I’ve often said that guilt is not a useful emotion, and in particular I’ve always thought that “white guilt” was whiny self-serving bullshit. White people can choose to leave the status quo as it is, with all the institutional, unconscious, and direct ways that white people are privileged in American and other cultures. Or we can choose to take action to support equality – to stand in solidarity with people of colour and recognize their full humanity. Acts like the white supremacist terrorist assault on the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston last week are stark reminders that there are white people who most definitely do not recognize that humanity. In the wake of such violence, doing nothing says that you are ok with the world as it is.
Inspired in part by my friend Val’s earlier donations, but in particular by Zoé S.’s tweet:
If you're a white person who has ever uttered "I wish I could do more," there's a 86% chance you could be doing far more than you are.—
Zoé S. (@ztsamudzi) June 20, 2015
I have donated $250 each to each of these organizations:
The American Civil Liberties Union, which works on the fight for voting rights, against the infuriating school-to-prison pipeline, and on many other racial justice issues. Follow @aclu on Twitter, and donate here. Donations to the ACLU are not tax-deductible or employer-matchable; if that matters to you, donate to the ACLU Foundation here.
We the Protesters works to “fulfill the democratic promise of our union, establish true and lasting justice, accord dignity and standing to everyone, center the humanity of oppressed people, promote the brightest future for our children, and secure the blessings of freedom for all black lives.” Follow the amazing activists behind this movement on Twitter, or donate via the PayPal button at the end of their homepage. Donations are not tax-deductible.
Black Women’s Blueprint works “to develop a culture where women of African descent are fully empowered and where gender, race and other disparities are erased” through research, historical documentation, and movement-building. Follow @BlackWomensBP on Twitter, and donate here. Donations are tax-deductible and eligible for employer matching – you’ll need to get the match by looking up JustGive (EIN 94-3331010) in your employer’s matching system and designating the donation towards BWB.
The Equal Justice Initiative works “to reform the criminal justice system, challenge poverty and the legacy of racial injustice, educate the public and policymakers, and create hope in marginalized communities.” Follow @eji_org on Twitter, and donate here. Donations are tax-deductible and eligible for employer matching.
Giving to any (or all!) of these four organizations is a direct way to fight racism and white supremacy in the United States. Guilt is useless. Take action.
Please feel free to leave comments with links to other organizations which fight for racial justice in the US and around the world.