The protests of the horrible death of George Floyd and other black people in the US have finally brought our systemic racism to the surface in a way no one can ignore. I feel my own complacency has reached its expiration date.
It’s hard to see violence ripple through the world like this. And I know that massive change is often required to make the changes we need. Inertia, as you may well know, is a powerful force.
There is a feeling of hope that this time, finally, we are awake to the fact that the world needs to change. Is changing. If our constitution promises liberty and justice for all, that has to be more than lip service. This is going to take some work and each of us plays a part.
I don’t have answers for what you should do to end racism now. I know what I am doing. I’m taking a tip from my friend Jonathan Fields. He suggested that the anti-racism work we need to do is a practice. It’s not a donate once and done kind of situation. It’s ongoing work on ourselves and work in the world.
How? Let’s figure it out. Don’t ever let not knowing how to do something keep you from doing something.
Writing as a power tool
As your writing coach, I encourage you to use writing in every instance. Writing clarifies. Writing heals. Writing shows us a path forward.
There are as many ways to use our words in this fight as there are words. Write a letter. Write a truth. Write an article. Write a confession. Write an apology. Write a commitment. Write a manifesto for a new world. Write a rant. Write a love letter.
Perhaps start with a free-write to get grounded and to get clear. Here are some bonus prompts I shared in The Devoted Writer salon this week:
- Becoming an activist
- How I lead
- How I follow
- My racism
- Change and me
- My addictions
- Here’s what I want for the world
- What I need now
- My commitment to change
In my classes, we have talked many times about our emotions and how they impact our ability to write. I know many of us are having a hard time focusing on anything now. Hard to stop reeling and feeling and settle into any writing. That’s okay. Do what it takes to take care of yourselves. Do what you need for your writing. And do what we all need to make our world whole – do something to end racism.
I stand for peace and justice for all. I stand with Black Lives Matter and I commit to doing my part to end systemic racism in the US.
Do what is right for you, and if you feel like sharing the actions you are taking now, please do so in a comment below. I know that would inspire me and help me take more action.