We are what we do.
It is time for the United States as a nation (and each of us personally) to own up to the structural racism in our society. Therefore, I want to state the following values:
- I believe that we are all equal. Race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, economics, nationality, immigration status, and physical abilities have nothing to do with a person's worth. Our societies have not been structured this way, however. It is my duty to contribute to changing that however I can.
- I value diversity. We are better together - more creative, more beautiful, more intelligent. We need all voices. It is my duty to seek out and listen to all voices.
- I am committed to inclusion, and this commitment has been channeled into my career of human-centered design and ethnography. I have tried to show this in all areas of life. It is my duty to continue this, to empower others, and to be part of a new freer nation and world where there is truly freedom and justice for all.
Let the change begin with meI must use my voice for justiceAll lives can only matter when Black Lives Matter
I have love for all who have love for all
I live in Minneapolis, Minnesota, which is the epicenter of the movement for Justice, since the murder of George Floyd, a Black man, under the knee of a white policeman who kneeled on his neck for 8 minutes, 46 seconds, while he pled for his life saying, "I can't breathe" on Memorial Day, 25 May 2020. This heinous act has spurred world-wide protests against police brutality and racism. These protests have been largely peaceful - though there has been some violence and looting, which has been, according to the press, mostly caused by white supremacists and anarchists, many from out of state. Sadly, the Black community has suffered most from this - with whole swaths of the city then without grocery stores and pharmacies.
That the Black community should be targeted yet again is beyond tragic. The Black experience has been one of unbelievable cruelty. It is time that whites take responsibility for the systemic racism that we have benefited from,and long upheld through our actions and privilege. We must dismantle the systems that have long oppressed our Black brothers and sisters.
In this bleak time, however, there has been the beginning of a transformation. This has not been a movement of people of color alone but has included far, far more white people - and youth of all hues - than previous uprisings - at least since the 1960's. While state and city governments have issued curfews, and some authorities have struggled with their troubling tendencies towards brutality and authoritarianism now in the spotlight and on camera as the free press has been assaulted while filming, there has been a palpable change. Now, we must listen to Blacks and all ethnic and other minorities, our brothers and sisters, and let them lead us to a new place where America actually works for all of us.
A year has now passed and the former officer who murdered George Floyd has been found guilty - and has also been further charged for Federal Civil Rights crimes. We all breathed a sigh of relief at the verdict, but there is so much more work to be done!
© Susan M. Dray, 2020, All rights reserved.