What hell it must be to be the mother of a black son in this country. I can empathize, but I cannot know in my bones her daily and nightly horrors and fears, the hard realities that blacks and other people of color (POC) have had to deal with for far too long.
I am a privileged white middle-class woman. When I walk in a neighborhood where I’m not known, or go for a drive at night, I take for granted that I’m safe as are most of my family. Does that mean that my liberal foundations are meaningless? I must ask myself: Have I dreamed and wanted change but not done enough? Have any of us done enough? If we had, perhaps we could have prevented the destruction of so many lives… so many deaths.
The hollow statements of support we’ve seen for Black Lives Matter from bureaucrats, corporations and celebrities are meaningless. They change nothing, I look instead for inspiration from declarations such as Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America’s statement. SWFA openly recognizes their/our mistakes of the past and has established real plans and changes to affect greater inclusion and diversity within its own ranks. SFWA is putting words into action and money shared.
I must ask myself: What actions can I take? Open my pockets, of course. However, I’m an individual writer with only small donations to give. No, I must do more. I must demand justice and fairness. I must work to end institutional racism and the daily acts of bigotry and evil. My first step is to listen to POCs and respond by doing what they tell me they need. Because at the end of the day, when black mothers are living nightmares I can only imagine, I know that change begins with me, with my actions.
Words are not enough.