What can white people do about racism?

There are many laws still in effect that have racist tones.

“Father and Son charged in a killing of a black Georgia jogger, Ahmaud Arbery after footage sparked outrage.”

That’s a headline I saw in the Washington Post. After seeing this, I was asked as a white male what I think we can do about racism.

I think about this stuff a lot. First of all, I don’t know that this act was racially motivated, but it sure looks suspicious from what I see on the video. And unfortunately, we can’t and won’t end racism or any other kind of tribalism. In a free thinking society people are allowed to hate. And even if we wanted to stop their hatred, we probably couldn’t. So then what can we do?

This is a huge question to me. One thing I think we can do is put people in positions of power that will prosecute these kinds of crimes fairly and without bias. I also think we can address some policies and laws that still exist in some states that seem to have racially-biased outcomes. A third thing we can do is push our mayors and police commissioners to lead a police culture of “serve and protect” instead of “find the bad guys.” Not all police departments are that way, but I’ve talked with some police officers and that’s the culture in some departments.

I was bullied quit a bit growing up, often by racist white guys. Although I was very angry at them for bullying me, I was also sadly thankful to be white. I think I would have been bullied a lot more if I was a minority. So something I do personally, being white, is try to have the conversation with other white people about this stuff when it comes up. My hope is that I get them to see a different perspective.

I don’t know how much good it does, but what the hell, it’s better than doing and saying nothing. I’m very saddened by this, and wish I could do more personally. And if you think I can do more, I welcome any more thoughts and feedback. Because I’d sure like to.

Jeff Benson


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