Right now, Black people in America are hurting.
"We’ve seen brown and black people killed by the very people who were supposed to protect and serve. For having a car that broke down, for walking, for running, for playing loud music, going to church, driving or reading a book in their own car." – Chris Lema
Chris wrote a powerful post about how "we’ve spent the last 35 years witnessing exactly how little the lives of people are valued if they’re not part of the dominant culture." I encourage you to read it.
I'm Canadian, and in the past, I naively thought that racial issues were "not my problem." This was incredibly ignorant of me; I'm embarrassed that I thought that way.
This video by Rachel Rodgers hit me hard. In it she says:
"Being an ally means getting uncomfortable. It means risking your status and your reputation. It’s not enough to make an Instagram post and donate. You have to do more. Put your lives on the line for black people."
I've donated and I've tweeted, but Rachel helped me realize that to be an ally, I need to put my life on the line.
Racism is real. It affects people in the bootstrapping community. It affects our peers, customers, and partners. It affects our friends and co-workers.
"Nobody's free until everybody's free." – Fannie Lou Hamer
Here are things I'm doing right now:
I run an online community, and I recently posted this message:
I want to be clear. Here in this space, we stand against racism and injustice.
Our code of conduct states that we don't "tolerate harassment of participants in any form." Right now, we need to go a step further. In this group, there are folks who have experienced racism their whole lives. They're hurting. Here, they are free to express their anger, hurt, and frustration. This is not the time for the rest of us to tell them what we think.
We're here to listen, support, and respond by being their advocates.
None of this is enough. I'm still too comfortable. But I'm committed to risking more, and helping where I can.