Wednesday, June 3, 2020
I woke up at 4:30am thinking about George Floyd and his grieving loved ones. And our grieving and furious country. Our divided country. My heart continues to break.
I take responsibility. The social unrest going on in our country is the result of hundreds of years of racism and inequities gone unaddressed. All white people must take responsibility to reduce personal and structural racial bias. Otherwise we will continue to see more George Floyds unnecessarily die. We will continue to see black people disproportionately affected by shorter life spans, chronic health conditions, and pandemics. We will continue to see social unrest.
To do my part, I pledge to:
Read more about racism, racial bias, and its impacts, and how I can reduce it in my own thoughts, words, and actions, starting next with the book White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism
Talk openly with other white people about my own racial biases and my journey to overcome them, in order to take responsibility as well as to chip away at our discomfort talking about racism
Listen to people of color in our community about what struggles they face and work with them to push for and implement reforms they would like to see made
Work with allied groups to push for reforms within the Knoxville Police Department and the Knox County Sheriff’s Office to ensure we don’t have another unjustified killing by law enforcement of any person in Knoxville
Work to repeal the state legislation passed in 2019 that put restrictions on subpoena power of civilian police oversight boards
Learn from healthcare and social service professionals and advocates in our community about racial disparities in our local healthcare system and work with them to eliminate those disparities
Patronize more local black-owned businesses in order to support economic growth within the black community of Knoxville
Work with us to make real change in Knox County. No more George Floyds, Ahmaud Arberys, Breonna Taylors, Philando Castiles, Eric Garners, Trayvon Martins. No more broken hearts and broken lives. It is the duty of white people to fix this. #ITakeResponsibility