On the Acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse
Today, again, something absolutely disgusting happened in this country. I haven’t been mentioning those kinds of things in this space, but maybe I should. At any rate, I saw that SURJ had a statement on Medium (addressed specifically to white people, which I am, but worth reading for everyone), so I wanted to share it — please read it here.
I also recommend reading really anything written by Kiese Laymon , Roxane Gay , Tressie McMillan Cottom, Ijeoma Oluo, Ta-Nehisi-Coates, Claudia Rankine — that’s an extremely short list, of course there are many, many others, it’s just some of the people whose work resonated the most with me on the subjects of racism and antiracism (and most of those are also on Medium).
I have fallen off, hard, from engagement with social justice issues. I probably wasn’t ever engaged enough. I think yet another privilege I experience as a white person is the ability to tune out these stories at will and make room for them when I have the emotional capacity to think about anything outside of my own universe. And then wake up to a story like this before I’ve had the chance to pick and choose when I’m ready to be outraged, and feel outraged and disgusted and sad with the full intensity that every single one of these vile stories brings up — these stories of wrong simply winning out over right, backed by a full infrastructure — an infrastructure I’m a part of — and I think, how could this be happening again, why aren’t we all DOING something right now, when I just woke up from doing nothing, from hibernating, since the last time I decided to be outraged.
That’s my story; as always here, I’m really just writing about my own thoughts, thinking out loud. This is my own experience with engaging with the world and, as the kids say, your mileage may vary. But the SURJ statement reminded me about my local chapter and that they have meetings I can go to; and Laymon and the others are excellent writers talking about important stuff (Heavy is probably the best memoir I’ve ever read, btw). So those are what help my momentum when I come out of hibernation. I’d encourage everyone to find whatever it is that does that for you.