Dear White People: Ferguson Protests are a Wake Not a Pep Rally

This is an important piece to keep in mind as we continue to think on the recent non-indictments in both the Ferguson and Eric Garner cases. Though this piece is called “Dear White People: Ferguson Protests are a Wake Not a Pep Rally,” it serves as a critical reminder to me as a passionate person of color that the struggles African Americans face with anti-blackness are unique. I think a lot of white allies and people of color lately have been using Ferguson to talk about the ways in which people of color are marginalized in the United States. I think it’s important that we recognize that the events in Ferguson and what happened to Brown and Garner are not the “people of color experience,” but are reflections on the experiences of black men and black bodies in America. White people and other people of color can work together to be good allies but should not forget that this is a specific example of institutionalized anti-blackness that many of us, white or POC, are guilty of perpetuating. Let’s take a back seat and let black voices be heard.

The Well Examined Life

White House #ferguson Rally

I get it. You’re frustrated. You’re angry. You’re sad. You’re confused. You know that the killing of Mike Brown and the lack of indictment of Darren Wilson are a travesty. You are probably aware that the system you live in, the nation that raised you, the institutions that educate and protect you, commit or support massive amounts of violence against communities of color. I’m sure for many of you the cognitive dissonance must be profoundly disturbing. For others, for those of you who, though white, are marginalized and dehumanized daily, this moment is probably an agonizing reminder of the pain you carry around everyday. I’m sure the discomfort you are feeling, the rage, the sorrow, the guilt, the confusion is probably further complicated by an excitement. I’m sure some of you are excited that things are happening, that movements are starting. I’m sure a part of you is hoping that…

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