A Message to White Allies
Dear White Members and Friends of Old South Church,
Old South prides itself on being an inclusive community, so writing to some of you and not all of you, is not done without consideration. In this case, I intentionally address myself to those who identify as white, as Caucasian.
I walked up and down Boylston and Newbury Streets this morning. Shops smashed and looted. Others spray painted with the following messages: "No Justice, No Peace" / "BLM" (Black Lives Matter) / "F---K 12" (slang, derogatory, meaning F-the police). The messages and the looting are an expression of rage born of despair, desperation and anger.
You can agree with Charlie Baker who described the looting and property damage as cowardly and criminal. He also said that such actions "distracted from the powerful statement made today by thousands of Massachusetts residents" who marched peacefully.
However, we cannot allow destructive rage to distract us from the root of the rage: injustice, the terrors of being black in a racist society, a system that favors and privileges some of us while demeaning and murdering others of us. The fact is that people don't revolt just because...they revolt when circumstances have grown revolting. The rage we are seeing across the country is borne of genuine desperation. The pandemic just added more fuel to a smoldering heap of desperation.
I beg of you to take time to review the resources below, but don't stop there. Pass them on to white friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers. Use social media, email, letters and calls. Put signs in your windows. Wear buttons. We managed to organize ourselves around the novel coronavirus: masks, social distancing, handwashing. Surely we can organize around the deadly, insidious virus of racism. It means being proactive. Taking steps. All of us. Not some of us.
Here are some resources:
- Things white people can do to dismantle racism and white supremacy
- Trevor Noah on how the dominos connect
- Charles Blow
- Rev Otis Moss III, the Cross and the Lynching Tree
- Before you call the cops
- Black Theology & Black Power or The Cross and the Lynching Tree by the Rev. Dr. James Cone
- The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
- White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
- How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi.
- For kids, see this list of 31 antiracist children's books from Embrace Race
Nancy S Taylor
OLD SOUTH CHURCH IN BOSTON
(617) 536-1970 ext 222