It is easy, as a young person, to say that this is not my fault. To say, “I didn’t create or cause this culture of racial injustice, the ones who came before me did.” It is easy, as a young white person, to say “this can’t be because they were black” because I have not once encountered injustice based upon the color of my skin.It is easy, as a young, white, privileged American, to shield my eyes, turn away and try to forget because “this doesn’t directly affect me”. It is difficult to take ownership. It is difficult to acknowledge the fact of racism. It is difficult to uncover my eyes and see that, if this affects my brothers and sisters, it affects me.
But it is necessary.
"We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people." - Martin Luther King, Jr.
To myself and my young, white, privileged friend — do you realize the luxury of choosing silence? Do you understand that when you do not oppose evil, you take part in it? Do you recognize the wrong in choosing to be ignorant?
I say this because I have been silent. I say this because I’ve deflected ownership. I say this because I turn away. And my heart breaks at the injustice I’ve advocated because I was fearful of upsetting someone. There are no innocent bystanders. Choose to be informed, to see. Choose to say something. Choose to take ownership. Choose something other than silence.