
There are only two things to do: refrain from cutting down trees and plant new ones. Then just hope and pray that the centuries will be kind to the good you’ve tried to do.
Here is a small cat interlude.
I do want to spend a sec this week in celebration of a victory, something this year has largely been so stingy in bestowing. I have actual rights in this country!
There are so many things I could say about that but for today, I will settle for just this: never take privilege for granted. As the court has bestowed workplace protections upon LGBTQ people, so it could one day take them away. Jurisprudence is guidance, not law. And, further, no legislation is permanent. Rights are a delicate, fragile thing in any political system, regardless of what you think should be inalienable.
This is especially important to remember in our current times of protest. Given all the attention that has been paid recently to structures that circumvent the meaning of laws, the discrimination that belies legal equality, the attitudes that reflect deeply ingrained and typically subconscious white supremacy–with all that in mind, let’s recall that legal protections for women and people of color haven’t been around for ages and ages. They’re still pretty young.
And now this new category gets to count those rights as our own. And it will still take decades and decades for them to really be achieved. Centuries?
I just want you (straight, white, male) people to bear that in mind whenever you interface with minorities of any kind. Even if they are a ‘protected class,’ that was a fight that had to be fought legally and is still in progress socially. We have come so far but let’s be very real in admitting that we’ve got so far to go.
I know I said this was going to be a celebration and it’s ended up being a bit sad. I am truly very happy about this ruling which I didn’t not expect but I certainly didn’t expect, either. But let’s remember, to paraphrase a tweet I’ve seen a few times: if you’ve never had a court ruling (or a special law) tell you that you have the same rights as everyone else, you have privilege.