What are you willing to give up?

We’re fickle. Something catches our attention and our attention is fleeting. The important issues we need to keep alive. For me, those are gun violence and equality.

I was listening to the newest Macklemore and Ryan Lewis album this weekend. A couple weeks ago I heard Macklemore on NPR discussing his collaboration with Jamila Woods, “White Privilege II.”

About a year ago now I watched our favorite young tribute, and fiercely smart young woman, Amandla Stenberg speak about how white people appropriate whatever they want from black culture, and usually with no appreciation for the black people and their experiences in their everyday lives.

How many white people do you see actually doing something about this inequality? Just tweeting about it doesn’t count. It’s good, but you can’t just tweet and change the world.

I really relate to the Macklemore and Jamila Woods song. I worry that being white that I wouldn’t be welcome protesting or speaking out. I don’t know all of the discrimination black people face, but I know some. And what I hear about is bullshit. No, it’s not the responsibility of the black people to educate us white people about it. But some of this stuff I hear is so unbelievable that some other person would do to another person – my mind just doesn’t go there. I just cannot image a person hating another person so much. But it happens.

Read about Structural Inequality.

I keep hearing the question, “What are we willing to give up for equality?” ‘Giving up’ is a funny phrase to use here. I don’t think of equality like this. I’d be gaining colleagues, friends, neighbors, students. I’d lose seeing suffering. I’d lose the sadness I feel for people being treated unfairly. I’d lose what I feel because I know just being born black means a whole other set of hurdles to mount. You think separate but equal went away with Brown v. Board of Education? We are still separate. We never were equal. And just because of what?

Stupidity. Ignorance. Silence.

A bystander is just as guilty as the perpetrator. If you don’t believe in inequality, don’t let inequality happen. Stand up for your friend. Stand up for your neighbor. Stand up for your fellow human.